Poultry Farming: Types, Business Step-by-Step Guide & Associated Cost

March 17, 2019 Agriculture,Nigeria

Poultry Farming is one of the most profitable business when it comes to agriculture and animal rearing. In fact, it is a business venture that brings in profit to you within short period of starting.

On the other hand, it is also a business that contributes to the national income of the country. Not only by adding to a national GDP through the agricultural sector, but also help fulfill the annual nutrition demand of a nation.

For this reason, let us take a deeper look into the world of poultry farming in Nigeria and around the world. But, the first thing to remember is that it is a kind of farming that deals with raising of different birds.

For simplicity, we have made this article into the following sections:

  • What is Poultry Farming?
  • Why is Poultry Farming Important?
  • Types of Poultry Farming.
  • How to start poultry farming.

Nevertheless, I will start with the definition.

Demesticated birds farming, Egg production, Poultry Farm

What is poultry farming?

Poultry farming is the process of raising domesticated birds such as chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese for the purpose of farming meat or eggs for food…citation from wikipedia.

As earlier discussed from one of our article relating to most profitable agricultural business in Nigeria, poultry farming like chicken was described the most farmed poultry farming in the world.

With the high rise in the price of chicken products and very high population in the country, this type of farming is actually one that give a good business acumen person the opportunity to make cool cash in the business sector.

Before diving into the topic of the day, I will take you through the importance of raising domestic birds domestically or commercially; for the purpose of farming meat and eggs for food.

Why is Raising Domesticated Birds Important

Do you know the reason why poultry farming is important in our everyday lives? or better still, what are the importance of poultry farming to man. If you do, this article will complement your knowledge; and if you do not, it will act as a starting point on all you need to know.

In reality, people raising domesticated birds do so for three good reasons; that is to say, there three major purpose of poultry farming.

These are….

  • Meat Production

Poultry meat accounts for over 30% of global meat consumption. In fact, it is estimated that the global consumption of poultry meat will amount to 138.9 metric kilotons by 2027.

The increase in poultry meat consumption can be associated to the fact that it is rich in proteins; and at the same time, it is a good source of phosphorus and other minerals.

Additionally, Poultry meat contains less fat than some other meat and its liver is rich in vitamin A.

  • Egg Production

Eggs from domestic birds are delicious; in fact, they are used for various types of dishes in my home country. I am sure it is the same for you. Regardless, the most commonly consumed eggs are that of chicken, duck and quail eggs.

Although egg is a high cholesterol food, but its nutrition outweigh its negative effect. As a matter of fact, it is rich in nutrients such as proteins, vitamins and minerals.

Recent statistics shows that the world egg production is up by 18% reaching over 74 million tons compared to 10 years ago. The egg production continues to be driven by rising rates of worldwide egg consumption.

  • Reproduction Purposes

Some poultry farmers are mainly into this business to raise the birds, mate them and let them reproduce. By doing so, they are able to sell the reproduced chicks for profit.

Those involve in this type of poultry farming make use of the facility called hatchery. In general, this facility is where eggs are hatched under artificial conditions.

As shown above, these are the importance of poultry farming as a business.

Types of Poultry Farming

By and large, there are different types of poultry farming; if you really want to venture into domestic bird raising business, you will need to know the different types available to you.

By getting to know them, you give yourself a better chance of success in the enterprise.

Here are the 6 most popular types of poultry farming worldwide.

  • Chicken

Poultry Farming, Types of Poultry Farming, Poultry Farming in Nigeria

This is the most popular of them all; they are farmed for different reasons such as to lay eggs, meat and to reproduce. Farming chicken for any of the three reasons may be for domestic or commercial. It all depend on you.

Chicken has various advantages both to the farmers and end users. Let us take a look at these advantages; starting with the end users.

End users enjoy fresh eggs (with high-quality protein, riboflavin and selenium) and the meat from chicken (full of protein too).

In addition, eating chicken help in weight-loss, give you healthy bones, help with stress reliever and most importantly, it help immunity boost.

For chicken farmers, the demand for chicken egg and meat is on the rise.

  • Turkey

Just like chicken, turkey too belong to the order Galliformes, that is to say, they belong to a family of heavy-bodied ground-feeding birds.

In like manner, they are farmed to lay eggs, to reproduced, or for their meat; and at the same time, they can be raised for commercial purpose or for domestic consumption.

For this reason, turkey raising is becoming a profitable agricultural business venture.

  • Quail

Another member of the Galliformes; that are farm raised for table food (very delicious meat to eat) or egg consumption. Although, many people do not like to eat the quail egg because it is small compared to chicken egg.

What are the nutrients in quail meat and egg? Surprisingly, quail meat is a very good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Iron, Zinc and Selenium; while its egg are richer in vitamins and minerals compared to chicken eggs.

Since quail meat and eggs are on high demand, this is an opportunity to venture into the business.

  • Duck Poultry

Not common though but their products – meat, eggs and feathers are very popular and remain in strong demand all around the world

With ducks, their feathers can be used to make some interesting piece of wall art, or you can sell them to people for crafts.

Comparing the nutrients in duck egg as against that of chicken, more protein; that is to say, we have 9 grams of protein with a duck egg while we have 6 grams for a chicken egg.

These benefits are major reasons why there are high demands in the market for duck products.

  • Goose

Poultry Farming for Beginners, Goose Farming, How to start poultry farming

Goose birds farming is profitable; in fact three goose farmers recently made a testimonial on their experience on this.

What a coincidence…… three poultry farmers (specialized on goose farming) made a relative statement.

What was the statement?

The statement was “Rearing geese makes good business sense.” One of them went ahead to say that it is easy to make money as a goose farmer if you do it the right way.

Why do they say that? Well… with high goose demand in the market and low competition, average goose seller can make good returns.

  • Guinea Fowl

Guinea fowl farming is unique not only because they are raised for their meat and eggs, but also because they can be used for protection of other fowls from girds of prey.

Many people in this part of the world (Africa) prefer guinea fowl farming because the birds are effective animals that protect the farm.

As a matter of fact, they have been used by farmers to control insect invasion of the farm.

As shown above, there are more reasons for you to start guinea fowl rearing.

So let us look into that question from the first paragraph on – “How can I Start Poultry Farm?.”

How to Start Poultry Farming in Nigeria

In order for you to start and operate a profitable poultry farm, you need to take actions. I have personally taking those actions in the past and I am ready to take you through all it take to run a successful poultry business.

Let us go through them together. For the purpose of simplicity, I will us Nigeria as my case study because I have a poultry farm in the country.

Here are are the major steps to start poultry farming in Nigeria.

1. Training

Just like any other business, you need to get yourself trained.

It is advisable that you go for short courses or training on the type of poultry business that you are looking to go into.

Some of Nigeria Government agricultural agencies and other organizations such as IITA and the ministry of Agriculture can point you in the right direction on this.

2. Select a location

Location Identification is key to the success of your poultry farming business. Be that as it may, availability of farming utilities is a priority when selecting your a location. Your poultry farm location should have easy accessibility of electricity, water, accessible ad road.

If you are just starting on a low scale budget, it will be better for you to look for locations that are a bit outside of major cities. The reason for this is that lands are cheaper to get in these areas.

Not only will you be saving money on poultry facilities, but also be saving heavily on human resources. This is a big factor in your start-up cost that will determine how profitable you want your poultry farming business to be.

Another factor that will determine your poultry farming business profitability in line with selecting a good location is the cost of transportation. It will be of a greater advantage to you if you do not spend too much on the cost of transporting goods and products to the location.

3. Choose your breed

Depending on the type of poultry farming business you want to go into, you must choose your breed very well. For example, you may choose any of the three different types of chicken commonly breed in Nigeria; these are – Broilers, Cockerels, and Layers.

Each of these breeds of chicken are reared to fulfill different needs.

Let us quickly take a look at each of these breeds.

If you are looking for the best type of chicken for egg production, layers are good for such poultry business. On the other hand, broilers are reared for meat production. In fact, most broilers reared are ready for market anytime from 8 weeks.

Similar to the broiler is the cockerels that are reared for meat production.

4. Housing your birds

Point often overlooked when it comes to bird raising is housing. The type of structural housing to build will depend on the type of poultry business you are doing. You will learn this when you go through a well structured training program.

Even though, I will not be talking extensively on this; I will still mention one or two point that you need to know.

In general, your choice of housing system will greatly depends on the poultry breeds and farming method. Nevertheless, you should provide optimum poultry farm for them; this will help their growth and egg production.

As can be seen, housing play an important role when setting up your poultry farming business; as a matter of fact, the basic requirements are:

  • Good space;
  • Ventilation;
  • Light; and
  • Protection from extreme weather and predators

The basic requirements for poultry housing are: space; ventilation; light; and protection.

5. Choose a Farming System

Another key point in the poultry business is the choice of farming system used. That is to say, how you house your birds.

Let us quickly look at the three most common poultry farming methods.

Here are the three common poultry farming methods.

  • Free-range or Extensive system:This is the oldest form of poultry farming method. This method allow our farmed birds to roam freely outdoors, rather than confining them in an enclosed house.
  • Semi-intensive system:It is a kind of farming method adopted where free spare spaces are limited, but the available space is still enough for each bird to roam around. Usually, 20-30 square yards free space per bird is enough for this king of method.
  • Intensive poultry farming system.I Like this system!
    With it, the birds are confined to the house and they are caged; this method is usually practiced by farmers with limited spaces and where the land to raise the birds is expensive.

    Additionally, It is also referred to as the modern day poultry farming system.

6. Feeding your birds

Equally important in this business is the feeding of your birds. Giving them quality fresh and nutritious food regularly is key to success in poultry farming business; also, good water intake alongside the food keeps the bird healthy and highly productive.

Like many other animal rearing businesses, feeding of your domesticated birds will be the major area where most of your investment will go. The more you invest in healthy meals with good nutrients, the better it is for your poultry.

In general, there are six classes of nutrients that are essential to life, growth, production and reproduction in all classes of poultry. These are:

  1. Protein;
  2. Carbohydrates;
  3. Fats;
  4. Minerals;
  5. Vitamins; and
  6. Water.

And the best part of it all is that most of these essentials are supplied naturally by nature in the form of pasture, bugs and insects, gravel, grains and seeds, sunshine, etc.

7. Caring for your birds

Domesticated birds are very sensitive; for this reason, they need proper care in order for them to stay healthy.

To me, the well-being of the birds is of high priority; therefore, you need to practice preventative measures that will form a line of defense against diseases for the poultry birds.


How do you care for poultry birds?


What is the best way to keep poultry birds healthy naturally?

The answer to these questions are simple. By giving them clean water, keeping them in hygienic environment and most importantly, follow the rules of good poultry farming practice.

In addition, you can incorporate the below into your routine practice.

  • Regular vaccination.
  • Parasite and pest control.
  • Identify and treat sick birds.

Another key point mentioning is that you need to keep them warm.

Cost of Starting Poultry Farming for Beginners

To begin with, the cost of starting poultry farming business for beginners will depend largely on on various factors; like location, size of the farm, types of birds, e.t.c.

Nevertheless, it is important that you have enough details associated to the cost implication before embarking on the project. Throughout my ten years in the business, I have seen individuals abandoning such project half way.

Why did they abandon the bird raising project?

My thought is as good as yours. The major contribution causing the abandonment could be related to cash flow and frustration. Frustration; they did find out that the actual cost of starting domesticated bird raising was more than they initially thought.

If that is the case, how much does it cost to start a poultry farm?

For the purpose of simplicity, this article will look into an estimated cost of setting up chicken farm; and I will also use America dollar ($) as the currency throughout the analysis (please convert to your country currency). Remember, the analysis is based on small to medium scale setup too.

Here is the cost of starting a poultry farm

EventsAverage Cost ($)
Cage construction2,200.00
Poultry Equipment2,200.00
Chicks (2 dozens)2.00
Vaccination/500 birds1,000.00
Feeding/500 chicks1,500.00


As shown above, the cost of setting up a poultry farm may a bit high; nevertheless, the financial rewards outweigh the the investment. If you are really serious about going into poultry farming, you will need to follow the step-by-step guide as described above.

It is important to realize that in poultry farming, your birds need some adequate care all the time. Inasmuch as you can give them the care needed, I am sure you will have a good testimonial to share too.

Expressly, I am a poultry farmer in Nigeria and I can testify to a good return on investment (ROI) on my domesticated bird farm in the country.

Start poultry farming today, stop procrastinating.

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