HOW TO START A POULTRY FARMING BUSINESS
By Ayoade Apelegan
Poultry farming is a lucrative business as the products from poultry are available for consumption all year round. If you are considering starting a poultry farming business, you will find this article useful. Below are the factors to consider when starting a poultry farming business.
Getting the required knowledge
You need to have a thorough knowledge of any business that you are venturing into. You can’t start a business or invest without understanding key facts about the industry or business venture. You should endeavour to network with other poultry farmers as well as poultry farm association bodies.
It is necessary to carry out research and know about poultry farming business. Getting your hands on available documents can help you in the business venture.
If you happen to know any poultry farm, it is a good idea to visit the place to know the mode of operation, there are also loads of materials on the internet.
The acquired knowledge will give you a clear picture of what you need to know and expect from the business.
Get a poultry farming business plan
After getting the required knowledge about the poultry farming business, the next thing is getting a business plan. The business plan is what will keep you on track when you want to deviate from the business goals.
Importance of having a business plan for your poultry farming business
The business plan should contain all information required to set up the business, the number of people you intend to hire, profit and loss analysis, cash flow analysis and the projected earnings from the poultry farm. The business plan is also used to:
To raise money for your business
To make sound decisions
To help identify potential weaknesses
To communicate ideas with stakeholders
Information contained in a business plan are:
- An overview of the poultry farming business
- Executive Summary
- General company description
- SWOT analysis
- Market Research
- Your Strategy
- The Team
- A marketing plan
- An operational plan
- Financial projection
- An appendix
Read about why you need a business plan
Registration of business
One of the first things to consider when setting up a business is business registration. The benefits of registering a business cannot be overemphasized. Some of the benefits are:
Building trust and reputation: Registering a business gives potential customers the confidence that they are dealing with a reputable organization.
In Nigeria, one of the requirements of opening and operating a corporate bank account is the certificate of incorporation. A certificate of incorporation is issued by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), which is the body authorized to carry out registration of business names.
Choosing a type of bird
Before starting a poultry business, choosing a type of bird is top of the list of things that should be considered. Birds are reared and purchased by people for different reasons.
Some of these reasons are:
- Some of the birds available for poultry farming are:
- Guinea fowl
Choose a niche in the poultry sector
Besides choosing a type of bird for poultry farming, one more thing to be considered is choosing a niche in the poultry sector. These are the niches that exist in poultry:
Broiler Poultry: this is the type of poultry farming where birds [chicken] are bred and raised for meat production.
Layer Poultry: this is a type of poultry farming that deals with raising egg-laying poultry birds for commercial egg production.
Poultry feed production: poultry feed production involves producing food for farm poultry. Poultry feeds are known as “complete” feeds, this is because they contain all the protein, energy, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients necessary for proper growth, egg production, and health of birds.
Hatchery: hatchery farming is the production of birds for sale.
Egg and meat processing
Securing a Farm location
In setting up a poultry farm, some factors need to be put into consideration. Factors to consider when securing a land/location for your poultry business are:
Distance to residential areas: to avoid clashes with the relevant government agencies and potential customers, your poultry farm should be sited far from residential areas. One major reason for this is the fact that foul odours are associated with poultry farms.
Topography: is the arrangement of the natural and artificial physical features of an area. A poultry farmhouse should be constructed on a levelled site. Hilly and rolling sites should be avoided as you will spend more money on grading the site to make it a levelled ground during construction. Low-lying areas near streams and rivers should be avoided as these areas are prone to flood.
Other factors are:
- Source of water
- Road network
- Nearness to market
Funding for your poultry farm business
There are numerous funding options available to help finance your poultry farming business. Some of these options are:
Loans: Other ways of funding include loans from friends and family, commercial banks. To access bank loans, one would have to write a bankable proposal.
When writing a bankable proposal take into account the following steps:
- Familiarize yourself with the responsibilities of each financial organization
- Prepare funding request based on their priorities
- Get a copy of their template and use it to develop your proposal
- Formally submit your proposal
Bank of Agriculture: Bank of Agriculture is a Nigerian government-sponsored bank that provides agricultural credit facilities to support all agricultural value chain activities, provide non-agricultural microcredit, savings mobilization, capacity development through cooperative development of agricultural information system and provision of technical support and financial advisory services.
Savings: This involves funding from personal savings.
Bank of Industry: Bank of Industry provides financial assistance for the establishment of large, medium and small projects as well as the expansion, diversification and modernization of existing enterprises.
Bank loans: Bank loans are one of the most common forms of finance for small and medium-sized enterprises. It can be capital/principal repayment or interest-only and can be structured to meet the business’s needs. Bank loans can be short term or long term depending on the purpose of the loan.
Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF): The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) was established by the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Law 2016 to provide financial support to residents of Lagos State.
Angel Investors: Funds for starting a business can be raised through Angel Investors. Angel Investors are individuals that provide capital for a business in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity.
Crowdfunding: This is the process of raising capital through the collective effort of a large number of people mainly through the internet. Examples of crowdfunding sites are: Kickstarter, RocketHub, gofundme, CircleUp
Getting the required equipment for your poultry farm
List of required equipment for a poultry farm are:
Feeders and drinkers: these are feeding equipment used in poultry. Feeds are kept in the feeder while drinking water is put in the drinker.
Egg Incubator: this is a device used in keeping eggs warm at a specified range of temperature range and humidity to hatch the eggs.
Image of an egg incubator
Image source: www.pinterest.com
Battery cage: these are housing systems for birds. They are primarily used for egg-laying hens.
Coop: a coop is a small house where chicken and other birds are kept. It serves a perch on which birds can sleep and also for egg-laying. They are small cages.
Egg crates: these are used for holding the eggs. They are also known as egg trays.
image source: www.pinterest.com
Brooders/heaters: these are heated enclosures for raising baby poultry.
Other equipments are:
- Ventilation system
- Waste disposal system
- Source of water
- Lighting and heat system
- Waste disposal system
Construction of poultry house
Housing systems are important for the success of poultry farming. Housing systems for poultry should be constructed in a way that the birds are protected from direct sunlight, rain, pests and rodents.
Types of housing system are:
The free-range poultry housing is a system where the birds are allowed to roam freely outdoors and search for food on their own rather than being confined to an enclosure.
Deep Litter System
This is a type of housing system that involves spreading of litters [straw, sawdust or wood shavings] in layers on the floor. The floor is cleared by either clearing the wood shavings or replacing with a new set or by layering. It is a form of waste management in poultry farming. An initial layer of litter which serves as bedding materials is spread on the floor. New layers of litters are added when the initial layers become soiled.
Battery Cage System
The battery cage system is a type of housing system where the birds are confined to a cage. The cages are fitted with feeders and drinkers, as well as nests.
In the type of housing system, bird droppings are allowed to fall on the floor and are cleaned thereafter.
Image of a battery cage
Semi-fold housing system
This is a type of poultry housing system where birds are raised both in the range and in a confinement.
Hiring of Staff
For poultry farming, the number of staff depends on the size of the farm. However, the following staff should be employed:
- A veterinary doctor
- A farm manager
- A farm attendant
- A security guard
- An Accountant
Get Insurance for your business
You must get insurance an insurance cover for your poultry farming business. Insurance protects your business against unforeseen circumstances and events that might occur during running your business. Insurance for your poultry farming business will cover the following:
Poultry farming is a high waste generating business. Wastes are generated on the farm daily. An arrangement should be made with the relevant waste management agency for the prompt evacuation of generated waste daily.
Poultry droppings: waste generated from the poultry farm can also be processed into manure.
Build an Online Presence
Studies have shown that people seek information online when they need information about products and services. Online presence covers both website and social media profiles.
You should ensure that during a search on the internet, your website comes out top in the search results. Among other things, you should ensure is that your website is easy to navigate and should be responsive for mobile devices.
Marketing your poultry farm business
Marketing deals with attracting and educating people about a product or service. The poultry farming business is also not left out in this regard, as your business needs to stand out in the market.
Below are some ways to market your poultry farming business:
Your social media profile is also a marketing tool. Social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, can be used to maintain existing relationships with customers, as well as to get leads and gain more customers.
Sharing of Handbills/Flyers/Posters
Sharing of flyers and handbills is an effective way of promoting your business. Flyers and handbills contain information about your business.
Conducting market research for a business prospect is essential, as it allows you to know if a business idea will work. For a poultry farming business, market research allows you to know which niche in the poultry farm will be good for you to venture in to. The market survey ensures that the market for your poultry farm products is available and that the asking price and cost of running the farm are similar to those of your competitors.
Get the necessary licenses and permits
It is necessary to obtain the required licenses and permits from the local, state and the federal government as well as relevant associations as the case may be, this is to ensure that the operations of the farm are not in any way affected by fines and sanctions.
Read about post-incorporation requirements of a business in Nigeria
Getting the proper feed for your birds is important for their growth and development.
Feed ingredients can be purchased from the market and the poultry feed prepared by you or you can purchase the already-made poultry feeds from the market. Talk to your veterinary doctor on the correct type of feed suitable for your birds.
Depending on the niche of poultry you engage in, products from your farm can be sold in the following forms:
Bird droppings can be sold as manure to farmers
Feathers can be sold to furniture makers and dressmakers
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