How-to-start-layer-farm-business-in-Nigeria: Egg farming is a pricey business venture.
But it has its rewards.
Eggs are always in demand, the market for organic eggs is growing, and at the end of their run.
You can sell your laying hens to organic chicken merchants who process chicken meat.
However, in order to start your own egg farm.
You need to have substantial background in production farming.
Not to mention other necessities like machineries, equipment, housing, medications, licenses and permits.
You will also need additional farm hands. Layer farming is more commonly known as chicken egg farming.
The term layer is the shortened form for laying hens or for female chickens that are raised and housed specifically for their egg laying abilities.
Although most farm fresh eggs come from large-scale poultry farms.
A niche is opening now to those who are setting up small-scale organic chicken farms.
If you are thinking of setting up your own business in egg production, there are a few things you have to know.
1. How-to-start-layer-farm-business-in-Nigeria: Who Need Eggs
First of all, eggs are always in demand, both from direct consumers and businesses that use eggs for their products.
Direct consumers may include groceries, restaurants and even fast food outlets.
Businesses that use eggs for their end-products include bakeries, dough makers, biscuit producers, and processed food developers.
The market for eggs is never wanting.
However, in order to start your own egg farm, you need to have substantial background in production farming.
2. How-to-start-layer-farm-business-in-Nigeria: Egg Production Size
Before the commercialization of egg products.
Chickens were allowed to wander freely in the farmers’ backyards.
Scratching at the ground during the day and housed in the barns at night.
Only excess eggs were sold in the market, which left pricing at the sole discretion of the traders.
These days, eggs are being sold by the millions in the US alone and this is on a daily basis.
In order for you, as a new business owner.
To acquire a respectable profit from the layer farming business industry.
You need to produce enough eggs to sell.
Enough that your potential clients can actually distinguish your product from the competition.
Background in production farming is essential.
3. How-to-start-layer-farm-business-in-Nigeria: Layer Farm Startup Cost
Production farming, by the way, is a costly venture, entailing machinery, equipment, housing, medications, licenses and permits, not to mention buying the necessary layers (laying hens) in order to have a successful start.
4. How-to-start-layer-farm-business-in-Nigeria: Basic Knowledge
You need to know basic knowledge in bio-security.
Preventive and curative measures for chicken diseases.
Breed choosing, chick placement, cooling systems, cooling temperatures.
Feeding, harvesting of layers, heating systems, heating temperatures.
Lighting conditions, molting, vaccines, vaccination schedules.
Waste disposal and of course, how to operate the machineries and equipment.
You also need to know when and where you can market your eggs.
And how to transport them for delivery.
There are also egg selling regulations.
And details as to how you can price your products according to egg size, etc.
This is hardly a one man operation.
That means that your need to train your people with production farming as well.
Farm sanitation and environmental impact of the egg farm are areas you should also look into.
Because there are federal laws regarding the disposal of animal waste.
For small scale egg producers.
Organic chicken farming is a better option as opposed to non-organic chicken farming.
For one thing, organic farm eggs can be sold at a higher price than non-organic eggs.
And you have less competition from large-scale poultry farms.
Also, there is an increasing demand for organic produce.
As opposed for the decreasing popularity of commercial produce.
And lastly, chickens organically raised are later “harvested” .
And sold as broilers, giving you organic chicken meat as by product of your organic chicken farming.
If your farm intends to package your organic broilers as well.
You would need additional equipment such as an eviscerated, defeatherer, stun baths, etc.
On a more practical note.
You might want to sell your live layers to other poultry merchants and let them do the chicken processing.
5. Layers breeding:
Here you are breeding your layer chickens with the major aim of having them laying eggs, though you`ll eventually sell them off after they are becoming weak and are no longer laying much eggs as expected (this is usually after 54-70 weeks, about 2 year and 4 months )
6. Poultry feed production.
People in this branch of poultry farming business are producing poultry`s food and selling them to the poultry farmers
7. The Hatcheries.
Here you have people who hatch chicken and other birds. This aspect of poultry farming business is very important (though not common) because the health of a bird is determined by the effectiveness of the hatchery process.
8. Poultry equipment manufacturing.
You guess it. These guys manufacture various equipment needed on the poultry farm.
9. Poultry consultant.
You will need experience in aforementioned niches before you can succeed as a consultant.
Yes, a giant company may be doing all of the above together, but if you`re just starting out, you definitely cannot, because of these two or three reasons;
- Taking all of the above together will require so much capital, but not just that.
- Starting all the above together will not work because poultry farming in Nigeria (or anywhere else), like any other business has a learning curve. For example, when you see a company doing all the above together, their story may look something like: Starting with layers birds for some months, going in to broilers production, expanding to poultry feed production, later hatchery and since they might have spent many years by now, they can now venture into poultry farming consultancy. I`m sure you got that. Start somewhere. Learn and grow.
10. Crisis management.
Did you hear someone said poultry farming business is very risky? That`s not true. Every business is risky, not just poultry. However, starting all the above together (even if you have enough capital) is not advisable because you are putting too many food in your mouth at a time.
11. Housing System
Just as we humans live in various kinds of houses, so are the animals and our chickens.And just as you will want to be careful about how and where you shelter your little children, believe me, chicks and chickens need special attention and care.Though some people live and sleep on the streets of Nigeria, that doesn`t mean that poultry farms could be located just anywhere in NigeriaLet me share with you a few options you have while considering the housing system you will go for.
- Free range system. This is commonly seen around you. Usually people buy chicks and allow them to roam about. Some people care a little to feed them while some do not. This may not be your option is you`re planning to go into the commercial poultry farming in Nigeria.
- Saw dust system. Yes, that`s not the name they call it in the academic world, but since my aim here is to communicate to people and let them understand me. I have to use simplest words possible. Here you will have your birds in a room where you will fill the floor with saw dust. This dust must be changed often or else the odour will be too bad. This could be a good place to start your poultry farming in Nigeria.
- Battery cage system. Here you house your birds inside cages. These cages are of different sizes and structures so as to cater for both the chicks (little chickens) and their older ones respectively. The space for feeding, eggs and dropping have been provided for in this structure. This housing system is the most preferred, but it could be a little expensive than the previous systems.
12. Farm Workers The numbers of staff you’ll need, like other things, depends largely on the size of your intending chicken farm. You will need people to take care of feeding your birds, take care of droppings and wastes, pick eggs and of course market your products, be it eggs or chickens.13. Major Risks
I will love to prepare your mind for some risks (really if I have a better name I would have chosen it so has not to scare you away from poultry business).
If you are a beginner in this game, it will be good for you to be aware of the following threats and prepare yourself for them.
Just as I have told you, life and business are full of risk and there is nothing anyone can do about that, except to prepare for them.
- Disease Outbreak in the Chickens` Farm. This is the biggest one. Just as our little children are prone to disease, so do chicks and chickens. Just as we use different drugs for our children every day at different stages of their growth, so must we do with our chickens. Some precautionary measures are: make sure your farm environment is always very neat, don`t allow any dirty instrument to be kept around, don`t allow visitors in to your poultry farm and don`t just carry or touch your fowls anyhow except your hands have been sterilized very properly. Other issue to consider is…
- Poor Poultry Chickens` Feeds. There are various poultry feeds out there. Before you choose anyone for your birds, make sure you ask people who have been in this business around you before. Telling you a feed to go for here may not be proper since I don`t know where you are and the kinds of poultry feeds available in your area. If your chickens are feed with poor (low nutrients) feeds, it will affect their growth and productivity
- Poultry Employees and Outsiders` Theft. You need to be aware of this… many people are thieves. People steal, and even more in poultry farms (because fowls lay eggs all through the day). Not just eggs, when your farm becomes large, even outsiders find ways to penetrate into your poultry farm and steal. That is why it may not be advisable for you to start your poultry business and not be there yourself.
14. Business strategies:
This is where the real deal is. If we discuss every other things and omit this, nothing is discussed, after all you`re in this game so as to make money.
Even before you start your poultry farm, make sure you investigate and know your market… where you`ll be selling your eggs and chickens. Make contact with some of the egg retailers. Find out the prices they are buying a crate of egg.
Do likewise with the chicken market. Understand the logistics and cost of transportation from your farm to the market you`ll be selling to and appropriately plan for every expenses.
I am sure you know, poultry farming business is not in any way different from other businesses out there. There are competition and there are strategies to win the market.
I strongly advise that you read our tutorial about business strategies.
Just as I discussed in our tutorial about business strategies, the profitability of any business (whether poultry or not) is dependent on the ability of the business owner to make it profitable.
If you take your time to learn ins and outs of business world and apply the right strategies in your market place, you can make good money in the poultry farming business.
15. Always be business-minded
Needless to say, this is a business (and a very serious one for that matter).
Most Nigerians see poultry as a farming, but it’s a business.
If you’re not business-minded, manage every cost, people and the farm professionally, you’re not going to have a lucrative poultry business in Nigeria.
16. Master poultry farming regular vaccinations
It may take some time but it’s what you or your employer have to do __ mastering regular vaccinations calendar of poultry birds.
It may be a good strategy for you to employ someone who has already worked in the poultry industry for some years, so he could use his/her experience to guild you about birds’ vaccines and vaccinations.
17. Get Practical poultry farming training
Your life becomes easier by the time you learn how to leverage on the experience of people who have gone ahead.
Look in your environment for an experienced poultry farmer and attach yourself with him for practical training or consultancy.
Now that you have some ideas of various branches of the multi-billion poultry farming industry, I want to assume further that most people reading this will love to go into either broilers` or layers` breeding.