This article is a 8 step guide on how to start poultry farming and it can be useful to anyone who wants to start a poultry farm. Poultry has proven to be a very lucrative business and you might be willing to start up your own farm for commercial reasons. Poultry in general means the act of rearing different types of domestic birds for commercial purposes. Some of the commercial purposes of poultry rearing are meat, feather and eggs production that can give a farmer quite a good income.
Small scale poultry production is suitable for nutritional demand for a family while large scale poultry gives opportunity to people to earn more money. That is the reason there are numerous poultry farms around. This sort of business is suitable for people who are very passionate about keeping birds and livestock farming in general. If run properly, poultry farming can be quite profitable as long as the birds are reared under good conditions that are conducive for them.
How to Start Poultry Farming
1. Know the Poultry Niche You want
Poultry is a very wide niche and there are so many productions when it comes to this business. It is important to know that there are so many sectors in the poultry industry and you have the option of venturing into the one you want. According to many people, poultry farming involves rearing either chicken or turkey, but this is a very wide industry because there are a number of domestic birds that a farmer can rear. The following are the poultry market gaps:
• Layers breeding-egg production
• Hatchery-chicken rearing
• Poultry marketing
• Poultry feed production
• Meat production-broilers rearing
• Egg, meat processing and marketing
• Poultry equipment manufacturing
If you are thinking of starting poultry farming, then it is important to know the area you want to specialize. Some factors will determine the sector you choose such as capital, your technical knowledge and farm space. However, there is no limit in choosing whichever sector you decide to specialize in as long as you are committed.
2. Decide the type of Birds you will rear
This is one of the most crucial factors when it comes to beginning a poultry farm. You have to consider the type of bird you would like to rear, the benefits, the care needed and if it profitable. This means you have to carry out an extensive research about the specific bird type you want to rear. There are different types of birds a person can rear:
• Chicken (layers and broilers)
• Guinea fowl
It is very important that you decide the specific bird you want to rear. As for the bird’s purposes, you have to know if you are interested in rearing broilers or layers. Broilers are meant for meat production. Broilers are known to grow fat very fast and give more return mainly because they weigh more compared to other breeds. On the other hand, layers are meant for laying eggs and if you feel like this is the area you need to specialize in, with proper care it can be a good source of income.
3. Capital-Poultry needs Investment
If you understand poultry well and you would like to begin a poultry farm for commercial purposes, you definitely know that poultry farming is an investment by itself. The capital needed for poultry depends on the sector a person decides to major in. There are so many ways you can raise the money needed for your start-up capital.
A person can raise the money on their own or they can apply for a bank loan. There are so many ways you can get funds to begin your poultry farm. You don’t have to start big, as a beginner it is highly recommended you start with a limited number of birds and grow slowly. This will help cut on the cost needed to start your farm.
4. Choose your Farm’s Location
Having your farm at a good location is very important. As you select the right location for your poultry, keep it in mind that it should have the required facilities and it has to be favourable for your poultry. The best location is away from town because both land and labour are cheap. However, most of the market is at town so do not set it up too far. Some important factors to consider when looking for a location are transportation means and the market distance.
Thereafter, you can construct a poultry house for your birds. You should ensure that all the necessary facilities are available. There are different types of poultry housing systems: extensive, semi-extensive system and intensive system. Intensive system is the most convenient.
5. Have the Right Equipment
As a poultry farmer, there is some equipment that is essential and you have to purchase them. The following are the required equipment for your farm:
• Heaters and broaders
• Egg tray
• Lighting equipment
• Ventilation system
• Water disposal system
These are the necessary tools but you can purchase others later.
6. Buying Your Birds
Assuming by this far you already have chosen the type of birds you want to rear and you have completed the farm setup, it is now time to get your birds. You should purchase chicks of high quality and mostly from a trusted breeder. It is recommended to begin with day-old chicks and if you are a beginner, start with a less number of chicks.
7. Feeding your Birds
This is the most crucial part of poultry farming and it is where most farmers fail. You have to spend a good amount of money on feeding your birds. It is estimated that close to 70% of you budget goes to poultry-feeding. This is because feeding determines the success of your business. So as long the feeding of your birds is of high-quality and adequate, you will get promising results. You can purchase poultry feeds that are ready or buy the ingredients and prepare the feeds by yourself. Always feed the birds on time, give them fresh food and water. This goes hand in hand with maintain a clean environment for your birds.
8. The Health of your Poultry
Birds are prone to many different types of diseases and a farmer has to know how they can control them. Another area you have to be keen on is the health of your poultry. You have to ensure you give your birds proper medication. It is very important to be conscious and proper care of the birds is mandatory if you want clean results. Consider vaccinating your birds on time, give them fresh food and water. You can consult specialists about poultry vaccination and medication to be on the safer side.
The last thing is that you should have good marketing strategies that will determine how profitable your poultry business will be. By following all these steps you can rest assured that beginning your poultry farm will be worth a while. Remember to gather more information about poultry farming and grow your poultry gradually. I hope that this guide has given you all the necessary information you need to start a successful poultry farm.