8 Easy Steps to Start a Profitable Small-scale Poultry Farming Business in Nigeria

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start a poultry farming business in Nigeria

Most of us know this! Yes, we are aware that finding a good-paying job in Nigeria is almost impossible. Probably, the reason you’re reading this is that you are fed up with having to submit your CV to every job advert you come across. Then you stare at your Email every day, expecting a miracle, which honestly is what finding a job in Nigeria looks like nowadays.

Well, don’t fret! Please don’t give up yet, because I am about to disclose some secret gem hidden insight. Yes, you will learn the 8 simple steps to Start a Profitable Small-scale Poultry Farming Business in Nigeria.

We’ve all at one point in time heard of entrepreneurship. Simply put, being your boss. Thousands of Nigerians are successfully establishing their businesses. They are making decent profits annually from their establishments, but I won’t delve in on that fact because that is what we see every day.

You would, however, be learning one of the highly profitable businesses only a handful of people understand. That secret gem is poultry farming. This is raising and selling birds breeds and their byproducts in exchange for money.

Just like many starters, you might have low capital to start it up, or you may want to test the waters. Whichever’s the case, this piece got you covered.

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What is a Small-scale Poultry Farming Business?

As the name implies, it is raising and selling birds and their byproduct on a low budget. This entails that a minimum labor force is required. In some cases where the number of birds is small, the need for extra hands might not be necessary. Immediate family members can aid in carrying out specific operations.

Poultry farming is considered small scale when the number of birds ranges from 50-500. There are about seven types of poultry farming in Nigeria, they include;

  • Chicken (broilers and layers)
  • Turkey (meat)
  • Guinea Fowl (meat, egg, feathers)
  • Geese (egg, meat, and feathers)
  • Ducks (egg, meat, and feathers)
  • Quail (egg and meat)
  • Pigeon (meat)

Each of them has regions where they are in high demand. Of course, more than one can be in demand in the same area. All you need do is study the local market and access the demands for poultry and their current prices in your preferred location. You can indeed combine more than one type of poultry farming, but it is advised you have ample knowledge and experience before you venture into any poultry business.

Having more than two types can be confusing for a single farmer and a bit more stressful because different types of poultry have similar and distinct characteristics, diseases, and feed preferences, which you as a farmer should know well. If you have little to no knowledge about birds, their health, and their diseases, ensure you sort the help of experienced poultry farmers. Also, keep a veterinary doctor handy.

When deciding on the type of poultry farming to go into, you should think of the housing type that best suits your needs and budget. Some of the poultry housing systems include,

  • Extensive poultry house system (allowing birds to roam)
  • The semi-intensive system (partly intensive and partly free-range, this is commonly used by small scale farmers)
  • Folding units poultry house system 
  • Intensive poultry house system ( deep litter house system and poultry cage house system)

Click here to read more on the types of poultry house systems.

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Essential things you need to start a poultry farming business in Nigeria

  1. Land

To start up your smalls scale poultry in Nigeria, you must secure land first. This can be a space behind your house or a different site altogether. The price of land varies in different regions and locations. A plot of land can be gotten between #600,000 to #2,000,000 in semi-urban areas.

In some rural areas, you can get lands for as low as #300,000 and more downward. The size of land should be dependent on the number of birds and possible future expansions.

  1. Housing

This can be in the form of the simple construction of basic poultry structures, battery cages, free-range, depending on what is convenient and affordable for you.

  1. Electricity

This is used for brooding, feeding, egg production, as so much more. 

  1. Equipment

They include feeding trough, drinking trough, shovels, buckets, etc.

  1. Cartons

Breeders who want to rear day-old chicks should spread cartons on the floor for the first several weeks. Many farmers cover the floors of their brooder pens with wood dust, but studies show that the dust particles are inhaled by the chicks, creating respiratory issues.

  1. Wood Shavings

In the final phases of chicken production, you can use this as flooring. When soaked in poultry excrement, it becomes a high-quality manure that may be sold to crop producers.

  1. Feed/ medicine

An integral part of poultry production. The type and quality of feeding determine production output. Vaccines and drugs for common diseases should be bought alongside bird feeds.

8 Steps to Start A Poultry Farming Business in Nigeria

  1. Educate yourself/ choose the breed of poultry and poultry product

As the saying goes, “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. You cannot just jump into the poultry business or any other type of business without reasonable knowledge and skill of the industry. It’ll only lead you to failure and frustration.

As an aspiring poultry farmer, you need to learn and practice. You can do this either by going for practical classes in poultry farmlands or employing an experienced poultry farmer to put you through. However, you needn’t stop there. You can gather more knowledge from books, articles, and blogs related to your desired niche on your own.

Sourcing information from other poultry farmers and your local market can help you determine the type of poultry and poultry product to venture into. Doing these solidifies your ground and goes a long way to make your ride less bumpy.

  1. Secure your capital

This might be your savings, a loan, grant, etc. This is what you’ll decide to start poultry farming business in Nigeria with. Securing your capital can be done before or after planning your business. Depending on what you want to achieve, you may decide to work according to your budget or source for capital above your budget.

  1. Be strategic

The location of your farm, your target market, the breed of bird, and everything involved in your poultry business should be aligned to accomplish one thing: solving a problem in the area of the establishment and neighboring places. This is a critical factor because solving a non-existent problem or not covering a good number of demands leads to failure or low-profit margin.

  1. Build your poultry pen/purchase equipment

By now, you are aware of the different poultry housings and systems. However, there is one thing you should know regarding long-term production expenses such as pens and poultry equipment: you should strive to build and purchase high-quality ones so they don’t break down or damage over time, causing you to spend additional money on things you might want to avoid.

You should also know that birds are susceptible to rodents, thieves, and animal attacks, including birds of prey. So during construction, ensure that every hole, nook, and cranny is blocked. Younger birds should not be left roaming. 

Your equipment should be cleaned regularly. For metal or zinc-made equipment, always keep them dry and away from bird poop to avoid rusting.

  1. Buy good breeds of birds from trusted hatcheries and supplies

This is of massive importance, dear aspiring entrepreneurs. Your whole effort would be in futility when you buy weak breeds of birds. As a starter, you will indeed record colossal mortality. So I suggest you carefully seek proper guidance from experienced farmers.

Do not look at the price of birds and opt for cheaper ones, although that doesn’t determine the quality. It simply means that the costlier ones are in high demand, meaning that they have been tested and proven to be of more substantial breeds.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t patronize upcoming breeders, but you wouldn’t want to take careless risks as a beginner yourself. Oh, can’t there be massive mortality for more substantial breeds? You might ask. The answer is definitely! There is a possibility, but it now depends on your managerial practices. This is why you should back your knowledge up with guidance from experienced farmers.

  1. Cultivate a good feeding and medication plan

You might decide to make use of local feeds for your birds to save money, fine. But for your tiny babies, ensure you give them quality feed for the first few weeks to strengthen their small bodies and prevent mortality. Then, even when they are bigger, try to supplement their feeding with balanced feeds, vitamins, and boosters.

Those who would want to maintain quality feeding throughout are good, but you should know that the feed price is high. Therefore, you should be careful when feeding your birds to avoid food wastage. Do not keep their feeding trough where they can topple it over or jump on top of it. The best thing is to keep it hanging from a string. 

For medication, always give proper vaccination to your birds and at when due. As a starter, involve a veterinary doctor or an experienced poultry farmer when doing it for the first few times. At least they will help you get vaccines and medications from trusted suppliers. In addition, you would be saving your birds from the chances of vaccine failure, which is extremely harmful to them. Vaccine failure might lead to stunted growth or massive flock clearance.

  1. Employ good marketing strategies

Before sending off your goods to your target market, it is ideal to prepare your market for the arrival of your goods. This should be in the form of advertising your goods. Technology had made it possible for your goods to reach a wider community of consumers, so don’t just leave them on billboards and posters. Post attractive pictures of your birds and eggs on social media pages. 

When the above is accomplished, do not allow the trail to get cold. You will likely get a more significant number of consumers to purchase your goods when you make them available shortly after the advertisement. This doesn’t mean you should stop advertising when your goods are ready for consumption. Instead, make it a routine to increase the consistency of your awareness creation during marketing. This will create a pattern that your customers would recognize.

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Another good marketing strategy is making your birds readily available during festive seasons. This means that from the time of purchase of birds to the time of maturity should be calculated well. This will help you sell out your birds. This strategy would as well increase your customer base.

For farmers raising minor birds, you should avoid selling your goods to wholesalers because this will surely leave a good percentage of your profit to them.

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  1. Be committed and disciplined

It would be best if you cultivated this habit in all your dealings. Raising birds can be difficult and time-consuming, especially at their tender age. Also, there is the fact that you might get a couple of mortality at different stages. These things happen. Losing a bird or two is inevitable; losing 10 to 20 or more is likely.

But no, don’t be scared to take that step. The benefits are massive. However, just like every good thing, hard work, commitment and dedication are the backbones. Securing a good breed is not nearly enough. Seeing to it that you pay close attention to your business is of the utmost priority. It ensures lesser mortality and higher output. 

There you have it; these are the basis to start poultry farming business in Nigeria.

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About the Author

Maryjane C. Chiedozi, a writer with an untamed passion for creativity, research and productivity, all put together to create masterpieces. Maryjane C. Chiedozi is also an author of the novel ‘Our Hearts Beat For Anne’ which can be read exclusively on GoodNovel.

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Op-Ed are articles published by guest authors. We no longer accept guest posts. However, we are still open to adding long-term content contributors to our team of insightful writers. To write for us, please check out inisght.ng/guest-post.

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