Poultry farming is one of the most lucrative businesses in Uganda and the world at large. The increasing demand for chicken meat and eggs resulting from the growing population and townships across the country provides an opportunity for new and existing farmers to cash in on this enterprise.
Apart from earning from your poultry business, eggs and chicken can provide proteins to your family members. The enterprise can also be resourceful in providing manure to your other agribusiness enterprises. However, there are a number of steps and rules a farmer must consider when setting up a poultry farm. The rules are as follows;
CHOOSE YOUR POULTRY SECTOR
Poultry farming is a wide industry. Basically, there are two types of the 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.
CHOOSE THE TYPE OF BIRD
Poultry farm 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 birds such as domestic fowl or chicken as broilers and layers, duck, goose, quail, guinea fowl, turkey, pigeon, and peacock.
You should always construct poultry housing considering the following rules;
-The birds must be kept in a warm temperature.
-Lights are needed to be on for the entire day.
-The Poultry house must be free of all type of predators for the safety of the chicks.
-Consult the experts regarding the feeds that are being offered to the chicks on regular basis as with growth the diet seems to change.
-The feds which are eaten by the birds needs to be free from all infectious materials.
-The cage of the birds/chicks should be washed on a regular basis to keep it clean and free of diseases.
CREATE A 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 design for your farm right after you are done choosing the name.
SET FARM LOCATION
You should think of setting your poultry farm at the most appropriate location. It is important that the location has all the necessary facilities. Try to build your poultry farm a little away from the town so that you can have the land and labor at a cheaper cost.
GET FINANCIAL HELP
You may not be having much money at hand when starting your own farm. But setting up a poultry farm needs sufficient funding. You will be buying a lot of equipment such as feeders, drinkers, perches, lighting system, incubators, heaters or brooders, and many more.
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 many years of experience in the farming. 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 account also to save cost on staffing.
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 business goals. To market your products, make sure that you have properly analysed the demand and supply situation for your products in your niche market. Know your target consumer also to pinpoint consumer profile.
Credit: Office of Agriculture Minister, Uganda