Have you been thinking of starting a poultry business, but you don’t know how to go about it? Good thing you have me right? I’ll walk you through the basics of broiler production.
Some characteristics of broiler production include
- It can be highly profitable ( between 20-50% return on capital if well managed)
- It is NOT environmental friendly, terrible odours and greenhouse gases are frequently produced
- It entails some degree of hard work (back breaking if you ask me).
- Waste materials can be recycled/ sold for extra cash (poultry droppings, used feed bags, etc.)
Steps to setting up a poultry farm
- Determine the number of birds you want to start with.
- Get an area suitable such as a cage, a pen or an empty room
- Based on the number of birds you want, you will need a light source (e.g. electricity, charcoal, kerosene stove or gas stove), wood shavings, drinkers, feeders, nylon or polythene bags(for brooding) drugs, vaccines and of course poultry feed.
- Get your area ready; wash, disinfect, fumigate (if necessary) and allow to sit for two weeks, so as to starve any surviving disease causing agents. If you are purchasing already brooded birds, skip to step 10
- Book for your birds; if you would like to purchase day old birds, popular farms such as CHI, Zartech and Obansanjo farms have hatcheries and deliver day old birds every Tuesday and Friday. Look up their contacts online, place your order, pay and wait for your birds to get to you (I’ve been doing this with Zartech for a while with no trouble).
- On the day of the arrival of your birds, re-prep your space; rewash if needed, spread your wood shavings, arrange your feeders and drinkers, turn on your heat source. I like to place old newspapers on the wood shavings to monitor the droppings for the first few days.
- Prepare a foot dip, this consists of a disinfectant in a bowl or tray placed at the door of the pen or room, attendants are to dip their feet before entering the pen. This helps to prevent the spread of diseases
- On the arrival of the birds place them immediately in the pen, count quickly if you need to do so, remove and burn/bury dead birds.
- Monitor the birds for 30 minutes – I hour. Administer drugs, water and food as required.
- Ensure the heat remains constant until your birds have developed sufficient feathers to withstand the cold. It takes 1-3 weeks depending on the weather.
- Follow daily routine management practices, they include;
- Remove dead birds.
- Run your fingers through overnight feeds to remove faeces and particles of wood shavings.
- Refill feeders if necessary.
- Remove drinkers, wash and serve clean cool water.
- Occasional management practices include;
- Change the litter if it becomes wet and smelly.
- Administer vaccines as required
- Observe your birds for any signs of illness such as droopiness (uncontrolled sleeping), difficulty in breathing and blood in their faeces. Isolate sick birds and consult a vet doctor immediately.
Vaccine and drug schedule for broilers
|1||Glucose in water for 1 hour upon arrival
Neoceryl and vitalyte for 3 days
|7||1st Gumboro vaccine|
|14||1st Lasota vaccine|
|21||2nd Gumboro vaccine|
|28||2nd Lasota vaccine|
*this is a personal schedule, feel free to use any variation that suits you.
Feed regimen for broilers
|1-14||Broiler pre-starter or super-starter|
*this is a personal regimen, feel free to use any variation that suits you.
*some commercial feed companies do not produce pre-starters or super-starters, starter ration is fed for the first 4 weeks.
*birds should be provided with constant feed and water for the first 4 weeks (ad libitum).
Did I miss out any step? Is there something else you would like to know? Let me know in the comments. See you in my next post!