Archive for April 2017

Poultry Farming for Nigerians: Reasons Why the Battery Cage System is Better   1 comment

In Nigeria,there are two main poultry systems-the deep/dry litter and the battery cage system. In the deep litter system,the chickens are on the floor during the egg production period.

The problems inherent in this practice are many and may do more harm than good to the farmer especially the starter farmer who is doing it for the first time. The chickens laying eggs on the floor will have direct contact with their droppings which is a serious health hazard as the droppings contain ammonia.

Secondly,the chickens have direct contact with their eggs and may break some which will result to a loss of income to the farmer.

Thirdly,it will be extremely difficult to do a stock count where the farmer has a large flock of chickens.Where the staff are dishonest and steal the chickens,the owner-farmer may not know quickly.

Fourth, the production in the dry litter system is lower because the chickens can move about which makes them burn energy better reserved for egg production. In the battery cage system,the chickens are kept in cages where their movement is restricted and three chickens occupy a cubicle.

Their droppings drop to the floor beneath the cages so the chickens have no direct contact with their feces.Thus,much reduced health risks and much less expenditure on vaccines.The farmer can easily do a stock count of the chickens and the chickens will not have access to the eggs.The eggs will roll out of their reach after laying.

Further,it is much easier to feed the chickens and provide water as these will be poured into their feeders and drinkers attached to the battery cages.Therefore,wastage of feed is much more reduced unlike in the dry or deep litter system. The battery cage is better suited as the egg production is higher than in the deep litter because movement is restricted which makes the chickens conserve their energy for increase in production levels.

However if you are financially constrained and can not afford to buy battery cages, you may stick to the dry litter system on the following conditions:

1) The evacuation of the chicken droppings must be done twice weekly especially if the farm is in the home where there are other homes around you.Twice weekly evacuation is to maintain a high standard of cleanliness and to reduce the risks of infection to the chickens.

2)You must have adequate space to operate a deep litter system. There must be no overcrowding of chickens.Overcrowding is a hazard. Using battery cages conserves space. Take note that there are minimum feeding space and floor space requirements to observe in the deep litter system at different stages of growth.Adequate floor space in the deep litter system is an absolute necessity because overcrowding chickens leads to poor growth and development and rapid spread of diseases.

3)The cleaning exercise in the dry litter system is a more tedious exercise than in the battery system.

There are different types of cages available in the market.There are the old manual system or the automated system. There is the 2 tier (60 birds/unit), 3 tier types(90 birds/unit)&4 tier. There are also cages for 90,96, 108, 120 birds,144 birds,192 birds etc. Also there are imported brand new, imported(old,used in Nigeria),refurbished cages and locally fabricated brand new in the Nigerian market.
John Ayodele


Poultry Farming for Nigerians: Counting the Cost before Starting…   Leave a comment

For a beginner,it is wise to count the cost before starting out.You should know how much it will cost you to feed a certain number of chickens for a given period for instance, how much to feed day old chickens from day one to about 18-22 weeks that egg production is expected to commence.

It is either you use ready made feeds to feed your chickens or you formulate your own feed which could be cheaper for you but the cost effectiveness of feed formulation plan depends on your scale of operations and other factors. You should know how to make a realistic income forecast taking into account the general rule in egg production and its exceptions to arrive at a reasonable egg production estimate

Some farmers venture into poultry business rearing chicken without knowing the feeding cost upfront.Along the way, they became cash strapped. Some panic by changing the feed without proper guidance which compounds the problem.

Before changing their feed, get proper counsel from an animal nutritionist and better still make adequate financial provision to feed the birds for at least 22 weeks. To formulate your own feed on your own farm, please consult a nutritionist for advice on nutritional ratios to formulate the feed.

You need to know the cost of setting up farm assets such as the chicken pen, store rooms for feed and eggs, farm house,water source etc and you should know the variable costs such as feeding and medication costs, cleaning,vet fees, staff wages etc.In addition, you should know what to expect in terms of egg revenue based on reasonable and realistic egg production estimates.
John Ayodele

Poultry Farming for Nigerians: Things to Know Before You Start   Leave a comment

Poultry farming is a lucrative business in Nigeria but also a sensitive business. However, the sensitivity is manageable and the message of this blog is to encourage you to set up a small chicken farm and learn how to manage it successfully with the barest minimum upsets and smile to the bank

In Nigeria, the market for poultry products is very large and the market for eggs is price inelastic. But do not allow anyone to mislead you to invest in it, on an assumption that it is an easy road or a get-rich -quick route without sweat because it is not. However, there is assurance that if well managed from inception, it will provide you with a steady regular source of income. Guaranteed!

There are three types of chickens in the context of this blog. There are the pullets commonly known as layers in Nigeria and are reared for egg production and the most lucrative. The second type is the broiler chicken for meat production. The third type is the cockerel also reared for meat production.

It requires having the right knowledge to be able to do the right things at the right time to get the right results. It requires hard work and prompt attention to details. Starting small is the best way to enter and learn the business.

You may start with as low as 100-500 chickens depending on your pocket to learn it. If you can operate 100-500 chicks successfully, then you can do any number of chickens. What you will learn from 100-500 chickens tells you whether you can cope with larger numbers.

Before you go into any business ask yourself,’ what knowledge or skill or experience am i bringing into this business? Provide a sincere answer to it but if you cannot, just suspend that plan and go look for knowledge through apprenticeship or formal schooling or self development avenues such as books and manuals on the topic.
John Ayodele