Broilers are chickens that are reared majorly for the purpose of meat production. They serve as a vital source of protein in almost every household in Nigeria. This is because most cultures do not forbid the consumption of meat gotten from poultry. As population increases, the demand for meat also increases. Also, when low income earners begin to earn more they tend to increase their protein intake of which meat gotten from poultry is usually what they consume in order to show their change in economic status.
Broiler production is a very lucrative agribusiness venture if done right, currently, the demand for poultry meat is way more than the supply. This is evident in the amount of frozen chicken that is smuggled into the country annually despite the ban on the importation of Poultry birds just to meet up with the demand in the local market.
However, it is heart-breaking that despite the high demand for broilers, many poultry farmers still find it hard to make good profit from poultry farming and a lot of farmers incur losses from their poultry farms due to poor management practices or lack of market linkages. This is the reason I always advise intending farmers to first acquire the necessary knowledge about any aspect of agriculture they want to go into so as to avoid a waste of time and valuable resources.
Today, I will show you how you can make more money from broiler production. The following are the factors that every poultry farmer must put in place if they want to make more profit from broiler production.
1. Location of your poultry farm
2. Purchase good Breeds of Broiler.
3. Construct a good housing system with proper Biosecurity
4. Feeds and Feeding Patterns
5. Vaccination and Prophylaxis
LOCATION OF YOUR POULTRY FARM
When you want to start producing your broilers, you need to consider a location that is close to you so that you can monitor them properly especially when your birds are still very young. The location should also have enough clean water that you can give to your birds and also use in cleaning their feeding equipment and their pen. Another important factor that you must consider when choosing a location for broiler production is the nearness of that place to the market. This means that you must have identified your market and the means of getting your broilers to your customers after production.
PURCHASE GOOD BREEDS OF BROILERS
The major purpose of broiler production is for the production of meat. Therefore, it is advisable that you choose a species of broiler that grows very fast to table size so that you can quickly supply your customers and start another production cycle. The number of production cycles that you complete in a year will to a large extent determine your profit.
In addition, make sure you get your day old chicks (DOC) from a reputable hatchery. This is very important because the quality of day old chicks that you purchase to start your broiler production will determine to a large extent the mortality rate that you will experience during brooding. Therefore, if you don’t want to experience a high rate of mortality during brooding, then ensure that you get your day old chicks from a reputable hatchery.
CONSTRUCT GOOD HOUSING SYSTEM WITH PROPER BIOSECURITY
The most suitable and economic housing system for commercial broiler production is Deep Litter System where wood shavings or wood chippings are used as litter material. When constructing the pen, ensure that you consider the direction of the sun. Build the pen in such a way that from sunrise to sunset the rays of the sun will not penetrate the pen.
The pen should be constructed in such a way that you can easily regulate the temperature in the pen at various seasons. For example, during the rainy season, the birds should be protected from excessive cold and during dry season when the sun is hot, avoid overcrowding of the pen and ensure that there is proper ventilation in the pen. Avoid overcrowding in the pen especially during the hot weather.
Moreover, ensure your broiler pen is completely screened against pests such as lizards, soldier ants, birds etc. Use foot dip at the entrance. Even external cars, machineries and tools should be sanitized before entry into the pen or farm.
Make sure you imbibe proper hygiene practices while running the day to day activities of your farm. This will help to prevent disease causing microorganism from entering your farm. Wash feeders and drinking troughs regularly, change litter material when due, fumigate the pen before restocking.
All these precautions will help you to reduce the mortality rate during broiler production which usually lead to low productivity and yield and consequently the profit.
FEEDS AND FEEDING PATTERNS
The feed that you use for your broiler production will greatly determine how quickly your birds will reach table size. It is important that you note that buying expensive feed does not necessarily mean that your birds will do well.
You need to find out the broiler feed or broiler feed formula that is effective and does not cost much so that you don’t spend a lot of money on feed or feed ingredients that may not yield the expected result. It will surprise you to know that some self-formulated feeds give good results.
Make sure you always monitor your birds to ensure that they are always feeding Ad Libitum (Eating to satisfaction). Another thing you can do to ensure that your birds feed all the time is to provide light in their pen at night so that they can eat at night in order to attain table size in a short time.
The shorter the time it takes for your birds to reach maturity, the better because you can do more production cycles and make more money.
VACCINATION AND PROPHYLAXIS
Administer vaccines and prophylaxis to your birds so that their immune system can withstand various diseases. Organic broiler farmers use probiotics, botanicals and other organic extracts which has been found to reduce production costs thus improving profit. Diseases are one of the major causes of mortality in broiler production. Proper vaccination and prophylaxis will reduce the chances of the occurrence of diseases that can reduce the acceptability of your poultry birds in the market or even lead to death of birds.
I will advise that you get a vaccination roster and follow it religiously. Give the right vaccination and prophylaxis on the day stated on the roster. Avoid late vaccination as it may not be effective if not administered on the recommended day.
If you notice any abnormal behaviours with your broilers, it is advisable that you employ the services of a veterinary doctor. Some things you should look out for is the appearance of their poop. Check how active the birds are generally and if they are feeding well.
This is the one factor that can make you spend more money on your broiler production which will greatly affect your profit. This is because of a phenomenon called feed conversion in broilers. Feed conversion simply describes the rate at which broilers gain weight based on the amount of feed they take. At first, feed conversion rate is high, that is birds gain body weight rapidly with the feed they take but they get to a point when the feed conversion rate becomes slow. At this point the broiler will not gain much body weight even if they consume more feeds.
The broilers should be sold before the feed conversion rate becomes slow. This will save the farmer from spending more money on purchasing feeds for the broilers when they will not produce more. If the farmer does not have ready customers at that point in time then money spent on feed begins to cause a great reduction in the profit that will be realised. Also, time that should be spent on raising another cycle of production is wasted still tending for the previous broilers.
At the end, the farmer may not be able to sell the birds at very good prices. This is why I always advise that intending poultry farmers identify their markets first before venturing into broiler production.
This is a very good way to make more money from your broiler production. When you add value to your broilers by processing them into Dressed Chicken, Frozen Chicken and Roasted Chicken, then people will pay more for it. Get a very good location where people can come to relax and prepare your broilers into the various delicacies that your customers want and start selling.
With these tips you will be sure to increase the profit you make from your poultry farm because you will greatly reduce mortality rate on your farm, you will not spend unnecessarily on feeds and you will earn more through value addition by processing your broilers.
Do you intend to start a poultry farm, broiler processing or you already have one but you are experiencing some challenges? State in the comment section where you need help.