I know you have been searching for a reliable article on Poultry Business, you have just found the right information.
Poultry is generally known as meat from domestic fowl (chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese e.t.c) or eggs.
On this article I will be talking on CHICKEN (Broilers and Layers only)
- Egg production (Layers breeding)
- Meat production (Broilers breeding)
To start a poultry business you have to consider the following factors
- What type of bird will you focusing on:
o Domestic fowl or Chicken (Broilers and layers)
- Guinea fowl
- Total Cost for investment (Startup Capital).
- The housing system.
- Feed type and Feed stage
- Poultry Equipment
As I said earlier we will discuss only on Broilers and Layers.
HOW TO DOMESTICATE/REAR BROILERS AND/OR LAYERS
To start domesticating a Broiler it is not advisable to start from a day old because the mortality rate will be very high (3-4 weeks preferable). For layer it is advisable to start rearing from 5weeks old.
After considering the above factors, as a farmer you must be able to identify a Broiler and a Layer.
- Broilers: bred and raised specifically for meat production. They grow within 1-8 weeks, on the 8th week they are ready for slaughter on commercial standard. (Mostly we eat chicken of 7-8 weeks old at the eatery). Farmers can decide not to slaughter and leave it for over 8 weeks for an attractive market. A good well fed Broiler looks giant than a layer.
- Layers: bred and raised specifically for Egg production. They grow within 1-22 weeks before they start laying eggs. If well fed in a day minimum of 70% out of 100% will lay 1 egg each depending on the numbers of Layers you stocked. They Lay eggs for 11/2 to 2 years.
Another factor to consider is the poultry housing system . Poultry housing system determines up to 40% of the rater of success you would achieve in poultry farming. A good housing system is very important for your poultry farm. The housing system commonly used in poultry farming are-:
- Extensive system: Range and fold unit
- Semi Intensive system: Standard semi intensive unit and straw yard
- Intensive system: i. Deep litter, ii. Wire and slated floor, iii. Straw yard, iv. Battery cage
- Free Range System-: Under free range poultry farming system, chickens are allowed to roam around on their own in search for food. This system cannot be used for commercial poultry farming because of the high level of risks involved.
b.Deep Litter System-: This system involves spreading wood shavings or saw dust on a concrete ground with the chickens placed on the floor and the dust serving as a ‘cushion’ for them. The dust is changed regularly, either by removing and replacing or by layering. Deep litter system is used by a lot of poultry farmers because it increases efficiency and makes it easier to manage large flocks of birds but it allows for a faster spread of diseases when there is an outbreak and also makes it difficult to fish out unproductive birds.
- Battery Cage System-: As for the battery cage system, metal cages are constructed inside a building to house the birds. The cages are usually split into different compartments to house small groups of birds. The cages also contain feeding and water troughs as well as laying nests. Bird droppings fall on the floor and are cleaned mechanically by a scraper. This method is considered to be the most effective for egg production but the major downside of this method is that it is more expensive to construct and maintain compared to other forms of poultry housing systems.
If you are running a poultry farm for commercial purposes and you intend getting the best out of the business; with respect to high birds’ productivity and efficiency. Then you should consider housing your birds using the intensive system. Note that each of the three housing system has its own advantages and disadvantages. Lastly, your poultry housing structure should be built at a particular angle; taking sunlight and wind into consideration.
FEED TYPE AND FEED STAGE
Most farmers are always confused at this very stage not knowing the proper feed to give to their birds. I will explain in a very simple way.
In the Agric. Market there are different industries making feed for poultry birds and other animals, while some farmers compound Feeds themselves and feed their Poultry birds. In my next article I will tell you which one is best either Compounding feed yourself or buying already made feed.
Below are the feed type and feed stage of Broilers and Layers
- Broilers: Feed type– Broilers Starters Mash and Broilers Finishers Mash
Feed Stage :1-4 weeks —- Broilers Starters Mash
4-8 weeks—-Broilers finishers Mash
- Layers: Feed type— Chick Mash, Growers Mash and Layers Mash
Feed Stage: 1-5 weeks — Chicks Mash
5-22 weeks—-Growers Mash
22 weeks or when production as reached 15-20%—-Layers Mash.
For the layers feeding stage, farmer should keep on feeding Layers with Growers mash from 22 week till 15%-20% of the Layers Bird start producing/laying eggs, then the farmer can now switch his/her feed type to Layers Mash. If the farmer should switch to Layers mash directly on the 22 week without 15%-20% drops of eggs from the Layers, there would be little Production of eggs among the birds.