Why poultry farms fail
It is common knowledge that not every poultry business succeeds. Infact Agriculture extension officers and farm management experts now say that 80% of farm projects fails within their first year of operation due to three factors: ‘farm blindness’, poor access to markets resulting in cash-flow and production management problems, and inefficient disease management.
As it is inherent with all kinds of farming basic rudiments must be followed through on to maximize profits in poultry farming.
Here are a few to guide you along.
1.Up-to-date feasibility study surrounding suppliers of day-old chickens, point-of-lay hens, feed, medicine, disinfectants and vaccines. Veterinaryservices, reference laboratories, abattoirs, processing and, crucially, a reliable market, ought to be located in the area close to the poultry farm.
2.No biosecurity A biosecurity programme is designed to prevent diseases from entering or spreading on the farm. Two of the most critical aspects are access control and disinfection of persons and vehicles entering the premises.
3.Inadequate housing To become commercially viable and sustainable, an emerging farmer must provide the chickens with the correct type of housing for the production system practised.
Read also: How to make more profit in poultry business
4.Preferred Housing conditions
The main purpose of poultry housing is to provide chickens with a healthy, comfortable environment to ensure optimal production at an affordable price.
Chickens are warm-blooded animals with a body temperature between 40,6°C to 41,7°C. When a chicken hatches, its body temperature goes down to about 39,7°C. Chickens cannot maintain their body temperature. So in order to maintain it inside the house, the roofs and walls must be insulated.
If the roofs and walls are not insulated and if they are built with corrugated iron or IBR sheeting, what happens is that a corrugated iron chicken house becomes an oven during hot season and a fridge during cold season.
When it is cold, the chicks gather at a corner and climb on top of each other, resulting in several suffocating. Hot temperatures also result in fatalities.
The purpose of air flow is to introduce fresh air, remove stale air and control the temperature in the house. In open-sided houses, this flow is controlled by means of plastic curtains.
It is therefore important for these curtains to open from the top to bottom, leaving a ‘skirt’ at the bottom; this prevents cold air from blowing directly onto the chickens.
7.Ample Floor space
Many emerging farmers do not have any experience in rearing chickens and cannot manage a high number per square metre. A farm is bound to fail if there are up to 17 chickens per square meter of floor space.A beginner farmer should have no more than 10 chickens/ m2.
8. Feed type + analysis
Broilers have been specifically bred to grow fast (38g to 2,5kg in six weeks) but to reach this, the chickens must be provided with the correct feed. Because feed cost is high (about 70 per cent of production cost), some farmers mix good quality feed with lower grade feed, resulting in poor growth performance.
Read also: 10 best equipments for poultry farming
9.Know your Market and supply channels
This is one of the greatest problems. There were two aspects – a lack of abattoirs and the claim that emerging farmers are unreliable. Some fail to honour their contracts while others cannot handle their finances.Most do not put money back into the business. Because of these problems, many end up selling live birds, an unreliable market as farmers often have to keep chickens for up to eight weeks before they are sold. During this time, they consume the profit.
Most farmers do not receive training, a fact evident in the way they rear the birds.
A few questions to consider here are ;
As a continent; what are our strategic targets in ensuring food sustainability using poultry farming as one of the major vehicles?
How are we looking at improving the business environment in the agricultural field?
Are we going to try to do business differently ensuring all due diligence are followed through on?
The question is to YOU reading the post and not to the government. As an advice, I would say ; collaboration are necessary to drive industries and sectors and ultimately nation building.
Contributed by FarmerX
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