Poultry farming is one of the most lucrative businesses, to invest time and money in. This is because chicken meat and eggs are in high demand, as a source of protein. According to forecast, chicken is soon to become the world favorite meat for consumption.
Report released by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, (OECD), says that, poultry will become the world’s most consumed meat, over the next five years.
Therefore, poultry farming is not only profitable, but also sustainable, as it is going nowhere in a long time. Now that you know how profitable and sustainable poultry farming is, how do you start poultry farming of your own?
This article will show you the steps to starting poultry farming, and also things to keep in mind and also the different systems of poultry farming available to you.
Poultry farming is a farming system where poultry birds are bred for the purpose of food, most times on a commercial basis.
There are three systems of poultry farming, and they are;
- Extensive farming (free range): This is where the birds are allowed to roam free and fend for themselves, without assistance from the owners. This is the oldest form of poultry farming. It is divided into the free range and fold system.
- Semi-intensive system: In this type of poultry farming, the birds are kept in a building, and the building is fenced round.
- Intensive system: In this system, the birds are restricted to an enclosed unit. It is divided into two types; the Deep litter, and the Battery cage system.
The most common systems of poultry farming practiced in Nigeria are;
- Deep litter
- Half litter and half slats
- Battery cage system
- Semi-fold system.
Now, here is a step by step process to starting poultry farming:
The first step in starting poultry farming is to consider these important things like;
When choosing a location for your poultry farming, choose a remote location, as this will help in reducing your startup cost. Also consider the accessibility of the location. An ideal location would have access to good roads, good electricity supply, and good water.
Also consider how much is available as startup capital. Remember, your startup capital will determine what level of poultry farming you would do. A small scale poultry farming would require about seventy thousand naira (about one hundred and ninety four naira), to start up. A medium scale poultry farming would however, need between five hundred thousand to five million naira (about two thousand to thirteen thousand dollars), to start up. A large scale poultry farming would need a whooping sum of ten million naira to start.
It is however advisable to start on a small scale, because it is easier to manage and grow.
- Types of birds:
Another thing to consider is the type of birds you want to rear. Are you going to breed layers, for egg production, or broilers for meat production, or hatchlings? You can concentrate on one niche, or do all three. However, when starting out, it is advisable to choose a niche and specialize in that.
The next step, after considering the important things is the structure which would house your birds. While the extensive system of poultry farming is becoming obsolete, there are two types that are commonly practiced;
- The deep litter system
- The cage system
The system you choose would be dependent on you’re the scale of your poultry farm and your expertise.
The third step in starting your poultry farm is acquiring the necessary equipment. Equipment needed for the smooth operation of your poultry farm includes;
- Lighting system
- Waste disposal
Now you are ready to start your poultry farm, but keep these things in mind while operating your poultry farm:
- Vaccinate your birds regularly to avoid sickness and disease spread. If a bird falls sick, separate them from the others to avoid the spread of the disease.
- The housing for your birds should be well ventilated and cleaned regularly. It should also be kept far away from predators.
- Keep all equipment used in the farm, clean at all times.
Whether using deep litter or the battery cage system, cover the floor with saw dust or wood shavings, to avoid breast injury, which leads to meat condemnation at the marketplace.