by the farm management, it results in serious losses.
The overriding motive for starting any business is to make profit. It is unfortunate; however, that many poultry farmers do not make the time to learn why some poultry farmers failed. It is widely known that many poultry farmers have been forced out of business when they could not operate profitably.
Key things to note and check properly when starting a poultry business
Two basic housing methods are available: THE DEEP LITTER SYSTEM and THE BATTERY CAGE.
Both methods are good, provided in the deep litter system, the pullets are placed on bare floor that has been covered with saw dust.
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Careful consideration is given to the method applied in feeding the birds. Removing the dropping usually poses no problem. You can either pack off the entire saw dust with the dropping or cover the dropping with fresh saw dust.
Normally, the day-old chicks are housed using the brooder method before they grow up. They can be transferred to the battery cage when they approach their egg-laying period, or left in the deep litter floor.
In fact, defective feeding can lead to low egg production. it has been experienced in the past where a whole stock of birds produced no egg, due to wrong feeding.
One of the critical factors that account for the success or failure of poultry farming is the way the health of the birds in handled.
If the source of the day-old chicks, or the foundation stock, is compromised, or the necessary drugs are poorly administered, poultry farming can turn a nightmare.
The intending farmer should seek (and take seriously) expect advice on the type of drug administer on the birds as well as the dosage.
When birds are hatched, there is a vaccination time table to be follow; if this is not done, the farmer that buys this stock from the source may have serious problem.
Again, the farmer should take pain to do it by himself or hire a qualified and honest consultant/veterinary doctor in order to get the desired result.
◊THE FARM MANAGER
The farm manager should be a qualified person with a wealth of experience in poultry management of the farm must be able to plan ahead its activities and be able to compare actual performance with the drawn plan in other to apply control measures an armchair management that cares less about what may be happening to the birds at any given time.
The management should be sensitive to the conditions on the farm and be in firm control of all situations. The ability to act promptly and take the decision at the right time is indispensable for the farm manager.
The market for poultry product is quite enormous in terms of naira and kobo, as it is in excess of N50 billion nationwide. According to ThisDay Newspaper, Nigeria’s poultry industry is worth over N1.2tn as of 2017. This confirms the huge market that poultry products have in Nigeria. It is noteworthy that all parts of the birds are marketable including the feathers and the droppings (for manure).
If a farmer starts with 500 day-chicks and, say, 400 mature to the point of lay,, the entrepreneur is bound to reap a fortune. On the average, 100 birds will lay 80 eggs everyday, meaning that 400 will produce 320 eggs daily.
If a crate (30 eggs) is supplied to wholesalers at, say, N180, then the whole will fetch the farmer N1,800 daily and N54,000 in 30 days. By six months the man would have grossed N324,000. For a business that was launched with about N100,000, coupled with the fact that money will keep pouring in up to and beyond 74 weeks, poultry farming is, indeed, a money spinner.
The poultry farmer should be able to identify both the immediate and potential markets for his or her products before starting the business, otherwise the management might not be able to sell the products at the appropriate time.
It is not profitable to continue feeding chicks meant for meat for a long time after maturing, without selling them. The eggs produced do not stay indefinitely without going bad. In fact, the shelf life of eggs is very short and if they are not sold off in good time, they may go bad, thereby resulting in loss.
As shown earlier, Nigeria has huge market for poultry. All the intending poultry farmer needs to do is consult experts for guidance and assistance.
The cause of high failure rate in poultry business;
(a) Lack of Technical know-how
It is regrettable that many people and organizations have ventured into poultry farming without technical knowledge. Knowledge of poultry farming techniques are required before anyone can operate the business profitably.
(b) Management problem
An incompetent management may not be able to operate a profitable poultry farm. The managers of the farm must know what they are employed to do and possess the ability of poultry farming in their management style, thereby preparing good ground for losses in the venture. Many managers do not recognize the need for timely planning and control in running the farm.
(c ) Diseased Breeds
Some fertilized eggs meant to be hatched in the incubator could be infected with disease from the parent stock. This means that before the eggs were hatched they had been diseased. If the diseases are not detected on time, the affected birds may die sooner or later.
(d) Poor feeding condition and wastage of feed
The birds need to be fed well in the pens in order to produce maximum meat and eggs (either of which may be the purpose for running the farm). The birds are fed with varying quantities of feed at different stages and with the appropriate feed. The various feeds are chicks mash, grower mash and layer mash, which must be sufficiently rich to give the birds the required nutrients to grow healthy and produce optimally.
A poultry farm must be established In a secured place to ward off enemies of birds, such as rats, soldier ants, snakes, wild birds, etc. most of these enemies are agents of disease that could lead to an epidemic on the farm, and they kill the birds directly as well.
There must be strict check on the farm workers who may be stealing the fowls and the eggs. Also, visitors may constitute a problem to the farm if they are not properly checked.
Birds need minimum space and convenient place to grow well and produce maximally meat and eggs. Birds are spaced on the farm according to their ages; while the chicks need little space, growers and mature birds need more space and ventilation to perform well. The services of a consultant may be needed to determine the appropriate spacing for the birds without which they may suffocate to death, which will be a big loss to the business.
(h) Inability to prevent, detect and control diseases
It is often said that prevention is better than cure, as far as diseases are concerned and this is a true statement and a relevant one to poultry farming. A poultry farmer should know how to prevent poultry diseases, as well as how to cure them. If he or she does know anything about preventive measures, the services of consultants in the field should be engaged for good result.
A marketing plan is absolutely necessary for successful commercial poultry farming, as any farmer ignorant of this or her marketing needs is bound to run into serious losses and eventual failure. It will be ridiculous to start poultry production without knowing when, where, how and to whom to sell the fowls, eggs, feathers and droppings as they are produced. We cannot talk of profit if the meat and eggs have no ready market.
Eggs have a very short shelf life and if they are not sold quickly, they will go bad, and no one is interested in buying bad eggs. Also, birds not sold at the appropriate time will be fed at an extra cost that may make the business unprofitable. Therefore, adequate marketing strategies are needed to sell all the poultry products at the appropriate time and prices.
(J) Ignoring the role of livestock consultants.
There are always practicing experts in every profession or occupation who function as consultants. They are there to proffer solutions to problems that exist in such professions at a minimum cost.
Where a livestock farmer doesn’t have adequate technical and managerial experience, he or she has all it takes to run a farm successfully, there may be need to seek the services of experts in the field, as it is usually said that two heads are better than one.
Cost of Starting A Poultry Farming Business
Sadly, many new businesses still require large capital, but that shouldn’t discourage you in any way. You can also cogently testify that a typical startup business also takes a long time to produce a return on your investment (ROI). By contrast, a small-scale poultry business has a relatively low start-up cost and rapid returns.
You can begin with as little as N50,000 (which basically to covers the cost of buying the day-old chicks and feeding them) and get a 100% return on your capital investment within six months. And because chicks take only 21 days to hatch, you can start generating an income just three weeks after starting. No other business can provide such a quick turnaround.
Both small medium scale and Commercial poultry farming in Nigeria has created and still creating a profitable business privileges for Entrepreneurs and can provide a great employment source for job seekers. Most entrepreneurs prefer to produce day-old chicks and sell them to growers, as this option is easier and less risky. The choice, however, is up to you which I think is a dependent variable on your financial capacity.