Sample Poultry Farming Business Plan

This article provides a sample poultry farming business plan for entrepreneurs with limited knowledge of what a detailed plan should look like.

Do you need to develop a business plan for starting a poultry venture? Here are some areas we’ll be looking into.

  • Common Poultry Terminologies
  • Poultry Farm’s Equipment
  • Cost Analyses
  • Broiler & Layer’ Feeds & Their Feeding Methods
  • Egg Production & Birds’ Mortality Rate
  • Your Poultry Farm’s Location
  • How to Construct Your Poultry Pen
  • How to Brood Your Chicks
  • Chickens’ Vaccines
  • Poultry Diseases, Causes, and Treatment
  • Common Mistakes to Avoid Like Snake
  • Poultry Business & Accountability


Most people who are into poultry out there are poultry farmers. You will not be that. You will be a poultry entrepreneur after reading this course.

Need to write a plan for your venture? Download a FREE Business Plan PDF Sample to develop a template for your own startup.

Let me quickly remind you that this article is solely about chicken, especially layers and broilers.

Though we have so many other poultry birds like turkey, goose, duck, and others, chicken has a huge market demand in your country, and since your goal as a farmer is to make a profit, it’s brilliant that we concentrate our effort on what the market wants.

That’s why we’ll “talk” mainly about chicken in this course.

Not even all chicken, but layers and broilers. We won’t talk about cockerel because it’s not as profitable as broilers could be.

Poultry Commonly Used Terminologies

The following are the basic poultry terminologies you should familiarize yourself with;

  1. Chicks. This is the term we use for baby
  2. Layers. These are the chickens that can lay
  3. Broilers. These are the chickens we grow for meat.
  4. The pen is the name we call the house we construct for our chicks and chickens.
  5. Brooding is used for the first early period of the chick’s life. Usually, between the weeks, there are 14 days for broilers and 5-8 weeks for layers. (More on this later)
  6. A brooder is an equipment used to provide supplementary warmth during the early stages of the chicken.
  7. Feed is a name we use for the food we feed our chicks and chickens
  8. A breed is a group of birds that reproduce their likeness in their offspring
  9. A cage is a housing system where the birds are confined to a wire-netted box.
  10. Clear eggs are infertile and cannot be incubated or turned into chicks.
  11. Deep litter is the System of housing wherSystemitable material called litter is provided on the poultry house floor for the birds to live on
  12. Free-Range System is a system of housing where the birds have a shelter house and access to an outside area during daylight hours.
  13. A flock is many birds of the exact origin (genotype) and age and managed in the same.
  14. Incubation is the process by which fertile eggs are turned into chicks
  15. An intensive System is any system of housing poultry where the birds are outdoors all of the time and do not have access to the
  16. Semi-intensive is a system in which birds have access to a shelter house and the outdoors at the same time
  17. Layer Cycle is the period from the onset of laying until the cessation of production of
  18. Point of laying is the period a female chicken is about to start laying eggs
  19. A pullet is a female chicken in her first laying season
  20. A spent hen is a layer that has reached the end of her economic egg-laying
  21. A thermostat is a device sensitive to temperature and is usually used to control the operation of temperature-modifying equipment

Do you care about chickens or eggs? If at all I do, it is to eat them.

Rearing, nursing, and having sleepless nights because of birds? Not me, and I am sure you don’t like the idea of coping with the odor and other messes of the poultry farm.

So why are you reading this guide?

Business. Business. Business alone is the reason.

If you and I understand this simple logic, we’ll first consider the business aspect of poultry farming.

Poultry Farming Equipment

Below is some equipment you’ll need as a poultry businessman/woman on your farm.

1. Feeders

A farmer drops the bird’s food for the chickens in the feeder. It is of different designs.

It is what you see as red in the above picture.

2. Heater or Brooder

This is the instrument farmers use to regulate the temperature of the poultry farm, especially during brooding (when chickens are tiny) and the rainy season or cold period.

Many farmers use locally versioned heaters (coal or stove) as the brooder could be beyond your budget.

4. Incubator

An incubator is an electronic machine the hatchers use to hatch fertile eggs.

You don’t need this equipment except you want to go into the hatchery part of the poultry business.

5. Egg Tray

This equipment is used to set eggs and transport them to the customers.

6. Water pots or Drinker

This is where the chickens drink from.

7. Poultry Cages

Cages are used to keep poultry birds.

8. Protective Clothing

Hair caps, disposable sleeves, boots, and overalls for humans so has to prevent contamination from humans to the birds or from birds to humans

9. Electricity

Electricity is also essential; either you’ll use government-supplied power, a generator, or locally-made lamps (more on this later)

10. Good Source of Water

A good water source is needed for your birds as dirty water could lead to sickness and the death of the poultry birds.

Cost Analyses

Here is it.

You want to know how much you’ll need to raise your birds before they start bringing in returns.

It isn’t meant to start with 1000 birds if all your resources can handle is 500 birds.

It would be best to have an estimate, so you’ll take your pen and paper.

  • Do you intend to start your poultry farm in your backyard or on a plot/acre?
  • When you went out to ask about the poultry equipment as listed earlier, how much can you get them in your city or vicinity?
  • Is there steady electricity, or you may need locally devised lamps for your broilers, who may need light all night (to be discussed later), and for your layers, who need light for just a few hours?
  • Is there a good water source near you, or you’ll need a well?
  • Do you need labor, and how many of them (Actually, one or two people should be able to care for 1000 birds)? What is the labor cost like in your locality?

After analyzing all these, you’ll move to the main expense: poultry feeds.

Poultry feeds are where the actual expenses lie, so let’s take some time to talk about feeding your chickens, the kinds of feeds you need at a given time, and then the estimated quantity in the section below.

Broilers and Layers Feeds & Their Feeding Methods


Broiler eats far more than layers. They should be eating virtually all around the clock. It’s not really that they will be busy eating every minute, but they should have food around them (always) so they can pick it up at a convenience.

Their heavy eating is because they are expected to grow so fast and be sold (7 or 8 weeks).

Serious farmers light up their pens all night because chickens (either broiler or layers) don’t eat in the dark.

The good news is that these birds can convert almost half of their feeds to meat. For instance, if we feed our broiler 4kg, it could weigh 1.8 kg.

Our broilers need two kinds of feeds at different stages of their lives.

The first is known as the Broiler Starter.

This is the first type of food (feed) they should be given as it’s very rich in protein and other necessary vitamins.

Broiler Starter should be given for the first three weeks of your broilers.

The second type of feed for broilers is called Broiler Finisher. This should be given from week four till your chickens are sold (hopefully at week seven or week 8)


The first feed to be given to your layer is called Layer Starter or Chicks Smash. Chicks will be given your layers from day 1 to the 8th week.

This feed contains a very high percentage of protein to help them growiquicklyrower smash is to be given from week 8-18

Layer Feed is the feed that prepares and enables your layers to lay eggs properly. This is to be given starting from week 18th till your layers are spent (tired) and sold.


Layer smash should not be given until your bird reaches week 18. This feed contains calcium that can permanently damage the kidneys, cause kidney stones, reduce lifetime egg production, and shorten the bird’s life span.

The only reason to give Layer feed to your layer is if they have started laying before week 18.

Supplemental Calcium

Ordinarily, your layer feed contains a good quantity of calcium. However, they may need to supply them with additional calcium once in a while as they start laying. This decision could be reached if you’re advised by your veterinary doctor or a nearby expert who thinks the egg production is not as expected.

How to Change Chickens’ Feeds

When it’s time for you to shift from one feed to another, you mustn’t suddenly change your birds’ feeds.

For example, suppose you want to change from Broiler Starter to Grower today. In that case, the best thing to do is to start by mixing the starter and grower in the same quantity, then gradually increasing the starter quantity while reducing the amount of grower.

This is necessary because your chickens will not like a sudden change in their taste in feeds.

How Often Should You Feed Your Birds?

When we talk about broilers, they must have feed in front of them at least 22 hours a day. That means all around the clock.

For the layers, you can feed them three times a day. 6:30 am, 12 pm, and 4 pm should be all right.

Just note that you may have to lighten up the layers’ pen from around 7-9 because they will still be eating till the evening, and as I might have told you before, chickens don’t eat in the dark.

Some people try to avoid lighting the layers’ pen by giving them food at 3 pm. There is no hard rule here, but you should never prevent providing light to the broilers because they must eat so much.

Don’t forget that we were discussing cost analyses.

But I needed to show you how and what you have to feed your chickens, so I will show you how to get the estimate for their feeds.

Now to the rough estimate for the feeds;

If you have seen any poultry feed packs or bags before, you might have noticed that they are in Kilograms (kg).

As I have shared with you earlier, broilers eat much more than layers. To help your estimate,

Layer chicks could be estimated to eat (plus or minus) 4kg of feed in its first ten weeks. By this, I mean a layer bird could eat about 4kg in its first 70 days on your farm.

It could be a little more or less as the quantities of feed chickens eat depend on the weather and whether you’re using a battery cage or a deep litter system.

Your chickens will ordinarily eat more in the cold than in the hot season, and they are likely to eat more in a deep litter system than in the battery cage system as they walk much more around.

Your broilers could be expected to eat about 4kg or more of feeds in their first six weeks.

As your birds grow, their feed consumption grows, too.

From the 6th week, for broilers, they should have been near the time for you to sell them off (just one or two weeks more).

But for the layers, you’re just getting started.

You’ll still have to feed them for about 12 more weeks. As they grow, their feed consumption grows.

By the time they reach the laying stage, each layer could be estimated to be eating 1.5 pounds of feed each week.

That’s about 2kg in three weeks.

I am telling you all these so that you’ll be able to know how to make your estimate.

Should I tell you the price of the feeds?

Thank you for asking.

One day I was reading something on the internet, and I saw the writer writing the price of W= #XXX and the price of K=$YYY.

At a time, I was forced to go and check the date of that post, and behold, he wrote the post, I think, in 2011.

He’s not intelligent.

I cannot tell you the price of feeds and vaccines here because the amount you bought is not what they are selling now in the same city).

The second reason is that the location differs. Some people will read this course from Lagos, while others may read it from Ghana, South Africa, or China.

How do you expect the feed price in Texas to be the same as that of California?

That’s why you must move out and ask questions from the feed and poultry equipment sellers in your town or area.

You have the idea of the above quantity estimate and go out, ask where they are selling poultry feeds in your locality, ask for different feeds I have mentioned earlier, and their prices.

Check the feeds’ bag to see the quantity (in kilograms), and then come back home to do your math and the estimate.

After your cost estimate, plus the revenue (as analyzed earlier), you should be able to come up with good answers to these questions;

  1. With your present capital or resources, how many layer or broiler birds can you conveniently raise?
  2. In the long run, how much could your profit be?

These facts and figures are what will give you confidence.

After discussing the importance of cost analyses and the different kinds of feeds you need for your chickens, let’s go into two other essential things you must understand about poultry farming, which will help your cost estimate and general knowledge about the excellent poultry business…

Egg Production & Birds’ Mortality Rate

Here, let’s talk about the nature of chickens’ egg-laying and the death rate, otherwise called the mortality rate.

Some people ignorantly assume that layers’ of birds lay an egg every day, so whenever these people want to start a poultry business, they estimate within themselves and say, “If I can raise 1,000 layer birds, after 18 or 20 weeks, I will be getting 1,000 eggs every day from my poultry farm.”

They have committed two blunders here.

One is the assumption that all the birds will remain alive until the point of laying. The second blunder is the assumption that every laying bird lays an egg daily.

Here is the truth.

Some of your birds will die, and the remaining ones will not give you 900 eggs daily (if they are 900 birds).

The mortality rate is in humans, so it’s ordinary in animals, including included. If people die (even young), should we hope that chickens will not die?

Our concern is that we have to reduce the mortality rate of your birds to the barest minimum.

The best mortality rate is between 5-10% per annum.

If you start with 1000 chicks on your farm, losing 50-80 in a year does not mean you’re doing something wrong. It’s normal.

Another thing to note is that the mortality rate is higher in broilers breed than in layers. The reason is that layer birds are more robust.

In all, the mortality rate is not something to be afraid of. It’s something to prepare for and work hard to reduce (by doing things taught in this course)

Egg Production

As said earlier, 100-layer birds cannot produce 100 eggs daily. As analyzed by some experts, this is that chickens don’t lay an egg every 24 hours. Instead, they lay every 26 hours.

Some people believe that some chickens lie every day while others lie every two days.

We may not be able to tell which theory is correct, but we know that you cannot get the exact number of eggs from the number of chickens you have.

The best estimate is between 80-85% daily egg productivity. That means if you have 1000 laying birds on your farm, you could pick between 800-850 eggs daily.

That’s around 28 crates of eggs. Multiply 28 by the amount they are selling. Create an egg in your locality, and you’ll see something. Deducting that from the cost of layers’ feed and labor, you can see where the profit lies.

After discussing the egg production and the mortality rate, let’s take a moment to talk about it.

Your Farm’s Location

Just as humans need where to live and lay their heads, birds need a place to call their home.

First, you might have noticed that most poultry farms you know are not near residential apartments.

The reasons are simple: odor, noise, and water pollution.

The primary reason poultry farms are usually not allowed by the government to be near residential apartments is the poultry odor resulting from the chicken droppings (feces).

The other reason is because of the noise. Chickens make a lot of noise, and the third reason you can’t site your (primary) poultry farm near a residential apartment is possible water pollution.

Note that I mentioned the “major” poultry farm above. You could, of course, have your poultry’s pen (house) in your backyard, especially if you have a large backyard and you’re starting with just a few birds.

However, that can only work with a few tens of birds.

You’ll have to construct your poultry pen on the city’s outskirts or town for a medium to large-scale poultry farm.

One of the silly mistakes you must avoid is having your central poultry farm in your backyard and then having your brooding pen (where little chicken is kept) just by the side of your layers’ pen while you manage the two together.

This could affect the day-old chickens and lead to a significant loss. (We’ll discuss more on this later)

If you plan to start in your backyard, consider how poultry pens should be constructed and other precautions we’ll discuss in the next chapter.

A few things to consider while choosing where to locate your central poultry farm are;

First is,

The Cost of Land

Especially when you’re just starting, you may not be able to afford an acre of land in some locations near Lagos or a major city in your country, so you’ll have to consider the cost of land in your intended location vs. your budget.

Second, Nearness to Your Intending Market

You don’t want to locate your farm where it will take a vehicle to travel 10 hours before they deliver your ready-for-market broilers to the buyers or before the wholesale egg buyers will get to your farm.

Third is,

Chickens’ predators

Predators are those other animals or insects that feed on or find pleasure in hurting or killing chickens—E.g., hawks, raccoons, foxes, snakes, soldier ants, dogs, etc.

While chicken predators are everywhere, certain places are more violent and brutal to control predators, so you may not locate your farm in such areas.

After discussing the appropriate location for your farm, let’s discuss how your bird’s pens (houses) should be constructed.

How to Construct Your Poultry’s Pens (Chickens’ House)

To start with, there are three standard poultry housing systems. The first and the oldest is the Free Range System.

Chickens can access an ample, non-confined open space in this housing system.

They walk freely around and (in addition to the feed they’re given) pick up insects and other things they could eat on the floor.

A hindrance to this housing system is that it requires ample land space, and the chickens are exposed to predators like Brother Hawk and others.

A system similar to the one mentioned above is a semi-intensive system. Here, the birds have a confined pen and an open space to live.

The third type of housing system is probably the most common for commercial poultry farmers.

It’s called Intensive System.

In this System, our poultSystemds are confined into a specially built pen. They cannot go beyond the pen.

However, even using this pen, we still have two options.

First, we can use a battery system inside our pen. In this case, our birds are to live inside a specially built cage.

The cages you’re seeing above have been designed so that where the birds feed, where they’re dropping, and where eggs will go have all been designed with it. Automatic drinkers could also be easily fixed.

The battery cage system has been proven to be the best for egg production. Because the birds don’t have much space to roam about, they convert more feeds to eggs.

That’s not to say that the second option is terrible. We can also use the deep litter System.

You can system chickens on the floor of your pen. Here, your birds are not confined in cages, so they can quickly move around. The floor is covered with sawdust or straw.

A strong net is built around each of the pens. Tarps can be hung around the net fence. Depending on the design, that could easily be rolled up (or from up to down) when there is cold or rain. It’s needed, especially when your chickens are still small (at the brooding stage).

However, when they grow to pass the brooding stage, they become more robust and have big feathers, so cold should not be their problem anymore (except when it is extreme).

The roofing sheets should not be metal sheets.

The reason is that metal sheets cause heat, and excessive heat could kill your birds or reduce their egg’s productivity.

The best roofing sheet to use for poultry farms is Asbestos or Thatch-roof. They both can hold heat instead of releasing it like a metal sheet.

The brooding pen and layers (or grown-up broilers’) pens are slightly different in that while constructing your brooding pen (where your day-old, young chickens will live), you have to consider cold.

Before I show you how you must build your pens, let me clarify that, though a standard poultry farm must have two or more pens, there is no crime in starting small.

You could construct a simple brooding pen (the house for your chicks and day-old chickens) and convert it to a layers’ pen when they become “adults.”

Having understood this, let me explain how you must build those pens to get the best for your chickens and maximize your profit.

Brooding Pen

This is where you will house your chicks from the first day you get them to your farm until they become “adults.”

The ideal way to build this pen is to construct two simple blocks around your intended brooding location, then use Tarpaulin (and wood) to cover the remaining space.

The brooding stage of your broiler chicken is about two to three weeks, while it may take 6 to 7 weeks for layers to be brooded.

Now, about layers or “adult” broilers’ pens.

This could be a little simpler. You could build two blocks (as of broodings pen). You could then cover up the remaining space with a net (strong net, not mosquito’s net. Lol) or wood.

As mentioned earlier, the roofing sheet must not be constructed with light iron or metal roofing sheets. Instead, with Asbestos or Thatch-roof

Please Note:

Your broodings’ pen must not be built near the broilers’ or layers’ pen.

The first reason is that your chicks cannot withstand the odor from the layers or broilers’ pens.

The other reason is that layers or broilers could be carriers of certain germs that, though they could do them no harm, can quickly kill the chicks.

After some time, when your farm has grown and you have chicks and layers, you must have SEPARATE staff to deal with them.

Your workers working with the layers’ pen must not be entering your broodings’ pen, and those in broodings’ pen too must not be entering the layers’ pen, so they won’t carry germs from the layers’ pen and infect your chicks.

Brooding Your Chickens

When you order for the chicks you want to raise, either layers or broilers, to be delivered to your farm, the very first days or weeks of the birds on your farm are called the brooding stage.

The brooding period for broilers could be plus or minus 14 days, while the brooding period for layers could be between 5-7 weeks (depending on the weather situation in your locality)

The reason why the brooding period for the broilers is lower is that those birds called broilers grow very fast.

The brooding period of your chickens is the most important and delicate, for the apparent reason.

The most difficult and most crucial time in your poultry business is at the brooding stage. The mortality rate (death rate) is higher for the chicks than the grown-up chickens.

That’s common sense. As humans, babies are much more likely to die of fewer diseases or infections than adults.

That’s why some farmers prefer to go for grown-up chickens already at the point of laying (chickens already about to lay eggs).

This may seem wise because you’ll avoid so many headaches of “nursing” day-olds, but it could be risky because you never can tell how those chickens were brought up.

Just as it’s in humans, the early stage of your chicken’s life is critical. Anything wrong (maybe inappropriate feeding or care) will affect their growth and productivity as “adults.”

Now you can see what I am saying.

If you go ahead and buy chicken at the point of laying, you won’t know its foundation, and if its foundation has been faulty, what can the righteous (you) do?

Have I told you before that your chicks have to be taken care of just like your newborn baby?

Ok. Just reminding you

Just like your newborn baby, they need food, water, vaccines, and drugs whenever they are sick (detail later)

Another essential thing they need is protection from cold and excessive heat.

Protecting them from cold temperatures would be best because they are still young, fragile, and without big feathers.

At the brooding stage, day and night, you have to warm your pen with a charcoal pot, stove, or other electrical poultry brooders (if you can afford them).

Warming their pen day and night will continue until they are grown up (broilers 14 days and layers 5-7 weeks).

If you’re using artificial means to generate heat in your brooding pen, you must make sure your charcoal or stove is “fenced” with something like a wire that will prevent your chicks from being burnt.

The number of charcoal or stoves to be used depends on how many your chicks are (common sense).

If God blesses your area with constant electricity, you must light up your brooding pen all night. Congrats! If not, you may have some bright rechargeable or big local lamps.

One of the reasons why you should light up your chicks’ pen at the brooding stage is to prevent them from a stampede.

Stampede is when birds step on each other and get wounded or die.

This is more likely when they are still young, and they see anything (like a lizard) in the dark, with fear they may run and step on each other, get wounded, and die.

While cold temperature is the biggest enemy of your chicks, there are some other big “enemies” you must pay good attention to.

Quality of the Air

Your young birds need heat, but that doesn’t mean your brooding pen must be closed. Fresh air should have its way, and there should be cross ventilation.

Good feed and clean water

As it is for other chickens of other ages, your little chickens must be given good water and feed.

Prevent Stampede!

As said earlier, a stampede is when chickens run over and step on each other. This could lead to injury and death of your birds.

To prevent this from happening, first, always enter your pens gently. When you or any of your workers rush into your pens, the chickens may run away (usually to the building’s edges) and step or lie on each other. The result may be injury or death.

Second, you may put some sacks together at each pen’s edge. This way, when your birds run to the edge of your pen, they won’t be wounded because the sacks will “bounce” them back.

Poultry Vaccines

Chicken’s Vaccine is the substance given to stimulate chickens’ body’s production of antibodies and provide immunity against diseases.

As humans, we have various kinds of immunization programs where different vaccines are administered to our children at different ages to prevent their health from certain diseases (polio, etc.)

The same applies to the chickens. From the very first day, certain vaccines must be administered to the chicken.

Vaccine for day 1 of the chicken’s life: Marek’s Disease Vaccine.

This Vaccine must be given to the chicks the day they are hatched. This Vaccine should have been administered by the hatchery where you got your chicks, even before buying them.

Once the chicks leave the incubator, this Vaccine is no longer as effective as it should be, so it has to be administered in the incubator.

The Vaccine is to prevent Marek’s disease tumors and paralysis Newcastle Disease Vaccine.

This Vaccine should be given within 10 and 35 days of the chicken and repeated every three months to maintain a sufficient level of immunity for your birds against Newcastle Disease.

This Vaccine could be given through your birds’ drinking water or as an eye/nose drop.

Infectious Bronchitis Vaccine

This Vaccine could be given within days 10-35 of your birds. It’s often combined with the above Vaccine (Newcastle).

Fowl Cholera Vaccine is another vaccine that should be administered only when you have or suspect cholera on your farm or a nearby farm.

Infectious Bursal Disease Vaccine;

This is usually for layers’ birds. To be administered on the 14th day of your birds (or as advised by your vet doctor). This is also to be repeated on the 28th day. It could be administered through drinking water.

Other poultry vaccines can be administered whenever a disease is suspected or heard in the neighboring farm or town.

Your vet doctor or consultant will be of great help in guiding you about when to administer some of these vaccines and how to go about them, even the emergency ones (if need be).

Infectious Laryngotracheitis Vaccine, Inactivated Newcastle-Bronchitis, Laryngotracheitis Fowlpox AE, etc., are the vaccines chickens may need as the need arises for them.

How can you get these vaccines?

This is very easy.

This is one of your primary tasks (as explained in the earlier chapter). Just move out and ask any poultry-related materials or feed sellers in your area about where you can find these vaccines in your locality.

They are not scarce. Just ask people, and you’ll be directed.

Don’t just buy vaccines! Make friends. Talk with people. Ask them questions about your locality’s poultry business, feeds, and vaccines.

How and in what quantity will you administer poultry vaccines?

On each Vaccine, there are prescriptions and precautions (just as when you buy the drug in a chemist’s shop). Read those instructions to know how to use them and in what quantity.

Also, note the expiring dates on the vaccines. Just like our drugs, poultry vaccines have expiring dates.

Don’t kill your chickens with expiring vaccines. Other things to take note of about vaccines are;

  1. Don’t vaccinate sick birds (except in the case of outbreaks of laryngotracheitis or fowlpox). Vaccination is not to heal sickness; it’s to prevent it, so when a bird is sick, a vet doctor needs to prescribe the drug to
  2. Just like other sensitive drugs, prevent the vaccines from heat or sun
  3. Use only as recommended because misapplication of vaccines can lead to disease outbreaks or the death of birds.
  4. When vaccinating your birds, it’s advisable to vaccinate all of them at a time, as few chickens left unvaccinated could spread whatever disease is hidden in them to the already vaccinated birds.
  5. After vaccination, burn or disinfect all opened containers to prevent accidental spread to other poultry. This is because…
  6. Most vaccines are living, disease-producing agents themselves. Handle them with care.

Poultry Diseases, Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

A disease is an investment for any poultry farmer, so you must understand fundamental things about poultry diseases and their prevention.

I said “some” because trying to mention ALL the poultry diseases may be an impossible adventure.

There are so many bird diseases because there are too many human diseases.

The following are the four significant types of poultry diseases;

  1. Metabolic and Nutritional Diseases. These are the diseases caused by a disturbance of normal metabolic functions either through a genetic defect, inadequate or inappropriate
  2. Infectious Diseases are usually contagious diseases caused by an invasion of a host by a pathogen, which subsequently grows and multiplies in the
  3. Parasitic Diseases are infections with a parasitic organism
  4. Behavioral Diseases are the abnormal behavioral patterns that can lead to injury or ill health of abnormally behaving birds or their companions

All of the poultry diseases could be categorized into the above four categories.

So, let’s see one or two common poultry diseases.

Common Poultry Diseases

As said earlier, there are as many diseases for birds and animals as for humans.

However, humans can list some common illnesses (e.g., malaria, headache, stomachache, cancer, etc.), so are there some common poultry diseases?

Below are some of them;

  1. Diarrhea. Diarrhea is a common poultry disease that shows symptoms through white or greenish, loose droppings (feces). It can be caused by cold, dampness, dirty surroundings, and unclean food. When you notice any of your birds sick with Diarrhea, quickly separate them into a dry, warm pen. If you have a veterinary doctor nearby, promptly give him a call. If not, contact any experienced farmer or consultant and explain the symptoms. They can come to your farm to see things and know what is wrong. It may be Diarrhea or something different, so we cannot tell.
  2. Roup (Coryza). Roup is caused by cold, overcrowding, etc, and could spread through drinking water or feed. The symptoms could be sneezing and watery discharge, which can later turn to white and yellowish foam from the eyes or nostrils. It can also lead to Diarrhea.
  3. Liver trouble. Liver trouble is not. It’s an ailment that affects mainly older birds. This disease is caused by too little mobility (exercise) by the birds.

We can go on and on to mention numerous poultry diseases like Ambloidosis, Ascites, Avian Rhinotracheitis, Biting Lice, Breast Blister, Caecal Worm, Cellulitis, Chicken Anaemia, Cropworms, Favus, Fowl Cholera, Gizzard worms, etc., those big grammars will not do you any good.

Instead, you can be better if I give you two deep secrets.

First, work hard on prevention. Prevention is not just better than cure; it’s cheaper and more manageable.

Second, since you might want to employ someone or two with your poultry farm, why can’t you work hard to employ someone with at least three years of experience in a poultry farm?

This will help you in a lot of ways. This person you bring in will come with knowledge and experience (including the knowledge to detect the sick bird and understand various symptoms), and nothing can help you like that.

How to Prevent Poultry Diseases

  1. Pay attention to proper sanitation practices. Daily wash the feeders and drinkers. Always clean all your equipment with appropriate disinfectants (Dettol, etc.)
  2. Minimize or eliminate the introduction of new chickens to your flock because they could be carriers of some germs or
  3. Limit visitors’ entrance to your farm, and if they must enter, let there be disinfectants at the entrance of your farm where everyone going into your pen (including you) will wash their hands and fits. (For example, disinfectant is a bowl of water in which you’ll put anti-germ chemicals like Dettol and Izal)
  4. Quarantine unhealthy chicken as quickly as possible. By this, I mean that you should separate any chicken suspected to be sick into an isolated

This should be done to prevent the spreading of the diseases among the flock.

  1. Vaccinate Chicken at the appropriate time. When a new set of chickens just came into your farm, when they are transported out and back in, there is a need to vaccinate the flock. To vaccinate is to give your chicken the required Vaccine.
  2. Watch out for unhealthy chicken. You must inspect your farm daily and see how your chickens are doing. When one or two of them are not

healthy, it’s better you know on time. Since you understand how your birds live and behave on good days, it’s not too difficult to tell if one of them is sick.

If you can master all we have explained so far, you shouldn’t have much to worry about.

Now let’s see common mistakes you have to avoid in the poultry farming business;

Common Poultry Farmers’ Mistakes

  1. Locating brood too close to rearers housing house for an older pen

I have said this before. Your brooding house (where your day-old chicks live) must not be too close to the rearing or layers pen.

Some people with ample land space give a space of three electric poles, while others locate the brooding pen in an entirely different location.

  1. Housing chickens of different ages together

This sounds foolish when you look at the nature of chickens. How can a younger chicken cope when the time comes for it to struggle with the older ones to eat?

Don’t you know that chickens (like humans) do fight? How can younger chickens cope when the older and stronger ones step on them (stampede)?

This is one of the reasons why some ignorant farmers lose their investments.

  1. Housing layers and broilers together.
  2. You are mixing chickens from different hatcheries together in the same pen.

Even if they are similar (i.e., layers), they shouldn’t be in the same pen together if they are from different hatcheries.


Because their foundation is different, and they may not grow or be fruitful alike.

  1. They are buying chickens from “quack” hatcheries.

Some people hawk chicks all around the town. Some are hatchers by mere name. You must not buy your chickens just anywhere because there are meticulous processes the professional hatchers have to go through to hatch eggs.

If these processes are left out or omitted because of ignorance, they will tell for the rest of the chickens’ lives. How do you know a good incubator?

Ask the farmers in your vicinity. If they prove problematic to approach, ask the poultry feed sellers. They will be friendlier with you (because they want to sell you feeds)

  1. Overcrowding.

I met with a man a few days ago, and he was sharing his experience in some places in Lagos, where 7 to 12 people could be sleeping in a single room.

That’s called overcrowding.

It’s affecting their health, but because there is no alternative, “man must live.”

However, in the case of birds, “birds can die”.

When they are still day old, chickens could be hundreds in a pen, but as they grow up, you’ll have to be spacing them because that pen may not be conducive for them any longer.

Your pens can never be too big, but they can be too small.

  1. Bad litter management

It would be best if you had a place on your farm where you pack the birds’ feces. This could be a hole at a distance or something similar.

  1. Assuming that all will be well all the time or estimating that all layers will lay an egg every day

This may sound not very optimistic, but you see, nobody smiles all the time. No known method will keep all your chickens alive. Some will die. If you have 500 layers, you cannot get 500 eggs every day.

I have explained this earlier.

Some layers may not lay eggs, while some lay every 26 hours. If you think about that, you’ll know why you cannot pick 500 eggs from 500 layers.

  1. Underestimating Predators.

Predators, as explained earlier, are the enemies of your chicken. Some want to eat them, while others love to hurt them for fun—hawks, Raccoons, Foxes, snakes, soldier ants, and others. If you don’t keep the environment of your farm very clean and well-guided, any of these predators can come at the time you least expect them.

For instance, soldier ants will not notify you of their plan to visit your farm, nor will snakes. Even your Bingo dog could “joyfully” hurt your chickens when you’re not around if your farm is so loose.

Don’t underestimate predators. Prevent them from coming nearby, making your farm’s surroundings clean and protected.

  1. They do not know when the chickens are uncomfortable and how to attend to them.
  2. I am using Metal Roofing for poultry pens. As mentioned earlier, this causes heat, affecting egg productivity and the birds’ health.
  3. We are not preventing stampede.

I have explained this earlier. Take note. Stampede kills human beings (as strong as we are). Imagine how much effect that could have on the fragile chickens.

  1. I am going all alone.

Don’t go all alone. Make friends and relate with poultry farmers in your locality. Have some experienced people (one or two) who you can call anytime and ask questions.

If possible (a must for an authentic farm), have a veterinarian. Anything can happen at any time. He might have to diagnose to see what is wrong with some unwell birds.

Let me warn you: DON’T GO ALL ALONE.

If some of these professionals and consultants require a certain fee, instead of negotiating the cost, they go alone without it.

You may want to save 100 dollars and lose 1,000 dollars.

Introduction to Poultry Farming Business Proposal

Because of the importance of this document to the success of your poultry farm, you need to put in your very best effort to produce a good plan, as it can determine the success of your venture.

Sample Poultry Farm Project Proposal Plan

This free poultry farming BUSINESS PLAN SAMPLE provides the necessary support, and developing one is essential to success in the poultry business.

Writing a business plan for your new or existing poultry business can never be underestimated. It provides more assessment of your venture and is a core requirement for obtaining loans and grants from investors.

Unless you have your intentions for your poultry farming business written down, you might miss an opportunity to communicate them to someone else or clarify things for yourself.

Whether starting or expanding a poultry business, writing a business plan will help you understand what you want to do and how you will do it.

Most emerging poultry farmers must use loans or grants when starting their businesses.

To access these, you must write a business plan and submit it to your prospective financier or grant officer.


It is essential for a business that wants to make an impact and be successful to have a business plan. This planning guide is an internal document accessible to only a few organization members.

Any venture that plans to succeed should invest efforts at developing a comprehensive business plan that captures every aspect of the business.

A business plan provides the necessary support for the company to succeed in its industry.

In writing a business plan, it is paramount that you know the format to follow and, better still, follow a sample in writing yours to avoid wasting time, effort, money, and resources.

Therefore, I will use this post to give a business plan for a poultry farming business, which can be used as a guide or sample in writing.

I will go directly to the business plan since you should already know the details of the business, that is, how to start and manage it well.


  • Executive Summary
  • Business Overview
  • Vision Statement
  • Mission Statement
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Business Requirements
  • Cash Flow Analysis


Raising poultry birds involves the production of broiler meat and chicken eggs. It’s one lucrative and broad industry that has attracted millions of investors. Niches-related poultry farming include

  • setting up an incubator
  • raising broilers
  • egg production through layer birds
  • marketing and distribution of table eggs
  • the output of poultry farm equipment like drinkers, feeders, debeakers, etc.
  • sales of poultry vaccines, drugs, feeds, and supplements
  • feed mill operation
  • the construction of poultry pen and battery cage installation

This facility will only produce layer birds to prevent an overlap of ideas due to the limited resources available. This means that Goody Poultry Farm might decide to bring in more ideas in the future.

In the first year of production, the farm is expected to produce about 60 crates of eggs daily and generate more than 1 million in revenue. Spent layers should be sold at the end of a year of laying, and the money should be used to get replacement birds.

The business has decided to collaborate with experts and investors because the business involves bringing together all available industrial facilities that a single company might be unable to provide.

The most popular form of poultry farming is layer production because egg consumption cuts across all nations. There are different niches in the poultry business. These include broiler, layer, quailturkey, ostrich, geese, and duck production.

Because of these various forms, focusing on one aspect and then adding other elements with time is advisable. This is one industry with great potential.

The main things that serve as hindrances in this industry are high-interest rates, lack of electricity, absence of credit, high product costs, and so on. The demand for day-old chicks, eggs, and broiler meat remains very high.

Goody Poultry Farm’s vision is to facilitate the production of safe and hygienic chicken eggs, provide jobs for the unemployed, and generate wealth for those who invest in our projects.

Our mission is to develop a mechanized poultry business that is efficient and profitable in the long run. We hope to grow the venture into a standard project that is professionally managed.

Goody Poultry Farm will as a marketing strategy employ a marketer at total capacity, the marketer will be employed to sell the eggs produced on the farm from one egg depot to another. Through this marketing activity, many clientele bases will be created.

To make the marketing more manageable and efficient, we will allocate a date for all our customers so each customer will have a day when they will be supplied eggs, either by picking them up or having them delivered at a price.

Also, adverts will be placed on several online media sites, which will serve as a marketing form.

The poultry business will need several pieces of equipment and tools for the smooth management of the business, and they include:

  • A shop in town will be needed to serve as the warehouse and egg depot, this helps in reducing the number of people who go to the farm which in turn reduces the risk of a break of security and bio-security.
  • Semi-automatic battery cages of good quality will be purchased and installed for the birds.
  • Other equipment needed for the business are feed (grower mash and layer mash), point of lay, different medications, and vaccinations.

The market has been surveyed to determine the cash flow level of the industry. This helps in knowing if the poultry business is worthwhile or not.

Analysis has shown that positive net cash balances are realized at the end of the second year the chicken farm started, indicating profitability in the industry.

Also, generating a net return in the first year of production may not be possible due to the large capital requirements. Still, subsequently, the farm would break even, generating significant profit.

You have been equipped with all it takes to write a solid business plan for your poultry farm.

Here is the link to download our practical poultry production manual.

So start by creating a counter-strategy to tackle these challenges, and success will be yours. This is one of the best articles that can be converted into a  planning guide on poultry farming.

Do you need a poultry farming business plan with a 3-year financial plan to apply for funding?

Contact us.

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