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How to Run a Successful Poultry Farm in Nigeria

Poultry farming is a form of agribusiness. It is simply the process of raising domestic birds like chicken, ducks, geese, quail, turkey etc. for their meat and eggs for human consumption.

How to Run a Successful Poultry Farm in Nigeria

Poultry farming is a very lucrative business. The poultry farming industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in agribusiness as the demand for fresh poultry products has expand rapidly not only in Nigeria but across the globe.

The ban on chicken importation except for day old chicks in 2003 by the federal government as well as the decision by the majority of people to stop the consumption of the imported frozen poultry that is deemed harmful to health have also contributed to the great expansion of this sector.

While starting poultry farming business may seem easy, not all poultry farmers are successfully in this business. Even with the technology and lots of information out there on poultry farming that should beginner poultry farmers succeed. Interestingly, some people are afraid to get started with poultry farming because they don’t know how to go about starting and wining.

So if your interest is to start poultry farming, this post will expose to how to run a successful poultry farming in Nigeria. The era of fear is gone! In other words, after reading this post; you’ll learn everything it takes to start poultry farming in Nigeria and run it successfully. Importantly, you need to take cognizance of different poultry farming scale and the capital startup requirement for each scale. This will determine your entry point into the business.

Read Also: Challenges facing Poultry farming Business in Nigeria, Kenya & other parts of Africa

Poultry Farming Scale

Poultry farming can be executed on a large, medium or small scale depending on the farmer’s plans and available funds.

Large Scale Poultry Farming

On a Large scale, it is capital intensive. You’ll need a startup capital that will be used to take care of the overhead and operational costs that’s between N5 – N10,000,000. This will be used to buy thousands of Birds. One cage can contain up to 500 Birds. It will also take care of the purchase or rental of land for the factory project, poultry farming apparatus, advanced farming equipment/machineries, for the employment of professionals and farm helpers.

Medium Scale Poultry Farming

On a Medium scale, you’ll need a startup cost between N800,000 –  N6,000,000 for both overhead and operational costs. Specifically, this amount should able to cover the cost of purchasing at least 200 – 1000 birds and other operational cost. It can also cover cost of renting space for rearing the birds.

Small Scale Poultry Farming

On a Small scale, it is easier and cheaper in terms of startup capital since it can be done with the purchase of about 50 Birds which can be put in a small cage and reared in an open space like the residence backyard. For this, about N50,000 – N70,000 can be used as startup cost to take care of the overhead and operational costs.

Steps to Run a Successful Poultry Farm in Nigeria

  Choose the best type of poultry Bird to rear

The first step is to choose the best type of poultry bird to rear. When buying, for maximum output, only healthy day old chicks should be purchased from a good hatchery and the best type of birds that lays a lot of eggs should also be bought. This will determine to a large extent the success or failure of the business.

Apart from the normal locally grown birds, there are some other types of birds available:

Broilers

These types of chickens are reared for their meat. Their initial hatch weight is 40g from which they grow to 1.5 – 2kg weight within the space of 6 weeks. Their feeding is made of high protein for a balanced diet. At the age of 6 – 8 weeks, the birds are considered to be fully grown and at this age, they can be slaughtered for meat.

Cockerels

 These are also grown for the purpose of meat production. They are resilient and can survive in many different environments. In terms of growth, their growth rate is very slow when compared to the broilers. They mature to table size at 22 weeks.

Layers

These are Hens purchased specifically for both commercial egg production and for their meat. They are raised from one day old. When they get to 18 – 19 weeks, they start laying eggs and continue with egg lying through their egg laying cycle till they get to 72 – 78 weeks old. They contribute a lot to the growth of the business because both their meat and eggs are always in high demand by the customers.

Read: Poultry farming business plan (Sample & format)

Search for and select a good Farm Location

Next, search for and select a good poultry farm location. Bad sitting can make or mar a business. The success or failure of the business is highly dependent on the location of the business. Investors should personally source or use estate agents to look for a land that is strategically fit for the poultry business purpose. It should be spacious enough to comfortably contain the farm machineries, the number of intended birds to be reared and the personnel that will be employed. The land must be fenced to avoid encroachments and robbery of the poultry birds and equipment.

A good poultry farm should be:

  • Fence to protect the birds from poultry predators like Leopards, Snakes etc.
  • In calm and a pollution free environment with a good source of clean drinking water.
  • Importantly, accessible to the roads to ease the transportation of raw materials and finished products to and from the market and factory and vice versa.

Provide Good Housing and Shelter to the birds

The house should be spacious enough for the birds to be sheltered from the natural elements and also permit their free movements as birds need to run around to survive. It must be constructed in such a way that there must be cross ventilation to aid gas circulation within the poultry house. Poultry birds need this to prevent respiratory problems and consequent fatalities. The warm air must be let out for the cool air to come in.

In fact, the poultry house should be built in the east – west orientation which must conform to the rising and setting of the sun in the east and west respectively. This will protect the birds from the sunlight and consequent heating up as a result of the effect of the hot rays of the sun on them.

The ventilation controls the temperature within the poultry house. Normal temperature will determine the growth rate of the birds. Poultry becomes stressed when the temperature is too hot and it will affect their feeding habit and they might even die. In addition, the poultry house should also be raised to a needed level to avoid flooding and its numerous attendant risks on both the birds and the entire business.

Make Feeding and Medication of the poultry birds available

A bag of 25kg of good poultry feed in Nigeria is between N7,500 – N9,000 presently depending on the brand. For optimum output and for the business to become profitable, essential neat, quality, highly nutritious and well balanced diets must be fed to the birds timely. The food must not be adulterated. It must be clean and dry and must not be contaminated with faces.

The poultry house must be kept in good hygienic and dry condition so that it will be conducive for the birds at all times. Spillage of water on the bedding should be avoided or reduced to the barest minimum. Any water spillage should be cleaned up immediately and bedding replaced with dry wood shavings. This is to avoid the incidence of the spread of deadly infections like Coccidiosis which is a deadly disease that affects poultry birds due to wet bedding.

In accordance with good farm management practices, the poultry should be kept free from deadly poultry infections of bacteria and viruses. Proper and routine vaccinations should be administered on them by a veterinary doctor. He must also be brought in immediately for proper control and treatment in the case of any disease break outs. It is paramount that the birds be kept healthy and in good condition to be meaty and productive enough to lay the desired number of eggs for the business to thrive.

Determine and Woo the Target Market for optimal sales

This is not a monopolistic market. There are already competitors in the target market. The aim of any business is to maximize profit and reap excellent financial turnaround on investments within an expected time frame. Based on these factors, it is imperative that good market research be carried out to know the target market.

The marketing and sales personnel should use proper marketing strategies to know the best clients to approach to sell the farm products to. Based on this, maximum profits and returns on investments will definitely be achieved. Hotels, restaurant, Bars and Social event planners should be approached and offered good prices for constant patronage and retainership. This will give the farm an edge over the competitors. The business can be advertised online on social media platforms, on the television, radio stations and in newspapers.

Home deliveries can be done too and places for occasions and celebrations approached ahead of time for patronage. Festive periods like Christmas, Easter, New Year, state and community celebrations should be planned ahead of time to boost sales. At October endings, Broilers should be stocked up and ready to be marketed by the 3rd week of the month of December.

Conclusion

Poultry farming is a very lucrative business in Nigeria as the Layer Hens naturally and constantly produce eggs for the entire 52 weeks of their laying cycle. Returns on investments can be reaped within a period of 6 months or less after inception as chicks take only 21 days to hatch. It is very profitable as even the poultry droppings can be sold to farmers as organic manure and the money realized from the sales put back into the business.

The poultry business is still profitable even if an investor decides to cut risks and stress and just produce day old chicks and sell them to farm growers.

Above all, it is very important to keep proper financial records. Account reconciliation of the business cash outflows and inflows should be well kept. Unnecessary spending should be avoided. Reckless spending will only liquidate the business despite the upsurge of cash inflows. Finances if not well managed will deter the business growth. It will lead to inability to pay off loans borrowed as startup capital and might even lead to more debts incurred as operational costs.

Investors should avoid bankruptcy due to mismanagement of both the farm affairs and cash flow by them or their employees. It is very important to be wise, proactive, watchful and prudent. This is a very profitable and highly lucrative business if well handled.

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