Poultry Farming is the process in which a variety of different domestic birds are raised for their eggs, feathers, and meat.
First things first, you’ll need to decide what type of poultry farm you want to start. We’ve got a comprehensive breakdown of the different types of birds you can choose from to get you started.
Choosing the right location is also crucial to the success of your poultry farm. We’ll provide tips on how to find a suitable and accessible location for your feathered friends.
Of course, you’ll need to equip your farm with the essentials to keep your birds healthy and happy. We’ve compiled a list of must-have equipment for your small-scale poultry farm.
And before you jump headfirst into this new venture, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of poultry farming, so you can make an informed decision.
So, whether you’re a complete novice or have some experience under your belt, this guide will provide you with everything you need to start your poultry farming journey.
Poultry Farming – How to Get Started
Before you start poultry farming, you need to determine what type of poultry farm you would like to have. If you want to focus on the sale of eggs then the type of chicken you will need is known as layer chickens (specifically raised for egg production).
Here is a small breakdown of the different types of birds you can choose from for your poultry farm:
- Broiler Chickens – Used only for meat production
- Layer Chickens – Used only for laying eggs
- Turkeys – For Thanksgiving and the festive period
- Guinea Fowl – Can be used to control ticks on the farm
- Quails – Eggs used for medicine
As a beginner, you need to determine your target audience and cater to the gap you identified during market research.
The next key consideration is the location of your poultry farm. It needs to be in an area you can travel to without much difficulty and cater to the type of bird you wish to keep.
As your income from the farm grows and you expand the breeds you keep, you can always make amendments or even upgrade to a location with more space.
Broiler poultry for example, is a very good option for a beginner due to the high demand for the meat and low maintenance.
They need approximately 27 square foot (2.5 square meters) of space per chicken. So, for a farm with 100 Broiler poultry you would need a location that has a minimum of 2700 square foot (250 square meters).
Ensure that there is proper lighting in place and ventilation to keep the poultry as healthy and happy as they can be. This will also show in the quality of the meat.
What Equipment Do You Need for Poultry Farming at Home?
Here are some common items that you will need for your poultry farm. As a small-scale farm, you will not need too many tools but it pays to know the different equipment available and understand what they do should the need ever arise.
Remember, happy and healthy chickens will ultimately lead to better meat, bigger eggs, and more vibrant feathers.
This is not an exhaustive list but covers everything you will need as a small-scale poultry farm:
- Ventilation System – If you keep Broiler poultry, you do not need anything fancy in terms of ventilation. A simple Poultry fan mounted on the roof with inlets installed into side walls will remove the stale air and also help prevent dust build-up.
- Waterers – A nipple watering system is highly regarded as the best option due to its versatility and efficient design. They work by supplying water in a drop-by-drop fashion to avoid wastage. A single nipple watering system can accommodate up to 16 birds.
- Feeders – Feeders are a great way to automate the feeding process for your birds. A centralized distribution mechanism feeds the plates along the lines of food that is kept fresh in amounts that are pre-set. They are also height adjustable and have a large access space to ensure no birds are injured or have to compete for space.
- Cages – Cages are particularly useful for layer birds and maximizing the space you have to get as many birds as possible. They ensure each chicken has a comfortable amount of space and prevents them from pecking at each other. It also removes a lot of the manual labor of collecting eggs.
- Waste Disposal System – From Poultry Manure to dead birds, ensure you have adequate procedures in place to keep your farm clean. For example, by rendering you are converting the entire poultry waste into animal feed and it is also preventing environmental pollution by disposing of all biological waste.
Pros and Cons of Poultry Farming
Poultry farming can be beneficial to the environment, a part from being a very profitable business.
There is a common misconception that many people have when it comes to poultry farming of thousands of birds crammed into small cages but this isn’t the case.
Chicken is one of the most consumed meat products in the world today and poultry farmers provide an invaluable service to meat lovers.
Advantages of Running a Poultry Farm
- You don’t need a lot of capital to get started with a small-scale farm and profits can quickly start adding up once you become established.
- There isn’t much maintenance if the proper planning and thought are put into your farm as discussed in this article. A lot of the manual labor work that had to be done in the past is now automated.
- Many governments have lending programs in place to support this type of venture and banks love to support any kind of local farmer.
Disadvantages of Running a Poultry Farm
- If you do not take care of your birds and keep your farm clean, all of your chickens can be wiped out by a single disease. Although unlikely, it can happen.
- If your farm is close to a busy neighborhood, many complaints can be logged due to noise or smell pollution.
- Can be an annoyance for your family as leftover feed will attract vermin so you must be proactive to mitigate this.
In conclusion, poultry farming can be a profitable and rewarding venture for beginners, but it requires careful planning and attention to detail.
Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind when starting a poultry farm:
- Start on a small scale to gain a deeper understanding of poultry farming and master the basics.
- Determine your target audience and cater to the gap you identified during market research.
- Consider the type of poultry you want to raise based on their purpose (meat, eggs, etc.).
- Choose a location that is easily accessible and suitable for the type of bird you wish to keep.
- For the optimal health and well-being of your poultry, be sure to provide them with sufficient lighting and ventilation.
- Equip your farm with necessary tools, such as waterers, feeders, cages, and waste disposal systems.
- To ensure a healthy and safe environment, it is imperative to keep your farm clean and organized. By doing so, you can avoid the spread of disease or any potential contamination.
FAQ – Poultry Farming
Yes, you can make a lot of money from poultry farming, it can be a very lucrative venture. With minimal upkeep and chicken being the most consumed meat product in the world, poultry farming can quickly become your main source of income.
As long as you follow your local government rules and guidelines, yes it is perfectly legal to have your poultry farm in your garden. Most governments have strict rules to prevent disease outbreaks which can be mitigated by protective clothing and following good hygiene practices.
If you need a license for your poultry farm it is dependent on local laws and jurisdiction. Contact your local authorities to find out or you could get in trouble with the law. Unlicensed businesses of any type could be subject to fines or worse.
Some of the best birds for a beginner’s poultry farm are chickens, ducks, and turkeys.
Essential equipment and supplies for a small-scale poultry farm include feeders, waterers, nesting boxes, heat lamps, and feed.