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SME Guide

Poultry Farming in Nigeria: How to Start and Operate a Profitable Business

The poultry industry in Nigeria has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade. Rising demand for chicken and eggs coupled with improved production methods present lucrative opportunities for aspiring poultry farmers. However, starting and operating a profitable, sustainable poultry business in Nigeria requires proper planning and management.

This detailed guide provides poultry entrepreneurs key information on establishing and running a commercial poultry farm in Nigeria. It covers crucial aspects like housing, feed, breed selection, health and biosecurity measures, business registration, record keeping, processing, and marketing of chicken and eggs. Following scientifically proven practices can help maximize productivity and profitability.


Selecting a Suitable Location

– Locate the farm close to markets, input suppliers, and processors to minimize transport costs

– Ensure adequate availability of clean water for drinking and cooling chickens

– The area should have reliable access to electricity for powering equipment

– Choose land with good drainage and facilities to handle waste disposal

– Consider local zoning regulations and potential for future expansion

– Maintain isolation from other livestock farms to prevent disease spread


Housing Design and Construction

– The climate in Nigeria requires adaptating housing to provide ventilation and cooling

– Use local building materials like bricks, cement, and wood to reduce costs

– Proper flooring using concrete or litter helps manage droppings

– Provide a minimum space of 3 square feet per broiler chicken

– Design portable houses that allow rotating pens and maintaining hygiene

– Ventilation systems, cooling pads, and foggers help regulate temperatures

– Install feeders and drinkers suitable for bird’s stage of growth

– Lighting should provide 16-18 hours per day for proper growth


Poultry Equipment and Infrastructure

– Basic equipment like feeders, drinkers, lighting, and waste removal systems are essential

– Ventilation and misting systems help birds cope with hot conditions

– Have secure storage for feed, tools, records, and medical supplies

– Maintain backup power supply using petrol or diesel generators

– Have security features like perimeter fencing and warning signs

– Develop isolation facility for birds recovering from illness

– Invest in trucks, crates, cages for transporting chickens and eggs


Selecting the Right Poultry Breeds

– Choose breeds suited for meat or egg production or dual-purpose birds

– Consider climate adaptability, disease resistance, feed conversion efficiency

– Popular broiler breeds like Anak, Ross, Cobb, Marshall can achieve 2 kg weight in 7 weeks with good management

– Brown chickens like ISA Brown, Dominant Black perform well for egg production under tropical conditions

– Work with reputable hatcheries to source quality day-old chicks


Feeding Poultry for Optimal Growth

– Poultry require energy and protein-rich balanced feed tailored to growth stage

– Broiler starter feed with 21-23% protein fed for first 4 weeks followed by finisher feed

– Layer feed should contain 16-18% protein and high calcium for egg shell strength

– Continuously provide clean drinking water to enhance feed digestion and growth

– Avoid mouldy, contaminated feed which poses health risks

– Work with nutritionists to formulate cost-effective feed using locally sourced ingredients

– Automated feeding systems save labour and reduce wastage


Health and Biosecurity Measures

– Follow strict biosecurity protocols by restricting entry, sanitizing facilities and equipment

– Quarantine new birds for at least 2 weeks before introducing to flock

– Vaccinate against prevalent diseases like Gumboro, coccidiosis, and fowl typhoid

– Avoid introducing diseased birds which can spread quickly in high-density flocks

– Monitor for signs of illness including reduced feeding, diarrhoea, respiratory distress

– Maintain proper ventilation, temperature and hygiene to prevent outbreaks

– Promptly remove and isolate sick birds for treatment or culling

– Schedule visits by qualified poultry veterinarians for flock health monitoring

– Use recommended medications and avoid overusing antibiotics


Registration and Regulatory Requirements

– Register business name with Corporate Affairs Commission and suitable poultry farming association

– Obtain operational permits and certificates from NAFDAC, SON, and other regulators

– Seek counsel from professionals on business licensing, taxes, and regulatory obligations

– Develop operations manual covering safety procedures, emergency protocols, and contingency plans

– Maintain proper books of account for all incomes and expenses


Record Keeping and Data Management

– Keep detailed production data including feed intake, weight gain, egg production, mortality

– Track vaccination schedules, medication, and biosecurity measures

– Maintain inventory records of feedstock, medications, equipment, sales

– Analyse growth, egg production, and health metrics to identify issues and improve management

– Digital poultry farm management software helps organizing records and identifying trends


Processing and Value Addition

– Process chicken to add value through activities like slaughtering, de-feathering, evisceration, cut-up, deboning, packaging, and labelling

– Develop in-house processing or work with chicken processing MSME clusters

– Processing waste can be converted into pet foods, animal feed or compost

– Refrigerated storage and transport preserves chicken quality and shelf life

– Value-added egg products include powdered eggs, salted eggs, and speciality trays

– Quality control testing ensures safety standards are met


Marketing and Sales Channels

– Research market demand trends for chicken and eggs

– Develop marketing plan with pricing, partnerships, promotions, and channels

– Sell to wholesalers, supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, schools, and processors

– Participate in poultry trade fairs and agricultural exhibitions to network and publicize your brand

– Leverage social media, online sales platforms, and digital marketing to expand reach

– Partner with food delivery apps, e-commerce companies, and organic food stores



Poultry farming presents a worthwhile entrepreneurial venture in Nigeria’s rapidly growing poultry industry. With sound planning and management focused on disease prevention, biosecurity, quality inputs, data-driven decisions, processing, and marketing, poultry businesses can achieve excellent productivity and profitability. Paying attention to regulatory requirements and maintaining proper financial records also helps build a sustainable enterprise. This guide outlines key steps involved in starting and operating a commercial poultry farm in Nigeria. With hard work and persistence, poultry farming can provide fulfilling self-employment and contribute to national food security.

2 thoughts on “Poultry Farming in Nigeria: How to Start and Operate a Profitable Business”

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