Thinking about chicken farming as a business? 10 Steps you need to consider when you want to start to farm with chickens and how to become a successful chicken farmer – How to Start Farming with Chickens in 10 Steps
Chicken farming can be a lucrative business but planning your business is essential for any beginner farmer.
Not planning your poultry business correctly can cause financial problems, under growing your chickens and eventually lead to massive money loss.
Taking these steps will ensure that your poultry business strive and become a profitable success.
How to Start Farming with Chickens in 10 Steps
Key Points of making your Chicken Farm a Success
• Flooring (also known as bedding)
• Market research and Sales
• Cashflow and Budgets
• Monitor your Business
• After sales Service
• Bio Security
• Correct feed and feeding methods
• Fresh Water
Bedding for Chickens
Make sure that you get this step right. Broilers that are cold and wet can get sick fast due to bad flooring. Broilers need flooring for 6 weeks whereas layers need bedding for a year or more.
Bedding for broilers is easier as you can use sawdust or wood shavings. You can top it up every other day and cleaning is only required at the end of a six week cycle.
When cleaning your broiler coops, make sure you disinfect the walls and floors and let it rest for at least 4 days before placing new day old chicks.
Broilers that are cold and wet can get sick fast due to bad flooring.
With layers it is more advisable to add wood shavings as it absorbs chicken waste easier and should be topped regularly with new shavings.
You clean the coop at the end of the laying cycle and can resell the chicken manure to cover some feed or labour cost.
Chickens always needs fresh water.
Make sure that you have fresh water for your chickens at all times. Chickens don’t get sick often, but lack of fresh water will enhance sickness and diseases. You can make your own drinker or buy bell drinkers at an agriculture store near you.
If you are not on an automated system, the drinkers should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice a week to avoid moldiness growing inside of the drinkers.
There are various methods of feeding chickens. Automated systems are expensive so you can do it by hand. Make sure that the chicken feeders are clean and poop free. You can raise the chicken feeders so that they do not scrub in the feed and waste food.
Chickens can be fed 3 times per day or if you are on a free range system, make sure that you put out enough feed for them so they can eat when they want.
You will find videos on this website on how to make your own chicken feeders and water drinkers.
Monitor your Poultry Business
When buying day old chicks, make sure that they are vaccinated against pocks and New Castle, do ask at the hatchery if you are not sure.
When traveling long distances with day old chicks or fully grown chicks they tend to go into shock. To help the chickens get over this stage put a teaspoon of brown sugar per liter water in their drinkers.
This will calm them and get them back to eating again.
If you find any chickens that appears to be sick remove them from the coop and treat them separately. This will help avoid deceases spreading to the rest of the chickens in the coop.
Market research and selling of chickens
You need to make sure that you have clients before attempting to farm with chickens. By doing so you will know exactly with how many chickens to start with.
Selling chickens is easy and fun, but sitting with chickens that you cant sell is costly as you need to feed them continuously after the selling date. That will surely decrease your profit margin or even close your business.
To start off you can sell eggs and poultry products to friends and local markets. Try to reach out to supermarkets or abattoirs and see if you can get their support.
Finding an abattoir to slaughter your birds can be expensive so make sure that you find the right abattoir and negotiate planning. They will always try and assist you with getting buyers for your products.
Feed,Fuel and wages should be included in your business plan.
Cash Flow and Budget for your Poultry Business
Get a solid business plan for your chicken farming business. A business plan is a tool to help you monitor your growth and help achieve goals. Most businesses has hidden costs and so does poultry farming. Make sure that your planning is on point and that you include all expenses.
By not doing so you will find that your expected profits are not meeting your financials at the end of your term. That can cause a lot of confusion if goals are not met.
Budget for wages, fuel, feed, electricity and heating.
After Sales Service
This is a service that can not be ignored. Contact your clients after they have collected your products and get a feedback of how you could improve their experience for future purchases.
Many times when they review your product and service you will find valuable information that you did not even though of. This will also show your clients that you care about your and their business and they will surely become regular clients.
You can also use this opportunity to tell clients about upcoming products, specials and about your growth planning.
Bio-Security on your Farm
What is bio-security? Bio-security in plain English is to keep unwanted guest out of your chicken coops. By doing so you help prevent spreading deceases that could of brought in from other farms or instances.
Should a client want to see your coop make sure that their vehicles are sprayed down with a disinfectant and that they put on protective gear that you can supply them with.
Containing diseases and the prevention is crucial to your business in order to succeed.
Keeping your farming premises safe
• Keep unwanted guests out of your coops
• Vehicles should be sprayed down with an disinfected
• Water traps should be placed at all entrances of your chicken coop
• Disinfect your coops after every cycle and let it stand for at least 4 days
• Workers and Guests should sanitize before entering the coop
• If any of your staff have the flu, they should not work in the chicken coop
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How to Start Farming with Chickens in 10 Steps