How to Start Poultry Farming in Nigeria

A Guide to Lucrative Poultry Farming in Nigeria for Beginners

Do you know how to start a poultry farm? Have you ever written a feasibility study on poultry farming in Nigeria?

Here is a free manual on the steps and cost of starting broiler and layer farming production.

The agricultural industry in Nigeria has suffered neglect especially after the discovery of oil and the subsequent boom of the oil industry. This led to the decline of an erstwhile thriving industry.

After discovering that a huge mistake had been done which led to the heavy loss of jobs and loss of foreign exchange to the country, a lot of effort are being put in place. This article will discuss the agricultural industry with poultry farming in Nigeria is our main focus.

COMPARE: Broiler Vs Layer Production Business

A substantial part of the country’s Gross Domestic Product GDP is being committed to the import of food products including poultry. This is mainly due to a deficit in domestic supply. You can take advantage of the opportunities it presents by starting a profitable poultry farm.

How lucrative is the poultry production business? How can you start? Follow our lead as we delve into the details.


  • Tapping into a Ready Market

The potential is huge! Nigeria’s population is expanding rapidly, the agricultural industry is growing! Need I say more? For any business to thrive, there must be a ready market. You don’t need to break the bank to start. You can start on a small scale by keeping a few birds and expand slowly as business picks up.

Consumers are never lacking! Poultry products are consumed the most in Nigeria’s major cities. There are effective channels of distribution that you can tap into as well.

  • What Poultry is Comprised of

When poultry farming is mentioned, people assume it only means the rearing of chickens (comprising of cockerels, layers, and broilers). However, this assumption is erroneous as it includes other types of birds as well. Such include ducks, geese, turkeys, etc. While chicken has the biggest market for poultry products, other types of birds are equally lucrative to keep.

  • A Capital Intensive Industry

The poultry industry is highly capital intensive. After buying your birds, the bulk of the money goes into feeding and vaccination. Between these two (feeding and vaccination), feeding gulps the lion share. This excludes the housing which has a varying degree of financial requirement/commitment depending on what you want.

If you are starting small, it’s best to cut down on expenses by using an existing property or room. This should be properly ventilated as most poultry diseases result from poor ventilation.

  • Scale of Operation

A good part of poultry farmers in Nigeria operates small scale farms. Some started small and grew organically by expanding only when the business had outgrown its previous levels. This is the best type of growth you should consider. Big poultry businesses that grew gradually as small farms are better managed because the owners understand their basic principles of operation.

  • Avoid Running a Cash-strapped Business

What this means is that a lot of times, poultry farmers in Nigeria fail because they are not financially prepared. This can be caused by several reasons. Some of these include;

  • Trying to Maximize Profits by Keeping More Birds than you can Care for

This has been a major cause of failure for many poultry farmers in Nigeria. A person having the resources to cater for 50 birds goes ahead to keep 100 or 150. Finances are stretched leading to food rationing. This results in less than optimal conditions for the birds. High mortality may result due to diseases.

If the birds are not killed by diseases, they may not put on the required weight (especially for broilers) or may not meet the egg-laying quota.

  • High Mortality Rate

Having less than enough financial resources can lead to higher mortality rates. Although when starting a poultry business, mortality is a factor to consider. However not providing the ideal conditions increases the chances significantly. Providing these ideal conditions is a function of money.

READ: Bacterial, Viral and Fungal Diseases of Poultry – Symptoms and Treatment

While trying to maximize your profits by taking on more birds than you can care for, you end up losing your investments as a result of high mortality rates which can wipe off poultry population in no time.

How Much Funding is Needed?

In order not to run a cash-strapped business, this is the question that should readily come to mind. An exact amount cannot be guaranteed for a specific number of poultry birds. However, there is a cost range for keeping a certain number of birds. If you plan on starting your poultry farm by keeping 100 to 1,000 birds, then you should have set aside N100,000 to N800,000.

Also if the number of birds you plan on keeping falls within the range of 1,000 to 3,000, available funds should be in the region of N800,000 to N2.7 million. This gives you a buffer and enables you to run the business stress-free.

  • Choosing the Right Location

To start a poultry business in Nigeria, you need to also consider your location. Water is very vital for running a poultry business. Places with bedrock underneath the surface sometimes prove difficult when drilling a borehole.

The only freshwater is best for poultry birds. Well, or borehole is the best option.

Your poultry farm should never be located far away from you. If it must be so (not advisable), there should be a security watch as well as staff taking care of the birds. For a small business, this will seem impracticable.

  • Getting the Right Breed

This is a major problem for poultry farmers in Nigeria as a lot of hatcheries have produced substandard products that are most times sickly or end up being deformed. A lot of blames have been traded between poultry feed producers and hatcheries as the cause for these deformities. In all of this, the poultry farmer is left in the middle, helpless and in danger of losing his investments.

You need to be careful when choosing a hatchery for your bird supplies. One way to do this is by discussing with successful poultry businesses around you. They are likely to tell you which hatcheries are reliable. Major poultry farm owners also own hatcheries. You can assess their products by how well their birds are doing. Another option is to seek advice from a reliable veterinary doctor.

  • Poultry Pen and Equipment

There are different types of poultry farming. The type you choose will determine the equipment you require. They consist of extensive, semi-intensive and intensive systems. Most small scale poultry farmers in Nigeria adopt extensive and semi-intensive methods. For the extensive method, the birds are allowed to roam freely.

However, you need to have a fence to protect them from getting stolen.

The semi-intensive methods are very common as well. Here, the birds are kept in pens. You can convert an existing room for this purpose. However, the room must be well ventilated to reduce the frequency of diseases. The intensive system is the most expensive. Battery cages are used to rear chickens.

COMPARE: Battery Cage Vs Deep Litter System of Poultry Production

This requires a hall or room with a wide space and having enough cross ventilation and light. This is the best system and increases productivity and reduces egg soiling (dirt) and cracks. This requires a substantial amount of money to purchase equipment. Under the semi-intensive system, basic equipment includes feeders, drinkers, crates brooders among others.

  • Water and Feeding

This is what gulps the greater percentage of expenses. Good feed products need to be bought. There are several manufacturers. You must know that the main duty of your poultry products is to eat. They do this exceptionally well except when sick.

Guide: Poultry Feed Formulation Methods for Layers and Broilers

By unnecessarily rationing their food to save costs, you will be interrupting their development. You can decide to feed them during the day, allowing them to sleep at night.

  • Spacing

This is equally important to the well-being of your poultry birds. Avoid crowding them into a small space. Doing that reduces their mobility and also encourages the spread of diseases faster.

  • Vaccinations

Without vaccines, your birds are directly exposed to diseases. The services of a veterinarian are highly important.

Several vaccinations must be given to your birds at different stages of growth.

Before taking delivery of your birds from the hatchery or supplier, you should consult a vet doctor to advise you on every detail regarding vaccinations. This keeps you from adopting a reactionary approach to avoidable diseases.

  • Detailed Record Keeping

Record keeping is vital in running a poultry business. Throughout raising your birds as chicks to when they become matured enough for consumption, a lot of things happen. You need to keep yourself in the know of every event whether major or minor.

Records allow you to measure your level of profitability. This is done by keeping a record of mortality, egg production, the level of feed consumed as well as medication administered at specific stages of development.

This information is invaluable in helping the business measure its level of success and if not, to identify grey areas that need adjustments.

  • Marketing and Distribution

Running a poultry business in Nigeria requires proper planning. At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that there is a huge market for poultry products. While this is true, you need to find or work out your distribution channels. People are only interested when they know about your business.

FREE: Sample Poultry Farming Marketing Plan

To market your business, you can use a variety of means. This includes contacting sellers of chicken products, chicken sellers and hotels, major eateries among a long list of possible clients. Radio and TV advertising is a great way to market your business. However, this is adopted but not restricted to major poultry farmers.

Poultry farming in Nigeria has huge potential. Only people who are well prepared and determined to succeed will indeed be successful.

SEE: Biggest Poultry Farms in Nigeria

To increase your chances of success, it is good to obtain the right information which is what you are getting from this article. After obtaining the information, full implementation is necessary. If you plan on making some money, you need to run your poultry farm as a business. Need I remind you that a poultry business plan is necessary?

DOWNLOAD: Practical E-book on Starting a Poultry Farm

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