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How to Start a Layer Farm for Egg Production

Layer poultry farming means raising egg-laying poultry birds for the purpose of commercial egg production. Layer chickens are such a special species of hens, which need to be raised from when they are one day old. They start laying eggs commercially from 18-19 weeks of age. They continue laying eggs continuously till their 72-78 weeks of age. They can produce about one kg of eggs by consuming about 2.25 kg of food during their egg laying period.

According to the nature and color of egg, layer hens are of two types. Short descriptions of these two types are listed below.

White Egg Laying Hens

This type of hens is comparatively smaller in size. they eat less food, and the color of the egg shell is white. Isa White, Lehman White, Nikchik, Bab Cock BV-300, Harvard White, Hi Sex White, Sever White, Hi line White, Bovanch White etc. are some popular white egg laying chickens.

Brown Egg Laying Hens

Brown egg laying hens are s larger in size. They eat more food, compared to white egg layers. Lay bigger eggs than other laying breeds. The egg shell is brown colored. There are many types of brown layer available. Among those Isa Brown, Hi Sex Brown, Sever 579, Lehman Brown, Hi Line Brown, Bab Cock BV-380, Gold Line, Bablona Tetro, Bablona Harko, Havard Brown etc. are very suitable for commercial layer.

In this case you have to select those breeds which are suitable for your layer poultry farming business and can produce well in your area.

The common breeds of chickens in Nigeria are Isa Brown, Arbor Acres, Marshall, Ross, Kuroilers, White Cockerel, and Black cockerel. Always ask about the breed you are buying as well as the peculiarity of the breed.

For commercial eggs production, read below before selecting your breed; *Choose highly productive laying hens correctly.

  • All type of hens do not produce equal numbers of eggs.
  • The chosen breeds must have good production capability.

If your chosen breed contains the desired characteristic and have a reputation for egg production, then that breed is suitable for your business.

To set up a layer farm, the following steps must be taken;

Location

The housing system is very important for rearing layers and effective keeping and management.  As a new person to Livestock business, you don’t want to invest all your capital into buying lands in an urban area which may turn out not being used because government policy is against setting up poultry farm near residential/urban areas for health implication.

Battery cages are the best housing cages for laying birds because it creates comfort and stability for them.

Set-Up Capital

With a location in mind, you now have clearer idea of the capital required of you. Write down your detailed capital and investment requirements for your poultry farming in Nigeria venture and set out to source for it.

Like every other farming projects, the bigger you plan to start, the more investment required. You need to decide on the level of capital investment you are willing to commit to this business before starting.

Get Chicks

Look for good Hatchery where you can get healthy day old chicks to start with.

Feeds and Water Management

You can buy feed from your local market or make the feed at your own house. You can just make sure the one bought or made is enriched with protein and mineral which are very essential for laying hens.

  • Give them at least 2% calcium for 2weeks after birth
  • Feed them with starter feed for 8weeks
  • Serve them two or three times daily till they are 18weeks old
  • Serve them layer poultry feed according to their age and weight
  • Don’t decrease their feed while laying (even if their weight increase)
  • Provide adequate water according to the demand of your laying hens (supply cold water during hot weather, and lukewarm water in cold weather)

Vaccination

This makes your hen disease resistance. It helps to keep them free from infections and reduce mortality rate. But before vaccination, take note that ill hen doesn’t need to be vaccinated anymore (separate ill birds to avoid spreading) and make sure vaccination equipment are washed with hot boiled water or antiseptic/germicide. Here are the vaccines that can be given to layer hens.

But before vaccination, take note that ill hen doesn’t need to be vaccinated anymore (separate ill birds to avoid spreading) and make sure vaccination equipment are washed with hot boiled water or antiseptic/germicide. Here are the vaccines that can be given to layer hens. Marex, Gamboro, Salmonela etc.

Note that an average healthy Layer lays eggs almost every day or at least 4 times in a week. This means that technically a Layer is capable of producing another chicken twice in three days.

  • Within the first 20 weeks of age, about 5% of hens start laying eggs and can lay as much as 325 eggs in a year
  • About 10% birds start laying at their 21 weeks of age
  • When they reach 26 to 30 weeks of age, they produce highly. Although, it may be different depending on their strain
  • After laying a maximum number of eggs, they usually stop laying for a few days
  • And after this period, their egg production might reduce slowly
  • Egg laying rate and size of eggs increase gradually
  • The hens grow till their 40 weeks of age
  • Weight and size of eggs increase till their 50 weeks of age.

Marketing

Marketing involves a range of prices, depending on the different sizes of egg, different brands, or other differences which attract particular buyers. In the home and shop situation, it is best to store them at normal refrigerator temperature.

30 Comments
  1. I’m a customer already, expecting to receive another consignment 8th June.

  2. Hello sir i wish to start laying poultry please guide me. God bless u

  3. Reply
    Franco global services Nigeria Ltd September 19, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    My layers are 21weeks old but they have not started laying, what might be the problem

  4. My Layers hens are almost 6 months now, and they are yet to lay an egg. What might be the problem?

  5. Please I want to know if the small in size pullet among my flocks will lay egg as the big one at their laying stage,because they are very small and of the same age

    • Reply
      Charles Nwishienyi July 15, 2019 at 9:37 am

      Dear David,

      Good morning and thanks for your inquiry.
      Be informed that the point of lay hens are known to commence laying between 18 to 22 weeks of age.
      Kindly ensure you strictly follow the vaccination and medication schedule as well as the recommended feeding program for their age.
      You can also contact your vet for more on-site evaluation and inspection to ensure the precursors affecting growth are tackled before the onset of lay.
      ​You can contact us via any of the channels below:

      Email: info@afrimash.com
      Call: (+234) 809 409 1115
      WhatsApp: (234) 808 280 8271

      Please click on the link below to be redirected to our WhatsApp page-to chat with our customer care agents.

      https://api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=2348082808271

      Thanks
      ​​

  6. My layers will be a year old by the ending of this month that they have been laying in for the past three days now there is low productions,what may like cause it?

    • Hello Gbenga,

      If they are one year old now, that means they have been laying for about 7 to 8 months only.

      There are several situations that can cause this. Did you change your feed source recently? Did you change water source or transferred the birds into a new house? It is very important to think through if you changed anything on your farm recently.

      You might also need to get a veterinarian to visit your farm in order to check if they have any disease condition causing this.

  7. My birds are 18 weeks now they are not laying and also some are small in size

    • Reply
      Charles Nwishienyi July 15, 2019 at 9:33 am

      Dear Salawu Francis,

      Good morning and thanks for your inquiry. Kindly be informed that the point of lay hens are recommended to start laying from 18 to 22 weeks of age. Kindly confirm with your veterinarian for on-site inspection and observation to ensure the feeding and management are up to par.
      ​You can contact us via any of the channels below:

      Email: info@afrimash.com
      Call: (+234) 809 409 1115
      WhatsApp: (234) 808 280 8271

      Please click on the link below to be redirected to our WhatsApp page-to chat with our customer care agents.

      https://api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=2348082808271

      Thanks
      ​​

  8. Hello. I want to go into chicken farming, but I don’t know how to go about it. Do u offer online training?

  9. Thanks for the guide afrimash

  10. Goodday,
    Am a starter in poultry farm business and focusing on layers. please can you give me estimate of feed consumption for 20weeks from day old to 20weeks. my email is yakubupd@gmail.com and whatsapp: 08034025530.

    • Hello Yakubu Paul,

      Good morning and thanks for your inquiry.
      For feeding laying birds, we need to know the proposed stocking density of your farm/venture.
      However, below are some examples you could utilize for now
      Chick Starter: (0 to 6 weeks of age)
      Allow between 35-60g of feeds per chick, per day.

      Growers Mash: Gradually introduce growers mash (From 6th week till drop of first eggs)
      Give 60-90g of feeds per pullet per day as they increase with age.

      Layers Mash: (From drop of first egg till end of laying cycle)
      Once the birds reach laying stage, provide a well-balanced formulated layers ration at about 110-140g of layers mash per day.

      These are the feed types/classes for layers (day old pullets, growers and layers)

      Also, be informed we have a number of ebooks on poultry production via the link below
      https://www.afrimash.com/product-category/book/livestock-books/

      You can contact us via any of the channels below:

      Email: info@afrimash.com
      Call: (+234) 809 409 1115
      WhatsApp: (234) 808 280 8271

      Please click on the link below to be redirected to our WhatsApp page-to chat with our customer care agents.

      https://api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=2348082808271

      Kind regards

  11. Hello Osim,

    Good morning and thanks for your inquiry. Apparently, you are in the right place.
    Please be informed that the point of lay hens available on scheduled days and the prices listed on our website are per hen.
    https://www.afrimash.com/product-category/livestock/poultry/point-of-lay/

    For the *16 weeks point of lay* (#1,440 per hen), available dates for delivery are:

    13th September (Olam Lohmann Classic Brown)
    2nd October (ISA Brown)
    18th October (Olam Lohmann Classic Brown)
    27th October (Olam Lohmann Classic Brown)
    28th November (ISA Brown)

    For the *14 weeks point of lay* (#1,340 per hen), available dates for delivery are:

    18th September (ISA Brown)
    4th October (Olam Lohmann Classic Brown)
    13th October (Olam Lohmann Classic Brown)
    11th Nov (ISA Brown)

    For the *12 weeks point of lay* (#1,240 per hen), available dates for delivery are: ​
    20th September (Olam Lohmann Classic Brown)
    28th October (ISA Brown)

    N.B. The 16 weeks old point of lay birds are not vaccinated with the 3-in-1 vaccine NB+IB+EDS). As most farmers prefer to supervise the final series of vaccination in their farms before the onset of laying, we offer the vaccines for special pre-orders. Please review the link below for additional information
    https://www.afrimash.com/shop/veterinary-items/ndibeds-3-1-eds-1000-doses/

    Please be informed that we will send the complete vaccination and medication history along with the dispatch.

    Supply for the birds are on a first-come-first-serve basis, thus we encourage customers to book and pay in advance.

    We will like to know the quantity and your preferred delivery/farm location so the shipping information can be included; if you wish for an invoice reflecting your choices to be sent to you.

    https://www.afrimash.com/product-category/livestock/poultry/point-of-lay/
    The link above will redirect you to the page on our website to view the product information and create your order.

    Hope this feedback has been helpful?
    We look forward to your response.
    Thanks

  12. Thanks for this information

  13. My layers are 28 weeks now and its just 58 laying out of 365. What should I do to make them lay

    • Hello ThankGod,
      Thank you for reaching out to us,
      I would recommend you get a vet Doctor to check the farm,
      But also confirm the feed you are using, how often you feed them and if the 3-in-1 vaccine has been administered
      I would also like to know if they are in cages
      Thanks

  14. Reply
    Shedrach Jarom Wampana November 1, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Thanks for ligtining, I have finish place to keep checkens but my problem how to get a best brand and healthy layers also how to take with them.

    Leave a reply

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