Starting Small and Making It Big in Poultry Farming

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The demand for eggs and poultry meat has been overwhelming and still rising.

In This article, I will take you through all you need to know about the production of table eggs from poultry birds. Poultry farming for egg production, though laborious is a very profitable business. It is a business you could start at a small-scale even in your backyard with as little as 250 birds and begin to expand as you start to make profit.

The birds begin to lay egg daily from twenty weeks old and continue to do so for the next fifteen weeks, at the end of which the exhausted birds are sold off as meat for profit. There are lots of benefits in raising poultry birds, even their wastes, which is cleared off twice a week, can be sold off as manure to plantation owners for additional profits.

Eggs are sold in paper or plastic crates and need little or no packaging

You can Start your poultry farm business with day-old chicks and feed them growers marsh till they are twenty weeks old, at which time you would transfer them to layers cage and begin to feed them layers marsh. But if you are inexperienced and wish to reduce the risk of possible loss, or perhaps you wish to start making profit at once, you may decide to purchase 18 weeks old birds (point of lay) at about 900 or 950 Naira per bird and they will start producing egg within the next two weeks.

For the benefit of complete beginners, below is a detailed breakdown of what the daily routine of running a poultry farm business looks like.

30 minutes farm inspection and 3 hours for:

a. Pumping, Testing the water delivery system and nipple

b. Calculating and evenly distributing one-third of daily feed ration

c. Egg collection

This routine is repeated twice: (12:30 pm and 5:30 pm) daily.

Eggs are sold daily

Feed bought weekly and manure cleared twice a week.

Layers become exhausted after about 15 months and are sold off as old layers for consumption.

New set of chicks and purchased and the same process is repeated.

Success factors to have in mind when starting up a poultry farm business.

There are vital factors to consider and put in place when starting up a profitable poultry business, and here is where many beginners make a lot of mistakes, incurring heavy losses as a result.

Setting up of the poultry pen: The poultry pen should be constructed in such a way as to ensure that it is airy, spacious and comfortable for the birds. The block work for the four corners of the pen should not be more than two couches. The rest of the wall should be covered with wire gauze for security. The roof should be done with asbestos sheet instead of Zinc so as to minimize heat during the hot weather. The things to bear in mind when erecting a poultry pen are; comfort, ventilation, temperature, light, the size of the gutters in relation to the size of the cages you wish to purchase. Getting the poultry house right is so vital to running a profitable and viable poultry business that I recommend contracting the service of an experienced technician for the purpose if you are not familiar with it.

Battery cages: Poultry cages are indispensable in running a large-scale poultry business for profit. The cages come in varied sizes, quality, capacity and price to suit your budget and need and they are equipped with drinking nipples and feeder. It is more hygienic and less laborious. And in addition, it reduces the rate of egg breakage.

Feed: Adequate feeding is very important in running a poultry business and the birds lay eggs according to how well they are fed. As your business begins to grow, you may need to start-up your own feed mill, in order to maximize cost.

Water: water is vital for the survival of the birds, as well as for good sanitation. It is necessary to check the nipples from time to time to ascertain if they are all dispensing water and to ensure there is no leakage also. Leaking nipples will get the birds wet and this constitutes another problem.

Veterinary care: you would also need to contract the service of a competent vet doctor for routine and periodic preventive vaccination for the birds.

Birds: this can be day old or Point of lay birds. When purchasing birds, care must be taking to buy good strains. In Nigeria, there are over 20 different laying strains or trade names of laying chickens.

Poultry attendants, experienced managers and veterinary services are expertise needed.

Land: It goes without over-stressing the need for adequate agricultural land to support expansion, preferable in a non- residential area as wastes may constitute hazard for close neighbors.

Delivery van: As your business grows, you may need to acquire a delivery vehicle for the ease of egg distribution.

Poultry farming for table egg production is a highly profitable venture which you could start-up even in your backyard with as little as five hundred thousand Naira make a turnover that is over 200% of your start-up capital within one year on the sales of eggs alone.


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