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How to start a lucrative poultry business in Nigeria?

Some chickens in a brown wooden coop for the poultry business in Nigeria
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One of the best decisions you can make this period is to start a poultry farming business in Nigeria. I’m not exaggerating, but this investment opportunity is a cash cow. In 2019, the Central Bank of Nigeria stated that the net worth of this Agricultural sub-sector was US$5.3 billion. The governor also mentioned that Nigerians need more than 200 million chickens, 790,000 tonnes of eggs, and 1,500,000 tonnes of meat. But unfortunately, the farmers in Nigeria are not meeting the demand for meat and eggs.

Moreover, the ban on the importation of frozen chicken into Nigeria is not helping matters too.

The citizens are now dependent on local production, which is not nearly enough for everybody.

Another interesting fact is that the Nigerian population keeps increasing.

Experts estimate that by 2050, the population will be 400 million.

What a huge market for poultry products! Every household in Nigeria eats meat and eggs, especially in urban areas.

That’s why poultry farming is gaining lots of attention and participation in this period.

Even though things are getting interesting, the supply is still lower than the demand.

So, if you want to maximize this huge investment opportunity, you need to start a business.

Luckily, we have lots of information in this article to kick-start your poultry farming business in Nigeria.

Let’s dig in!

How much does it cost to start a poultry farm?

The cost of starting a poultry business in Nigeria can be high or low, depending on the scale you’re targeting.

Large scale poultry farming requires a huge capital investment.

You’ll have to buy the land where you’ll construct the house for the birds.

Then, you will spend money on building, equipment, chicks, and feeding.

However, if you want to start small and gradually expand, you’ll spend less.

So, it all depends on how large the poultry farm is going to be.

But here’s a cost estimate of establishing a poultry farm in Nigeria.

Cost of starting a poultry business in Nigeria:

1. Land acquisition

If you don’t already have a piece of land in Nigeria for the farm, you’ll need to buy it.

In Nigeria, the cost of land differs from State to State.

But the determining factor is always the nearness of the property to people, roads, and other houses.

If you can start your poultry farming business in the outskirts of the town, you can get one plot of land for N500, 000-N700, 000.

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Also, some places Nigeria that are not too far or too near to the main towns can go for N1, 200, 000 for a plot.

If you plan to go to the rural areas, 1 plot of land can be as low as N100, 000 or below.

2. Building costs

Once again, it depends on the system you’ll use.

If it’s an open system where the birds stay in a large hall without restrictions, building costs in Nigeria will be lower.

But when it comes to the caging system, you’re going to be spending some huge amounts.

Check out some companies in Nigeria who fabricate these cages and give them your specifications such as size, material, and cage frame.

Once you send this information to them, they’ll give you the best price for the cages.

3. Poultry equipment

The amount you’ll spend here depends on the size of your poultry farm.

If the birds are many, you will need to buy more than one piece of each poultry equipment.

So, check the costs of each equipment before writing your business proposal for poultry farming in Nigeria.

4. Cost of buying the chicks

We’ve already stated that day-old chicks in Nigeria can be as low as N150 or N250 depending on the vendor.

The overall cost, therefore, depends on how many birds you’re going to keep.

5. Vaccination, feeding, and labor

The cost of vaccination, feeding, and labor will depend on the number of chicks you’re keeping.

The prices of things keep changing in Nigeria, and it’ll be an error to fix a certain amount to these areas.

For instance, the cost of food and labor will depend on the location of your poultry farm.

But the minimum amount for poultry hands might be N15, 000 to N25, 000 per month, depending on your location in Nigeria.

Layers poultry farming in Nigeria:

The process of starting a poultry farming business is straightforward.

Check the simple steps below.

Step 1: Carry out extensive research

The word “extensive” here means that you should consume as many resources as you can about poultry farming.

Please! We’re not sending you to poultry school.

We simply want you to equip yourself with all the knowledge available on poultry farming.

Some many blogs and videos teach you how to start the business just like we’re doing here.

Moreover, you can visit some successful poultry farmers around you and learn from them.

Utilize the information they offer, and you’ll not start badly.

Step 2: Write your business plan

A poultry farming business plan in Nigeria is very important and will include starting the farm and even the expected profit.

It will also help you to know the competitors in your vicinity and the strategy to do things differently for more returns.

Moreover, we believe that your research will help you write a business proposal for poultry farming in Nigeria.

This paper will show if the opportunity is viable or not.

Also, it is the document that’ll help you to acquire government loans for farmers in Nigeria.

With that, you can commercialize your poultry farming business from the start.

So, as you conclude your research, put down your findings in a detailed business plan.

Step 3: Decide on the breed to rear

Poultry farming is vast because there’re lots of bird breeds to keep.

But you can streamline your investment on one or two kinds for more efficiency and productivity.

For instance, there are three popular breeds of birds that most poultry farmers prefer.

We have the broiler, the layers, and the cockerel.

The broilers grow very fast, but they’re not for egg production.

It’s a breed of bird that fills every pot with enough meat for the whole family (smile).

One impressive thing about broilers is that they can be very big within three months.

Some people prefer them young and soft while most people want them to grow more mature.

You can start selling your broilers from 2 months old until the last one sadly leaves your farm.

There’s also the layers that produce all the eggs we can’t seem to ignore.

The more layers you rear, the higher the number of crates you sell.

One good thing about this particular breed is that their mortality rate is lower than broilers.

Layers are tough nails, and it takes the infestation of diseases to knock them out.

But you can take measures to prevent that.

It takes only 18-19 weeks for these birds to start laying, and they’ll continue until their 78 months birthday!

The next popular birds we see in poultry farms are the cockerels.

If the layers are tough, these guys are more hardened.

Cockerels are meat-producing breeds that can outlive other birds.

They can survive in a good or harsh environment, and their meat is usually yummy—no wonder the birds are generally more expensive than others.

The downside is that cockerels take a little more time to grow.

But the good news is that the mortality rate is very low.

There’re other types of birds to consider, such as geese, emu, ducks, turkey, etc.

Many farmers also train them but not in high numbers.

So, you have to decide on the breed/breeds to keep in your poultry farm.

But the most popular breed among poultry farmers is the layers.

Step 4: Choose the perfect location in Nigeria

It’s not easy, but you must get the location right.

The location of a business plays an important role in patronage and profitability.

When it comes to poultry farming, you have to consider the health of the birds.

The first thing to consider is access to clean water.

Many people who run poultry farms own a borehole to supply water to the birds.

But if you’re starting small, you may not have the capital for that.

So, locate a good source of fresh water before starting the farm.

Another thing is that your poultry farming business should be in a quiet environment.

The birds are not students we know.

But, such places have lots of space and fresh air for them.

You can target a location outside the city or in the village where the land is cheaper and spacious.

But make sure that predators such as leopards, snakes, or foxes won’t find a free source of food on your farm.

Then when it comes to the business sense, make sure that the farm is close to your market.

Also, check the roads leading in and out of your farm to ensure that it’s motorable.

Don’t forget to check if the area is secured and if the power supply is adequate.

Well, Nigeria sometimes has a lot of power shortages, but the supply should be manageable and not long stretches of blackouts.

Step 5: Build solid structures

Once you’ve acquired your poultry land in an all-nice location, it’s time to construct a comfortable home for your birds.

When it comes to poultry style, we have three options of structures you can consider.

The first one is the free-range system; another style is the intensive system, while the third one is the semi-intensive/deep litter.

The first system allows the chicks to move about in their shed and feed on foods and water inside their plates and water bowls.

The intensive/caging style is what many big-time poultry farmers do, especially for the layers.

They’ll build the cages according to the sizes of the birds, and as they grow, they’re transferred to the cage that fits their sizes.

This type of bird housing in Nigeria is preferable to others.

It has many advantages, such as keeping the birds according to their groups.

Moreover, it simplifies the poultry farming process in Nigeria as the attendants can easily feed the birds.

Also, the caging system promotes hygiene and good health for the birds.

Poultry system you can consider is the sawdust style.

The chicks stay in an open space filled with sawdust.

They roam as they want and also feed on their plates and bowls.

Among the three housing systems for the birds in the poultry, caging is more expensive in Nigeria but has a lot of benefits.

The deep litter system is good, but you’ll be ready to change the sawdust regularly to avoid an outbreak of diseases.

We suggest that you can start small and gradually expand your poultry farming business in Nigeria.

If you have the capital to hit the ground running, do it well from the start.

Construct the cages and house the birds in groups, especially if you’re involved in layers farming.

No matter the housing system you choose, provide adequate ventilation, light, and free movement.

Step 6: Purchase the necessary equipment

There are lots of poultry equipment to buy in Nigeria if you want to invest in the business.

Some of the necessary ones include:

  • Cages
  • Nests
  • Heaters/brooders
  • Coops
  • Crates
  • Egg tray
  • Lighting system
  • Perches
  • Feeders
  • Waterers
  • Incubators
  • Disposal system

All these tools are very important.

They keep your poultry farm functional and clean.

Also, the birds can grow in a comfortable poultry environment, thereby reducing the mortality rate.

Step 7: Hiring the workers

Every poultry farming venture needs workers, but the number varies according to the scale of the investment.

If the poultry farm is large and the birds are many, you’ll need to hire many workers.

Some of the staffs you’ll need include:

  • Manager
  • Accountant
  • Resident security
  • 2 or 3 unskilled workers

You can use the manager as your accountant if he/she can do that.

The security will monitor the birds at night and also keep miscreants away.

The other unskilled laborers will include the farmhands and the waste disposal crew.

But remember, you can manage your poultry farming business in Nigeria if the number of birds is small.

Some poultry farms housings 150 to 400 chicks wouldn’t require too many hands. So, consider the workforce wisely.

Step 8: Buy the chicks

After constructing the poultry housing, buying the equipment, and arranging them properly, it’s time to buy the chicks.

You have to be careful here to avoid stories.

One-day-old chicks are fragile and may succumb to infections easily.

That’s why you must buy them from a trusted and experienced hands in poultry farming.

The chicks should be very healthy when you bring them to your poultry farm.

So, we recommend buying from a hatchery.

These places have good systems in place to ensure that the chicks are healthy.

As for price, you can get a day-old chick for N100 or N250, depending on your negotiations.

But make sure there are healthy before paying to avoid scammers in Nigeria.

Meet the people you want to buy from and confirm the chicks personally before paying.

It’s tasking, yes! But it’s safer that way.

Step 9: Feeding and vaccination

You have two options when it comes to the poultry feeding system.

You can produce the feeds, or you buy from producers.

Many poultry farmers choose the second option.

They buy feeds for their chicks from day one to maturity.

But if you’re going in for the long haul in your poultry farming investment, why not try producing the feed yourself?

You’ll be saving lots of costs, and you can make some extras too when other farmers buy from your poultry.

There’s also a huge market for feeds in Nigeria.

So, you can utilize the opportunity too and generate an extra income stream.

Cool right?

Besides, producing the feeds makes your chicks healthy as they’ll be sure of fresh and nutritious meals.

Vaccination is also important.

You need to hire a vet who’ll be monitoring and administering routine medications on your birds.

Don’t allow your birds to succumb to bacteria or viral infections.

Vaccinations will protect your poultry farming investment and ensure a high return.

Step 10: Selling your poultry farming products

Many people visit poultry farms to buy eggs and mature birds for meat.

You can do some marketing exercises too.

Go to big grocery stores, supermarkets, eateries, and companies.

Also, some farmers supply meat and eggs to vessels for rig workers.

Others have many wholesalers who buy in bulk and resell to retailers and households.

The bottom line is that poultry products are essential commodities that people need.

Moreover, even chicken poop is also saleable, especially in rural areas as manure?

So, selling off your poultry farming products won’t be difficult.

How profitable is a poultry business in Nigeria

Poultry farming business in Nigeria is very profitable.

All the products from your farm, ranging from the eggs, meat, and wastes, are in high demand.

Yes! Many farmers prefer poultry wastes to fertilizers for their crops.

So, you’ll be making money from everything on your farm.

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We can try to estimate how much you can make from starting with 500 layers for your poultry business.

The 500 birds on your farm can lay up to 17 crates of an egg every day.

If you multiply it by 18 months, you’ll have 8,670 crates to sell.

Now, the market price for 1 crate of small eggs is N800.

If you do the math, the eggs will give you N6, 936,000 in 18months.

After the production phase elapses, you can sell each old layer for N2000 or N2, 500 depending on where you are.

So, if, for instance, you lost 50 birds during the whole process of keeping them, you’ll have 450 birds to sell at N2, 500.

So the old ladies will generate at least N1, 125,000 after 18 months of poultry business.

But in some places such as Port Harcourt Nigeria, poultry farmers differentiate the big eggs and the small eggs.

1 crate of small eggs is N800, while a crate of big eggs is N1000.

So, the costs and returns of your poultry farming business will depend on your location in Nigeria.

Final Words

Poultry farming in Nigeria is a lucrative business.

The costs and returns are not engraving on stone.

You can influence the costs to be lower and also influence your profits to be higher.

It all depends on your business plan, acumen, extensive knowledge, and commitment.

The good news about poultry farming is that you can start small or commercialize it from the start.

It all depends on your access to funds.

That’s why you can write a detailed business plan and go for agricultural loans in Nigeria.