5 Challenges Of Poultry Farming And How To Overcome Them
Poultry farming in Nigeria has encountered some great improvements over the years, no doubt. However, that is not to say this farming sector is free of challenges. On the contrary, some farmers specialising in poultry farming are faced with problems cutting across various areas.
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The most common problems peculiar to poultry farming in Nigeria include:
Access to Capital
When it comes to poultry farming in Nigeria, adequate funding is one major challenge. To run a successful farm, capital has to be readily available to farmers. Make no mistakes about it; the level of growth any farm experiences is dependent on the capital invested in it.
Accessing capital at the right time is of great importance; hence, some farmers turn to microfinance banks. However, some can’t afford the interest rates that come with such offers. As a result, they withdraw.
The most feasible solution to this challenge would be to take advantage of government loans for poultry farmers. These loans have been put in place to boost the production of eggs and meat and create more job opportunities.
Lack of Information
Access to the necessary information contributes to the success of any business, including poultry farming. One mistake some people make is venturing into a business with very little or no information about the field. On the other hand, some people get their information from the wrong sources, which eventually leads to business failure.
A farmer who ventures into the business with all the information needed will perform way better than someone with none or the wrong information.
Two things are involved here. One is getting enough information; the other is getting it from the right source. Combining these two together is sure to set the business on the right path for success.
One sure way to achieve this is by sourcing information directly from the Ministry of Agriculture and other approved sources. Also, seeking the advice of a qualified veterinary doctor will ensure the birds are in perfect condition.
Parasites and Diseases
Parasites and diseases lead to a loss in egg production. While some breeds of birds are resistant to certain diseases, others aren’t. If you’re rearing birds for maximum production, they need to be kept in the best state possible. Being prone to pests and diseases will be a barrier to this happening.
When there is an outbreak, it is best to treat them immediately to avoid their production being tampered with. Keen observance is key in this case. Without it, you might miss out on identifying symptoms in your poultry farm. Symptoms don’t come with all diseases, but the moment you notice any strange sign, immediately alert a veterinary doctor.
Another way to deal with this problem is to avoid breeding ill birds as they can pass the illness down to the unborn generation. Furthermore, ensure that only healthy birds are reared together. Doing this will ensure a generation of healthy birds.
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The growth rate in birds is solely dependent on the type of feeds they are being fed with. Feeding goes way beyond giving the birds something to eat. These birds require a balanced diet if they are to perform well. Some producers might mix grains with the feeds. However, this isn’t a good idea as it only dilutes the nutrient level available to the birds, leading to deficiencies.
Nutritional deficiencies can alter the growth of pullet and the production level of hens. For birds, feed level depends on the size, age, egg production rate, energy level of apportioned feed, and the laying house’s temperature.
Feeds also affect the quality of eggs produced; for instance, the quality of eggshells is determined by the level of certain minerals such as Vitamin D and Calcium. The colour of the egg yolk is determined by the amount of pigment in the feed. Overall, protein and fatty acid in feeds help achieve maximum egg size during production.
The solution to this problem will be investing in the right feeds. Rations should be properly balanced to boost health alongside quality egg production.
Availability and Affordability of Vaccines
Ready access to vaccines and drugs is of great importance in poultry farming. However, not all farmers can afford the cost of vaccines. It’s easier for industrial poultry farmers to buy vaccines when necessary as they can afford the expenses. The same can’t be said for farmers into small-scale poultry farming in Nigeria.
In addition to this, vaccines might not be readily available; hence, prevalent sales of fake ones. Administering fake vaccines to birds can be harmful to their health.
Poultry farmers should always check in with veterinary doctors before administering drugs to the birds. This will ensure they are been given the right drugs for any situation.
To curb the lack of funds, farmers can apply for loans either from banks or through government loans.
Read also: Systems of poultry rearing
Understanding what challenges you might face with poultry farming in Nigeria will prepare you for the task ahead. These tips will help in your journey into poultry farming and possible ways to handle the challenges when they show up.
Contributed by: Alara Charis
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