In this article, we will look at how to start poultry farming in Nigeria. This farming has been one of the best to engage in the agricultural sector.
In a survey carried out, it was found that the poultry business is one of the most productive and income generating farming business. This has intrigued a lot of people to start farming in this field.
If you’re also interested in being involved, this article will give you a roadmap to get started.
What is Poultry Farming?
Poultry refers to birds which are domesticated. This includes such birds as chickens (fowls), ducks, geese, turkey and pigeons among others.
The species of poultry are adaptable or can survive in different environments. With great increase of population, the demand for food especially protein becomes acute.
To meet the demand for animal protein the development of animal industry especially the fast developing and the rapidly multiplying ones as the poultry becomes very necessary.
Considerations before Starting Poultry Farming
Here are the important requirements for starting poultry farming anywhere in the country. It also includes the critical things to put in mind.
Points to Consider: Consider which product to go for:
1. Are you to produce eggs or meat?
2. Think of the market for your product. What are the market price and the demand for the product?
3. Consider the cost and availability of the breed of the stock.
4. How easy is it to obtain the feeds for the poultry stock?
5. Check on your personal likes.
6. Put into the environmental conditions under which the poultry stock is to be reared or raised.
7. Size of the business. This will depend on labor, chicken feed cost and demand. The market price for the product is an important aspect to consider in terms of products to go for.
Having decided to establish a flock, choose the chicken breed that can survive the environment, a breed that can produce well based on records of the breed, and a breed that appeals to you.
Interest is very important. It would be cheaper and better to choose chicken breed that are available and have adapted itself to the environment under which it is to be produced.
Classification of Poultry Farming in Nigeria
There are different types of poultry farming you can go into in Nigeria as a Nigerian youth. These are:
Broiler farming is a popular chicken farming in Nigeria. This is where you rear or raise broiler chickens for sale. Broiler chickens are fast growing birds. They can be ready for market within 4 weeks. This is why some poultry farmers like this kind of poultry farming.
Broiler chickens eat a lot and they are prone to poultry diseases more than other chicken breeds. However, if you take you time to understand them and keep proper bio-security on your poultry farm the mortality rates will decrease.
There are different types of broiler breeds in Nigeria. They all have different strengths and weaknesses.
Noiler chickens are dual purpose breed of chicken. They are raised for their meat and the eggs they lay. Noiler birds do not eat a lot of chicken feed and they are not as expensive as broiler birds. This is why some poultry farmers prefer to go in noiler farming.
It is not expensive and it is easier to run. Noiler birds are also disease resistance. They do not fall sick easily and they can survive in any climate conditions in the country.
Cockerel farming is simply the raising of the male chickens. These male chickens are a unique breed and they are often white in colour.
Cockerels take time to grow. They are long time investment; however, they do not consume a lot of feeds. Cockerel farming might be good for you if you are just going into poultry farming for the first time.
This kind of poultry farming often teaches you as a beginner how to understand chickens.
Layer birds are birds raised or reared for the sole purpose of eggs. However, you can also sell the chickens after they are done laying all their eggs which is usually after a year.
There are different breeds of layer chickens, however, they all brown or reddish-brown in colour. At 19 – 20 weeks in you can start making money from your layer birds when the chickens start laying by selling their eggs in wholesale or retail.
Turkey farming is not as common as chicken farming in Nigeria but there are many poultry farmers that are into it. Turkeys are strictly raised for their meat and the best thing about this farming is you do not need to raise many of these birds before you can make big profits from it.
In Nigeria, turkeys are strictly are classified into two types which are the local turkeys and the foreign turkeys. You can make as much as #15,000 – #30,000 selling one turkey in Nigeria.
How to Start Poultry Farming in Nigeria
It’s pertinent to know the general management of poultry before thinking of starting a business on it. Efficient management of livestock is second to nothing in working towards profits.
The livestock is like a money-making machine it gives you what you want depending on how you have furnished it with what it needs. The degree of success of a livestock enterprise depends on the degree of efficiency the management practiced.
This management includes chicken housing, feeding, chicken breeding, care of the young, record keeping, identifications and control, prevention and treatment of diseases. Below is a highlight of these points.
Housing in Poultry Farming
Generally, livestock need comfort and protection against rain, the sun and excessive cold among other agents of weather. Fowls (chickens or turkeys) do not need neither excess air nor cold. Housing provides these essentials for them.
This house could be pen (deep litter), cages (battery cages) or any other type of housing commonly used in poultry.
The location of the poultry farm house should be such as to provide good drainage and not easy to be destroyed by storm or floods. It should be accessible by road for transporting of material. Where possible, it should have East West orientation. It should not cost very much. A good fowl or chicken house should have the following qualities:
- Adequate floor space for the type of birds.
- A healthy temperature.
- Good ventilation and enough light.
The system will influence the type of house and also the space to be provided per bird. Usually houses are used for restricted free range system, deep litter system and battery system. Portable houses are used for the free range and fold system in poultry farming.
Light in Poultry Farming
Fowls need light for moving about and for eating and drinking. Light also stimulates and influences egg production.
Light may be supplied naturally by the sun or artificially for the purpose of light, 9.3 cm² windows are recommended for 2.3 m² to 3.7 m² of the floor space. A 20 watt bulb is recommended for 9.3 m² of the floor space. Increased light supplied increases egg productions in pullets.
Feeding in Poultry Farming
Food is necessary for all living things and there is no exception in this in poultry farming. The growth and the well-being of organisms are to a large extent dependent on the amount and type of food they receive and the manner or rate at which they receive it.
For poultry these three factors will influence their performance. Poultry is kept for meat, and for eggs in most cases.
Their performance in supplying these wants will depend to a large extent on these three factors. Other factors like disease and environmental conditions will play a part no doubt.
Moreover, all mash feed is good for chicks. The chick mash should have up to 21% protein. Grower’s feed ration should have about 17% protein while the layers mash (feed) should have about 15% protein.
The chicks are watched daily so that sickness and cannibalism can easily be detected. A decrease in consumption of feed and water is an indication of ill health.
Overcrowding and inadequate feeding may bring about cannibalism among chicks. Also, the animal droppings should not be allowed to contaminate the feed or the water.
Breeding in Poultry Farming
In Poultry breeding is carried out to provide fowl that can live longer, use the feed well and produce more eggs and more meat.
The breeder aims at improving one of more characters in the flock of birds (chickens). More egg production may be aimed at. In poultry farming more egg production and better meat have been bred for by many breeders.
There are more than two systems of breeding. In order to achieve the purpose of breeding, one or more of the following breeding systems may be applied in poultry farming: Cross-breeding, In-breeding and Up-grading.
In cross-breeding, unrelated male and female birds are crossed. In in-breeding, related individuals are mated, and the degree of breeding varies with the degree of relation existing between the two individuals mated.
Up-grading (Grading) is a form of crossing when the desire is to change the characters of a bird. A low grade stock female is mated to the make of the breed with the desired character up to the fifth generation.
Rearing of Birds
After the 6th to the 10th week a new phase of the birds known as the rearing or growing period is entered. Under this programme, the birds may be reared under confinement or range system. The pullets are put into the laying pens four weeks before they start to lay eggs.
Some poultry breeds start laying 5 months of age. The age of the first lay may be influenced by feeding programme during the growing period. Some improved birds especially broilers can reach 1.8 kg at 9 weeks of age.
During all these period it is necessary to feed the birds adequate balanced rations.
Controlling Diseases in Poultry Farming
The diseases of poultry like the diseases of other animals may be caused by: Pathogenic organisms like bacteria and viruses protozoa, worms and some members of the arthropods; Nutritional deficiency; from wound or cannibalism; among others.
The outbreak of disease is treated using high levels of coccidiostats as recommended by the veterinary doctors and officers. Sanitation is very important both in the prevention and treatment of the diseases.
Profitability of Poultry Farming
Is poultry farming very profitable? This has been the recurring question made by lots of people who intend on starting this farming in this area. Let’s shed some green light on this aspect.
Poultry farming has extensive economic importance and this has been very clear to people from time immemorial and they have kept poultry of different sizes. It makes the following contributions to man:
1. It is a source of income. People make it a business and get their livelihood there.
2. It is a source of food. It produces eggs and meat. Egg is recognized all over the world as the most balanced and nutritive of all animal products.
3. Eggs are used in soap industries, in bakeries, on cookings, paints and production of vaccines. Poultry meet is very palatable and is accepted to many people all over the world.
4. Poultry droppings are excellent fertilizer for enriching poor soils.
5. Because of it fast growing nature, its being cheap and its rapid production, it is a nice animal for scientific investigations.
6. Chickens or fouls, ducks, geese and turkeys are the four common species of poultry and they are very economical. The former are the most common and important both in the tropics and elsewhere and are the species chosen for detailed study.
Opportunities in Poultry Farming in Nigeria
There are different opportunities and benefits in poultry farming. You can make money from every part of the any kind of poultry farming you are into whether it be broiler, noiler, kuroiler, cockerel or turkey.
You can make money selling the eggs of the birds, their feather and their poop. So you see you cannot make loose in poultry farming if you open your eyes well enough.
Poultry are therefore widely distributed in the world. The following factors therefore favour its being extensively distributed in the world:
- It can thrive in poor land;
- Can fit into small farm areas;
- It has high food conversion rate;
- It has fast rate of multiplying;
- It forms highly excellent food and it is easily processed.
Poultry industry has a very bright future both in temperate zones where it has been well developed and in the tropics where improvement has been very little.
In the tropics which includes most areas in Nigeria, it development is very necessary for the high demand for animal proteins to be met.
It has so many advantages over other domesticated animals whose production is very much hindered by lack of money, high temperature, diseases and lack of food at certain periods of the year.
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