Why Some People Fail in Poultry Farming
Poultry farming is a worthwhile venture, it’s one of the businesses you can venture into without fear of competition whatsoever. with a good marketing plan and strategy.
Unlike businesses relating to Technology that is dynamic, that is it changes with time. There is constant improvement what is invoke now could be obsolete in the next few years.
Agriculture specifically poultry farming, which is an aspect of livestock production is constantly evolving with new innovations in chicken breeds and farm equipment.
The good thing about poultry farming is that people will always need chicken meat in their diet. Apart from vegetarians. Quite a large percentage of the world population rely on chicken meat as a source of animal protein.
Back to our topic. We are been bombarded with staggering figures about how you can make 100% profit on your investment. Without being told the Nitti gritty and intricacies involved in the entire poultry business.
Poultry farming just like any other business has risk. But with careful planning and determination, you can reduce the risk to the barest minimum.
Before you venture into this poultry farming there are some fundamental issues you need to address which are pivotal to your success.
- Passion and dedication.
- The health of the birds.
- Feeding and the availability of good drinking water.
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Passion and dedication
The poultry business is one business that you can’t do without been actively involved. You must be willing to sacrifice your leisure time. To supervise, observe your birds whether their water, feed, housing, security, etc. are intact.
Even though you have employees, staff that you delicate work to do. It is your hard earn money you invested in the project. Nobody will love it more than you do. It is your passion that will keep you afloat.
Nobody will like to invest his hard earn money in an unsecured environment. Though it depends on the size of your project.
Regardless of the size of your operation. Your poultry farm has to be a good shield from thieves, intruders, cats, stray dogs, and wild animals such as coyotes, jackals, and wolves, etc.
- You can employ the services of a security personal to guard your farm. Take time to walk around your farm properties. Along the fence lines to look for signs of trespassing suspicious and unusual activity.
- Be observant of unfamiliar faces and vehicular movement around your property, be vigilant.
- Family members and employees should report immediately suspicious people, vehicles or activities to you.
- Swing into action by reporting suspicious people, vehicles, and activities to local law enforcement officials such as the local vigilante group or the police.
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Bio-security in the farm is a set of rules and measures put in place to protect your livestock from the introduction and spread of pests and diseases from external sources.
Farm biosecurity is your responsibility and that of every person visiting or working on your property.
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- All vehicles and personnel entering the farm should be disinfected. They should wear protective clothing.
- Animals should be observed and monitored frequently for symptoms of various diseases that affect poultry birds.
- Always maintain complete and accurate animal health records.
- Provide a shed for sick animals in an isolated area away from other healthy animals.
- When feeding your birds always start from the youngest and the healthiest animals before attending to the sick birds.
- Change and disinfect clothes and footwear after working with sick animals.
- Implement and maintain effective nutrition, vaccination, and parasite control programs.
- Quarantine new animals for at least 30 days before introducing them to the herd.
- Always store feed away from sources of contamination such as fuel and chemicals also from rodents.
- Protect feed from contamination by a cat, wild bird, and vermin feces.
- Keep all feed records for at least more than three years.
- Use airtight equipment for feed storage, away from the waste bin.
- Water containers use by the farm should be kept away from roads and other areas easily accessible by passersby and other animals.
- Properly dispose of dead animals far away from farm properties.
- Visitors coming from other poultry farms should be properly screen before allowed access to the farm property.
- Provide coveralls, plastic boot covers, or boots for visitors.
- Use disinfectant on boots, tires, and equipment.
- If you borrow equipment from other farms, disinfect it before and after use.
- Farms should be far apart, don’t share fences with neighboring farms.
The health of the Birds
The success of your poultry farm lies in the health of your birds. Therefore any serious farmer must make a serious effort to ensure that his flock is in good health always. In order to achieve optimal profit and result.
The first step in ensuring a healthy flock is knowing the source of your day-old chicks from the hatchery. The parent stock of your chicks:
- Are they healthy?
- Does the hatchery produce good and healthy chicks?
- Does the farm have good testimonials from other farmers around?
- What about their vaccination schedule?
These are serious questions you must ask yourself before buying from any farm.
A disease is any condition that interferes with the normal functioning of the cells, tissues, organs, and whole-body systems.
Birds that are reared in confinement are often liable to diseases. Therefore it is important for the poultry farmer to put measures in place to ameliorate these problems by ensuring proper:
- Ensure that your birds are given the vaccination, for endemic disease in your locality
- Parasite control.
- Identifying and treating sick birds promptly.
- Separating multi-age flocks to reduce or eliminate infection and transmission of diseases.
- Consulting a veterinarian for medical advice and treatment.
- Cleaning sheds and disinfecting it after each batch.
- Regularly checking fecal droppings and material for any sign of infection.
Feeding and the Availability of good Drinking Water
A standard feed should provide all the nutritional balance diets for your birds. Including minerals and vitamins, however, be sure to get the correct feed for the age and type of chickens you want to feed.
Must farmers will want to opt for home-mixed feed. In order to save cost but end up running into trouble that will cost them more economic loss.
Either due to poor knowledge of the basic ingredients needed or the omission of some basic ingredients. This may lead to a deficiency that will result in:
- Poor uniformity in growth.
- Poor weight gain.
- Poor immune system etc.
Therefore it is imperative that Home mixing of poultry feed for small flock owners should be discouraged.
The home-mixed feed may not equal commercial feed in quality. And is usually easier and less expensive to buy feed from feed stores.
Large feed mills have lower production costs due to larger volume purchases of ingredients. And efficient milling and mixing facilities are done by professionals under stringent and standard conditions.
Chicken requires different size feeders as they grow. The top edge of the feeder should always be at the same height as the back of your chickens.
To allow them to eat comfortably. Feeding troughs should not be filled over half full of feed to avoid excessive waste.
However, birds over 6 weeks of age should be allowed to clean up all of their feed daily. This will keep the feed fresh, improve appetite and your birds will get balanced diets.
Water is Essential in Order to Succeed in Poultry Farming
Water is the liquid of life chickens need a constants supply of fresh clean water daily for proper metabolic activities. Your flock will drink about twice as much water during hot summer weather as during cooler weather.
In order to prevent mortality from heatstroke and high temperature, be sure that your birds do not run out of water. Provide waterers with adequate capacity that will take them for the period you will be absent.
If you are using an automatic water supply system ensure that the water line is flowing properly. check them regularly. Consider using an automatic waterer. The cost is reasonable, labor is saved, and a constant supply of freshwater is assured.
Water is the most critical nutrient for the poultry birds. Daily control and observation of water consumption are essential. If an animal does not drink, it will not eat and cannot produce.
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Housing a key factor in poultry farming
Housing is one of the most important capital intensive project in poultry farming, a poultry farmer will embark upon. The way and manner it is constructed will influence the success of the entire production process.
Therefore it is important that the farmer takes his time to employ the advice and services of an expert in this regard for optimal results.
The ideal house should provide the birds with a comfortable environment and protect them from the extremities of the prevailing climatic condition (rain, wind, sunshine, etc).
The house should provide adequate space for the flock to be kept in the house. The ideal stocking density is two square feet per bird (2 foot²/bird).
In the tropics, the ideal house is open-sided to allow natural ventilation. And have an east-west orientation to minimize the amount of sunlight entering the house directly. Having a verandah to shield excess sun rays will be a good idea.
It is important when constructing the house for your poultry farm the building should be rectangular in shape and have walls not higher than three feet on the longer side. The wall can be made from off-cuts, iron sheets, silver boards, or bricks. The rest of the side of the wall should have a wire mesh for good ventilation.
Cement floors are the best finish as they are easier to clean. There should be a foot-bath at the entrance to the house for those entering the house to disinfect their footwear.
To reduce the risk of rodents gaining entrance into the flock house, clear all the vegetation in area 3-4 meters around the flock house. The feed store should also be separate from the house.
I often hear a lot of poultry farmers especially those rearing broilers. Complain about how they find it very difficult to dispose of or sell their birds. Especially when there is market agglutination usually during festive periods when a lot of people rear broilers for sales.
I honestly think the best strategy is to secure your market first before starting out on your business venture.
Though it’s normal for beginners that are new in the business to face difficulty selling their birds with patience and consistency people around you, your neighbors will get to know.
Locate big restaurants around your area, those with barbecues, middlemen. They might already have their established suppliers but with time your services will soon be needed.
Target festive periods such as Christmas, ‘Eid-el Fitri, and and ‘Eid-el Kabir. If you live up north where there are a lot of Muslims. This is the period you can make cool money because the demand is high due to the high populations of the adherents of the religion.
If you are consistent in producing healthy broilers sooner than later you will have a stream of loyal customers.