10 Steps to Start a Poultry FarmHere we are again!! I hope you enjoyed my last article on “Create Your Brand” and if you are new, I will recommend it to you because entrepreneurship isn’t really possible without branding. What gives you an advantage is if you know what it really is and how to go about it. Ok guys, I have something special for you today; how to start a poultry farm. As an entrepreneur especially in Africa you would want to know which business ventures can proof very lucrative so you could hesitate less about investing .That’s exactly where I come in, to show you  the infinite possibilities you have at your disposal. So let’s begin!!

According to this Africa Business Communities report, poultry farming in Africa is a very promising venture, to consider.

“The year -on- year growth in the global poultry markets is set to continue: a demand growth of more than 60% is expected over the next 20 years. This leads to significant global investment streams in an industry that is evolving, from a national and regional basis to a more global platform.”

Isn’t that wonderful!? Poultry farming is really a promising venture. Well, for you who deosnt’t know what poultry farming is, let’s get you educated in the subject.

What is poultry farming?

As defined by Wikipedia:

“Poultry farming is the process of raising domesticated birds such as chickens ,ducks, turkeys and geese for the purpose of farming meat or eggs for food. Poultry- mostly chickens- are farmed in great numbers”

Advantages of poultry farming:

  • They are a good source of food: Food being one of the primary needs of man gives this business an advantage. Food can never go out of need, making your business a more stable option in the market.
  • The health challenges that come with consuming too much red meat have importantly increased the demand for white meat, in other words poultry.

Now that you know the statistics, definitions and advantages  of  poultry farming lets go straight up with what  to consider and invest in for your poultry.

1. You need to choose a poultry sector:

The poultry world is really broad and you would have to take out time to analyze each so you know exactly where you want to invest. The different areas are:

  • Egg production also known as layers breeding
  • Meat production also known as broilers breeding
  • Chicken breeding also known as hatchery
  • Poultry equipment manufacturing
  • Egg and meat processing, packaging and marketing
  • Poultry marketing and consultancy

Woow!!! A whole lot of sector you can choose from according to your budget. Generally many people think poultry involve only raring chicken and ducks but it’s much more.

2. Choose your bird:

You need to be sure of the kind of birds you want to rare, which includes;

  • Peacock
  • Turkey
  • Duck
  • Pigeon
  • Goose
  • Quail
  • Guinea fowl
  • Chicken or domestic fowl
  • Either layers and broilers

Now let’s do some differentiation between the layers and the broilers. You can rare each depending on what you  want to focus on. Broilers for meat (meat production)are more suitable cause they can grow very fat but layers for eggs if you want to get into the egg production sector.

3. Start-up Capital investment:

It’s time for the numbers. You must realize that poultry farming is capital intensive and your cost will all depend on your scale, farm size and location and most especially the type of equipment you would want and afford for your business.

A small scale poultry running behind your house would require a start-up capital of $500 to $1500, a medium scale poultry $2000-$5000 and from $10000 for a large scale poultry.

4. Location:

If you are going into poultry farming, you definitely would need a piece of land. A good location for your poultry farm is require, if you must pull it off. You need a land large enough to contain the quantity of birds you would need. I would advise that you find a location that is cheap and yet not too far from your target market. Lands in sparsely populated areas are cheap but you must also not go too, far from the densely populated areas because so, you could be closer to your market.

Security, and the awful smell from the birds is something you must also put on account when choosing your location.

5. Housing The Birds:

You will need to make a review of the different fencing options that exist. 40% of your success in this business is determined by this factor. When building take angles, sunlight and  the wind into consideration. The different forms of housing system commonly used are:

  • Extensive system: This is a range and fold unit system
  • Semi system: Standard semi intensive unit and straw yard
  • Intensive system: The different kinds are;
  1. Deep litter
  2. Wire and slatted floor
  3. Straw yard
  4. Battery cage

I would strongly recommend you use either the deep litter system or the cage system because they are by far easier to manage and efficient too.

  • Deep litter system:

This system consists of spreading saw dust or wood shavings on a concrete ground where the birds will be so the dust or shavings serve as a cushion for them. This will be changed regularly either by removing replacing or layering. The disadvantage with this though is that it allows for a fast spread of diseases when there is an outbreak and it also makes it hard to sort out the unproductive birds.

  • Battery cage system:

With this system, metal cages are constructed inside a building to  house the birds, the cages are compartmentalized to contain small groups of birds. In each cage there is feeding, water troughs as well as laying nests. The bird droppings are then removed from the floor with a scrapping machine. This is the best method for egg production though it more expensive than the other poultry housing systems.

6. Equipment:

You will need to get feeders, drinkers, perches, nests, crates, incubators, cages and coops, egg trays, heaters and brooders, lighting systems and waste disposal system.

7. Feeding:

You would need to decide if you would prefer to produce your bird feed yourself or buy from those who specialize in making bird feed.

8. Labor force:

Of course you will need people to work with you if you are not using a lot of machinery but this also depends on your scale.

9. Health:

The birds you are raring would also need proper heath care. They would need to be vaccinated and be given medication not only to prevent diseases but also to keep them healthy. In this case closely working with veterinary doctor would be at your advantage.

10. Marketing:

Your marketing strategy has to be thoroughly thought through. You need to work on your strategies because you are going into this not only to own poultry but also to make profit and what better way to attract profit than an effective market strategy?

Prospective return on investment:

For every bird you choose to rare, there is an incubation period you must put into consideration before you can expect financial return and eventually, profit. Consider you choose to rare chicken or domestic fowls,  their incubation period is 21 days after which you can start selling them as early as 8- 12 weeks thought they come to full maturity at 20-24 weeks, you will be able in case you took a loan to repay in three to five years.

Alright, alright these are all the steps it takes for you to start your own poultry, so get started!

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