What is Poultry Farming?
Wikipedia defines poultry farming as raising of domesticated birds such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese, for the purpose of farming meat or eggs for food. Poultry farms are farms where birds (of different nature) are raised, either for personal consumption or for commercial purposes.
Why Start a Poultry farming?
Poultry farming is already known to be a profitable business, that you can start to do to get extra income. In extensive, poultry farming is basically rearing various types of domestic birds commercially for the purpose of meat, eggs and feather production. But here we are describing chicken farming for guide about chickens. Chicken’s farming is one of the principal supplies of animal protein, aside from pork, beef and fish.
Small scale rooster production satisfies the animal nutrition requirements for a family. But huge scale or business of chicken farming offer an opportunity for the farmer to earn huge amount of money. That’s why there are numerous hen farms accessible. Poultry farming is an appropriate business for the people who are passionate about farm animals farming, preserving birds and who are passionate in farming.
Poultry farming is an exceptionally worthwhile commercial venture if you can run it nicely under suitable strategies and conditions conducive for the birds. Actually, each type of farming business follows specific operational concepts for making right income. And whilst such standards are ignored through the farm management system, it effects in the income serious leading to loses.
So before beginning, it is sensible to learn more about the business. Take your time and try to recognize why some of the poultry farmers make massive earnings and a number of them fail. Some of the farmers, specifically beginners have been pressured out of the agribusiness after they fail to operate it well and consequently lose money. Successful chicken farming commercial business is quite involving with lot of works and it’s easy at the same time. But it’s not a lazy man’s people. You need to do everything well timed and flawlessly according to a plan
Poultry Birds ;Types of poultry birds
Chicken are the most common backyard farm bird and are they are easy to keep. Modern chicken are incredible versatility domesticated animal and benefits include; eggs, they provide meat, they eat bugs, they can have beautiful spangled feathers, they can be great pets and give excellent organic manure.
There are a lot of varieties of chicken but common once are categories as layers, broilers or cross breed.
2. Guinea Fowl
Guinea fowl are African birds most similar in appearance to turkeys, with bald blue heads and speckled bodies. Originally hunted and eventually domesticated, these birds are very low maintenance but most remain at least somewhat wild.
Apart from eggs and meat, many farmers keep guineas to protect flocks of smaller birds, such as chickens, and to reduce pests such as ticks and snakes on the farm.
The, geese are one of the earliest domesticated poultry that can be kept at the farmyard. Benefits include; eggs, meat and can be kept as pets. These large birds also have some unexpected uses. They are used for weeding several broad-leafed crops, such as keeping the growth around plants like strawberries under control while leaving the sweet fruits behind. They also make excellent guard animals, honking loudly at the sign of any intruders or changes. While geese have a reputation of being aggressive, hand-reared ones are usually docile and friendly, all honk and no bite.
Another bird whose behavior usually hovers on the edge of domestication is the quail. Quail are productive layers, averaging more than 200 eggs in a year. These eggs are tiny and speckled, and they are considered a delicacy. Quail meat is also prized, however the breed yields very little per bird
Ducks are also domesticated birds and mainly kept for meat and eggs. Ducks are omnivores and enjoy tadpoles, lizards, and mice as much as lettuce, tomatoes, and bread.
Turkeys are raised primarily for their meat but are becoming more popular as pets. While you are probably familiar with turkey meat from the Thanksgiving tradition, these birds also lay two or three eggs per week that can be scrambled or fried just like chicken eggs.
Simple Step by Step Process for Successful Poultry Farming
Step 1: Planning Your Poultry Hens Business
Starting a poultry farming business is easy and involved with lots of regular work at the same time. It is therefore very important to do proper planning before commencement of the chicken rearing business.
Step 2: Have Your Investment Ready
Poultry farming requires a good money investment. You can arrange the finances by your savings or you can borrow a bank loan. Unless you have other financial sources of income, banks may not approve your loan application for a startup business. As a starter, it is recommended you start with a small number of chickens which will cost you pretty less money.
Step 3: Production Type
First of all, decided the production type of your poultry farm. You can raise broiler chickens for meat production purpose, Kienyeji hens for both meat and eggs or choose layers if you want to produce eggs commercially. Determine your production purpose, select proper poultry breeds according to your desired production and go for the detailed planning. You will learn more about this in chapter 3.
Step 4: Broiler Hens
Broiler poultry farming is a lucrative business. They are highly meat productive breed. But broiler chicken is a special species of poultry, which is a great secret. Broilers are made in a scientific way for producing more meat in a short time. Many people are interested in broilers farming in Kenya but they don`t know how to go about it. This chapter will enlighten you.
Step 5: Layers Hens
Layer poultry farming means raising egg laying poultry birds for the purpose of commercial egg production. In this chapter i will enlighten you about layers hens breeds, how to keep them and what to do to make them lay more eggs.
Step 6: Kienyeji Hens
Improved Kienyeji hens are the hot business in Kenya at the moment. Since the introduction of KARI Improved Indigenous chicken breed, Kenbro breed and Kuroiler; farmers have been smiling to the bank.
Step 7: Selecting Your Farm Location
Selecting a good farm location for your business is very important. You should select such a location which has all required facilities and favorable for your business. It can be slightly far from the town, where land and labor are pretty cheap. But don’t setup the farm too far from the town. Because most of the towns have high density population, and you have to target that market. Also try to avoid setting up the farm in residential areas, because poultry farms produce offensive odor. While selecting the farm location, consider transportation system and medication facilities also.
Step 8: Equipment and Appliances you will need
You need to purchase some equipment for your poultry farm. You will need some equipments such as Feeders, Waterers, Cages, Coops, Crates, Incubator, Egg tray, Lighting instruments, Perches, Brooders or heaters, Ventilation system, Waste disposal system, nests and much more equips for running a poultry farm successfully.
Step 9: Purchasing/Hatching Chicks
After setting everything up and having everything ready, purchase quality chicks from trusted breeder in your area and start caring them. I will also teach you how to hatch your own chicks in this chapter. You will learn how to set a brooder ready before arriving the chicks from breeding house to your farm.
Step 10. Housing Your Hens
After selecting farm location, construct a good house for your birds. There are three types of poultry housing system you can use. Extensive, semi intensive and intensive. For commercial production, intensive system is most convenient. You can raise your birds in floor or in cage system. On an average, broiler poultry needs about 2.5 square feet space and layer poultry needs about 4 square feet space.
Step 11: Feeding Your Poultry
Feeding is the most important part of poultry farming business. After constructing house and purchasing equipment and chicks, you have to spend a large amount of money for feeding your birds. About 70% of your total project expenses will go towards the feeding. And the success in the business also depends on quality and adequate feeding..
Step 12: Health Management
You have to ensure proper medication system in your area. Poultry birds are prone to various types of diseases and you have to be ready for controlling them. You need to learn some of the diseases hens are prone to and how to treat them as well as vaccination schedule for the hens.
Step 13: Accounting, record Keeping & Eggs Storage
Efficient and profitable poultry operations are guaranteed by good record keeping which helps keep track of your expenses and progress of your flock.
Step 14: Marketing Your Poultry Products
Good marketing strategies influence the profit from your business. If you can sell your products in the market easily, then it will encourage you in getting more production. I always recommend determining marketing facilities in your area before starting any farming business. Because your business will not be much profitable if you can’t market your products properly.
Step 15: Farm staffing and manpower
Based on the number of birds, you need more or less manpower/labor. As a beginner, if you start with a minimum number of birds (200-500) then you can manage your farm by yourself easily. If you plan for raising more birds then you will need additional manpower.
Step 16: Tips of making your Poultry business more profitable
Poultry farming is profitable alright, but a lot of people still fail and incur lots of losses in this business all the same. Poultry farming has been in existence for ages and while some people have smiled to the bank and expanded their businesses, a lot have blamed themselves for going into the business.