Poultry Farming Business Plan
The ever growing population and their challenging demands for food has made the farmers grow more crops and they have started practising many types of agricultural methods and farming practises which can give a greater yield to them.
One such practice is Animal Husbandry that is associated with the care, management and production of domestic animals which includes cattle rearing, poultry farming, fisheries, apiculture, bee farming etc. to meet the growing demands of the public.
Poultry farming is the raising and management of birds for their egg, meat or feathers either domestically or commercially. It is such a type of Agriculture in which different types of birds such as chickens, ducks, emus, pigeons, turkeys, etc are raised instead of growing crops.
It is a remunerative business plan that has gained so much popularity and has also grown in demand rapidly, especially in the rural areas. The demand is not limited to India but is increasing across the globe and has thus opened the way towards export.
We will find out more about the business strategies & ideas about Poultry Farming in this article.
Poultry Farming – An Introduction
Poultry farming mainly refers to growing and protecting domestic birds on a commercial basis. These birds are reared and managed for the purpose of:
- producing eggs
- producing meat or flesh
The most widely raised poultry birds are chickens and about 5000 million chickens are being raised everywhere as a source of both meat and eggs. The chickens that are raised for eggs are known to be as layer chickens while the meat borers are known as broiler chickens. The poultry birds can be kept in a back garden or on an allotment, or intensive farming production system with a large area of land.
Poultry Farming is a very profitable business. However, the farmers need to be more aware of the feeding, housing and management of the poultry birds.
The farm managers are required to monitor the proper functioning of the farm, the welfare of the birds, the facilities provided to the birds like water, nutrition, air, etc.
Benefits of Poultry Farming
Poultry farming is considered to have numerous benefits and due to this many farmers are investing in this business as they get high revenues from the products (eggs, meat, etc). Millions of chickens are raised all throughout the world because of their eggs and meat.
Some of the main advantages of poultry farming business are:
- Commercial poultry farming is a profitable business opportunity for the entrepreneurs.
- It provides a great employment source for the job seekers.
- All the poultry products have a great demand in the Indian market.
- There are highly productive local and foreign breeds available for producing it commercially.
- The required initial investment is not so high and can be started with small scale production and thereafter can be gradually increased.
- There are various bank loans available throughout the country for this business.
- Numerous farms are available for this farming and you can learn various techniques & tips from the established farmers.
- Most of the birds can be raised in coops or cages in your backyard.
- Commercial farming doesn’t require a large space.
- It gives higher returns within a short period of time.
- The farm doesn’t require high maintenance. The diseases and illnesses are minimised by following proper hygiene and care management.
- The owners of the farm get meat and eggs from the same sources which increases their profit.
Different Methods of Poultry Farming
- Intensive Farming
It is a highly efficient system which saves land, feed, labour and other resources and increases production. This system is totally controlled by the farmer and hence it produces continuously throughout the year in every type of environmental conditions. This system is accused of creating health risks, abusing animals and harming the environment.
- Layer Poultry Farming
The birds which are raised for eggs are called layer poultry. The hens start laying eggs commercially when they are 12-20 weeks old. Thereafter they lay eggs regularly after 25 weeks of age and then decrease gradually after 70-72 weeks of age.
In commercial farming, the hens are often sold for slaughter purposes after 12 months from their first laying period and the environmental conditions are even controlled by the producers. Light helps in laying eggs earlier so the producers provide more lightening period.
Also, moderate room temperature helps in better egg production. There are some different methods in the Layer farming method. They are:
- Free Range Farming – It is an alternative method for intensive farming and is practised in a smaller number of poultry birds but requires large spaces. It provides freely roaming facilities to the birds for a certain time period and kept inside the house during night to prevent them from predators. This system requires a suitable drainage facility, good ventilation, protection from prevailing winds and predators. It should be free from excessive cold, heat or dampness as it could decrease their productivity. The poultry manure from this farming system is used as a direct fertiliser for crops. The birds often become a victim of predators and diseases in this farming
- Organic method – It is the same as free range farming but with certain species in a small group with low stocking density. It has some restrictions in the use of yolk colourants, water, feed, medications and feed additives. It is recommended to have a maximum of 1000 poultry birds per hector and 2000 birds in each house.
- Yarding method – In this method, cows and chickens are raised together where they move freely inside the fence made by the farmers and is popularly used by small farmers.
- Battery Cage method – This system has small sized metal cages in which 3 to 8 hens are kept. The cages have mesh or solid metal walls with sloped wire mesh floor that allows the droppings of the hens to drop down. It has an egg collecting conveyor belt where the eggs laid by the hens get collected. The food is given using a long bisected metal or plastic pipe and water through overhead nipple systems. The cages are arranged one above the other in the form of long rows.It is the most used method by most farmers and it allows them to take care of the hens and also collect their eggs easily. It gives cleaner eggs and requires less feed. Labour cost is very less and thousands of hens can be produced in the house. The birds also suffer less from internal parasites. But a high number of hens create a large amount of Carbon dioxide gas, and the hens don’t get enough space for flapping their wings, to walk, stand or perch. This can cause frustration and may affect their production.
- Furnished Cage method – It is a developed version of Battery cage method in which the hens get sufficient space and facilities. The hens get sufficient space for walking, perching, flapping their wings, nesting, and getting special feed and water pots.
- Broiler Poultry Farming
The birds which are raised for meat production are called broiler poultry. They get ready to slaughter within 5 to 6 weeks.of age. Some methods for broiler farming are:
- Indoor Raising method – In this method, the broilers are kept inside a large and open house which has floors made of rice hulls, wood shavings, peanut shells, etc. The houses are well equipped with mechanical systems like well ventilation systems, cooler, heaters, food & water delivery. The house requires proper cleaning and it should always be dried. To accommodate 20,000 birds, it requires a house that is 400 feet long and 40 feet wide with an area of 1.5 to 2 sq.ft per bird.
4. Free range method – Here, the broilers are kept like layer The suitable broiler breeds are those which take more than 8 weeks to reach the slaughtering stage and it allows the birds to scratch, forave, peck and do outdoor exercise.
Organic method – It is same as free range farming but here the birds are not allowed to randomly use the in-feed or in-water medications, food additives and synthetic amino acids. It is suitable for the poultry breeds which reach the slaughter weight slowly.
Commercial Poultry farming
Poultry Farming being a profitable business, many entrepreneurs are investing in this business but it has certain factors/steps which are very important and needs to be addressed before starting a commercial poultry farming business.
The various steps for a successful poultry farming are:
- Selection of Proper Location – The most important step in poultry farming is selecting a suitable land depending on the number of birds we want to raise. The farm should be set up in rural areas as you can get relatively cheaper land and labour in rural areas. The selected place should be free of noise and chaos and it should be a quiet place having a fresh and pollution free environment. You should have a source of sufficient amounts of fresh and clean water and the area should be free from all types of harmful animals or predators. There should be a suitable transportation system and a Market near the farm so that you can buy or sell the necessary commodities or your products easily. It’s better to have your own land because a rented land could force you to leave it anytime.
- Selection of best Poultry Breeds – Selecting a high quality productive breed is very essential for a successful poultry farming. The proper breeds should be chosen according to your desired production and if you have to produce eggs or meat commercially, it is recommended to select highly productive layer poultry breeds or broiler breeds.
- Also check the availability of all the required facilities for the selected breed and visit the nearest local market to understand the demand and price of the breeds. You can also contact your nearest export poultry producer for learning about highly productive breeds. There are three types of poultry breeds that are raised most commonly. They are:
- Broilers – Broilers are the poultry breeds that are suitable for producing meat commercially. They consume foods and convert into meat quickly and become suitable for slaughtering within a very short period of time as they grow very fast.
- Cockerels – These are also the meat producing poultry breed and have a great demand in India but their growing rate is slower as compared to the broilers but they can adapt themselves within the environment very easily.
- Layers – These are the egg producing breeds and they are also used for producing meat as well. There are various types of poultry breeds which are very popular throughout the world but only some of them are suitable for farming in India. Some of the layer poultry breeds available in India can produce up to 300 eggs per year.
- Housing Management – A suitable poultry housing is another essential factor for a successful poultry farming The housing or cage for the poultry birds should be sufficient and have enough space to accommodate the birds with all the necessary facilities. The design of the house depends on the type of breed and production. There should be a proper ventilation system inside the house because it ensures good health and growth. It should have a sufficient amount of fresh air and light and it is recommended to make the house facing towards the South as it helps to enter a sufficient amount of clean and fresh air. The distance between one house and another should be at least 40 feet for a large-scale commercial production and the houses should always be kept clean and fresh and should be prevented from all types of harmful animals and predators. It should be built in a calm and quiet place and should have a suitable drainage system inside the house. All the equipment should be kept at a proper distance and they should be cleaned regularly. The temperature inside the house should be maintained so that the birds don’t suffer from excessive heat or cold.
- Feeding – Feeding high quality nutritious food is very important to keep the birds healthy and productive. The foods provided to them should be rich in Calcium, Phosphorus, Sodium, Chlorine, Potassium, Sulphur, Manganese, Iron, Copper, Cobalt, Magnesium, Zinc and Vitamins A, C, D, E, K and all the B-Vitamins as well. Antibiotics are also provided to stimulate appetite and control the harmful bacteria and also for preventing diseases.You can buy the feed from the various companies selling it or you can even prepare it at your home by mixing the required nutrient elements in a proper ratio. Apart from giving nutritious food, serve them with a sufficient amount of clean water.
- Care & Management – A controlled environment which avoids overcrowding, chilling, overheating, or frightening is very important in poultry farming. The birds should be taken care of and proper management should be ensured for proper growth and production.
- They should be protected from diseases and provide them with good quality nutritious food and clean water. The contaminated food should not be mixed with regular food and the birds should be vaccinated regularly.
- Marketing – Marketing is very easy in Poultry farming because the poultry products have a huge demand and value all over the globe. The products can be sold in your nearest local market or supermarkets. A rough market study and research is important to understand the requirements of the customers and to know what techniques are being used by the other competitors to attract customers and carry out the sales. You can also make a website for a digital footprint and to synchronise with the technological advanced times and it can also be used to sell and deliver the products online. You can also advertise via flyers, newspaper ads or blocks and you can talk about the nutritional benefits of the poultry You can also participate in various events and offer attractive deals and schemes as a form of marketing and advertising.
Poultry farming is a profitable business but as a farmer you need to complete proper training before starting your business. You need to know the best rearing methods and you should use the best breeds according to the location and available resources.
You need to carry out proper hygiene, care and management and you should make out proper marketing strategies to run your business successfully. There are certain essentials for a poultry farming business to be a success.
If you are new to this business then first of all visit some farmers practically to understand the methods of rearing, breeds used, etc and start raising in a small-scale first and when you get sufficient knowledge about raising the poultries then only go for the option of large-scale commercial production.