How To Start Organic Poultry Farm Business In Nigeria
Organic poultry farming is a method of rearing birds using completely natural resources. From the feeding of the birds, to provision of medicines, antibiotics and supplements, everything must be prepared using natural components. Chemicals and any form of artificially generated components are to be totally eliminated from the diet of the chickens, for them to be considered organic poultry.
Organic farming does not only apply to the raising of birds but also general farming practices even crop farming. It has been ongoing in Nigeria for a while, but it is not as popular as it is in some other parts of the world. The awareness of organic farming is gradually being raised in Nigeria but the process is a rather slow one.
Organic Broiler Production In Nigeria
Broilers are birds commercially or privately reared for meat production. The organic rearing of broilers involves making use of natural resources. Natural environment, natural feeds, natural herbs, natural supplement. The standards for rearing organic broilers may have to be compromised in Nigeria. This is because adequate provision for proper organic poultry farming is yet to happen in Nigeria.
Broilers reared in an organic manner are much healthier for human consumption. Organically raised broilers are reportedly stronger and have more resilience to stressful conditions than non-organic broilers.
Getting a good breed to begin with is important and the broiler chicks have to have been acquired at a day or two days old.
Pens and housing structures for poultry will have to give the broilers access to a free range type of movement. There are rules and guidelines for the practice of organic poultry farming with regards to the number of broilers to be reared commercially. Rearing should not exceed 1,000 in number for broilers.
Organic feed and medication should be made available for the broilers. Quality feeds should be the focus to promote good growth rate for the birds. These chickens are going to be sold for higher prices so it is best to supply the broilers with quality organic food in the right measurement.
A combination of natural herbs and spices are to be given to the broilers to help protect them as much as possible from sicknesses and diseases.
The procedure of beak trimming which helps to reduce cannibalism in non-organic birds is completely prohibited. Instead, natural provisions should be made for the roaming, perching and pecking tendencies of the chickens.
How To Start An Organic Poultry Farming In Nigeria
Organic poultry farming is not really a common form of rearing birds in Nigeria. So far the agencies in charge of organic farming in Nigeria are privately owned. The Nigeria government has shown little interest in this kind of farming practice. The few farmers who practice this form of rearing birds undergo intense training to make this system of farming work for them.
Before moving into this field in Nigeria, it is advisable to carry out proper and thorough research to fully understand what you are getting into. Chickens reared in this organic manner are said to be a whole lot healthier and tastier than the chickens reared using the common non-organic medium.
According to laid down rules and guidelines, for birds to truly be termed as organic they should have organic pedigrees. This means that, the birds have to been hatched from eggs laid by organic chickens. Chicks from poultry grown under non-organic conditions should not be used.
The birds also have to be on a diet which is strictly natural. Meaning no form of synthetic feeds and supplements should be given to them. Their feeds should be generated from natural sources. Growth drugs and antibiotics are not to be given to these types of chickens. The chickens are to be allowed to naturally build up their immune system against any form of sickness, kind of like a chicken in the wild would.
The environment where organic chickens are reared should be natural environments. They are not to be permanently kept in cages or enclosed spaces like non-organic chickens. The environment where organic birds are reared should simulate the natural habitat of a chicken. There will be housing facilities for the poultry birds but, they should have the freedom to roam in and out of the pens.
A commercial organic farm should be officially registered under the appropriate body, to ensure the standards for rearing organic poultry are duly met. There is no official government body for this in Nigeria but certain Non-governmental organizations specialize in this area. Here are the standard requirements for running a truly organic poultry farm.
The practice of organic farming is quite expensive because of the nature of the poultry birds going to be raised. Everything needed is going to cost a lot of money. From the all natural feeding plan, to securing a location and the perfect organic breed. For this reason, adequate finance has to be in place.
Securing A Natural Environment
Organic birds are not permanently caged but allowed to roam free. Though structures would be in place, but it should support free roaming. If organic poultry birds are being raised on a commercial scale, then it is most advisable to secure a landed property for this. The land gotten should be large enough and rid of any creatures harmful to the poultry birds.
Select Good Breeds
You should select a good breed of organic poultry, appropriate for the purpose you have in mind. But also bear in mind that whatever breed is selected must be of organic stock. Chicks gotten from non-organic poultry birds are hardly considered to be organic.
Construct Housing Structures
Housing structures for organic birds are different from non-organic birds. When building organic poultry structures, allowance should be made for the chickens to freely roam indoors as well as outdoors. The birds should be free to go out to feast on grasses, worms, bugs and such. The facilities should be spacious enough and provide spots for water drinkers and feeders. The provision for laying boxes should also be made.
Organic poultry have to be fed with proper organic diets and in the right amounts to ensure good growth sizes. Not giving the appropriate feeds and organic supplements could very easily disrupt the healthy growth process of the birds. Good organic feeds rich in nutrients and vitamins should be the preferred option.
In this regard in Nigeria you may have a few difficulties and therefore have to compromise. This is because they are hardly any known stores which commercially manufacture organic feeds for poultry birds.
Finally, the farmer should have an available market for organic poultry when it is time to sell them off. In Nigeria not having a target market may pose a few problems. This is because majority of Nigerians would rather go for quantity than quality. Organic chickens are very nutritious and therefore more expensive than the regular chickens found in the market. They are not exported from Nigeria for lack of proper standards and certification. So the market for your products will have to be in Nigeria. Be sure to research your market properly in Nigeria. An organic farmer could easily run at a loss if a market is not available for the sale of these birds.
Achieving a 100% in the method of organic farming in Nigeria is far from being actualized. One way or the other the organic farmer has to make compromises in housing, pedigree, feeding, drugs etc. Many organic poultry farmers in Nigeria usually have to combine natural and synthetic means when rearing organic poultry.
How To Make Organic Broiler Chicken Feed
Good quality organic chicken feeds could be quite difficult to come by in Nigeria and purchasing them tends to incur more cost. For this reason a lot of farmers study and learn the act of natural feed production. This not only reduces cost but assures the farmer of the pure organic content of the feed.
Making organic feeds is not a process which can be done without adequate skill and experience. You have to know the ingredients to use and the kind to avoid. Just because ingredients are natural does not automatically guarantee that they are safe to use for poultry feed. There are natural components which may not necessarily agree with the system of the chickens.
Making your own organic feed means using completely natural ingredients. It involves combining several kinds of healthy grains and seeds. Some of the ingredients which can be combined to make poultry feeds include: wheat, split peas, corn, oats groats, groundnut, sesame seeds (benniseed) and barley.
When preparing your own feed, it is advisable to prepare feeds in reduced quantities rather than large quantities which would have to be stored. Making in smaller quantities means that the feed is served fresh and quickly consumed by the birds. The chickens will be getting a fresh feed mix still very much rich in Nutrients.
For now, it may be safer to stay clear of organic poultry farming in Nigeria on a commercial scale except you have the capacity to bear the cost and the risks involved. You may want to first try rearing a few number of chickens organically for personal use and see how that turns out. But bear in mind that due to certain limitations, you may not be able to achieve complete organic rearing of poultry in Nigeria for now.