Last updated on August 24th, 2021
With the demand for poultry products ever-rising, poultry farming is amongst the most profitable businesses today. It is considered the fastest-growing division of the agricultural sector. Even COVID could not diminish its spirit. From villagers to townspeople, everyone is interested in getting involved in a poultry farm business. Hence, there is a lot of competition too. For its success, one should be compelled to start the farm carefully with a plan. To help you out, we’ve shared some fundamentals you should consider before starting your own poultry farm. Have a look!
Poultry is one of the food items that never recedes in demand. Its significance in the overall food scenario can be gauged from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. During the global crisis, people were looking for food that they could produce to feed their families. Consequently, when the pandemic hit, the demand for birds got a boost too.
The demand for birds was not just for meat but equally high also for chicks from hatcheries, breeders, and neighbors. Besides, the demand for egg layer birds increased substantially. That shows how profitable a poultry farm business is even in crises.
In the pre-pandemic days, the robust demand for poultry products has been a feature of this industry. According to the USDA stats, ‘’the combined value of production from broilers, eggs, turkeys, and the value of sales from chickens in 2020 was $35.5 billion, down 11 percent from $40.0 billion in 2019.’’
The report further adds that ‘’the number of chickens sold in 2020 totaled 185 million, down 1 from the total sold during the previous year. The value of all egg production in 2020 was $8.66 billion, up 18 percent from $7.33 billion in 2019. Egg production totaled 112 billion eggs, down 1 percent from 113 billion eggs produced in 2019.’’ These stats speak well about the poultry farm business and its potential.
Here is one great example of how you can run a poultry farm business successfully and take it to new heights. This is the case of Merrifield Farm in Canada, owned by Mr. Merrifield and his family.
After initial hiccups and failures, suffering the loss of hundreds of chicks, Merrifield learned a lot from mistakes. Now, he has the capacity to raise 3000 broilers per year.
With some additional investment, he built a coop that accommodates 800 ten-pound chickens. The coop has helped reduce issues with the birds and resulted in fewer losses. He is not planning another coop for his poultry farm business.
He has brought down his costs substantially since starting the business. Now to increase his profits, he is planning to reduce the costs further. He will ensure by replacing commercial feed with cracked grains raised on the farm.
The journey of Ryan Merrifield depicts that it’s not a one-day process and one should know do’s and don’ts to make it profitable. So, if you are planning to start your poultry farm business, consider some of its crucial aspects first.
20 rules you should follow while pondering on how to start poultry farming
01. Learn Poultry Farming
The very first step to take in starting a poultry farm is to have some basic training. Do not rush to operate the poultry farm business without proper training from a dependable farming institution. Know that it is a delicate business as you are dealing with living birds.
For example, if you do not get the training about how to breed day-old chicks, it can prove to be costly in the end for your poultry farm business. Your entire lot of chicks may die if you just do not know what you need to do at that time. So, learn all those farming basics to operate your chicken business successfully.
Therefore, you can take a training course, even a short one, to learn about the breeding of chicks.
Many agencies are running poultry farming courses. Enroll yourself in any one of them to know the basics. You can also consult one farmer to learn a few basic tricks to handle chicks.
02. Choose Your Poultry Sector
Poultry farming is a wide industry. There are two types of farming you can choose from – broilers and layers. Broilers are chicken that you raise for meat. Layers are chicken that you raise for eggs. Then, there is the business of incubating eggs and raising chicks.
Usually, the chicken farming business operates in multiple sectors. So, decide if you want to operate in all sectors or you want to restrict your poultry farm business to just one or two sectors of your choice, especially in the beginning.
Following are the niches of types of poultry farming you can choose from:
- Meat production (Broilers breeding)
- Egg production (Layers breeding)
- Poultry feed production
- Chicken breeding (Hatchery)
- Egg and meat processing
However, before starting your poultry farm company, think in terms of the assurance of sales. For instance, if you choose to enter into a broiler-growing business, then consider its risks. If you
find no takers for your broilers, the poultry farm business will not be feasible because of very high costs.
Therefore, start the broiler business, for instance, only after you have contacts from broiler companies in your area to buy from you.
03. Choose The Right Type Of Bird
Poultry farm business owners rear many types of birds. Your small poultry farm may start by focusing on two to three birds and then include more birds later as the business grows.
Mostly, poultry farms raise poultry birds such as domestic fowl or chicken as broilers and layers, duck, goose, quail, guinea fowl, turkey, pigeon, and peacock.
You should also determine whether to rear broilers or layers. This is the choice to start farming for meat production or egg production.
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04. Create Your Farm Logo
While starting a chicken farm, you have to name it properly. You may find lots of farm name ideas. However, pick the one that suits your type of farm the best. Get a web page poultry farm design for your farm right after you are done choosing the name.
The logo will also be on your marketing material such as visiting cards, websites, and many other places. Therefore, make sure that your logo becomes a tool to show that you run a professional poultry farming business.
However, since your budget for operating your poultry farm business may be smaller, you think of saving every penny. So, you should not be splurging on the logo design unnecessarily. unnecessarily. You do not need a very high-quality logo at the start of your business. At this point, a logo can be an ordinary symbol to identify your business.
Keeping that in mind, you can outsource your logo work to Designhill, which has hundreds of designers. Some of them can deliver you the best logo work that matches the personality of your poultry farm business. Your cost for the logo will be minimum.
Crowdsourcing site, Designhill can help you to create a logo at a very low price. Many talented logo designers will read your design brief to create your logo with new concepts. Designhill is an outstanding platform for bringing together poultry farm business owners and graphic designers to create design products.
05. Set Farm Location
You should think of setting your poultry farm at the most appropriate location. The location must have all the necessary facilities. Try to build your poultry farm business a little away from the town so that you can have the land and labor at a cheaper cost.
However, setting up the farm for chicken business too far away from the nearest town will be a mistake. Remember that you need to approach a town more often to target your consumers.
Moreover, a location of poultry farm business too away from a city may cost you more on transportation.
According to USDA data, a poultry farm business owner who is located near four poultry companies or integrators is likely to earn 8 percent more gross income than a farmer located near to only one supplier. This data shows that the location of a poultry farm business matters a lot to poultry farmers to be feasible.
06. Have A Business Plan
Make sure you have a poultry farm business plan well in advance to run your poultry farm. The plan should include a broader picture of what shape the business will take in the next 3-5 years.
Write down your vision, objectives, poultry products, target demographic, and marketing strategy to adopt. You also know your poultry farm setup cost in advance.
There are two major advantages of making a well-thought-of poultry farming business plan. First, you will be on track while conducting your business as you will be proceeding as per the plan. That helps in treading the path confidently.
The second advantage is that your cleverly chalked-out business plan helps attract investors to your poultry farm business. Investors would like to scrutinize your plan before putting their money on your farm.
What should your poultry farm business plan include?
Here are some major points that your business plan come up with:
1. Industry overview- First, write down an overview of the poultry industry and the niche market you are interested in.
Since you may show the plan to potential investors, mention some updated statistics of your niche. Paint a nice and positive picture for the investors here.
2. Executive Summary – Tell the location of your poultry business farm and that you have done detailed market research. State the main points of your research.
You can also say that your farm will involve raising, processing, and marketing chickens and eggs. Then, talk about some industry standards that your farm will comply with.
3. Products – Mention the products your poultry farm business will deliver. For instance, you can say that you will raise, process, and market chickens and eggs to sell.
Talk about the white and brown eggs, hatching eggs, specialty eggs, and table eggs will produce and supply.
4. Mission and vision statement – Write down your mission of poultry farm business in no uncertain terms. State your vision clear for the investors.
5. Jobs you will create – Give an overview of the employment opportunities your poultry farm business will offer the people.
It shows your concern for society as you are generating new jobs. Tell how many people your small business can employ in the coming days.
6. Target market – Although everyone consumes poultry products, you should still be targeting a certain demographic. Your poultry farm business at its initial stage can not cover the entire population.
So, mention which set of people your business will entice. Will you be supplying poultry products to households or individuals? Do you want to target hotels, restaurants, or fast-food eateries?
7. Pricing strategy Pricing is among the most critical aspects of successfully running a poultry farm business. Your plan should clearly state the competitive price you will set for different poultry products.
That will involve a bit of research about a general view of pricing in the market. Then, tell what your profitable pricing in the market is.
So, keep these vital points in mind while making your business plan that will work well also for investors.
07. Get A Loan
A poultry farm business is not financially easy to start since you need a huge amount of funds generally right at the beginning. That is because you have to buy a piece of land and essential equipment. Plus, there must also be a consistent supply of money to pay salaries of laborers, etc.
So, apply for a bank loan to start your poultry farm business. Find out what loan types your government offers in this sector. You should discuss your loan requirements for the poultry farm business with a financial advisor.
But make sure that you have a good credit history along with pay stubs. That will help in borrowing money from a bank quickly and at more manageable interest rates.
Do not apply for a considerable loan. Instead, start with a loan only for buying the farm equipment and chickens. Then, as your poultry farm business grows, You can apply for a larger loan to repay with increased income.
08. Install A Perfect Poultry Housing System
A poultry cage is an elementary requirement to start a poultry farm business. The health of chickens will largely depend on how convenient the cage is for the birds.
So, it would be nice if you can first visit some nearby farms to inspect the cages. You can get some better ideas from there.
Keep in mind that a perfect poultry cage or chicken coop provides comfort to the birds. The cage must be good enough to keep the birds safe from adverse weather conditions like harsh sunlight, rain, diseases, winds, and pests. So, do not undermine poultry cage basics when starting a poultry farm business.
Depending on your resources, you can opt for extensive, semi-extensive, or intensive poultry housing systems. If you intend to start broiler farming, then go for a deep litter housing system. In case you opt for egg production, then the battery cage-type poultry house is preferable.
Experts say that you need 500 square feet of space to raise 1000 broilers. Add some 100 square feet of space for walkways, proper lighting, and ventilation.
Here is an account of different poultry housing systems:
Extensive housing system – Your poultry farm business can follow this old housing system for its advantages. This system allows the birds to roam free on the ground. The birds will have just a shelter.
That is a cost-effective system for your poultry farm business. You can breed around 400 birds on the floor, which should require the land.
Semi-intensive system – This is sometimes a preferred housing system for your poultry farm business. Under this system, you will breed half of your birds in cages, and the other half will be set free on the ground. This system protects the birds from predators and bad weather.
Deep-litter system – You should follow this system, particularly when raising broilers. The birds freely move around on the ground made of straw, sawdust, and leaves.
You can raise to 7 birds per square meter in this way for your poultry farm business. Its advantage is that you can easily provide feed to the birds and access their eggs without hurdles.
Slatted or wired housing system – You will create small houses under this system, and the floor will be of wooden slater wired mesh. The slats will be 4 feet above the ground.
You can feed the birds, give water and collect eggs from outside. Since these houses have a low temperature, they are ideal for raising adult birds for your poultry farm business.
Battery-caged housing system – You will put the birds in cages of metal. They are put in cage compartments in groups. Each cage has feeding and water containers.
The housing system provides the nests for the birds to lay eggs. This is considered the most effective system for egg production. But it may be too expensive for your new poultry farm business.
So, pick your housing system carefully. You should take into account the land you have and most importantly the budget to choose a suitable system for your poultry farm business.
09. Consider The Investment
Starting a poultry farm will mean that there must be a good amount of funds in your hands. You may be planning to start a small poultry farm business.
But even that requires you to put in place a lot of basic facilities to run the farm successfully. So, you will be buying a lot of equipment such as feeders, drinkers, perches, lights systems, incubators, heaters or brooders, etc.
Then, there is land to be bought especially for your poultry farm business. Moreover, you require funds also to pay the salaries of your staff/laborers.
So, how much funds will you need to start your poultry farm business? Well, according to an estimate, you should be willing to spend anywhere between $5000 to $25000.
The poultry farm business setup cost depends on how ambitious you are while starting the business. This amount includes salaries of all the staff for 3 months and the capacity to raise minimal birds in the USA.
Now, if you want to lower the cost of running the poultry farm business further, then you need to do nearly half of the jobs on your own. You will be doubling as farm manager, sales and marketing officer, and even security guard.
Some of you may be thinking of operating a poultry farm business from home. In that case, you will be saved from investing in buying the farmland.
But only those who have enough space in their compound should think of this option. This is the reason that people living in the village side easily start their poultry farming. They can do that from their small backyard or garden.
10. Buy poultry farming equipment
The success of your poultry farm business will depend a lot on the quality of your equipment. With quality equipment put in place, you can make your birds eat and drink healthily.
While many types of equipment are available to poultry farmers, you can at least get the basic equipment to start with. Ensure that your poultry farm has the right feeders, waterers, nests, ventilation systems, cages, coops, and perches.
You will also need to install brooders or heaters, a waste disposal system, lighting instruments, and an egg tray for your poultry farm business.
However, you do not have to equip your small poultry farm business with the entire range of equipment. Many of them are sophisticated and costly.
A wise move will be to first install only the elementary equipment that is just essential for keeping your chickens healthy. Then, as your business expands, you can have a loan to buy costly equipment.
11. Buy chicks of good breeds
You should buy some chicks to start your poultry farm business. Have a good stock of chicks. Make sure that you buy quality chicks from dependable breeders. This is important because if the chicks are diseased or suffer from malnutrition.
But your farm should have the brooder ready before buying and stocking the chicks. Do not stock too many chicks and keep their number below 500 for their better management.
12. Know how to feed the chicks
Another key consideration in setting up your poultry farm business is knowing how to feed the chicks properly. Know that most of your production expenditure will be on buying your poultry feed.
Nearly 70% of your product cost will comprise of your cost of poultry feed. You can even produce your poultry feed using the ingredients that you buy from the market.
It would be good if you learn how to prepare feeds. But till you learn the technique, buy bird feeds from the market for your poultry farm business.
Make sure that you are well versed in preparing the poultry feed in the right way. It should be a balanced mix of great nutritional value.
Any lack of proper feed will result in the chicken producing fewer eggs. Such chickens also are prone to various diseases due to nutrient deficiency.
For instance, chickens have diseases like dermatitis, paralysis, chicken rackets, and liver syndrome. These diseases occur due to vitamin deficiency in the feed.
Chicken of one to seven weeks should have a feed with 2900 kgs of calories while adults 2800 kgs of calories.
The moisture content of the ingredients like maize and Azolla should never be above 10-11% as it may lead to fungus building. So, buy feed for your poultry farm business only from a trusted company.
13. Set a poultry health management plan
One of the reasons for a possible loss of the poultry business is the lack of a health management plan. It could result in a high mortality rate of poultry birds.
You should be aware of those common poultry diseases that can cause a severe loss of poultry farm business. Therefore, put an effective poultry health management plan for your poultry farm.
The plan must include necessities such as clean drinking water, maintaining proper hygiene.
Also, your light management plan for the poultry farm must be perfect. Chickens need proper lighting of the place where you have put them.
They need 16 hours of light. Yellow, red, and orange light is considered the best for the broiler breeds for 24 hours.
Consult a lighting expert to make the right arrangements before buying chickens to start your poultry farm business.
14. Treat Sick Birds Urgently
You must inspect your poultry birds regularly so that you can ensure to spot a sick bird early. Otherwise, that disease spreads rapidly between the chickens. Look for any unusual behavior or appearance early to keep your poultry farm business free of risks.
If you find one or a few of them sick with pest infection or illness, treat them immediately before it is too late. Call a vet for further diagnosis of the disease and put the treatment plan in place right away. That is the way to conduct your poultry farm business safely.
15. Vaccinate Broiler Rearing
If any contagious disease spreads fast amongst the poultry birds, it will ruin your poultry farm business. There is no effective treatment for poultry diseases yet.
Therefore, vaccination is vital to keeping the birds away from any potential harm from the fast-spreading of disease.
Know that there are different types of vaccines available to poultry farmers. But bacterial, mycoplasma, and viral vaccines are generally in use.
You must have some knowledge of the vaccines meant for poultry birds.
- RDV Vaccine – It is administered to the adult chicken in the form of a tablet.
- Gumboro Live Vaccines – This vaccine is to counter bumboo disease in baby chicken and given. It is in tablet form that you should mix with a liquid material.
- Fowl Pox Vaccines – With this vaccine, your chickens will be free from chickenpox disease. This vaccine is usually in a small vial.
- Mareks Vaccines – Marek’s is a highly contagious viral neoplastic disease found in chickens. With this vaccine, your poultry farm will be free from this virus.
- Cholera Vaccines – Make sure that your farm chickens have this vaccine applied to them to keep them away from cholera disease. The vaccine comes in liquid form.
- Mycoplasma Vaccines – Mycoplasmosis disease is the leading cause of respiratory infections in chickens. By applying this vaccine, your poultry farm will get rid of this deadly virus.
- Duck Plague Vaccines – Duck Plague or duck viral enteritis [ DVE] is a highly contagious disease of ducks, swans, and geese. But it rapidly spreads to chickens. This vaccine is essential to protect your chickens.
So, meet your vet doctor and vaccinate your farm birds to keep your poultry farm business from any potential harm from diseases.
16. Comply With Poultry Farms Regulations
Find out what are the rules and regulations regarding poultry farming in your area. You must abide by those legalities so that your poultry farm business runs smoothly without any legal issues.
Approach your local government agencies to get detailed legal information and check every box before starting your poultry farm.
That is particularly so if your farm is in Europe or the UK, where you have to comply with strict farm laws.
If you are a US citizen, then to run your business, think of applying to form an LLC which has many benefits for the startups.
17. Spread A Word For Your Farm
You need to meet many people daily. Tell them about your plans to start your own poultry business. Start by talking to your friends and neighbors.
Visit events related to the poultry farm business and try to make friends with as many people as you can. You may meet some of your potential clients.
Make all of them aware of your farming plans and take their advice. Let them know about your latest poultry farming techniques. That will win their trust in your poultry farm business.
The best way to make everyone hear about your upcoming poultry farm business is to spread the word on social media. Use Twitter and Facebook to your advantage in this regard.
All you need to do is to tweet something interesting consistently. That will evoke a response from people and your followers. At the same time, elaborate on your farming techniques, etc. on
Facebook with images. That will ensure the daily engagement of people with your business.
When you contact people and clients, present your business card to them. This is a professional way to introduce your poultry farm business.
The business card design must include your contact details like your phone number, fax number, and website address.
They will keep your card and many of them will contact you whenever they need your poultry products. They will remember your poultry business whenever they have a requirement.
18. Hire Professionals
Many aspects of poultry farming are such that they should be handled only by experienced people who know the nuances very well.
So, hire only professionals who have experience working with a poultry farm business. But farming is not labor-intensive if you can involve technology.
However, you will also need an administrative officer or manager to keep a close eye on your day-to-day affairs of the business. Hire a manager who can double as your accountant also to save cost on staffing.
So, hire experienced professionals who can build and execute your poultry farm business plan carefully.
19. Put Your Business On The Web
Most of your potential clients search and shop poultry products online. If your clients are looking for a chicken poultry farm around a town, they will first use search engines to locate such a poultry farm business.
If your farm is not on the web, you are missing a plethora of business opportunities. Therefore, make it a point to have a dedicated website for your poultry business.
When users visit your website to find out more about your poultry farm business, it should make a positive impact on them by its elements of colors, typeface, images, and relevant information. Create a website design that is easily navigational, loadable, and user-friendly.
Your website should stand out
However, just an ordinary website will not do well for your poultry farm business. The website should give a positive impression of your business. Make sure that the site pages have the right images of your business and location.
People will have a glance at your home page or landing page to quickly find out how you stand out in your industry. So, create your web pages to make them stand out from your competitors’ websites.
Your About page is perhaps the most crucial one as it will provide information about your poultry farm business. So, design it with utmost care.
Another important thing to note here is that your poultry farm business website pages must be quickly loadable. If interested clients click on the site and it takes time to load, you will lose a potential customer. So, create a light website that opens with one click immediately.
Give relevant and updated information
Your website must have the updated information on your poultry niche. That will help in building trust in your business. So, post your blogs consistently to educate people on different aspects of the poultry farm business. With such content, people see you as an authority in your field.
20. Market Your Farm Products
When starting your poultry business, one of the significant things to keep in mind is the aspect of marketing. Without having a marketing plan, it is hard to achieve your poultry farm business goals.
To market your products, make sure that you have properly analyzed the demand and supply situation for your products in your niche market. Know the target consumer of your poultry company also to pinpoint consumer profile.
At the initial stage of the poultry farm business, you should sell your product in a nearby market. Most chicken farmers do so to shorten their travel time and reduce costs.
Also, when you consistently go to the same market to sell your farm products, it helps to build trust and a loyal customer base.
You should adopt cheaper means of reaching your consumers. For example, create and distribute flyers which are one of the cheapest means of marketing your poultry products to the masses.
A creative flyer design will immediately draw the recipients’ attention, and many of them will think of buying your farm products.
Your poultry farm business can thrive if you take the right steps from the beginning. Pick the right poultry sector that you are interested in, choose the type of birds you want to rear, find a perfect location for your farm, get sufficient funds, hire a manager and staff, and market your products.
So, these are the major aspects you must pay heed to while planning to start your poultry farm business. You should carefully move forward by assessing every possible risk involved so that you can make a great start. Do not commit to anything without first thinking it over and planning it well.
A poultry farm business is surely profitable as the demand never diminishes. But you need to first find out the right poultry niche after analyzing the market around. Then, choose the type of bird you want to raise on your farm.
Decide on the right farm location, consider financial aspects, and try to spread the word for your business. Also, have a nice farm logo so that people can identify your farm.