The poultry production industry is highly profitable and easy to start. There is no need to have a tertiary qualification to start a chicken farm. Anyone can start a poultry business and the good thing is there is no need for huge land, one can easily start from the backyard. This industry has grown greatly over the past years as many people have ventured into this industry. Sadly many are still scared to start because they think there is no market for chickens of which is not true. Poultry birds and poultry products will always be on-demand.
How to start a poultry farm
Before deciding on the project you intend to embark on, you must first choose the type of poultry business to start. Will you be going with egg production, chick production, broiler production, or will you sell poultry feeds?
These 4 types of businesses are all productive. It’s highly important to do thorough research before investing your money. Do market research, and also get to know the distribution channels that you will employ. You must also decide on the marketing strategies that you will use to get customers. Marketing is highly important for every business, consider marketing as the heart of your business. Because your business will not survive without customers even though you produce the best products. You need customers.
You will also need to do research on financial projections. You need to know how much you’ll need to get your business off the ground and how much your business will make. Once you know how much you need make sure you have more than enough before you start. You don’t want to get stuck along the way because that might lead to great losses. So do careful research and take your time to do this research.
You can visit your extension officer for advice. They have vast knowledge that can benefit you in a great way if you put it into good use. I would advise you to first take some short courses to get some knowledge of the business you’re planning to open. Most courses will take few days to a week or two and they are highly affordable.
Once you have the money and knowledge decide on suppliers. Try to form a good relationship with your suppliers, this will help you negotiate good prices in the near future. Don’t just choose suppliers because they are near or because they are cheap. do research first. Most suppliers are not as good as they look. Prioritize quality over price. For example: if you are going to sell chicks, you need a supplier who will be providing you with high-quality eggs, that have high hatchability. Poor quality eggs might be cheap but you’ll end up having many eggs that don’t hatch, which will be a great loss. Hence, the saying “cheap is expensive” so always prioritize quality over price. The same applies to broiler or egg production, it’s easy to opt for cheap feeds. However, you’ll experience great losses if the feeds you buy are of low quality as they might result in poor performance.
Quality is highly important, for your business to be profitable and for your business’s reputation. Yes, it’s important for your reputation. let look at a simple example: Say you are in the broiler production field and you score a big contract from a restaurant. then you decide to buy cheap feeds to maximize your profit. Since feeds can affect the taste of your meat, if the taste is bad and customers start complaining to the restaurant, you might lose the contract because of cheap feeds. Hence, we advise you to always go for high quality.
Once you’ve acquired sufficient knowledge, done market research, projected financials, and have identified the best suppliers then you’ll be ready to start. I won’t go deep into the production process in this article as there are tons of reads and information on the production process. Besides, you’ll be fully equipped through the training program you attended as advised above.
Work with government institutions and experts
Now you’ll need the right circle around you. There is a saying that goes like this “your network is your net worth” This saying is true. You can reach higher heights just because you have the right people in your circle. If you want to be the best you must learn from the best. This is highly important.
Make sure your business is registered with the department of agriculture, and you have an extension officer who will be working with you. This is highly important. Extension officers are highly useful, whenever the government introduces a program to fund or support farmers, you will be covered because such programs are facilitated by extension officers. There are currently many programs that are geared towards helping and supporting farmers and to access such programs you need extension officers so make sure you are working with one.
Try to apply for seta accreditation to host interns on your farm, this will help you get a well-equipped workforce that you can learn from. Most graduates will join internships to gain practical knowledge. So seta will give you interns and also pay you for hosting them. So you’ll get a workforce and also earn money that can help you expand your business. Remember, Agriculture is one unstable field that is affected by many external factors eg. New diseases might emerge, the climate might change, therefore, hosting fresh graduates will help you stay updated as they will come with updated knowledge that will help you grow your farming business.
Join farmers groups and farming organizations. This helps you in many ways. You will always get updates of any change that might happen to the farming sector, Your farming business might be affected by changes in government policies and regulations, so it’s important to stay updated. You will also get access to new opportunities, as most farmers’ organizations are always looking for ways to improve the farming sector. so there are many benefits you’ll gain from joining farmers groups and organizations.
Attend farmer’s forums, symposiums, and shows. there is a lot to learn from such events. This will also give you an opportunity to network with people you really need in your circle. You’ll also get motivation from the top dogs in the field. The motivation will help you stay focussed and will separate you from graduate you from a small farmer into a commercial farmer. Motivation and networking will keep you on your toes and open many more doors of success and new opportunities.
Build your brand
Building a brand is highly important. a strong reputable brand will distinguish you from many farmers and earn you many customers Click here to learn how you can build your farming brand.