Poultry farming is a viable and profitable investment. Starting the project will be simple when you have a farm for setting up your project and capital. There are many other factors to consider, but these are essential.
Poultry farming is a project that I can refer not only to passionate individuals but also to retirees. However, before you start this project, you should know that many other people are already in the game. Therefore, prepare yourself well before joining the race.
This article has all the necessary information to help you get into the game. It covers the benefits of starting poultry farming, how to start (step by step guide), and challenges.
Why start poultry farming?
- You may start poultry farming for commercial or domestic purposes. Domestic poultry farming is ideal for the production of nutritious birds, while commercial is usually to get money.
- Poultry farming produce white meat to curb red meat implications
- These birds may also act as a source of food; they are consumable.
How to start poultry farming
1. Carry out feasibility studies and market research
Psychographics and demographics
Psychographics and demographics involve those people who require poultry products. A good number of people consume poultry products. You can decide to take raw eggs, fry, cook, or combine with other products like bread, cakes, pancakes, ice cream, and many others.
2. Determine your niche or production type
Poultry farming is a broad sector with many different sub-sectors. Therefore, you should decide to venture into a suitable industry. When I mention the word “poultry farming,” what comes to many people’s minds is only turkey and chicken rearing, but poultry is a vast project with various aspects.
You can choose your niche from the following examples;
- Layers breeding for egg production
- Broilers breeding for meat production
- Hatchery for chicken breeding
- Meat and egg processing, marketing, packaging, and many other sub-sections
At least you now know the meaning of “wide business.” Therefore, you need to specialize in a particular sector. However, nothing can stop you from setting up all different sub-sections under the same poultry farming if you are financially stable and have enough knowledge. But it is advisable to research on which sector is more profitable.
Also, you may consider factors such as income generation and demand.
3. Choose your bird type to rear
Before starting poultry farming, you should try to consider the primary type of the bird you wish to venture in. This is a very crucial factor that you should not neglect because you will know the profitability and needed care for each bird type.
Therefore you should carry out in-depth research on the type of bird you are planning to rear. Some of these birds include; Chicken (broilers and layers), Turkey, Guinea fowl, Peacock duck, Goose, Quail, Pigeon, among others
So, it is essential to choose a specific bird to start the project. This factor should also help you decide the primary purpose of rearing. Mainly, there are two categories, i.e., layers and broilers, whereby layers are usually for the production of eggs while broilers are for the production of meat.
A simple tip: broilers tend to grow fat faster than other breeds, giving it more returns. This is because they grow faster, weighing more than others, whereas layers need proper care for egg production. Therefore, specialize where you can afford it.
4. Assemble capital for the project
How can you start the project with dry pockets? Poultry farming needs investment. This step comes after you have all the information about what you want to rear and for what purpose.
Another interesting fact about this step is that the sector you choose to venture into determines the amount of capital for the project. Therefore you should come up with a strategy to get money. You can acquire money through different ways like borrowing from financial institutions, friends, family, or raise the capital yourself.
For beginners, you don’t need a large amount of capital to start poultry farming; begin with a small number of birds then grow slowly. Beginning with a few birds will let you know the benefits, risks, and how to avoid such challenges before the full poultry farming project.
5. Choose a good farm location
A suitable location for your birds will lead to the profitability and success of the project. It would be best if you tried to consider siting a poultry farm in places with a high population and cheap land. Buying cheap land will reduce the cost of project capital that you may utilize to handle other needs.
On the other hand, a large population will provide a broad market for your poultry products. You can also site the project near hotels and restaurants, hospitals, learning institutions, markets, and many others. I cannot suggest setting a poultry project within your home because they will produce an offensive odor that sometimes will irritate you or your visitors.
Remember, these birds also may produce a lot of noise, especially when they get hungry. Another critical factor is security. You should know how secure is the place you plan to set up your poultry farming project.
6. Set up the house for your birds
Now that you have your farm location, this step involves housing your little feathered friends. Construct suitable accommodation for your birds availing all facilities in the house. Mainly, poultry housing involves three different types’, i.e., intensive, semi-intensive, and extensive systems. The most advisable method is intensive.
However, you can nurture your birds in a cage or floor system. Remember to build the house at an appropriate angle considering wind, rain, and sunlight. More so, construct the house well for security purposes.
7. Get appliances and equipment
Under this step, you will need to have some equipment or facilities for the full management of the poultry project. You will have to set up a house for your birds, provide drinkers and feeders, a sound system of waste disposal, water source, egg crates, heat and lighting, and enough space for storing eggs and feed.
Therefore, it is crucial to consider the above factors. You should find where you can get the items and their prices. Try to compare the costs from different sellers to enable you to buy at a genuine price.
Some of these types of equipment include; drinkers, feeders, perches, crates, nests, waste disposal, and lighting system, brooders, or heaters for heat, incubator, egg tray, coops, cages, etc.
8. Buy the type of your bird
Let us assume all the above requirements are available whereby you have the land and a house, the next step will be to buy your birds. It is advisable to purchase high-quality chicks and should be from an experienced and trusted breeder.
For beginners, start with day-old chicks beginning with a small number. This is also a critical stage because it will determine the number of birds.
9. Workforce or labour
Under this step, you have to ensure you have enough workforce for feeding your birds. The number of birds you buy will determine how less or more labour you require. However, you can manage the birds if the number is limited either from 150-500.
If you are planning to keep more birds, then you require an additional workforce. Besides, ensure there are enough human resources.
It is advisable to get personnel who will stay around the poultry project to see the well-being and monitor your birds. This person will also provide security to your birds.
Feeding is the most crucial aspect of poultry farming. Large of your expenses will go to feeding. Hence it will be goo is you prepare well before entering the poultry farming project. There are two different ways on how you can feed you birds, i.e., producing your poultry feeds and buying already-made meals.
Producing your poultry feeds is advisable to reduce feeding expenses. You can get knowledge on how to have poultry feeds, buy your equipment, then start making your feeds.
You can also decide to sell the feeds to other farmers if you produce in large quantities. This will act as a side source of capital to manage your project.
Poultry farming is just like any other business, and therefore, you should keep records or all expenditures and incomes. How can you determine your performance if you don’t keep records? Keeping records will help you know if you are making progress or loss.
For beginners, you can start with accounting books for recording all the activities on the farm. Due to technological advancements, there is computer software that you can use to monitor the farm’s daily activities quickly.
12. Health management of your birds
Human beings need frequent health check-ups for good shape and well-being. This applies to birds too, whereby they can get sick because they are always prone to various diseases. Give them proper medications and vaccinations to promote growth and prevent infections.
Find an experienced veterinary or consultant to be in charge of providing the utmost care and vaccinate your poultry. Furthermore, you should know that chicks require more maintenance than old chickens. Therefore, vaccinate them after one week.
13. Marketing strategy
Marketing is another essential factor to put in mind concerning your poultry farming project. At this stage, let us assume you are producing poultry products; let us say eggs or meat.
Therefore you need to come up with an ideal strategy to reach suitable customers. Make sure to get comprehensive or enough market for your poultry produce by employing convenient and reliable marketing techniques.
Remember, quality products will not only include leady to high-income generation but also customer attraction.
Challenges of poultry farming
Just like any other investment project, poultry farming also has ups and downs. I thought you should know before venturing into the project. Some of these challenges are;
- The poultry farming project requires enough workforce. Without human resources, the birds will starve to death, or they will eat each other. But, you can avoid it by regular monitoring and feeding.
- It has an extended payback period. Don’t expect to start earning money after a few months. The payback period of the poultry project may range from 3-5 years. This is the time you will begin to enjoy the fruits.
- Disease outbreaks, poultry are prone to disease, but you can avoid such cases by providing proper medication and vaccinations to your birds.
- Pests and predators may cause a vast loss, for example, hawks, rats, and ants. Avoid this challenge by constructing the right house at a strategic location.
Frequently asked questions
1. How many birds can I start within poultry farming?
The number of birds to start with depends on how massive your pocket is. If you are a beginner and you are financially stable, I can recommend you start with 300 birds. But if your level of understanding about poultry farming is right, then you can start with 500 birds. Remember, the number of birds also depends on the size of the house you will construct.
2. What equipments do I need to start poultry farming?
There are many types of equipment that you may require before getting into the poultry project. Some of these facilities include; drinkers, feeders, perches, crates, nests, waste disposal, and lighting system, brooders, or heaters for heat, incubator, egg tray, coops, cages, etc.
Your project will not be complete without these facilities. Therefore, assemble them first before getting into the game.
3. How much do I need to start poultry farming?
Small scale poultry farming may cost you around $500 up to $1500, and a medium-scale may range from $3000 – $6000, while a large scale may cost you not less than $10 000. However, the number of birds may also determine the amount of capital.
4. Are there challenges in poultry farming?
Of course, yes. This is just like any other business. You may face challenges such as disease outbreaks, pests, and predators like ants, rats, hawks, etc. that may cause a significant loss. Therefore, you should be ready to face such problems.
I hope that this article will help you with knowledge for starting a poultry farming project. It is a more profitable project when you employ suitable strategies. You may also get poultry information from breeders with a lot of experience.
Getting the right information, strategic position, and enough workforce will make your project successful. Start with a small number of birds, then grow slowly and be patient for the payback period.