Starting a poultry farm requires taking into consideration important factors as an intending farmer who wants to get it right to avoid common mistakes that limit the chances of a profitable venture. So, whether you are raising birds for the commercial market or for family consumption, here is a list of three important things to be aware of as you consider starting your poultry farming business in 2022.
What Type of Birds to Produce
The type of bird to produce depends on the end market you are targeting. Poultry production can be either for meat or eggs. Broiler birds are the perfect type for meat while layers are the best choice for egg production. It is important to get your birds from a reliable source to be sure the birds are healthy and vaccinated properly. This helps prevent the purchase of diseased birds with poor performance. Hybrid birds are the best option because they are usually resistant to disease with good productivity.
What Method of Poultry Production
There are two common methods of poultry production, the Battery Cage System and the Deep Litter System. The battery cage is the use of cages that are fabricated for ventilation and separated into sections. Deep litter involves rearing birds on the floor of a confined room. Both systems have their pros and cons in aspects of feeding and ease of management. The choice of usage is usually relative to the kind of bird. The battery cage is the best option for layers because of the egg production, while the deep litter system is good for broilers.
How Large to Produce
The commercial or subsistence scale of production depends on the capacity of a farmer. However, there are fixed costs for commercial production and some recurrent costs for either scale. The fixed costs are required to produce on large scale and they include housing, laying pen, storeroom, poultry cage, water, and power source. The recurrent costs include the cost of purchasing day-old chick, feeds and feeding costs, vaccination and medication, labour, and fuel.
As a beginner in poultry farming, putting into consideration these factors, as well as the management practices needed to successfully raise birds either for commercial market or family consumption, will set you up for success.
General Poultry Management Practices and Risk Management
If properly managed, poultry farming is a very lucrative business that can generate huge returns for farmers. Some best management practices to follow include the following:
- Be observant. This is a very important requirement in poultry farming as infected birds always show symptoms such as withdrawal, colored litter, body changes, etc. Early quarantine will prevent further spread of diseases.
- For maximum productivity, ensure that birds get the required amount of feed and water daily. Doing this will aid growth and proper body functioning as birds spend 70% of their lifespan eating.
- Clean the poultry and its surroundings always especially for day-old chicks because they are more susceptible to disease. Change their litter shavings regularly.
- Protect the poultry birds from the hot sun as it leads to quick dehydration.
- Ensure vaccination of birds as at when due and administer proper medication when necessary.
In all, whether you are about to start your own broiler poultry farm in a deep litter system for meat production or raising layers in a cage system for egg production, we hope this article has provided you with some things to consider to get started on the right track. Best of luck raising poultry in 2022!