Poultry farming is a very lucrative business this is because everything about poultry is money. It is the practice of raising chicken for egg or broiler. Their feathers, faeces, eggs and meat are sold for money. Poultry business is presently one of the highest employers of labour in regards to Nigeria Agricultural economy as at today.
Due to the profitability of poultry business so many people have gone into the business in larger scales. Yet the products are still not enough to serve the ever-increasing population here in Nigeria.But in your case you can always start a small-scale poultry farming depending on your capital.
In this article I shall be listing out the different approaches/steps to take in starting a profitable poultry farming that will put you in the business line. Such approaches will include: Space, feeding, chicken source, sickness/disease control and general management of poultry farm. Others are; profitability, start-up capital and why you should go into chicken business.
MATTER OF IMPORTANCE
Poultry farming is very productive this we know or will come to find out but it is labour intensive. So before venturing into the business you have to make up your mind to create adequate time for it. You cam employ labourers to work in your poultry farm in case you are always busy with other things. .
Design your poultry farm to cut down expenses, get extra vaccines down you never know when you will need them. You cannot predict chicken behaviours health-wise. Purchase the right vaccine and get a veterinary doctor close by.
THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF CHICKEN
- The Pullets, also known as layers, they are reared for egg production. This one is very lucrative than any other one but extremely stressful.
- Broilers, they are reared for meat production. They grow very fast and are ready for sell at 12 weeks from hatch. For a target weight of 2-4 kg-2.9 kg you have to rear broilers for 28 days.
- Cockerel, they are grown for meat just like broilers but it takes a longer time (24 weeks) to mature for marketing. They are stronger, more fleshy and tastier than the other two.
THINGS NEEDED TO START POULTRY FARMING
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This is one of the major criteria for starting poultry farming because without land or building the won’t be any poultry farming as there won’t be any place to put the animals. You have to put many things into considerations before choosing a place to do your poultry farming.
You don’t have to chose a place where the population is high because of the pungent smell poultry farms emit. It will be offensive to the people if not harmfull. But it has to be closer to your residence or can be easily accessible for a day-to-day running of the farm
You can rent one or construct your own. To build you need; cement, wood, planks, zinc blocks, sand, stones, nets, plywood, nails, labour.
Others are: transportation, generator, tank, hose, wire, lamp holders, lighting, switches, bulbs, padlock etc.
The wall should not be more than 0.3m, use albestos roof.
Build cages that are very spacious with different apartment for different ages. Cage construction is good especially if you want to maximise space. Some people make their cages with about 3-5 steps this is especially for those who are into very large poultry farming. Otherwise the building can be demarcated or left open for the birds to move about freely and grow.
This is very essential because the type of specie you buy will determine the outcome and production of your birds. Be sure to buy your chicks from a reputable poultry farm. Some suggested farms you can buy from are; Obansanjo farms, Byand breeds, Tery Gee etc. You can start with a day old chick or few weeks old.
Always observe the minimum space requirement for day old birds. If you overstock them some will die due to dehydration as a result of lack of water. Because not all the birds will be able to get to water and drink. It will become a thing of survival of the fittest.
Before bringing in the birds set the place up. Immediately the birds arrive warm up the place. Keep feed and water for them to consume. If you procrastinate maybe until the next day, you probably will be counting the number of dead birds.
For starters of poultry farming business it will be better for you to start with the layer type point of lay because they are easy to manage and are less stressful. As such the risk of loosing them will be reduced.
Buy 2-3 weeks old chick because they are less fragile than a day old chick. But you must request to know the history of the drugs given to them so far.
Broilers eat an average of 8 kg for 13 weeks old birds. Layers will not eat up to that quantity of feeds. After buying the chicks from reputable hatcheries like Chi farms, Zartech etc. Use quality feed to grow them such as Top feed, KBC 10 (Koudijs Broiler Concentrate) etc. Do not starve or miss giving your birds food.
READ ALSO: How To Start Snail Farming In Nigeria
Feed them as at when due, 24 hours a day (for day 1-10) and 2 times (morning and evening) daily every other day.
A bird will eat about 5.6kg of feeds for 8 weeks but the quality of feed matters any way. You can grow a day old chick to broiler from 15-16 weeks or even less. But you have to carry out extra feeding. Feed them with Gadus (pre-starter) in the first 7 days before feeding them with your formulated starter.
TYPES OF FEEDS
Starter and finisher
The age of the bird determines the kind of feed to be used. Feeding of birds takes between 70-80% of the cost of production. To reduce feed cost you have to find out how to combine feed to get a good formula using local materials. You can mix food like maize, cereal, sorghum, roughages, tubers, etc.
RISK INVOLVED IN POULTRY FARMING
Feed: wrong formulated feed can lead to failure. Buy birds from recognised feed mills, store them in a non humid place.
Source of birds: when your birds are sickly, non resistant to diseases or low egg laying then you are in for a long thing. Precaution purchase birds from a good source.
Vaccine: the vaccines used on birds are not locally manufactured and sometimes undergo rough handling which people end up buying.
Water management: water is the number one cause of diseases outbreak in poultry farm. Remedy always use clean water.
Diseases outbreak: proper monitory and early observation of birds will help in detecting early signs and symptoms.
HYGIENE IN POULTRY FARMING
In other to prevent excess ammonia buildings, change the sawdust every 10 days. Or as soon as it gets wet. Sawdust is better than using papers because it helps in controlling the birds droppings more than papers.
The steel feeders should be hung on the roof and not kept on the floor in other to prevent the chicken from soiling them with their faeces which may eventually threaten their health. Suspend of the steel feeders in the air will also prevent infection.
Wood shavings or sawdust serves as bed and a comforting materials for the birds. Their litter when mixed with these materials helps in easy execution.
Make provision for clean water, enough ventilation and quality feeds in poultry farming.
The roof should have an overhang to prevent too much sunlight or rain from entering the pen during construction.
Ensure their litter is dried and loosed always.
SIGNS OF SICKNESS IN BIRDS
- Decreased in egg production when the birds are not up to a year
- Thin egg-shell
- Refusal to leave the nest
- Swellings around the neck, eyes, blue/black/pale comb
- Not eating well or eating at all and also when looking dull
- Sleeping while standing, buried necks
- Watering stool (diarrhoea) blood or mucus in stool
Coughing, gasping or sneezing
Fluid in the abdomen and sudden death
Limit their access to feed. In other to avoid coccidiosis, minimise contact of feed and water with poultry litter as much as possible.
Always give Gumboro vaccine at appropriate time especially during early age.
Do not raise turkey and chicken together. You won’t achieve a good result, The chicken will be the one mostly affected.
Treat them with appropriate drugs such as embezyl or panthacox. Remember to get your veterinary doctor involved.
Give pox-prolene drug when you noticed symptoms of fowl pox
Charcoal is not advisable to use at the early stage since it cannot provide a steady uniform heat to the chicks. It can be used at a latter time when the chicks are growing. But wire netting should be put on the top of the case used for the charcoal fire to protect the chickens from being burnt to death.
Regulate temperature between 33-34C for the brooder. Use lantern as a source of light and warmth. In addition to lantern you can use stove (7-10 days). But stop giving them light when they are up to 2 weeks.
VACCINATION IN POULTRY FARMING
This is very important for your birds to grow well and survive. That is why you are to employ the services of a veterinary doctor to advice you at what point you should carry out vaccination but here is a layout you can follow:
At the point of hatching (chick first day on earth) vaccination should be given to them through the eyes.
Vaccinate again 4-5 days for Newcastle disease with this drug called, Lasota.
On the second week vaccinate them for Gambaro
And then keep vaccinating them every month with Lasota.
Coccidiosis drug ( you can use pantocox drug for it) should be administered to them every 2-3 days.
How To Estabish A Standard Poultry Farming Business In Nigeria
The vaccination for layers is slightly different from that of broilers because they stay longer in the farm. Here is the table to follow:
Week 1 Marek’s vaccine (intracellular) against new castle disease
Day 2-7 antibiotic and anti stress
Day 3-5 Coccidiosis
Week 2 Gamboro
Week 4 Coccidiostat, lasota
Week 5 Anthelminths
Week 8 Kamurov (New castle vaccine)
Week 10 Fowl pox
Week 14 Anthelminthic (deworming)
Week 18 Egg drop sydrome (optional)
Vitalyte and multivitamin is every morning
WHY YOU SHOULD GO INTO POULTRY FARMING BUSINESS
Chicken are generally accepted by all regardless of religion, tribe, or country. That is why they are sold faster because of their high demand. Their demand far outweighs their supply. Poultry farming is a business that can be harvested within a short time.
Poultry farming business is very lucrative because everything about it is money. There is sure returns in your investment when all management procedure is put in place.. A good poultry management requires knowledge as such you can acquire it before starting.
This business has the capacity to make you financially independent.
PROFITABILITY/COST OF STARTING A POULTRY FARM
A crate of egg cost about #850-#1000 depending on the size assuming you have 5,000 crate in a year multiply it to see the amount. This is how profitable poultry farming is. However, to establish a poultry farm to produce these amount of eggs you need to keep about #3 million depending on your location and cost of feeding.
A fully grown chicken sells between #1,200-#1500 depending on how mature they are and their sizes. Assuming at the end of the day you have 4,000 chicken, multiply that with #1,200. Did you see that? Why not start your poultry farming today.
To raise 250 birds at 6 weeks you need 37 bags of 25kg feeds and #8,000 worth of drugs or less.
Sell to restaurants, hotels, eateries, schools, supermarkets, market men and women. You can advertise by using online platforms like jiji, olx etc.
Tell people around you about your poultry farming. Once you are known to have a poultry farm egg vendors and chicken butchers will be coming to you for purchase.
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