A poultry refers to domestic fowls or birds which include chickens, turkey, ducks amongst others raised for food consumption (that is meat and eggs). The advantages of running a poultry farm business cannot be overemphasized. Demands for meats and eggs are on the high that alone is a major reason why the business can be regarded extremely profitable especially in Nigeria.
With a population of over 170 million in Nigeria, the demand for poultry bird products is on the high and the market is always there waiting to be tapped.
One of the factors that makes poultry birds business profitable is the fact that chickens grows fast unlike goats which takes 2 to 3 years to mature. A chicken can be ready for market within 28 weeks from birth. Before going into a poultry business, one must decide the purpose for which he or she wants to run the business. The most common breeds of poultry are the broilers and the layers,the broilers are raised for meat production while the layers are for egg production, both can be regarded as the most lucrative reasons for rearing poultry birds.
Benefits of running poultry business
- Chicken reproduce fast: An average healthy layer lays eggs each day or an average of 4 times a week. Some on an average of 208 and some as much as 325 eggs in a year and taking 21 days to hatch.
- Chicken grows very fast: Within 21 days the egg is hatched and within 28 weeks they are ready for the market meaning a farmer can start making his money in a short time.
- Chicken and eggs sell at a very good price: A fully grown chicken sells between 2500 to 3000 Naira in Nigeria and a crate of egg sells for 800 to 900 depending on the size and each crate contains 30 eggs.
What it takes to succeed or run a poultry farm
- Have your investments ready: You need investments in form of capital to run a poultry business. You can get money from banks in form of loans, non- governmental organizations, personal savings or even as a gift from friends. You also need to decide the amount of capital required for the business as this determines the scale.
- Determine production type: You must decide on what aspect of poultry bird farming you chose as your interest. You can raise broiler chicken for meat production purpose, layers for egg production you can also run a poultry farm for selling poultry feeds for other poultry farmers and you might also choose to combine by breeding both broilers and layers at the same time.
- Select farm location: A location in the rural area is preferable as lands are more affordable and there are little or no governmental restrictions and industrial pollution in cities can also affect or influence the quality of your poultry. Some other factors that should be considered are its proximity to the market, good water source and environment, good transportation amongst others.
- Construct house: The poultry house should be constructed. This could be done by a professional engineer and the design also varies on the scale of your production, it could be extensive, semi-intensive or intensive but whatever housing system adopted, it should have light and be properly ventilated.
- Labor or manpower: The amount of man-power required is based on the number of poultry birds. The higher the poultry birds the higher the manpower required. But as a beginner and starting on a small scale it could be managed by yourself or an employee easily.
- Purchasing poultry birds and equipment: Quality chicks should be purchased from trusted breeders in your area. Its also wise as a starter to set the housing structure in order and ready before moving chicks from breeder to your poultry farm. Equipment or items that could be required in your poultry farm include Feeder, Drinkers, Nests, Waste disposal system, Incubators,Egg-trays amongst others
- Feeding: The success of the business depends on quality and adequate feeding of the poultry birds. You must spend a large amount of your budgeted finance usually exceeding more than half on feeding your poultry birds. Feeds can be purchased from the market and various feeds exist depending on the breed. Review pages for more details on poultry feeds broiler feed and layer feed
- Health management: Poultry birds are sensitive and can be prone to diseases and its important to vaccinate them from time to time as prevention is better than cure. You can also stock some vaccine and medicine to be used when needed. You can get their medicines in the market and always remember to visit the veterinarian whenever you suspect something wrong with your birds.
- Marketing:Good marketing strategies can influence the profit from your business positively. Some ways to market your poultry produce include taking them to the local markets, taking your business online to reach out to more people, suppling to restaurants and hotels, advertising your products amongst others.
With the tips above you are on your way to starting a poultry business, eventually becoming successful and making profits.