Archive for January 2013

Chicken Farming for Nigerians: How Not To Do The Business as a Starter!   3 comments

1) Mr A(real names withheld) is based in Abeokuta in South West Nigeria. He set up a 700 chicken farm. He engaged a veterinary personnel to manage the chickens’ health which was a good step.The chickens were acquired at age 14 weeks old from another farm by the vet.After age 22 weeks, the chickens were yet to commence egg production which became a cause for concern that led to the distress call.By age 30 weeks and above, the chickens production was 11 crates daily which was a poor performance from 700 chickens at that age.
The mistakes made were many and included the following as major:

a) The chickens were acquired from a vendor of a doubtful reputation. It was obvious that the chickens were not healthy at the point of purchasing them. Therefore, the agent who went to buy them was not competent in his business who avoided or did not know the recommended sources and went to buy from some backyard vendor of doubtful reputation.Buying poorly bred chickens is the fastest lane to disaster. Please TAKE NOTE!

b) The vet was not resident in Abeokuta but in another city over 60 kms away. The starter farmer is to blame for this error for not engaging a vet within the city where the farm was. And for not engaging a competent vet for health administration. Your vet must not be far away and should be able to be available on demand as promptly as possible.Please TAKE NOTE!

c) When the chickens were performing poorly, the vet advised this farmer to increase water supply to the chickens as a measure to boost egg production. It was a most ridiculous suggestion that confirmed that the vet did not advise this farmer properly. On no account should water intake be restricted in the first instance. The suggestion did not solve the problem. While the problem lasted, the ‘vet’ could not decode the problem. There are some quacks parading as vets.Please engage a seasoned vet personnel.

d) This farmer was a total novice when he started. He sought no knowledge before starting, was ignorant of the basics but set up because he had the money and thought that was what the business needed. He did not even know what to expect in terms of egg production at various ages of the chickens.

If he had known the basic details, he would have known that the water suggestion made by the vet was a spurious suggestion. Ignorance is a heavier price tag!

e) Then the farmer panicked along the line by abruptly changing the chicken feed from Top feeds to a self milled feed of doubtful formulation. Then the egg production nosedived to 8 crates daily which worsened the problem. The feed was changed without appropriate consultation from an animal nutritionist or poultry consultant. Anything about self-milling,please consult a nutritionist.

f) Eventually, the chickens were sold off and the farm was closed down at a loss of N500k.A disastrous outing caused by crass ignorance and a typical penny-wise,pound-foolish mentality. The Layer Chickens Report on this blog contains the information that addresses his problems.Failure to pay for knowledge from the right sources for as low as N5000.00 led to a loss of the colossal sum of N500k!

2)The second man is an employee in Lagos who has the money but no time for the chicken farming business.He had zero knowledge too and did not bother to acquire any form of knowledge.He was invited into it by a neighbor who has a poultry farm. He gave his neighbor farmer the money for purchase and rearing of 1000 layers chickens from day old status to maturity which was done.The chickens were reared on the neighbor’s farm.

But the problem was that by the age of over 8 months,according to him, that the 1000 chickens were not laying any eggs or laying too poorly.He then discovered that the neighbor farmer had been underfeeding the chickens apart from other anomalies which affected them.He placed his trust in the wrong person,who misappropriated the funds and he did not know how to monitor his investment.

3) The third starter farmer has 100 layer chickens. He began to give them layers mash from age 16 weeks when he had not seen a single egg laid.That was too early and a dangerous error and against the rules. At over 22 weeks, no egg production according to him. Giving layers mash too early is like having intercourse with a 9 year old girl whose womb is yet to develop.There are rules to follow that guide the introduction of layers mesh.

If you are a starter,it is wise to avoid the above stated errors.Get the basic information first.The sensitivity of the business requires starting out with the right details. Do not dabble into it,please.
John Ayodele