Poultry Business in Nigeria - Feasibility study and business plan
The high demand for chicken meat and eggs has really proven that Poultry farming in Nigeria is indeed a very lucrative business. The business of rearing of chicken and producing eggs for sale has created an opportunity for some young graduates, retired civil servant and the less privileges etc in the country. Poultry farming has become one of the most important aspects of farming for many reasons. It creates great business opportunity for Entrepreneurs, and provides employment for the job seeking citizens. This feasibility study will help us make a decision as regards starting our own poultry farm. The Chicken and its products are very rich source of protein of which we all agreed to that, you and I need the proteins derived from chicken to maintain healthy living.

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 It is generally believed that every child needs not less than an egg a day for their normal growth. While every adult needs like ten in a week; Poultry also provides meat for delicacies - no tribe or religion that  forbids chicken mea. Everyone likes it, that's why poultry products sales very fast and in high demand. The Benefits of Poultry Farming are so numerous that pages may not contain it all. Apart from the chicken being used as food, Poultry Farming is equally profitable. A good poultry farmer earns above N20 million per annul depending on how big the farm is. All these benefits are open to us if we start our own poultry farm today! In this feasibility study, we shall explore ideas of what is involved so we can build upon it; and through commenting, people can as well add their own ideas and findings to compliment the write up. So, I hope to make these studies as explicit as I can for the benefit of Nigerian farmers.

 There are basically three different breeds of bird for poultry business. We have the Broilers, Cockerels,   and Layers.
1.The Broilers This bird grows very fast and are ready for sale at 12 weeks from hatch.
2. Cockerels: This species grow slower and can take up to 24weeks before they are matured for marketing.
3.Cockerels. This species are reliable in terms of survival and withstanding bad weathers. They are more resilient, and can absorb shocks far better than Layers  and Broilers.

1. Capital:
 Poultry Farming is a bit capital intensive - it's all like trading money to make more money. You need to prepare for this especially if you want to start on a higher scale. But be assured of making back whatever amount of money you invested in the business in multiple folds within a short period of time. Before you  venture into poultry farming business, you need to seat back and do proper calculation and planning; make sure you have idea of all the costs involved. Currently they seem to be no high level, hi-tech poultry farms in this country like the ones we used to see in USA, Europe and Asia possibly because of capital constraint. Any investor who have enough nerve as per capital and needed capital to venture into it will have reasons to smile within a short period of investment. Up till now, Nigeria still import chicken from other countries because the ones the local farmers produces are not enough to meet the demand of the over 150 Million citizens. There is certainly huge market for poultry rearing but the question is: Who will take advantage of the opportunity in the industry to create wealth? Now - if you're ready to get started and hit the goldmine in poultry farming, here are the basic requirements you need to set up your farm. 

2. Acquire Land in Good Location
 One plot of land of 120 x 60 square meter is perfect for setting up medium scale poultry farm, at least for a start. Once you have a land that is big enough for your farm set up, half of your need has been taken care of. Land is about the hardest and probably the most expensive part of poultry business in places like Port Harcourt, Lagos, Abuja, and other major cities. Since you may not be allowed to carry out Poultry farming amongst residents or other populated environment due to the smell that is associated with poultry rearing and the subsequent health impact, I'll advice that you look for land in a rural area or in farms. There you will get lands cheaper, stays out of trouble and do your production there, while your products will be transported to the urban area for sale.  You can get a large chunk of land in a developing area for small amount compared to how much you will get the same size of land in a city like Port Harcourt. I know a farmer who has his poultry farm on eight plots of land in the village of Ikono which he acquired for less than five Hundred Thousand Naira when ikono was still very ruler. in Akwa Ibom State. It is recommended that you get your own poultry farm land and build a permanent farm rather than to lease to avoid disruption. If you lease a property, the owner may decide to issue you quit notice at the point you should be settling down and making progress in the business. And relocating always comes  with huge cost. Except you have much money to invest in poultry farming business in a large scale and operate with the  best of technology, city may not be ideal for you due to the smelly nature of poultry farm. If you are in Rivers State, look for lands in places Ogoni, Andoni, igkruta, airport road etc not in Port Harcourt. A plot of land in these area goes for within N500,000!

3. Build Chicken House For Your Birds
Chicken Coop, pen or Hen house is the building where your chicken will be kept. This is the second most important part of your poultry farm set up. The sizes and construction varies based on your need but ensure the building is spacious enough for the chicken to run around. The house should be constructed in a way that you will be able to control the ventilation and air movement. Get a qualified engineer to do designing and building for you if you are going for large scale construction. Else, you can just visit any good poultry farm to see how the house is constructed. The diagram above is the typical design of the standard chicken house. Like I said before, visit Poultry farms to see how it is done in your area.  When planning out your Hens house, always remember that space is very important. Don't compromise on this to avoid frequent loss of your birds through suffocation and contamination.

Typical Poultry Farm Location

4. Buy Healthy Day Old Chicks For Starting
  You need to acquire your birds (normally day-old chicks) and will have to take very good care of them for the first seven to nine weeks of their life. You must buy your day-old-chicks from a healthy source -- the productivity of your chicks depends on how healthy they are! Buy from chicken hatchery that mainly deals with the supplying of different species of day-old chickens. It's better to buy from the hatchery (a place where eggs are hatched under artificial conditions), Chicken hatchery usually produce good quantity of day old chicks through the use of incubators. The estimated price for day old chicken in Nigeria is N100 - N250. Negotiate the prices with the sellers; you can get it cheaper if you're buying from 500 chicks.
 So if you are to start with 2,000 birds for instance, you will need about N2 million.  N500,000 will buy you a piece of land which is not too expenses in some developing  parts of port Harcourt And 200,000 should build a you a chicken house then 300,000 should be able to manage the breeds till they are ready for harvest. Ensure that you have enough space for the chickens to run around.

6. Get Feeds, Feeders and Water Troughs
Chicken feed is very important if you want good harvest. You can buy feeds at stores and make sure you  buy the sack of feed that bears the label for the kind of chickens you have, such as Broiler starter, Chick starter, Layer feeds, etc. The store feeds are basically balanced feed which will help your chickens do fine if you don't feed them other feeds.  Avoid cheap feeds that have low nutritional value -- your bird wouldn't do well with that, don't just buy  because they are cheap, buy because the feed is quality and contains good nutritional value. 

You can also set out whole grains in a separate feeder if you like. I do. This can save you a lot of money if you have a source of cheap grain, especially if you use a high- protein chicken feed. For example, a high-protein layer ration with 20% protein will be formulated for use with supplemental grain, with the assumption that the hens will eat about 50% layer ration and 50% grain. Chicks need lots of protein and will pretty much ignore supplemental grain until they're older and aren't growing as fast. There's really little point in offering them grain until they're 6-8 weeks old. 

 Apart from the feeding, you need to regularly vaccinate your chickens to protect them from bird flu and other diseases. Feeding is extensive; you have to feed them from day-old to maturity. Important: Light must be available at all time in your poultry farm to keep the chickens warm, especially during raining season when the humidity is always very low. Look for reliable source of power to supply  your hens house with heat and light. Most layers will start laying eggs the moment they are 18 weeks old but some wait till they are about 22  weeks old. Whichever way, Layer farming is considered the most lucrative of all poultry farming. This is  because Layers do two things, they lay eggs which fetch good money in the market, and are equally sold for the meat.  A full crate of pullet eggs sells for about N500, while a crate of semi-pullet sells for N650 wholesale price.

If your Layers are large enough to produce 10,000 crates of large eggs which sells for N700, you will be making at least N650 X 10,000 = N6,500,000 From eggs alone! The chickens itself is another ball game! A fully grown chicken sells for between N2,000 and N2,500 (N1,500 to N2,000 at wholesale price) depending on the size and maturity level. Therefore, ten thousand chickens will give you N1,500 x 10,000 = N15,000,000

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