Tips for making extra profits in chicken farming

Are you a starter or an expanding chicken keeper looking at how to make more profits?

Poultry farming is easy to start and profitable. You can do it in a simple backyard coop or a large-scale farm with thousands of birds. Typically, you will raise the birds for white meat and eggs. However, as a creative and entrepreneurial farmer, you can solve various problems by considering several tips to make higher profits. The ideas include value addition, organic farming, and free-range production systems. You will either cut down your costs or make more sales revenue.

These ideas are as follows;

Have a Business Plan

Your first step of running a successful business is to manage it professionally.  You will need market research and an execution strategy to run a profitable farm. Then the process will lead to to a business plan draft for your poultry farm. It will guide you to operate a small farm and expand it in scale and variety of products. It will inform your record-keeping, financing and marketing plans. It should not work as a fixed plan, but a road map with pointers of where you should be.

Raise Specialty Birds

Most poultry farmers like to raise the typical birds with high demand. They include chicken, ducks and turkeys. There are other speciality birds that you can keep them for aesthetic, tourism and other reasons. These types of birds bring more money for farmers than the above birds. The ones you can consider starting for a speciality poultry farm are; Guinea fowls, Quails, ostriches and Pigeons. Others like turkey have a high demand during the Thanksgiving holiday while others raise goose for their downy feathers used for high-quality fabric used in beddings.

Value addition

Final and semi-processed products fetch you higher profits than unprocessed products. Some ideas you can consider for your farm are;

  • Food processing; Sell slaughtered, dressed and cooked chicken and eggs rather than live birds and uncooked eggs.
  • Brooding; Incubate eggs and sell one-day-old chicks instead of unfertilized eggs.

However; note you will need to add investments in cold storage and incubators for your improved poultry farm.

Sell by-Products

By-products from your farm can bring you additional income. The major one you should sell are;

  • Poultry manure.  Organic farmers can buy a bag at Ksh 30 of chicken manure to feed dairy cows and apply in green vegetable gardens.
  • Feathers; are used to make various decorative products like masks, hats, fans, earrings and artificial flowers.
  • Waste poultry meat products; chicken heads, feet and gizzards can produce nutritional human and animal food.

Organic Farming

Organic suppliers earn up to 200% more profits than conventional farmers. To produce and sell organic chicken products, raise them free of growth hormones and antibiotic traces. Pasture them fully or feed them on certified organic chicken feeds and pesticides. As an additional tip to make more from organic farming, brand your products as free-range products.

Use local resources

It can be expensive to make a modern poultry house. To cut down on your costs, use local materials and resources to improvise a safe poultry house on a budget, laying nests and brooding equipment. Some materials you can use are; old iron sheets, cardboards and plastics as building materials.

Free-range production system

Buying chicken feed is the most expensive component of poultry farming. To cut down on the costs, use a hybrid production system. An intensive production system is the most expensive, whereas a free-range system is the cheapest. To achieve high-quality products like yellowish chicken meat and York eggs, use a semi-intensive method. You will feed them on commercial feed, grains, vegetables and kitchen waste. In the evening you will release your birds to pasture in the compound a few hours daily.

Formulate your chicken feed

According to the projected profits analysis, the average cost of buying commercial feeds is over 90% on average of the total costs. A single reduction of this cost would translate to huge profits for you. As a farmer, you can invest in grinding, mixing and pelletizing chicken feed. Other methods are gathering protein-rich chicken feeds like dried locusts or omena.

Raise Improved indigenous Breeds

Indigenous chickens are the most profitable to raise. They experience low infection rates to common poultry diseases. Besides, their meat and eggs fetch higher retail prices than exotic products. These two qualities make them the best choice for entrepreneurs interested in profitable chicken farming. For these reasons, invest in improved breeds like the KARI kienyeji improved indigenous breed. These bird types grow fast and have higher quality yields. For instance, the adult cockerel can weight up to 2.5 kg compared to a pure indigenous one that weighs 0.8-1 kilogram and takes longer to mature.

Contracted Farming

Chicken product prices are highly fluctuating. You can avoid losses through contracted farming. You will sign an agreement with a formal buyer like a supermarket or hotel. You will produce given quantities of eggs and meat. Your buyer will buy it at locked prices.  You will also enjoy access to quality inputs, information and credit on time.

Broker poultry inputs and products

Accessing markets remains an enormous challenge for poultry farmers. You can solve it for them by brokering farm inputs and finished poultry products at a profit. You may need to mobilize smallholders farmers together to form cooperatives.

Samuel K

Samuel Kibicho is passionate about profitable and safe agriculture as a tool for wealth creation and food security. He is the founder of Agcenture and consults in market systems development (MSD), program management and result measurement, monitoring and evaluation for sustainable agriculture & rural development projects.

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