Practical Ways to Run a Successful Poultry Business

Practical Ways to Run a Successful Poultry Business

In this week’s episode of Kwara’s Successful Entrepreneurs, Abdulazeez Abdulkareem Abdulrazaq, an expert in poultry farming and the Managing Director (MD), AZ Poultry Consult, Ilorin, speaks extensively on practical ways to run a successful poultry business in Nigeria.

Practical ways to run a successful poultry business
Abdulazeez Abdulkareem Abdulrazaq, MD, AZ Poultry Consult, Ilorin.

Poultry farming is a form of animal husbandry that involves raising domesticated birds such as chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese to produce meat or eggs for food and also to generate profit.

Poultry farming has been an integral part of the agriculture system for several decades but in recent times, its value is now more appreciated.

Poultry farming could be considered as one of the most lucrative agricultural business ideas in Nigeria today. It requires little startup capital and interestingly, you can start from the comfort of your house if you have enough space to take the number of birds that you desire.

The demands for poultry products are more than the supply. Thus, this aspect of livestock farming presents one of the finest opportunities for entrepreneurs to make good money within the shortest time possible. This is made possible by the quick maturity of chicken.

Passion is one of the prerequisites to successfully run a poultry business. If you don’t have passion for it, don’t venture into the business because you may not succeed. Another thing to bear in mind is that a successful poultry farmer is one that takes risks. Poultry farmers have their fair share of sweet-sour experiences, but the positives outweigh the negatives.

Poultry Farming in Nigeria

The demand for livestock products, including poultry, is fast expanding in Nigeria and across Africa as a result of population growth and increased urbanization. Poultry farming is one of the fastest-growing segments in the Agricultural industry in Nigeria. According to ThisDay Newspaper, Nigeria’s poultry industry is worth over #1.2tn as of 2017.

From a market size perspective, Nigeria’s egg production is the largest in Africa, followed by South Africa. Chicken importation (with the exception of day-old-chicks) was banned by Nigeria in 2003, which spurred growth in domestic poultry production. The Nigerian poultry sector is extremely fragmented with most of the chicken raised in ‘backyards’ or on poultry farms with less than 1,000 birds.

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With over 160 million consumers in the country who buys poultry products daily, the market is always here waiting to be tapped. The demand for eggs is so high that people go about everyday looking for where to buy eggs for supply.

Amongst the various kinds of poultry products (chicken, turkey, geese, and duck), chicken is highly sought after as farmers get a great demand for chickens regularly. Chicken and eggs are in constant demand in the marketplace and even at various homes in Nigeria today; this makes poultry farming very lucrative as it seems to be a potent source of animal protein outside fish and others.

Anyone can engage in poultry farming business; it doesn’t matter your educational or financial background. You can start at any level and grow as big as you want with time. The most important thing is that you are interested in starting from somewhere.

5 Steps To Start a Poultry Farm in Nigeria

Are you planning to start your poultry farm? If so, then you should enter the business well prepared by learning all of its rudiments. Right from setting up some basic equipment to raising the birds and marketing your business, you have to take every step wisely.

Poultry farming is of different types such as – duck rearing, chicken rearing, quails, turkey and broiler, etc. However, the underlying principles and practices are the same. Below are the five basic steps you need to follow to start a profitable poultry business in Nigeria.

Step 1 – Choose The Type Of Poultry Bird To Rear:

Before you kickstart your poultry farming business venture, it is important to have a clear picture of what type of poultry breeds to farm (most importantly, poultry breeds that lay a lot of eggs). In Nigeria today, aside from locally grown chickens, three major breeds are common among poultry farmers.

Broilers: Young males and Females raised for meat. They grow from a hatch weight of 40 g to a weight of approximately 1.5 to 2 kg within 6 weeks only.


Layers: Hens used for commercial egg production and then killed for meat. Layer chickens are raised from one day old. They start laying eggs at the age of 18-19 weeks and continue until they are 72-78 weeks of age.


Cockerels: Just like the broilers, cockerels are also for meat production and have a special market demand but then, its growth is very slow, unlike the broilers that grow very fast. Cockerels can survive in many environments.


Step 2 – Select a Suitable Farm Location/Site

Where your poultry farm is situated is very important for your business. To start poultry, you need a farm site. The size of the poultry farmland should be determined by the number of birds you want to rear. If you have enough land at your backyard and can’t afford to acquire a new site, its always better to start small. You can start with what you have but make it a priority to get a better farm as soon as you can afford it.

A good poultry farm site should be away from the chaos and hustle-bustle of the city. It should be a calm and pollution-free environment. The farm must have adequate, clean and fresh drinking water sources nearby. Also, the site must be free of poultry enemies and predators like foxes and leopards. The site must be easily accessible from main roads to ease the transportation of farm products when they are ready for sale.

Step 3 – Provide Good Housing And Shelter For The Birds

When it comes to poultry farming, housing is the next important factor after getting a farm site. A proper poultry housing is necessary for the protection and survival of your commercial poultry birds. The Housing system you choose depends on the poultry breeds and farming method. Housing design varies in accordance with various types of poultry raising methods.

The housing to be built should be spacious enough to permit free movement and running of the birds. Shelters must be raised adequately to prevent the risk of flooding. Also, the shelter must be adequately ventilated and protected from sunlight.

Step 4 – Feeding and Medication for the Poultry Birds

For commercial poultry production, good quality & highly nutritious food is a must. Quality and neat feeds keep the birds healthy always and very productive. The feed must be kept clean and dry always as contaminated feed can infect the birds. Fresh quality and nutritious food is the key to success in poultry farming business. Your birds need not lack water. Lack of adequate water supply can impede their growth.

Proper medication and vaccination can prevent many poultry diseases. As a commercial poultry farmer, you need to have a veterinary doctor that can come run a check on your birds when the need arises. There are various routine medications and vaccinations that help towards the healthiness of your birds to keep them safe from viruses and bacterial infections, peradventure they catch an infectious disease.

Step 5 – Marketing and Sales of the Poultry Birds

Poultry farming is a profitable business and the desire of every poultry farmer is to make good sales after every harvest. So you need to pay attention to the marketing and sales aspect of your business. Do not be caught up in the operational aspect of your business so much that you ignore the sales aspect.

Nevertheless, the following ideas can help you in the marketing and sales of your chicken; taking your business online, selling to hotels and restaurants, advertising your products, employing marketers, home delivery, etc.

For example in Ilorin here, there are lots of markets. The existing chicken selling points are the ones at Obo road, Oja oba, Mandate market, Oja tuntun and a host of other streets sales outlets.

The demand for poultry products is very high in Ilorin; all you need to do is identify a suitable market for your poultry products and start making your money.

Cost of Starting a Poultry Farming Business

Many new businesses require a large startup capital which is not within reach of most business owners. A typical startup business also takes a long time to produce a return on your investment. By contrast, a small-scale poultry business has a relatively low start-up cost and rapid returns.

You can begin with as little as #50,000 (which covers the cost of buying the day-old chicks and feeding them) and get a 100% return on your capital investment within six months. And because chicks take only 21 days to hatch, you can start generating an income just three weeks after starting. No other business can provide such a quick turnaround.

For example, fully grown healthy chicken sells between 2,000 to 2,500 naira in Nigeria. Therefore, if you produce 12,000 chickens on your farm, you will be making #24 million by the time they are completely sold.

Abdulazeez Abdulkareem Abdulrazaq, MD, AZ Poultry Consult, Ilorin.

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