Poultry farming is the raising of domestic birds for the purpose of eggs, meat and feather production. In Nigeria, poultry farming business is one of the lucrative businesses that you can venture into at small, medium or large scale level. But it is usually capital intensive if you’re starting on a large scale level. The best way to succeed in poultry farming is to start on a small scale and then grow from there.
Three popular breeds of bird you can rear in Nigeria are broilers, layers and cockerels. In Nigeria, these breeds of bird are most farmed in great number. Some poultry farmers specialize in rearing of boilers and rear them from a day old chicks to market size birds (which takes 5 weeks to 3months) before selling. And other farmers specialize in growing 2 weeks old boilers to market size. While those who rear layers, start growing them mostly from a day old chicks to the time of laying eggs. But this does not mean you can’t start the rearing of layers from pullet age (2weeks old).
Three major challenges facing poultry farming in Nigeria are facing are availability of good water supply, space/farmland and climatic conditions. These 3 challenges can mar your poultry farming if not properly checkmated. So, be sure you’ve put up things in place to surmount these challenges before starting poultry farming. Without wasting much time, let’s look at how to start poultry farming in Nigeria
Steps to Start Poultry Farming
Draft Poultry Farming business Plan
The first step towards starting poultry farming is to draft a poultry farming business plan. The Poultry farming plan will serve as blueprint for your poultry farming business. It will also serve as working document for securing loan from banks and investors. The plan will contains everything concerning how you intend to operate your poultry farm, your poultry vaccination plan and other activities in your farm. If you want to succeed in your poultry farming venture, you need a plan. Some poultry farmers underrate the power of poultry farming plan. But successful poultry farmers know that this is one of best foundation one can lay for a poultry farming business.
Decide on Poultry farming niche
The next step towards starting a poultry farm is to decide on a poultry farming niche you’ll venture into. Broilers and layers rearing are the mostly poultry farm niche in Nigeria. Broilers are chickens raised for their meat while Layer hens are raised for egg production but can also serve as meat at old age. There is high market demand for boilers and layers poultry products in Nigeria. So, going into rearing of these two breeds of birds or one of the two niches will definitely makes lots of money for you.
Other poultry farm niche you can go into includes:
- Egg Hatchery and raising of day-old chicks to two weeks old for sale.
- Poultry feed production
- Egg and meat processing (layer, broiler, turkey, duck, quail, etc.)
You can decide to operate the entire poultry niche or restrict your poultry farming to one or two niches of your choice. It all depends on your capital.
Some other breeds of poultry Birds you can rear in Nigeria include:
- Domestic turkey
- Common quail
- Guinea fowl
- Jungle fowl
- Pea fowl
- Leghorn chicken
- Brahma chicken
- Rhode Island Red
- Plymouth Rock chicken
- Orpington chicken
Once you’ve decide on the poultry farming niche to venture into, the next is to source capital. Venturing into commercial poultry farming in Nigeria requires huge funding. So, you may need to outsource for fund if you don’t have enough.
You’ll need money to buy a farmland, poultry cages and other facilities to enhance your poultry productivity. Also, you’ll need money to pay salaries to your poultry farm assistance. But since you are starting up, you may not need many workers. You can do a few things yourself to save cost except if you can afford it. In regard to this, it is important you develop a good plan for poultry farming that will aid you in sourcing of fund.
Analyze your financial requirements. You can look for other means to finance your poultry business instead of applying for bank loan. But, if you have a good backing or collateral then, you can apply for a bank loan.
Get a space/farmland
Getting a space or farmland is another step to take when starting poultry farming. Poultry farming requires large space farmland for putting up poultry cages especially if you’re going into medium or commercial poultry farming. When the birds are packed in a little space, it often leads to overcrowding, diseases and massive death in poultry farm.
The location of the space or farmland should be a little away from the town so that you can get enough land or space and labor at a reduced cost. On the other hand, it is also bad to set up the poultry farm too far away from the town. This is because; you need to approach the town more often to get your target customers. A location too away from city may cost you a lot more on transportation and that’s not good for poultry farming.
Buy poultry farming equipment
The next thing is to buy poultry farming equipment necessary for your poultry farming. What equipment is necessary for a poultry farm? Some of the major poultry farming equipment you can buy for your poultry farming include:
- Poultry cage like the battery cages (you can also construct one by yourself)
- lighting system,
- Heaters or brooders, and many other.
Some of these poultry equipment are sold in many local markets in Nigeria or you can order them online. For example; Jiji Nigeria has some poultry equipment display for sale on their website.
Construct Poultry Farm Structure
Three poultry farming structures you can construct for your poultry farming include:
- Free roaming system – Here, the poultry farm is constructed to allow the chicks to move freely or roam about and fend for themselves. It is not recommended since you do not have control of the birds.
- Sawdust system – Here, the house contains sawdust and the chicks move about within the enclosure. The sawdust is change often to keep the chicks safe from disease.
- Battery caging system – Here, the birds are house in different sizes of cages according to their different sizes. In the caging system, there is always a provision for the feeding, laying of eggs and dropping by the birds. I usually recommend Battery caging system for all clients and aspiring poultry farmers. Each group of bird’s houses in a separate cage has freedom of association. But this could be more expensive.
Battery caging system and the sawdust system are mostly used for commercial poultry farming. This is because; it gives rooms for the bird’s freedom and good ventilation.
Other structures you can construct on your poultry will include:
- Brooder house – use 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 rear, usually up to 72 weeks of age.
- Broiler house – In which broilers are rear up to 6 weeks of age.
- Incubator house – For hatching Eggs. Fertilize poultry Egg hatches in 21 days.
Once you’ve set up your poultry farm structures, it is time to buy the chicks you want to rear. The type of chick you’ll buy will depend on the poultry farming niche you want to venture into. If you going into broiler poultry farming, you’ll buy either a day old chick boilers or 2 weeks old brood boilers. Brooding of a day old chicks is delicate and requires careful management. If you think you can manage them properly, then go for a day old chicks. But if you can’t, it is better to buy 2 weeks old broilers. On the other hand, if you’re going into layer poultry farming; buying a day old chicks (layers) and brooding them yourself is usually the best option than buying pullets (2 weeks old chicks).
A day old chick (boiler) cost about two hundred and fifty naira (N200) to three hundred and fifty naira (N350) while 2 weeks old broiler cost about one thousand naira (N1000) to as much as two thousand naira (N2000). A day old chick (hen) cost about two hundred and fifty naira (N250) to four hundred naira (N400). A 2 weeks old layer (growers) will cost as much as one thousand five hundred naira (N1500) to two thousand naira (N2000).
Schedule vaccination for the birds
Scheduling for vaccination of the birds is another step to take when starting poultry farming. Vaccination is necessary for prevention of poultry diseases. In Nigeria, there are many pathogenic poultry disease. These pathogenic poultry disease occurrences differ from one locality to another. It is therefore important you ask from your hatchery, most hatcheries in Nigeria have their vaccination schedules with a slight difference in the time of administration.
And most farmers in rural areas don’t even care to vaccinate their birds at all; the few who do, don’t follow SVP and this breeds endemic poultry diseases like Newcastle disease, coccidiosis, Salmonella infection, and so on.
In general, vaccination period of poultry birds in Nigeria takes up 10 weeks. Vaccination schedule/program for boilers in Nigeria you can follow is:
|Hatching day||Marek’s disease vaccine||At Hatchery|
|Day 1-5||Antibiotics and vitamins||Water|
|Day 1||Infectious bronchitis antibiotics||Break dip|
|Day 9||Gumboro (first IBD)||Eye drop|
|Day 16||Gumboro (second IBD)||Water|
|Day 28||NB and IB||Water|
|Day 32||Fowl Pox vaccine||Wing web|
Source: Adapted from Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited
For layers, vaccination schedule for layers in Nigeria is as follows:
|Day 1||Marek’s disease vaccine||At Hatchery|
|Day 9 – 14||Newcastle disease||eye drop|
|Day 14||Gumboro||Drinking water|
|Day 28||Gumboro||Drinking water|
|Week 4||Lasota||Drinking water|
|Week 4||IBV||Drinking water|
|Week 8||Fowl Pox||Wing web jab|
|Week 8||AE||Wing web jam|
|Week 9||Infectious Coryza 1||IM|
|Week 10 -11||NDV||IM|
|Week 12||Infectious Coryza 2 vaccine||IM|
|Week 12||IBV||Drinking water|
|Week 16||Laryngotracheitis||Spray or drop|
|week 17||ND + IB + EDS||3 in one Intramuscular vaccine|
Optional: Repeat Lasota every month and de-worm every 2 months
Trim the birds’ beaks
Trimming of the birds’ beaks is an important step to take when rearing layer hens. Layer hens are capable of cracking and sucking their eggs with their sharp beak if not trimmed earlier. Layer hens also peck and possible hurt one another with beak so you need to trim it. The layers’ beaks are trimmed between 7 – 10 days old. And this should be handled by only trained personnel.
On the other hand, trimming broiler’s beak might not be necessary since they’re rear for meat production. But you can separate boilers according to their level of growth to allow those that often feed less to start feeding normal.
Advertise your poultry products
Finally, once the boilers reach the market size or layer hens start layering eggs; you’ll need to advertise your products. To advertise your product products, analyze the demand and supply of the products in market. You can meet people and tell them about your poultry farming. Visit events related to poultry farming and make friends with as many people as you can.
Contact restaurants, hotels and people who are into catering within your locality. These people are your target markets.
You can also consider going digital to reach wider population of your potential customers. Take your poultry farming business online. If your poultry farming products are not online, you might be missing on a plethora of business opportunities. So, make it a point to have a dedicated website for your poultry farming business.
Find out how other successful Poultry farmers who are within your locality sell their poultry products and simply replicate their method. To attract more buyers to your poultry farm, look for ways to cut down air pollution and better ways to dispose excretes – it makes you look civilized.
Cost of Starting Poultry Farming in Nigeria
A Detailed Cost Analysis for Starting Poultry Farming Business in Nigeria is as follows:
- Buying of Land/Space – In Nigeria, you can buy a very good plot of farmland for about N600,000 in rural area, that’s about $3,500. Then, N1,000,000 – N1,500,000 in suburban area. But regardless of the country you are, you can get a good farmland within the price range of $4,00 and $6,000 or even less. Whereby, you can’t get land, you rent a space and put up battery cages. This will be cheaper for the start.
- Construction of poultry house – In Nigeria, a good poultry housing would cost you nothing less than N250,000 – N700,000. But it depends on your poultry’s farm size. You may also need to build stores house for keeping equipment and supplies.
- Buying of Poultry Equipment – The equipment you’ll buy is dependent on your poultry farm’s size 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 if you’re going to produce your own poultry feed. Budget at least N500,000 for buying of equipment for a commercial poultry farm.
- Buying of Chicks – The number of chicks you would buy depends on your farm’s size and the capacity of the poultry house. Day old chicks are usually very cheap and you could get a carton of about 24 chicks for N6,000 – N12,000. This is at the rate of N250 – N500 per chick. You may even get it at cheaper rate. At Afrimash, Agrited carton of Day-Old Chicks containing 50 chicks per carton is ₦18,000.00.
- Vaccination – You’ll need to budget at least N150,000 for vaccination of 150-250
- Feeding – Budget about N250,000 for 150 – 250 chicks but if you want to cut cost, you can consider producing your own poultry feed. The most important expense you would undertake in poultry farming is feeding. There are different types of poultry feeds for different growth stage of chicks; starter – for little chicks, grower – for optimal growth and strength and finisher when they are getting close to the selling/maturity stage.
- Labour – Make a budget of at least N300,000 for workers taking care of 150-250 boilers chicks to maturity. Note; this may vary from location to another.
- Other Expenses – other expenses include cost of things like; power supply, water supply, transportation, advertising, security and insurance
In summary, the total cost of starting a poultry farming business in Nigeria will be roughly N2,000,000. But this will depends on your entry level. To get an accurate cost of setting up poultry farm, carry out your own feasibility study in your location.
You can use our guide to start your own poultry farming in Nigeria. You can also use this guide to start poultry farming in different parts of Africa countries like Kenya, Ghana, Senegal etc.
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