The poultry farming business is a very lucrative venture but if you have not been into it or if you don’t know anyone who is into it, you might not know about its lucrativeness. This is primarily because poultry farming products are continuously in high demand by people. These products include poultry meat, eggs, dung for manure, and feather.
Poultry farming is a form of agriculture concerned with the raising of birds that are of domestic or commercial importance. This implies the raising of birds whose products can be consumed domestically or sold for profit.
Not very many people know about the lucrativeness of the poultry farming business, but those who have ventured into it before can testify that the poultry farming business is indeed very lucrative.
Growing up, I had some experience raising poultry birds. To me, that was just a hobby my parents set me up for but beyond that, that was a great experience about poultry farming. I have also studied other experts in the field of poultry business, many of which are doing excellently well in the business. So, with all these, I am going to share with you some important things you need to know about to become successful in the poultry farming business.
The basics of poultry farming business
The poultry farming business is simply the process of commercializing poultry products to make profits in return. It is just like every other business venture but it offers a wide range of business opportunities to those who are interested in it.
Anyone can raise poultry birds but not everyone who raises poultry birds is in the poultry farming business. To set the distinction, it is important to understand the basics of the poultry farming business, and how to optimize your inputs to make profits from it.
To become successful in the poultry farming business, it is important to understand the birds, their feeds, housing, drugs for sick poultry, pest and vector control, storage and processing equipment, including manpower management. In the following section, we will see these basic units of the poultry farming business and how you can optimize them to make profits.
I will categorize the basic elements of a poultry farming business into the following:
The poultry birds
Drugs and supplements
Marketing and sales
Poultry birds for poultry business
A good understanding of poultry birds is important for achieving success in the poultry farming business. Asides from poultry meat, poultry birds also produce other products of commercial importance. These include eggs for human consumption and the production of several other products, the feathers can be used for pillow stuffing, in the production of diapers, paper, plastics, and a myriad of other uses. Also, poultry dung can be used as manure or sold to crop farmers to improve crop yield.
There are different types of poultry birds. Your choice of the type to raise for your poultry farming business should depend on your interests, the cost of the business, and what appeals best to your local community or target population base.
Types of birds for poultry farming business include the following:
Chicken (the commonest globally)
Depending on your capital, and your previous experience in the poultry farming business, you can choose to start with any of the types of birds above and then scale up from there as you make more money. It is conventional to start with domestic fowl (chicken). Many people deal entirely on the domestic fowl and they have recorded massive profits in no distance time.
Knowing the types of poultry is one thing you must bear in mind in order to be successful in the poultry farming business. For example, there are several breeds of chicken–broilers (grown primarily for meat), and layers, which are grown for egg-laying.
There are natural chicken breeds that produce a high quantity of meat and high-quality eggs. Some of these natural species were also modified by cross-breeding to produce improved breeds that are capable of producing higher yields in terms of meat quantity and egg size. This can be enhanced by feeding them with specially formulated feeds, as you will see in the next section.
Starting a chicken farming business is more advantageous to others for the following reasons:
The initial investment is a little lower, compared.
The rearing period is short, and you can expect returns within 6-7 weeks of raising from chicks.
More flocks can be taken in the same shed.
Broilers have high feed conversion efficiency i.e. the least amount of feed is required for unit body weight gain.
Faster return from the investment.
Compared to other types of animal meat, poultry meat is more in demand.
That being said, you need to consider the specific needs of your place, as well as the money you have at hand to determine which type of poultry birds you want to invest in. Find out more information about choosing the type of poultry bird here.
One of the first things you need to also have after considering the type of birds you want to raise, is a poultry house. The birds need to have shelter, and thankfully, it is not so create one for your birds.
There are several options of shelter for poultry when you want to make poultry farming a business. You can create a wooden cage with wired nets, doors, and windows. It doesn’t have to be in one particular specification, but the basic spatial requirements of the birds need to be accounted for.
For example, there should be enough space for the birds, there should be good cross-circulation of air around the shelter, there should be litter for their excreta, and food and water troughs for their feeding. Once these are taken into consideration, you would have made a good house for your poultry.
Concrete buildings with doors and windows can also be used, especially for very large-scale poultry projects. And depending on your primary farming target, whether you are more interested in eggs, meat, or both, you may have to construct special equipment to collect those products.
Feeds for poultry
After considering the type of birds you want to raise, and their shelter, one very important aspect to also consider is the feed. It is important you consider these factors when planning how you raise and allocate money for your poultry farming business. You might need to draw your budget based on the relative costs of the essential requirements for your poultry farming business.
When choosing the feed for your poultry, there are several factors to also consider, besides cost. You want to consider the primary poultry products you want to focus on. Special feed formulations are required for broilers, growers, or layer birds, and these are commercially available.
The type of poultry feed for your poultry birds also depends on the age of your birds, and you might find special mashes based on poultry age. These formulations are also available in the market, but you should make special inquiries about these, as part of your preparation for your poultry farming business.
Market-formulated poultry feeds are augmented feeds containing all essential amino acids and nutrients required for the development of your poultry. They come in three major forms: crumbles, pellets and mash. Crumbles are excellent if you can get them but pellets are oftentimes the only available form. Mash is usually for baby chicks.
The essential difference between the pellet feed and the crumbles is the size. Pellets are larger than crumbled. Mash, on the other hand, is finer and more powdery than both pellets and crumbles, but mash could also contain other feed sources like grains (corn, rice polish, fish meal, wheat bran, meat meal, groundnut cake, etcetera) and are often the best type of feed for young chickens. Also, mash feed can be mixed with water to improve its consistency when need be or it can be fermented, particularly when your birds do not seem to like their natural taste.
Corn is one of the major constituents of commercially-formulated poultry feeds. It has also been shown that many popular brands of chicken feeds use corn-soybean as their main ingredient. This combination together with fortification with other vitamin and mineral sources helps to keep your chicks and adult chicken at optimal development. Corn-soybean-based feeds are also rich in selenium, which is important for the development of a strong immune system and improved egg quality.
If you have the resources to grow your own poultry feed, you could cultivate corn and soya beans for your birds to save you some extra costs of purchasing commercially-formulated feeds. But one advantage of commercial feeds is that they contain special ingredients based on research and evidence-based studies that can improve your farming yield, productivity, and health of your poultry.
One last meal source you can add to your poultry feed to fortify their feeds is larva feed (otherwise called grubs). Grubs are oven-dried larvae of the black soldier fly, the Japanese beetle, and certain other insects. The larvae offer a rich source of proteinous nutrition to your birds when you mix them into their diet. Grubs are rich in calcium, crude proteins, and fats. They are cheap and readily available, such that if you are feeding your birds with homemade feed only, you could incorporate grubs into the diet to improve your birds’ nutrition.
Drugs and supplements
Drugs are another important aspect of the poultry farming business you cannot ignore. Poultry birds, irrespective of the type, are living organisms and are susceptible to illness. Illness hampers the productivity of your poultry birds, therefore it is important to know what to do when your birds are sick. Supplements are nutritional mixtures that help to provide essential nutrients that may be lacking in your bird feed formulation.
An important aspect of poultry farming concerned with the health of your birds is the concept of quarantine. Most poultry illnesses are easily transmissible from one bird to another, such that, when one bird is sick, the disease can spread to other birds if they are not separated. It becomes important to create a separate house for sick birds while they undergo treatment.
Marketing and sales of poultry products
The goal of every business venture is that the products, goods, and/or services get to the final consumers. The same applies to the poultry farming business. After raising your birds to maturity either for meat, eggs, or both, it is important to strategically decide how you want to market your products. This is also where you need to decide your prices based on the current market prices, and competitor prices.
Marketing and sales are important aspects of this business that can make you stand out from other people who are also in the business of poultry farming. Trust me, you are not the only one doing this business.
Marketing involves advertising your products, telling people about your birds, and their products, and bringing them to the doorsteps or shops of resellers or consumers.
Another area for additional revenue is when you collect other seemingly unimportant products of birds, like droppings or feathers for manure and other products. Being able to find the right avenue to harness these products can earn you additional profits in your poultry farming business.
Other aspects of the poultry farming business to consider when starting a poultry farming business are pest and vector control, storage, processing, as well as management of manpower working in your poultry farm. You need to have the right kind of information about pest control, control of disease outbreaks, and
Finally, while this article is aimed at giving you an overview of what you need to know to start and manage your poultry farming business, it does not have all the answers regarding poultry farming business. You might need other resources, some of which I provided links to within the article.
I am a medical doctor, a seasoned writer and passionate blogger. Thanks to many years of trials, failure, and near successes. I am the founder of Knowseeker and our content are geared towards enlightening and making you a better and happier audience.