What you need to know before starting a poultry farm in Nigeria

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What you need to know before starting a poultry farm in Nigeria

If you are interested in going into Poultry farming, you have made a good choice. With the increase of fast foods and restaurants there is high demand for chicken meat and eggs, beyond this, eggs are a cheap source of protein, especially for growing children, so most households always ensure that eggs are a major part of their meals weekly.  Breaking into this market as any other, requires determination and a good plan – there are a whole lot of Fast foods and hotels and you can draw up a strategy to pitch to some of which include Crunchies, Mr Biggs, and Tasty Fried Chicken. Although most of them already have their suppliers, their demand for chicken and eggs usually supercedes the supply.





To differentiate yourself in this business a little branding goes a long way. Get a name and a good logo, make sure you have your presence on all social media platforms. You can take it a step further by getting a website. Having a corporate look will sure give you a competitive advantage – for more on branding do check out branded.ng.  One of things that makes poultry farming so lucrative stems from the fact that chickens grow very fast, unlike other animals like goats that take up to about 3 years to mature. Within 28 weeks a chicken can be ready for the market. This makes it possible for you to use a loan to run this business – because within 30 weeks you should be able to start paying back through money realized from the sales.

Again chickens reproduce fast. On an average, a healthy layer lays eggs almost every day or let’s say 5 times weekly. It’s been noted that some breeds go as far as laying as many as 325 eggs yearly – which takes about 21 days to hatch. Chickens also sell at an average price of about N2000 to N2500. Lets do the math; if you product 10,000 chickens on your farm – then you will be making about N20 Million or more when you sell them completely. Also let’s not neglect that the meat is not the only market here – the eggs form another income generating source. On the average a crate of egg sells for N800 – N1000 for smaller eggs and N1000 – N1400 for the bigger ones ( It varies from season to season). Each crate contains 30 eggs, so assuming you have 500 layers producing 12,000 pullets monthly that’s like averaging a revenue of N200,000 to N260,000 monthly.

After putting all of the above in consideration, its now time to decide on what niche to focus on. Like every other business – poultry farming does have  a niche along the value chain. The essence of choosing a niche is for you to maintain focus. Below are some of the niche you might want to look into;

  • Hatchery which has to do with breeding chicken for the purpose of Hatching new chicks
  • Layers Breeding which is egg production by Layers
  • Broilers breeding which referrers to the chicken meat production by Broilers
  • Poultry feed which is producing feeds for other poultry farmers

Layers and Broilers can be bred at the same time or one at a time but hatchery is best done independently. Now let’s talk a bit about the startup capital so you can decide if this is something you want to go into immediately.

If you are looking at going at it on a small scale, let’s say about 60 birds. Which you can usually keep in a cage in your backyard ie if you live alone in your compound – N80,000 should be enough for a start.

Alternatively, for a medium scale poultry farm, you will be needing proper housing and land – let’s say 1 – 2 plots of land. This should cost you about N500,000 to N5,000,000 initial capital.

If you want to go large scale however, you will require the use of advance livestock farming techniques, high level of sophistication, research, planning and professionalism. This is beyond the scope of this article, but this would require an estimate of N10,000,000 and above.

Location is another factor to consider if you are doing a medium or large scale poultry farming. Location in the rural areas with good roads to navigate is usually ideal because you wouldn’t need to bother yourself about regulatory agencies and labour costs will be minimal. I suggest you avoid urban areas, because of government policies and health issues. When considering urban, remote areas – make sure your location is close enough to the city, places like Ijebu, Ikorodu, and Imota that is if you live in Lagos. Where ever you live, look for rural areas around you. Prices of land in these places totally depends on the seller and area.

Another important point you might also consider is the poultry pen structure ie chicken house. This can be classified according to the scale and management system. I will not go in-depth into this but the most common ones are deep litter system, half litter, battery and semi-fold.

Items you will be needing are;

  • Feeders,
  • Drinkers,
  • Perches,
  • Nests,
  • Crates,
  • Lighting system,
  • Waste disposal system,
  • Incubator,
  • Heaters or brooders,
  • Egg tray,
  • Cages and coops.

To start this business, I suggest you go for day old chicks – this should cost about N150 to N200 per chick depending.

This sums up the basic knowledge you need to start a poultry farm in Nigeria. If there is anything you think I missed please feel free to indicate in the comment section below

Mofolusade Sonaike is the CEO of Branded.ng and Creative Director of Mumpreneur.ng, a network of mum owned businesses that delivers capacity building and support. She's an entrepreneurship advocate and coach as well as an entrepreneurship content creator

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