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Starting A Small Scale Commercial Poultry Farming Business In Nigeria (Step By Step Guide)

small scale poultry farming nigeria

How To Start Small Scale Commercial Poultry Farming Business In Nigeria (Step By Step Guide)

Poultry farming is the branch of agriculture which deals with the rearing of birds for the major purpose of their eggs and meat. It could be done for personal or commercial purposes. Some of these birds could include: turkeys, ducks, chickens, guinea fowls.

The most commonly reared birds in Nigeria are turkeys and chickens. The demand for the meat and eggs of these birds all around the world is very high and billions of birds are being reared yearly to meet this demand.

Chickens are usually reared for two reasons for eggs and their meat. Layers are the variety of chickens reared primarily for egg production. Broilers are reared primarily for meat production, Cockerels are male chickens kept for the purpose of breeding. Turkeys are reared more for their meat than their eggs.

Layers Poultry Farming In Nigeria

The rearing of layers is a common business in Nigeria, it requires a lot of work, but it is a trade which can easily be learnt. Some raise layers from when they are day old chicks until they begin to lay, while others would rather buy layers which are almost at the point of laying. These kinds of layers are of course going to be purchased at higher prices.

Layers can be reared in various quantities depending on purchasing power and facilities available for these birds.

Here are some requirements needed to operate an efficient layers poultry farm.

Get Informed And Study

The first move one should make when venturing into the production of layers or any field of business for that matter, is to gather enough information regarding the said business. Study and inquire about poultry farming so you are going in armed with the necessary information needed to avoid failure.

Studying should be a continuous thing not a onetime thing as methods of poultry farming are evolving every day. A business plan for your poultry farm can be drafted, that is, if you intend going on a large scale and making loan requests from agric banks and such. A business plan may not be necessary if you already have the require finance available.

Pick A Good Location

Picking the right location for your poultry farm should be done with certain things in mind. Things like weather conditions and marketing should be of priority. The land picked for erecting poultry facilities should be in an area where the birds are not exposed to extreme heat.

Extreme heat tends to affect the laying performance and sometimes the size of the eggs. If you find yourself in a geographical location where heat seasons can be quite brutal like the Northern and North central parts of the country, then your poultry farm should probably be moved to cooler regions but not swampy or water logged areas.

The location for situating a poultry farm should also not be a remote area. This is to avoid unnecessary difficulty in movement to and from the farm. The farm is going to need feeding resources and other necessary things. It will also need to move eggs from the farm to make supplies eventually. So having easy access to your poultry farm is important.

In as much as a poultry farm should not be located in remote places, it should also not be situated in populated areas. The reason being that; poultry farms are notorious for offensive smells which emanate from litters and bird droppings. This smell could become a disturbance to the population.

Poultry farms should be situated where there is easy access to, good water and also good electricity, if possible. It makes rearing layers a whole lot easier.

Build The Structures To House Layers

The number of poultry facilities being built for layers depends on the numbers of layers going to be acquired. Research should be diligently carried out in this wise. The facilities are to be built in the right size and also with the right requirements. The structures should be airy and spacious, with proper access points for feeding and cleaning purposes.

The floor should be done with concrete; it is not to be left bare. The roof should be sturdy and not permit water or pests like rats and lizards. The entire structures both the layers pen and the storage building should not permit water, animals or pests. The layers brought in as day olds will not occupy the whole structure immediately. Therefore a part of the pen should be sectioned out where artificial brooding can be done for the warmth and comfort of the chicks.

Housing System

In Nigeria, the common system for rearing layers is the intensive system. It requires that birds be kept in enclosed spaces and their every need is provided. This system majorly takes on two forms either the deep litter system or the battery cage system.

The deep litter method of rearing layers requires the floor of the layers pen be padded. In Nigeria saw dust and wood shavings are the materials commonly used for padding. These padding is shoveled off and changed periodically. Feeders and water drinkers for the birds are usually hanging at the level of the birds, so they can eat and drink. Sometimes laying boxes are put in place while other time the chickens freely lay their eggs around the pen.

Battery cages are systemized cages which are connected and arranged in a manner which allows the layers access to food and water. The system also has provision for where eggs can be laid.

Choose Your Breed Of Layers

Once the various facilities have been properly put in place the next step is choosing good and desired breeds of layers. Order for layers should be made from reliable and trusted sources to ensure you get good breeds of productive layers. Layers are also categorized into two; the breed which lays brown shelled eggs and the breed which lays white shelled eggs. Based on preference, either of the two can be purchased.

Breeding Your Layers

Those who rear these birds often bring them in as day olds. At this stage the chicks should be kept in smaller and enclosed spaces to promote warmth. They should be paid very close attention and checked up on several times a day to ensure the chicks are warm enough and their every need is taken care of. They should also be given special kinds of feeds for their age. The layers are most fragile at this point and could easily die if not properly looked after. This intense care will go on for about 8 weeks.

From a period of 9 weeks to 20 weeks, the chickens are now referred to as growers. They should be freed to the large pens and the feeds which are given to them changes to suit their age.

The birds are considered matured enough and should begin to lay eggs from around week 21. Laying should steadily go on until about week 72. At 21 weeks, their feeds are changed again to suit their age.

The birds are to be vaccinated at intervals and given appropriate medications when diseases are noticed or at periods when they are prone to certain kinds of diseases.

Feasibility Study On Poultry Farms In Nigeria

Feasibility study is the research carried out before beginning a project or a business, to find out every necessary detail to ensure its success. Through this study, you can identify the pros and the cons of the business or project.  This study should give you a detailed analysis to know exactly what you are getting into.

In this case of a poultry farm, the location of the farm should be well researched, building structures, poultry equipment and requirements, poultry farming methods, purchase price of poultry birds and feeding cost, profitability, marketing strategies. These are information which carrying out a feasibility study in poultry farming will help you establish. Interacting with people already in this line of business, online research, attending seminars, reading books are some of the ways you can achieve proper study.

Profitability Of Poultry Farming In Nigeria

Poultry farming is not an easy task most especially when it is done on a very large scale. It is however lucrative when properly established and managed.

When raising layers on a large scale, profits can be made from about 21 weeks when they are most likely to begin their laying circle. Hundreds or thousands of eggs are laid per day, depending on the number of layers. A crate of egg in Nigeria hardly ever goes below the price of seven hundred naira sometimes it goes for as much as a thousand naira.

So imagine producing more than fifty to hundred crates per day or even more that is sure to bring in profit. When layers reach the end of their laying cycle, they are referred to as spent layers and can be sold off at cheaper rates.

Poultry birds like broilers are raised for the meat they can produce. If fed well and adequately taken care of, they can be ready for sale as early as 7-8 weeks. These birds go for good amounts of money and sell off quite quickly when a market is available.

On a commercial level, you could also breed chickens and turkeys for their young ones. Day olds turkeys or chickens of good pedigree are highly sought after. The sale of these young birds can also be of great profit.

Proposal For Poultry Farm In Nigeria

A proposal is a document usually written when seeking funds and investments from people or organizations. Below is a brief guide on what a proposal for a poultry farm in Nigeria should contain.

Personal Introduction

Here you state your name, origin, achievements and basically everything note worthy about yourself.

Introduce The Business

Next would be to state the business you plan on going into, which in this case is poultry farming. You should state exactly what kind of poultry: raising broilers, layers, turkeys, brood hen etc, the facilities and marketing plans which need to be in place to actualize this business.

Aims And Objectives Of The Business

Being addressed under this, should be the impact this business is going to have on your environment and the country’s economy. The demand the business is going to meet. In this case it could be meat, eggs, employments and others.

Production Plan

Here a detailed plan on how the business will run and be maintained to yield good profits should be the focus. Like the number of birds, the type of birds, the equipment and rearing systems which are to be used. A brief draft about the productivity level of poultry business could be added.


This is a step by step list of the amount needed and the purpose for which it is needed. Amounts needed for acquiring the necessary poultry facilities, materials and birds should be clearly stated.

Economic Importance Of Poultry Farming In Nigeria

  • It serves as a major source of meat for consumers in Nigeria, be it for individual homes or food businesses.
  • Poultry farming serves as a good and profitable means of income and employment.
  • Poultry farms provide eggs in different varieties and eggs are a good source of protein and a great addition to daily meals.
  • Used poultry litters and waste droppings are a great source of organic manure for various plants.

Organic Poultry Farming In Nigeria

Organic simply means natural and unrefined. Therefore organic poultry farming is the rearing of birds using an all natural means.

The food of the birds is made of purely natural ingredients; diseases are treated with the use of natural herbs and the likes rather than with medicines and vaccines, artificial growth drugs are also eliminated. This method of raising birds is not really a popular one in Nigeria.

Complete organic poultry farming has proved difficult to achieve in Nigeria so far. Drugs and vaccines, poultry feeds etc are being used alongside the organic components. Using this style of poultry farming in Nigeria is presently not really advisable. Especially if the birds are being reared for commercial purposes because the farmer may run at a loss.

The birds raised via organic poultry farming take a longer time to come to maturity, the provisions for organic food and drugs is quite difficult to come by, the birds may also not be as productive or sizeable as the birds raised with this inorganic materials.

How Much Will It Take To Start A Poultry Farm In Nigeria?

The amount it would require to start up a poultry farm in Nigeria will be determined by the size of the farm, the number of birds and also the variety of birds which are going to be raised. Money will also be spent on building adequate and standard facilities, buying feeds and feeding equipment, drugs and vaccines will also be purchased. A day old broiler goes for about N 150 or even higher, a day old layer cost around that amount too and a day old turkey will go for about N 450 if not more. The money required for a large farm could very easily run into millions of naira.

Overall poultry farming can be quite the experience, but the effort is well worth it.

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