How to Start Poultry Farming in Nigeria
In this post, you will learn the practical guide on how to start poultry farming in Nigeria as well as ways to start without investing heavily for non-poultry experts.
Poultry farming is super profitable in Nigeria. Fortunately, certain policies of the Federal government have greatly assisted poultry farmers brought about greater profit as demands seem to be growing on a daily basis. If you are interested in starting poultry farming in Nigeria, then, by all means, continue reading this piece.
While poultry farming is profitable, it is also cheap but demanding. If you are venturing into poultry farming full time then it would make more sense since you will personally supervise your birds or poultry. If you are planning on putting someone in charge, you are more likely to experience greater challenges as there have been reports of exploitation, negligence, and theft with this method. So it is up to you to decide the way to go and how you plan on handling your poultry. You might want to take a look at our feasibility study and fish farming guide in Nigeria.
Benefits of Poultry Farming in Nigeria
First, let’s take a look at the benefits of starting your poultry farm:
- Commercial poultry farming provides employment opportunities for the unemployed. It is also a type of business that produces a healthier country with the availability of protein food sources in the form of egg and meat.
- Also, everyone eats poultry food because we must eat to stay alive. This is why poultry birds like chickens, turkeys, and more feed millions of homes every day.
- Additionally, poultry birds grow quite fast. For example, you can rear your chicken to maturity within 28 weeks and it is ready to be sold in the market. Also, it takes 21 days for a chicken’s eggs to hatch but you can shorten the hatch time by using an incubator. Generally, poultry animals especially turkeys, chickens, guinea fowls, and more have a fast reproduction and growth rate.
- Overall, the poultry business is an excellent business idea with a high ROI.
Some of the popular types of birds that can be reared in Nigeria include chickens (broilers & layers), turkeys, guinea fowls, quails, peacocks, ducks, geese, etc. We have highlighted the popular poultry birds that are reared in Nigeria below
Popular Poultry Birds in Nigeria
Chickens have been a part of farmyards for thousands of years, for centuries, as a matter of fact. These birds are extremely versatile and this is quite unique considering the fact that the chicken is a domesticated animal. Some of the functions of chickens including laying delicious eggs, providing meat, getting riding of insects, providing beautiful feathers and organic manure to your farm.
In Nigeria, chicken farming is the most popular type of poultry farming. You can either grow layers or broilers or you can choose to rear these two breeds.
Your choice of the breed will help you determine if you want to go into meat production which is why broilers are raised or egg production, which is why layers are raised. Every breed has its main specific purpose.
Layers are used for commercial egg production and if you want to produce eggs commercially, select highly productive layer breeds.
Broilers are fast growing poultry breeds and they usually gain slaughter weight within a very short time by consuming a certain amount of food. Another popular type of broiler is the cockerel. However, cockerels grow slower than other breeds but very hardy and can survive in almost any type of environment.
Another popular type of poultry bird that is reared in Nigeria is the turkey. In fact, there is a very high demand for turkey meat in Nigeria because of its delicious taste. The origin of turkeys can be traced to over 2000 years ago when the birds were first domesticated. Generally, turkeys are raised primarily for their meats.
In America, turkey is an integral part of the Thanksgiving culture but in Nigeria, the bird features prominently in the meals of millions of Nigerians. Although these birds lay two or three eggs per week, they are more popular for their meat than their eggs.
3. Guinea Fowl
Guinea fowls originate from Africa and they are quite similar in appearance to turkeys, with bald blue heads and speckled bodies. They were originally hunted before being domesticated. It is very easy to maintain guinea fowls and many farmers tend to keep them in open spaces without any shelter.
They are also known to fly high enough into trees which keep them safe from predators. Most time, guinea fowls eat almost no food but they are experts at foraging and they love little insects like ticks.
In Nigeria, these birds are known more for their eggs than their meat. They usually lay eggs seasonally, laying about 30 a year. Their meat is also tasty and it is said to be more flavorful than chicken.
Farmers also keep guinea fowls to protect other poultry birds and to reduce pests such as ticks and snakes on the farm. Guineas, as they are popularly called, are fearless hunters and when confronted with snakes, mice or rats, they won’t shrink back.
However, guinea fowls are very loud birds and tend to make a lot of noise but their characteristic of being low maintenance makes them an interesting choice for poultry farmers.
Duck consumption is an interesting delicacy in Nigeria and ducking rearing is quite profitable. Domestic ducks are waterfowls and are usually raised mainly in regions of high rainfall, riverine districts of the tropics.
In Nigeria, most of the ducks rearing in the country are raised on a free-range system alongside with domestic chickens. The most popular species in the country are Muscovy, White Pekins, Buff, Blue Swedish, Aylesbury, etc.
You can start the rearing with a foundation stock, which is sold for N20,000 depending on the breed. Typically, a unit is made up of 1 male and 3 females.
Ducks are highly resistant to diseases however; rearing these birds is not popular because there are cultural beliefs that portray ducks as mystique birds.
Over the years, these beliefs have been replaced with the fact that there are several economic and nutritional benefits when it comes to rearing ducks.
One of the advantages of rearing ducks is their unique ability to digest fiber and protein food relatively more efficiently than chickens. This is an excellent advantage because it makes it cheaper to rearing ducks when compared to chicken based on the lower cost of feed.
Ducks can also be reared without shelter under the free-range system which requires minimal attention by the farmer. In this case, the birds tend to feed on grasses, seeds, insects, worms, etc.
Also, ducks can lay up to 100 eggs per year depending on the species and they usually start quite early. The average duck starts laying eggs at about 4 months old. Overall, the reproductive circle of duck comprises of 3 phases: laying phase: 15 days, incubation phase: 28-30 days, brooding phase: 60-63 days.
Step by Step on how to start poultry farming in Nigeria
Step #1: Create a business plan
When you decide to start a poultry farm, the first thing you should do is create a business plan. You can read about the 5 steps to developing a solid business plan and also go through our step by step guide on how to develop a good business plan. In all, your plan should have the following information:
This is one of the major costs that you will incur when starting out and you should include this cost in your business plan. But you can cut costs by finding a location in a very remote rural area which will cost far less than the one close to the urban area. Choosing a remote rural area is a good idea but you should ensure that the location also offers other benefits like the lower cost of labour.
The cost of your location is just one of the features in your business plan. You will also need to include the total capital that you will need to get started. Generally, your capital depends on the scale of your business. For instance, a medium-scale poultry business will cost less than a large scale business.
We have highlighted the potential capital outlay depending on the type of poultry business you are starting.
- Small scale – The estimate of this type of business is ₦100,000. You can start with as little as 50 birds in the backyard of your residence.
- Medium-scale – The cost of a medium scale business range between ₦500,000 – ₦5 million because you need to construct a proper house for the birds and the housing will be sited on either a plot or 2 plots of lands.
- Large scale – This type of business requires an estimated ₦10 million to get started because it involves a lot of sophistication, professionalism and advanced poultry farming techniques.
Step #2: Select your farm location
Once you have included the essentials in your business plan the next step is to take action. You can start your poultry farming with a plot of land. Generally, a plot of land of 120*60 square meters is suitable for a medium-sized poultry farm in Nigeria. It is expected that the size of the land will depend on the number of birds you want to raise and the farming system.
The process of acquiring land is the most expensive part of commercial poultry farming business in Nigeria. You can buy your poultry farm far from the town or big cities. It is important that you select a fresh environment and pollution-free area.
Buying land in a rural area is usually cheaper and free from pollution. If you are thinking of using a rented land for your poultry farming this might be a bad idea.
Step #3: Set up your poultry farm
Typically, the type of location usually chosen depends on the types of poultry farming systems being adopted. You can either raise your bird in an extensive system, semi-intensive system or intensive poultry farming system.
Generally, you can start a small scale a poultry farm deep litter system in that plot of land of yours by rearing 500 broilers from day chicks to an 8-week period where you can sell them between N1000 and N2000 each.
When building your poultry farms, the items you need include feeders, heaters or brooders, incubator, chick box, fly tray, poultry plucker rubber finger, egg tray, poultry incubator controller, laying nest, egg scale, egg washer, water pots, and drinkers, cages and coops
The type of poultry house you choose will go a long way to determine the success of your poultry farm. But apart from the poultry housing, many facilities, and equipment that ensure the success of your poultry farm include the following: egg trays, feeders, drinkers, lighting systems, nests, crates, incubators, heaters, waste disposal systems, etc. If the facilities are adequate, the birds will thrive well.
The two popular systems in chicken rearing are the battery cage system and the deep litter system. The battery cage system involves putting the birds in specially designed cages. The advantages of the system include the prevention of disease incidence because the birds don’t come in contact with droppings that may cause infection but this system is capital intensive.
On the other hand, the deep litter system involves rearing the chicken on the floor covered with saw duct. This system involves rearing the chicken on the floor covered with saw duct. Generally, the capital required for the deep litter system is not so much.
There is also the free-roam type of poultry farming. In this system, chicks are bought and allowed to roam about feeding themselves. However, this system is suitable for anyone who wants aggressive production for wide-scale commercial use because the birds could go missing or worse.
The good housing is very important for commercial poultry farming in Nigeria but your choice of housing depends on the poultry breeds and farming method. The design of your poultry house will differ depending on the type of poultry raising method that is adopted.
Some of the features of a suitable poultry house include:
- The poultry house must be well ventilated because excellent ventilation keeps the bird healthy and productive.
- The house should also be suitable to allow an adequate amount of fresh air and light inside the house. You can build the house in such a way the building is faced from north to south. If you’re building several poultry houses, the distance between one house to another house would be about 40 feet.
When bringing in the birds to the farm, you should clean the house and the entire farm area properly. If it is a deep litter system ensure that it is cleaned regularly. You can use cheap materials like wooden or rice bran to make the litter.
It is important that the feeding and watering equipment is kept in proper distance from each other according to the number of birds and farming systems. You should also clean the equipment regularly.
There should also be a schedule assessment of the birds to ensure that they are free from all types of animals, insects or predators.
It is essential that the poultry bird is located in a calm and quiet place free from pollution and noise. The house must also have all types of required facilities for poultry birds.
Also, when you give your birds good quality food, your birds will be healthy and highly productive.
Step #4: Care of your birds
Poultry birds are very sensitive and can get infected by diseases easily. Generally, they are affected by viral, bacterial, fungal, nutritional and parasitic diseases. Regular vaccination is an essential requirement if you want to keep your birds disease-free, healthy and productive. But if your birds get infected, you should get your vet doctor to diagnose and treat the ailment as soon as possible.
However, the most important aspect of care is the food you provide your birds. If you don’t give your birds good quality they won’t thrive. In fact, feeding should account for a large percentage of your total expenses in the business. If you run a small scale business, you can buy feeds from the local market. On the other hand, if your business is a large scale, it is more cost-effective to manufacture your poultry feeds.
Also, a large chunk of your expenses should be dedicated to medicines and vaccines. And as stated earlier, you should vaccinate your birds regularly because when your birds are healthy they can help you generate a huge return on your investment.
Once you can follow these steps in taking care of your birds, you are certain that your poultry farm will be highly successful. Interesting, the market for poultry meat and egg in Nigeria is quite vast. In fact, there is a need to import chicken and turkey meat into the country because the country’s demand is currently not enough to meet the present supply.
Generally, modern poultry breeds are highly productive and commercial rearing is quite profitable. Specifically, when it comes to chicken rearing, modern layers are known to produce more eggs than traditional breeds and modern broilers also grow faster than their traditional counterparts. Whatever the case, selecting the right breed for commercial production depends on you.
Step #5: Marketing
Marketing is also an important aspect of poultry farming. In fact, you won’t be able to generate sufficient revenue if you don’t market your poultry products. However, there exists a market for these products so the marketing part of the business shouldn’t be so difficult. All you need to do is to identify your target market and find ways to take your product to these areas.
Overall, poultry farming is definitely a lucrative business and you can get started from where you are and scale up gradually. Also, the information provided in this guide should go a long way in helping you launch your poultry business.