Profitability of Poultry Farming in Nigeria
In this paper, we shall consider, how profitable poultry farming is in Nigeria. The first thing that comes to mind when someone comes to the term poultry farming is the rearing of chicken. This is because chicken is the most commonly reared bird in Nigeria today.
Poultry farming, however, is the rearing of any kind of birds (duck, turkey, chicken, pigeon and even peacocks) for domestic and commercial purposes.
Poultry farming is the most practiced form of animal husbandry in many countries because it is flexible and the demand for birds and their products is very high.
Poultry farming is also profitable venture as long as it carefully planned and well carried out.
Although it is commonly practiced in Nigeria, there is still an insufficiency in the supply of birds as we have not been able to meet the high consumption demand of birds which are needed to close up on the prevalent protein deficiency gap in Nigeria.
More than half of the birds we consume daily are still being imported from other countries.
I believe that we need to adopt a realistic approach towards poultry farming by supporting farmers, providing technological know-how on feed production and providing insurance coverage to meet the ever increasing demand.
For the purpose of clarity, this article will focus on rearing chicken only.
What Makes Poultry a Profitable Venture?
The ability of the chicken to reproduce in large quantities coupled with the fact that there is a huge market for this by-products is a plus in poultry farming. A farmer can make extra income by:
Sales of eggs
eggs are a good and affordable source of protein that our bodies need to maintain a healthy diet and the demand for eggs for individual consumption and from bakeries and other industries like the beauty and skin care industry is very high.
This means that poultry farmers can generate massive income merely from the sale of eggs.
A crate of egg currently sells for over 1,000 Naira now multiply the number of crates available to get a good amount of money.
Sales of day-old chicks
New poultry farms are always in need of day old chicks to start up their own farms, you can raise them and supply to farmers in large or reasonable quantities at fair prices.
Some farmers sell from two hundred to three hundred naira per chick.
Sales of full grown birds
Nigerians consume very large quantities of chicken every day. Chicken constitutes a major component of everyday meals in Nigerian homes, fast foods, restaurants and street food vendors.
As far as the farmer raises healthy birds, a constant demand is guaranteed. Broilers which are most suitable and preferable for consumption grow very fast; they take merely forty to forty-two days for them to be fully matured and ready for consumption.
Poultry farmers armed with the right information, skill, and finance can improvise by producing locally made poultry feeds and supplying to other farms.
Farmers can gather waste products as manure and supply to owners of crop farms at a subsided rate.
When running large poultry farms, farmers can render consultant services, manufacture poultry equipment, hatcheries and offer services on poultry farm management.
How to Start a Poultry Farm
No one can start any viable project without proper assessment and planning.
Prospective farmers will need to come up with a detailed business plan; draw your proposal and present to potential investors if you aren’t going to finance your poultry yourself.
Even if you are the sole financier, you will still need a plan to serve as a guide to avoid financial excesses. The list of practical steps after drawing a plan is:
- Locating a suitable land: because of the stench associated with poultry farming, you will need to locate a land in a nonresidential area to avoid becoming an environmental nuisance. The land must be spacious according to the size of farm you want to keep and it must be accessible to customers.
- Build suitable housing system for your birds: there are different types of housing systems in commercial poultry farming; the first is the ‘Saw Dust System’ where the birds live in rooms with floors filled with sawdust. The sawdust must be frequently changed to reduce and control foul odor.
- Another housing system for poultry farms is the ‘Battery Cage System’ where birds are housed inside cages of different sizes and structures depending on the sizes of the birds. Provision is made for feeding, egg laying, and droppings; even though this system is expensive, many farmers prefer it because it ensures proper ventilation and spacing.
- Provide an efficient waste disposal system for disposing waste in the farm on a frequent basis to prevent and control the outbreak of diseases.
- Make provisions for constant water and electricity supply by digging a borehole and making a stand by electricity generating plant available in case of erratic power supply.
- Build storage facilities for eggs, feeds, vaccines etc, purchase feeders, drinkers, nests, water troughs, crates and other necessary facilities or equipment.
- Purchase desired birds: follow important and necessary procedures and begin to nurture them. For commercial purposes, layers and broilers and broilers are preferable and commonly reared in Nigeria.
- Hire skilled and experienced labor to assist in the day to day administration of the farm but put checks in place to control theft and encourage transparency and credibility.
- Publicize and market your farm by all means possible: come up with an effective sale, pricing, and marketing strategy that will help you break even.
- Target your market on households, restaurants, hotels, eateries and agricultural merchants.
Challenges of Poultry Farming
It is only fair, that this article should also highlight the challenges likely to be encountered in rearing birds to give potential farmers an insight of what to expect in the course of running their farms.
The commonest challenges likely to be encountered are:
- Disease Outbreaks
- High cost of feeds
- Security challenges
- Lack of government support in areas of infrastructure
- Insufficient capital
With this article, potential poultry farmers have been provided with a summarized guide and insight into the potentials of commercial poultry farming to meet the ever increasing demand for poultry products while making maximum profits for a good standard of living.
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