Poultry farming Basis continued: How to choose the right bird.
Poultry farming is a very sensitive business since it deals directly with living things at both entry and exit (sells points) points. The number one reason why people fail in this business is because they have failed to acknowledge this fact. You must learn to understand these creatures so that you know how they feel by listening to their crows or seeing the appearance of their droppings. Its CRAZY!
So in this episode, we will further explain the types of birds we have in this industry.
There are different bird types in the poultry business but we shall stick to the ones below:
TURKEY: these type of birds are grown for both household and commercial purposes. They are strong in terms of resistance to stress and diseases. They also propagate by laying eggs and hatching same after about 24-30 days incubation period. They usually take about 24 weeks and above for them to reach marketable size. They have both males and females. They come in two types of breeds- the local and agric breed. That's just the common names you can use to identify them. The agric breed is much better for commercial purposes since it attains heavy weights and grows faster than the local breed.
It is important that you first study the market in your location before deciding on this nitche. In my location (Northern Nigeria) the market for turkeys have gone bad. In the years 2000- 2010 this business was really hot in every sense. A big size turkey was sold at N15,000 - N20,000 then but now you can't sell a big size turkey at that price. You did sell at N10,000 after being stressed out. So check if this type of bird is good in your area.
LAYER: these type of birds are mostly grown for eggs. They are also strong in terms of resistance to diseases. Their stages of growth follows a path as this:
Chick - grower - pullet - layer
The above paths shows the various entry points you can enter the business. You can decide to enter at day old chick (doc) stage or grower or even pullet (point of lay).
It is advisable for a starter with no skill to enter at the point of lay stage because at that stage the birds would have been fully vaccinated and given the right nutrition which is very important for the next stage of development. The problem with this is that, one needs to be very sure of the farm he/she is buying from since not every farm might be kind enough to administer all vaccines and good nutrition to the birds up till the point of lay and there is no way of detecting this at the point you are buying the pullets. Here's the thing, your layers won't perform well in terms of the size of eggs, laying frequency and duration of lay if they have been undernourished or under vaccinated.
It is more advisable to begin or enter this business at doc since it puts you fully in charge of everything from day one.
You also need to know that breeding layers is more capital intensive than breeding broilers. However, it is the most profitable if everything is properly managed. You will be making money from sells of eggs(this can be daily) and the chicken after they must have finished laying.
It takes about 14-16 weeks before a layer chick is ripe to start laying and lays sometimes over a year.
BROILERS: these bird type are the most fragile. They are usually white coloured or white and brown stained coloured. They feed almost round the clock. They are grown mostly for meat. They attain marketable size from 6 weeks to 12 weeks. This means that they bring quick returns when compared to all the other bird types. Their developmental stages follow this path:
Chick - grower - finisher
The above paths also shows the entry points. You can buy from doc, at 2 weeks, or 4 weeks. It is advisable for starters to buy at 2 weeks or 4 weeks specially where you don't have the skills growing them from doc.
However, entering at doc is far more profitable than the rest entries. I usually advice that starters start with 10 -50 doc to familiarize themselves with all the methods involved and practice vaccination, feeds, vitamin administrations etc (each of this is better taught on a separate heading) before going big in the business.
Broilers are also good for someone with low capital since you can start with as little as 10 birds and grow your farm from there.
COCKEREL: this type of bird is also very strong in terms of resistance to disease. They are also grown for their meat but unlike broilers they get to marketable size in 6 months and even at this their weight and meat size isn't as big as broilers. It is not advisable for commercial except you want to enter at doc and sell off 2 -4weeks old. They are the cheapest you will always find at 2 weeks or doc. Their developmental stages follow the path shown below:
Chick - grower - finisher
They come in white, black and white mixed or white and brown mixed colours. They grow usually tall and big in size like a local cock you find in your neighborhood.
I have taken my time to explain the bird types so that you can fully understand each. This will further guide you in choosing your niche.
I am sure you now have clarity on what bird or nitche to start with