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Poultry Farming Business in Nigeria: How to Start (Beginner’s Guide)

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

 Poultry farming business in Nigeria
Picture of Poultry Farming

Starting up poultry farming business does not require a degree in Agricultural science however, you may require the assistance of a Veterinary doctor at one point or the other during the poultry rearing.

Poultry farming business is lucrative business when properly managed; chances are that it would grow fast. It is usually capital intensive if you want to start it in a large scale and requires a lot of planning but the business can be started in low or medium scale.

Factors to consider when Starting Poultry Farming

There are lot of factors to consider when starting a poultry farming business. These factors can pose serious challenges to poultry farming business if not properly handled, and they include;

  • Availability of Space
  • type of bird to rear and its market demand
  • how far you are willing to go – long term or short-term cost
  • location
  • nearness to market
  • availability of drugs or vaccines for disease treatment of the birds
  • disposal of excretes
  • bird quality etc.

How to start Poultry Farming business in Nigeria

If you’re thinking of starting poultry farming, here are step by step to start poultry farming business in Nigeria;

  1. Write down a Poultry Farm Business Plan
  2. Choose a Poultry farming niche
  3. Choose Bird Type
  4. Choose location
  5. Source for fund
  6. Buy poultry farming equipment
  7. Construct your Poultry Farm Structure
  8. Hire Experienced Poultry farmer
  9. Create your poultry farm logo
  10. Advertise and promote your poultry products
  11. Put your business on the web
  • Write down a Poultry Farm Business Plan

The first step towards starting a poultry farming business is writing down a poultry farming business plan. A Poultry farming business plan will serve as blueprint for your business.  It will help you in secure a loan from banks and investors.

  • Choose a Poultry farming niche

Basically, there are majorly two poultry farm niche you can choose to start with – broilers and layers poultry farming.

Broilers are chickens raised mainly for meat.Layers are chickens raised mainly for egg production but can serve as meat at old age. There is this other niche of poultry farming that involve incubating eggs and raising day-old chicks for two weeks.

You can decide to operate all niche or restrict your business to just one or two niches of your choice especially at the beginning.

The following are the poultry niches you can choose to start;

Meat production (Broilers breeding), Egg production (Layers breeding), Poultry feed production, Chicken breeding (Hatchery), Egg and meat processing

  • Choose Bird Type

Poultry farm owners rear many types of birds. Your small poultry farm may start by focusing on one to two birds and then include more birds later as the business grows. Mostly, poultry farms raise birds such as domestic fowl or chicken as broilers and layers, duck, goose, quail, guinea fowl, turkey, pigeon, and peacock.

You should also determine whether to rear broilers and or layers.

  • Choose location

When starting You should think of setting your poultry farm at the most appropriate location. It is important that the location has all the necessary facilities. Try to build your poultry farm a little away from the town so that you can have the land and labour at a cheaper cost.

However, setting up the farm too far away from the nearest town will be a mistake. Remember that you need to approach a town more often to target your consumers; moreover, a location too away from city may cost you a lot more on transportation.

If you realize you don’t have what it takes but you have a really strong desire to go into the business then i suggest YOU GET FINANCIAL HELP preferable one you can rely on. Setting up a poultry farm needs sufficient funding.

  • Buy poultry farming equipment

What equipment are necessary for a poultry farm? The following equipment are necessary in a poultry farm;

feeders, drinkers, perches, lighting system, incubators,heaters or brooders, and many more.

Most importantly, you need to purchase a land(s) which would require huge amount of funds. Facilities to enhance your productivity are also of great importance.

Also, you require funds to pay salaries to your staffs/labourers although since you are probably starting up you may not really need much staffs- you could also do a few things yourself just to save cost except, of course you can afford it. Analyse your financial requirements properly.  I would not recommend applying for a bank loan, look for other means to finance your business but if you have a good backing then, apply for a bank loan.

  • Construct your Poultry Farm Structure

There are mainly three types of structures for poultry farming;

1.Free roaming system – Here the chicks are given the freedom to roam about and fend for themselves.  It is highly not recommended since you do not have control of the birds.

2.The sawdust system – Here, the house where the birds are kept is filled with sawdust and the chicks can move freely about within the enclosure. The sawdust must be changed frequently in order to keep the chicks safe from disease.

3.The caging system – Here, the birds are housed in cages.  Different sizes of cages for different sizes of chicks.  In this battery caging system, there is always provisions for the feeding of the birds, laying of eggs and dropping by the birds.  The battery caging system is highly recommended because each group of birds are housed in a separate cage that it gives the birds freedom of association but it could be more expensive. For commercial purposes, the battery caging system and the sawdust system must be large enough to give the birds freedom and good ventilation.

Designer the following poultry house;

Brooder  house – It is used to brood and rear egg-type chicks from 0 to 8 weeks of age. 

Layer house – In which birds over 18 weeks of age are reared, usually up to 72 weeks of age.

Broiler house – In which broilers are reared up to 6 weeks of age

  • Hire Experienced Poultry farmer

You can hire experience poultry farmers If you can afford it. Many aspects of poultry farming are such that they should be handled only by experienced people who know the nuances very well. So, hire only professionals who have many years of experience in the farming. But farming is not labour intensive, if you can involve technology.

You will also need an administrative officer or manager to keep a close eye on the day to day affairs of the business. If you, however, can’t afford professionals with years of experience and you have good knowledge of what you are doing then why not hire people who are willing to learn on the job and teach them what you know. Either you do the teaching or you hire an experienced manager who is willing to do the teaching.

  • Create your poultry farm logo

The competition out there is high so while starting a chicken farm, you need to give your poultry farm business a name so as to stand out and be unique. You may find lots of farm name ideas. However, pick the one that suits your farm type.

Another essential step you should take is to have a unique poultry farm logo for your business. This logo showers light on your uniqueness. Your logo will be everywhere on your farm products when you market them. The logo will also be on your marketing material such as visiting cards, websites and many other places. Therefore, make sure that your logo becomes a tool to show that you run a professional poultry farming business

  • Advertise and promote your poultry products

When starting your poultry business, one of the significant things to keep in mind in advertisement and promotion. Without having a marketing and promotional strategy, it will be hard to achieve your business goals. To advertise your products, make sure that you have properly analysed the demand and supply situation for your products in your niche market. Know your target consumer also to pinpoint consumer profile.

You meet many people on daily basis. Tell them about your poultry business. Start from talking to your friends and neighbours. Visit events related to poultry farming and try to make friends with as many people as you can. You may meet some of your potential clients. Make all of them aware of your sales days. Consider going digital-online account{s} solely to enable people reach you easily as well as having a business card, very important.

  • Put your business on the web

This is also a type of marketing. It also must not be done right away as setting up a online business may takes little time. So, first things first! However, in the long-run, this should be achieved with all seriousness as most of your potential clients search and shop poultry products online. If your clients are looking for poultry farms around a town, they will first use search engines to locate such businesses. If your farm is not on the web, you are missing on a plethora of business opportunities. Therefore, make it a point to have a dedicated website for your poultry business. When users visit your poultry farming website, it should reflect on you positively.

Finally, find out what successful Poultry farmers  are doing that can work for you and improve on it if need be.Look for ways to minimize the air pollution and think of better ways to dispose excretes – it makes you look civilized. Be keen to learning and focus on your business.

Cost of Starting Poultry Farming Business in Nigeria

A Detailed Cost Analysis for Starting Poultry Farming Business in Nigeria;

  1. Land

In Nigeria, you can get a very good plot of farm land/space with about N600,000 in rural area, that’ about $3,500; N1,000,000 to N1,500,000 in suburban area. However, regardless of which country you decide to set up your poultry farm, you should be able to get a good farmland within the price range of $4,00 and $6,000 or even less.

  1. Cost of Construction

The next step after buying of land is construction. You would have to construct a cage system to keep the birds in. There are different types of cages. I have listed the different types of cages above.

Decided on the most suitable one and then, you can call an experts to give you a quote. In Nigeria, a good poultry housing would cost you nothing less than  N250,000  – N700,000 but depends on the size of your poultry farm. You may also need to build stores house for keeping equipment and supplies and maybe a security/farm house for farm laborers.

  1. Chicks

The next step, you will need to buy chicks to get started your poultry farm. The number of chicks you would buy depends on the size of your farm and the capacity of the poultry housing you have constructed. Day old chicks are usually very cheap and you could get a carton of about 24 chicks for N250 to N500 for a start. You may even get it for cheaper but you have to be careful when handling day old chicks because they are usually at risk of dying.

  1. Poultry Equipment

The equipment you’ll buy depends on the size of your poultry farm and the nature of your business. If you want to hatch and sell chicks for instance, you would have to buy hatchery machine. If you want to process meat for sale, you would also need fridge and freezer. The same thing applicable for if you’re going to produce your own poultry feed.

It is therefore important that  sit down and decide on the nature of poultry farming you want to set up and find out the type of equipment you would need.  However, you should have a budget of at least Five hundred thousand naira (N500,000) for purchasing equipment for a commercial poultry farm.

  1. Vaccination

Poultry birds needs proper medical attention. so, you must give necessary medical attention so that they can grow properly and produce efficiently. You have to include the costs of vaccination in your business plan. This cost would also include costs of drugs and payment to your veterinary doctor that would be called upon to give the birds the required medical attention. You should have a budget of at least N150,00 for about 150-250 birds.

  1. Cost of Feeding

The most important expense you would undertake in poultry farming business is feeding. Feeding is very important because the growth and productivity of your birds depend on how well you feed them. There are different types of poultry feeds for different stages of growth;

The starter for little chicks, The grower for optimal growth and strength and the finisher  when they are getting close to the selling/maturity stage. You can budget about N250,000 for 150 – 250 chicks but if you want to cut cost of feeding, you can consider producing your own poultry feed. However, this might be too expense for a start but it would save you a lot of money in the long run.

  1. Cost of Labor

If you are starting a commercial poultry farm, it is unlikely that you would be capable of carryout the tasks yourself. In that case, you may have to employ people to assist you and you would need to pay them. You can make a budget of at least N300,000 but this may vary from location to another.

  1. Miscellaneous Expenses

You have to budget for electricity, transportation, advertising, security, insurance as well as selling and distribution.

Read also: Cost of starting fish farming in Nigeria

To get an accurate cost of setting up poultry farm, it is advisable for you to carry out your own feasibility study in your location.