Wednesday, May 19, 2010


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The ban on the importation of processed chicken in Nigeria some years without adequate arrangement for alternative source of supply help increased the price of processed chicken by over 75% and as since been the driving force behind the successes recorded in the industry.

In spite of the achievement recorded in this industry, the industry falls short of its aim of self-sufficiency in animal protein consumption in the country that is put at 5gm/caput per day which is far cry from F. A. O. recommended level of 35gm/caput per day.

The importance of poultry to the national economy cannot be overemphasized, as it has become popular industry for the small holders that have great contribution to the economy of the country. The profession has assumed greater importance in improving the employment opportunity and animal food production in Nigeria.

With a population of over 140 million people and an estimated national population growth rate of 5.7% per annum, an average economic growth rate of 3.5% per annum in the past five {5} years, Nigeria has a large market for processed chicken and the investor can also process and export to West African {ECOWAS} market due to trade liberalization in the region hence making poultry farming a viable business in Nigeria.

There are two main poultry management systems in Nigeria, extensive and intensive. The extensive, or scavenging, system has two subsystems: the free-range system, also called the traditional or village system, in which birds are free to roam around the homestead, and the backyard system, also called the family or subsistence system, in which birds are partly confined within a fenced yard.

The intensive system also includes two subsystems: the semi-intensive system, in which a small number of birds are produced in complete confinement, and the industrial system, which is becoming more prominent though now only contributes a small portion of the poultry supply, particularly to urban markets.

The intensive system can be practiced either on deep litter system or cage sytem.

The short gestation period of poultry business if proper management procedure is followed is one of the attractive aspects of the project.

Poultry are kept mainly as a source of meat and egg. Chicken is one of the popular meats being classified under white meat having low cholesterol and superior to red meat health wise. Eggs have both domestic and industrial use and are produced by layers. It is a very profitable venture.

The rising middle class in Nigeria has continued to ensure the market for these products.

Other products that can be derived from poultry include feather, blood and waste matter which can be processes to yield useful product. The processing of these bye-products in Nigeria has not been fully harnessed.

The farmer has the choice of producing broilers, layers or day old chicks. Broilers are usually produced for meat, layers for egg and day old chick for restocking of the farm.

Housing of Birds:

Depending on what type of bird(s) you are interested in purchasing, you will need to prepare a shelter. In preparing a shelter, you should give consideration to the location on your property and potential threat of predators, i.e. cats, and dogs. It may require, depending on your location, that some of the fencing wire be buried below the surface to prevent any of these aforementioned predators from getting to the birds. Along that line, be sure the fence wire size is small enough to prevent other critters, i.e., minks, weasels, etc., along the outside edge to access the birds.

Lastly, you will want to give some consideration to proximity to the house before construction begins, because you may decide to run electricity and/or water to the facility, which will be nice when you need light, heat, and water. You will want to choose a location, which drains well, because birds move a lot during the day following a rain whereupon they will make a tremendous mess.

As for bird space, home flocks are given space at approximately 3' x 3' per bird, so if you want 20 birds, you will need 180 square feet of floor space which is equal to a 10' x 18' pen.

As mentioned above, the location should be well drained. Depending on how you construct the pen, a good absorbent litter may be included. Some of the most common litter choices are pine shavings, rice hulls, or ground corn cobs. Another good choice for bedding materials during the wet season is sand, because it allows for excellent drainage. You should avoid using hardwood shavings, because they potentially provide a good environment for molds.


The investor should source for reputable suppliers of day old chicks because they would eventually affect the success or otherwise of the business .In general, flocks experience some level of death loss, and in the example above you might try over stocking by 10 to 15 percent, i.e., two to three more additional birds beyond the 20 because through death loss, you will achieve the desired ratio of birds to floor space. As mentioned, you will have death losses, so you will need to give consideration on how you want to dispose of the bird(s).


The area assigned to these chicks should have some flexibility such that they can move through a range of temperatures (95 to 75 degree F). During this period, it will be important to monitor the birds for signs of stress; for instance, if the chicks are scattered around the area and chirping loudly, chances are they are hot; conversely, if you notice the chicks all huddled together in one area, they are likely cold . At the end of Week 1, begin dropping the temperature by 5 degree F per week until you reach 70 degree F, and then try to maintain that temperature. Monitor brooding area for signs of stress.

The most neglected and overlooked nutrient is water. In many cases, humans walk by what appears to be a bowl of “clean water;” but in fact, it may contain millions of bacteria. In turn, the bacteria will stress the digestive system of the bird, such that it will not grow at the rate believed to be their potential.

As a good practice, the water bowl or dispenser for birds should be cleaned and monitored on a routine basis. In addition, the actual bowl and other items should be cleaned routinely (weekly or sooner) with a product like chlorine to reduce the incidence of microbial formation. Fresh water needs to be supplied everyday to insure healthy birds. As mentioned in the Placing Birds Section, there are critical times in which the care provider must monitor water, extreme cold and extreme heat. Obviously, during the cold periods, the biggest concern will be freezing.

There are some general factors an individual should keep in mind when selecting a feed:

A) Make sure it is the correct feed for the application; for instance, don’t choose a meat type ration when you are wanting layers to lay eggs.

B) Be sure to look over the ingredients, so that it meets your requirements; that is, if you want a ration free of meat and bone meal, then just look at the ingredient list across brands. Perhaps the biggest challenge an individual will face is “deciding on which brand” to purchase.

With production of 1000 birds and mortality rate at 10% , the farmer would realize N675,000 Gross profit and N 180,000 net profit with management procedure.

The investor can choose to add a chicken processing plant to the business and derive more benefit by supplying supermarket, fast foods joints etc.

The main tool is the cavity removal and de-feathering equipment which can be fabricated locally.

Tip for success in this business

Get a good business plan
Get properly trained
Secure a good location
Start Production
Observation good management practices

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