So you wanna start a poultry farm.
Definitely YES! That’s just why you are reading this poultry write up.
There are certain questions that must be answered if you really want to make a successful entry into the highly interesting, attractive and rigorous poultry farm business.
There are three important focal points of efforts that every successful poultry farm owner should have .i.e Technical, physical and financial.
Poultry farming is highly technical that is why proper agro education acquired through on farm experience and/or classroom training shouldn’t be ignored. Some poultry farming techniques and principles an educated person would easily grab technical wise may be difficult for an uneducated person to understand.
Poultry farming is really physical. And I mean it!
The laborious nature involved cannot be underestimated.These birds deserve all the comfort and care that you can afford to give them
However in most cases the services of a pen attendant takes away the stress off the farm owner although farmers with fewer numbers of birds may be less concerned about employing a pen assistant.
Finally, Poultry farming requires a lot of financial commitments due to the fact that apart from the cost of setting up as well as poultry equipment acquisition, one would have to provide finances for feeding, vaccination, medication and a paid poultry farm attendant.
Now the truth is that all the above listed factors may look discouraging, but once all is set and done, you would actually fall in love with this really interesting agribusiness as you would learn a lot of things that you never anticipated at the initial stage.
One interesting point to take note of is that poultry farming business is highly rewarding, basically because the market demand is always guaranteed and the chances of success is also high if the right management approach is diligently followed .
Mr Agro entrepreneur, So you wanna start a successful poultry farm?
Then these are the things that you should consider.
Broilers (For Meat) or Layers (For Eggs)
Cages or Deep Litter
Source of day old chicks
Starting a poultry farm, the first thing that comes to mind is where to site your farm. There are actually two options In this case, first is purchasing a land and the other is purchasing an already established poultry farm.
The later might be the more expensive option depending on your bargaining power , the state of the farm in terms of the facilities on ground as well as the reason for selling before being sold by the initial owner.
In most cases the quickest route is usually to purchase a used poultry farm due to the fact that it would require only some basic renovation and mop up operations to get started. But as initially mentioned, it definitely would cost more but is always the faster approach.
In most cases due to the difficulty and expenses involved in acquiring an already established poultry farm,most poultry enthusiasts are left with no option than to start from scratch.
The site location should be somewhere that is far from noisy environments as a result of sudden noises that can cause unwarranted and avoidable stress to the birds. The intending farmer should also consider factors like ease of access to the market though in most cases wholesale buyers do usually come to the farm location to purchase eggs basically due to the high demand for eggs and competitive nature of buyers to meet up with their daily supplies to retailers (In egg production, demand for eggs is always higher than supply).
However in breeding farms it would be advisable for the farm to be set up in less noisy and less polluted environments away from the city due to the sensitive nature of hatch able eggs that are meant to be free of contamination especially fungal causative microorganisms.
In siting your pen, it is also advisable to site the building in the east-west direction (vertical / horizontal)…why? The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Therefore, the exposure to excess sunlight by the birds would only be limited to the rear end of the pen (Horizontal) and not the whole side of the pen (vertical)
For Meat (Broilers) or For Eggs (Layers)
This decision of which type of poultry bird to raise for either meat or egg purpose is a dilemma that most intending farmers are usually faced with.
In most cases when a potential farmer is faced with such dilemma, I always advise that egg production should be firstly considered due to the guarantee that there would always be buyers/demand for poultry layer eggs.
While raising layer birds, the farmer can carry a brief study in his/her environment and find out the potential market demand for broiler chicken meat.Few broilers can be initially raised for this test batch of broiler birds. This would avoid issues of little or no demand for his broiler chicken meat when ready for market.
Since it takes between 6-8 weeks (depending on the attained target weight) the farmer can always decide to increase the number of broiler birds in the next batch if there is a guarantee of demand for his broiler birds.
Cages or Deep Litter System
The typical Question….Which option should I go for?
So you wanna start a poultry farm…Then definitely this should as well be considered.
Well, I would recommend to most poultry farmers who are limited in financial ability to start raising birds using the deep litter system because if well managed with no overcrowding or overstocking, there would definitely be a high success rate using the deep litter system.
Raising birds in cages definitely has its advantage and so it is advisable to acquire battery cages if the farmer can afford to purchase them. Price ranges from #35,000(used cages) to #90,000 or more depending on the type of cage(hot dip or electro galvanized battery cage) as well as its stocking capacity of the cage.
The issue of cannibalism, feather pecking, ease of control and reduced spread of disease amongst others are the advantages that battery cages tend to have over the deep litter system.
In order words, if you can afford battery cages right from the start, then go ahead, but if not, then deep litter system wouldn’t be a bad idea either as battery cages can be introduced later in the future.
Source of day old chicks
Charles would be very brief here.The foundation of any successful poultry farmer starts from the onset …the quality of your day old chicks.
It is advisable to purchase chicks from reputable farms with established reputation in the hatching/breeding business. Intending farmers can always enquire from successful poultry farmers in their environs with regards to sourcing for quality, healthy day old chicks. Chicks should have easyaccess to food and water on arrival and the brooding temperature should be within the appropriate brooding temperature range as birds are not able to regulate their body temperature at an early age.
A farmer with no time for monitoring his birds would end up failing in this business. The borderline difference between a successful farmer and otherwise is basically the quantity of time and personal commitment that one commits to monitoring the activities on the poultry farm.
These birds need all the care and attention especially at the early stage of brooding. If the farm owner is too busy to attend to the birds, then the other option is to employ experienced hands can always available to ensure the smooth running of daily and routine farm activities as at when due. It would be further advisable to construct a residential section where the farm owner or the farm manager can always have easy access to the farm at all times including at night.
Finally, failure to pay attention to the birds would definitely result in poor performance from the birds.This shows that even in poultry farming the principle of garbage in garbage out also applies seriously to the success of any prospective poultry farmer.