Investing into poultry farming is a very good approach not only will you make huge returns (if you play your cards well) but also become a lifetime entrepreneur.
Previously we published and in-depth and insightful content on broiler farming business in Nigeria and similar to that, if you’ve decided to venture into layer farming business then you have an edge. Why’s that? The reason is because layers won’t only provide you with meat for sale but also luxuriously bless you with eggs. How about that? Two earning channels right? Yea, absolutely.
Having said that, if you’re interested in starting up a layer poultry farming business in Nigeria then we’re here to help. This article entails an in-depth guide on how to start layers poultry farming business and also make a huge fortune out of it.
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Types Of Layer Hens.
There are two types of layer hens, according to the nature and color of egg. Short descriptions of these two types are listed below.
White Layer Hens.
This species of layer-hen are smaller in size and consumes lesser food and the colour of their egg is white. The white layer hens has strong livability, excellent laying persistency, and feed efficiency. This layer produces a flat weight curve and a very strong shelled egg.
Isa White, Lehman White, Nikchik, Bab Cock BV-300, Harvard White, Hi Sex White, Sever White, Hi line White, Bovanch White etc. are some popular white egg laying chickens.
Brown Layer Hens.
Brown egg-layer hens are comparatively larger in size and consumes more food compared to the white layer species and also lay bigger eggs. Their egg shell is brown in colour and very strong shelled and curved too. There are many types of brown layer available. Among those Isa Brown, Hi Sex Brown, Sever 579, Lehman Brown, Hi Line Brown, Bab Cock BV-380, Gold Line, Bablona Tetro, Bablona Harko, Havard Brown etc. are very suitable for commercial layer.
Therefore it’s highly advisable and recommended to select and rear only layer hens suitable for your layer poultry farming business, adaptive to weather conditions and can produce well in your area.
The common breeds of layer hens in Nigeria are Isa Brown, Arbor Acres, Marshall, Ross, Kuroilers, White Cockerel, and Black cockerel. Always ask about the breed you are buying as well as the peculiarity of the breed.
Starting Up Layer Poultry Farming Business In Nigeria.
To start up a successful layer poultry farming business in Nigeria the following steps must be taken.
Set Up Your Capital.
I believe with adequate capital comes good investment. Everyone knows his/her budget, I possibly cannot be in your pocket but you have to set out a good amount of capital to ensure a successful layer poultry farming business. Write down your detailed capital and investment requirements for your poultry farming business in Nigeria, venture and set out to source for it.
Just like every other farming projects, the bigger you plan to start, the more investment required. You need to decide on the level of capital investment you are willing to commit to this business before starting. If you’re on budget you can start in a small scale and grow your way up, after all Rome was not built in a day.
Setting up a large location with conducive environment is highly recommended when it comes to poultry farming business. You don’t really need to exhaust your money preparing an elaborate space for your layer hens by buying large hectare of land (unless you have the funds). But if you are just starting out and you’re not bouyant enough
Just find a good space with conducive environment for your layer hens.
Remember birds in general loves space and loves to move around freely. Ensure the farm house isn’t stuffy for the birds. Because a stuffy environment can cause dehydration for your birds and possibly lead to death due to lack of fresh air or ventilation.
While choosing a location for your birds ensure your chosen location is well secured. Location really matters alot because if adequate security measures isn’t put in place your birds could be stolen by thieves.
Ensure your chosen location isn’t obscure. Try as much as you can to chose an open location, or you can as well set up a location for your layer hens around your vicinity. Maybe at your backyard.
Get Your Chicks.
Seek for good hatchery where you can get healthy day-old-chicks to start with. This is very important. Purchasing non-healthy chicks is already one step down to your failure in this business, so prioritize the need for buying healthy day-old-layer chicks from good reputable hatchery.
In Nigeria, a carton of layer-chicks (a day old) ranges about ₦20,000 -25,000 (containing 50-51 birds in a carton).
Note: Price does fluctuates from time to time and depending on your location.
Protect Your Farm From Predators.
This is yet another important step to put in place when it comes to starting up layer poultry farming business in Nigeria. Layer birds has many predators such as snakes, monitor lizards and other dangerous reptiles which not only attack your birds but also devour their eggs. It’s highly advised to adequately secure your farm house.
Ensure that every entrance is well sealed, always shut the door entrance to your poultry farm to avoid easy entry of snakes (and other reptiles).
Protect your bird farm by wrapping the entire cage in hardware cloth (including the floor). Make sure no large space or spot is left out.
Also ensure to repair or replace any damages such as hardware cloth, boards or roofing materials to prevent any easy entries of creepy reptiles such as snakes and monitor lizards.
You can also grow snake repellent plants and flowers around your poultry farm to keep snakes away.
I have covered an in-depth article on how to keep snakes off from your homes. In this content i explained how to keep off snakes from poultry farm and yard in general.
Ensure to feed your birds with nutrient-rich layer feed. Feeding plays a very vital role in poultry farming business, When your birds feeds on high quality feeds, they tend to grow faster, and lay quality sizable eggs which positively affects your poultry farming business. You can purchase high quality feed in the market or better still make yours at home. (If you have the time). You can read how to manufacture high quality poultry feeds at home.
Remember the quality of the feeds consumed by your layer hens determine their healthy growth, development and egg production. Infact, quality feeding determines a successful business.
In poultry farming, inappropriate feeding of quality feeds will surely affect your birds in a negative way. To avoid your birds looking malnutrished, unhealthy and producing low quality eggs, it’s very important you feeds your birds well and with nutri-rich (protein-rich) feed.
Ensure to feed your layer-hens well, atleast 3 times in a day. Also make sure the feed have all the required nutrients (carbohydrates, fats, protein, minerals and vitamins) in the right proportion for better growth of the birds.
Feeder cost: ₦700 – ₦800. Price do fluctuates.
Steady Water Supply.
Aside from feeding your birds adequately with nutrient-rich feed, water also plays at crucial role in good development and growth of your layer-hens. Infact let me tell you a secret, chickens can survive a day without food but can’t survive a day without water. This is a good reason why you should ensure their drinker never runs dry else it could lead to possible occurrence of massive dead due to dehydration.
Absence of water for your layer birds can cost you alot. Always ensure water is always available in their drinkers.
Drinkers cost: ₦500 – ₦700. Price do fluctuates.
Debeaking Or Beak-Trimming Your Layer Hens.
Trimming or cutting the beaks of your layer birds becomes necessary when you notice any form of cannibalism or aggressive behavior.
Trimming chicken beaks is a process of cutting off the pointed side of their beak to minimize the possible occurrence of casualties.
Importance Of Beak-Trimming Your Layer Hens.
Beak-Trimming Helps To Reduces Mutual Fights.
At some stage of maturity your birds could start peaking each other thereby inflicting minor injuries and peaking off one another feathers. Sometimes the fight could get bloody which can lead to massive infliction of injuries (including blinding each other) or even worse death. This is where de-beaking or beak-trimming becomes important, as it helps minimizes injury infliction if their should be any fight.
It Discourages The Layer Hens From Peaking Their Eggs.
Some layer birds can peak their eggs, thereby breaking it open to drink its yolk which isn’t only an act of bad behavior but also incur loss to you. Therefore to prevent the possible occurrence of this cannibalistic act beak-trimming becomes important, as it will discourage the birds from breaking their eggs open.
It Helps To Prevent Wastage Of Food.
Do you know that un-debeaked birds can waste 5 times the feed debeaked birds will waste. Yea that’s absolutely right. Debeaked birds takes an adequate amount of feed while feeding without splashing the feed around just like un-debeaked birds does. Therefore debeaking your birds is a good approach to minimize food wastage.
When To Debeak Your Layer Hens.
- You have to debeak your layer-chicks at their age of 8 to 10 days. (1-week old).
- You can re-trimmed the birds beak at their 8 to 12 weeks of age.
- Cut the lip of chicks 0.2 cm from their nose.
- Cut 0.45 cm in case of growing chickens.
- Cut the both upper and lower beak.
- Don’t cut the both lip together. Cut one after another.
- Use block chick trimming machine to cut the lips.
How To Trim Your Birds Beak Using the Debeaking Machine.
The debeaking machine makes it faster and easier to debeak chickens. There are automatic and semi-automatic poultry beak trimming machine. Follow the procedures below to use the automatic debeaking (beak trimming) machine.
- When the switch is turned on, adjust the temperature of the movable blade till it looks reddish or bright.
- When the movable blade glows, start the motor switch and the boat-shaped switch.
- Adjust the aperture of the micro cutter blade according to the beak size.
- Hold the chicken’s feet with the left hand, the neck with the right thumb, and pin the throat with the forefinger of the right hand. Stick the beak of the chicken into the aperture.
- Bleeding stops in 2 – 4 seconds after the movable blade drops.
Caution: Beak-trimming should be done between 8-10 days age and only by properly trained personnel. Beak-trimming errors can result in additional pain and suffering to an already stressful procedure which can result in birds having difficulties with eating and drinking (leading to poor growth). This will also eventually lead to unevenness in the flock (lack of uniformity).
Note: Serve the layer birds water mixed with vitamin “K” three days before trimming their beaks.
Re-trimming may also be carried out if a bird’s beak grows back enough to cause pecking damage. Birds are often re-trimmed at 8–12 weeks.
Ensure to sanitize the debeaking machine using an hospital grade spirit. Test the edge and temperature of blade. Choose cool weather for the debeaking process (early in the morning or in the evening). Don’t beak-trim your birds two days after or before vaccination.
We have to warn again – debeaking process should be observed by an experienced technician.
After beak-trimming, serve them water and provide them some extra energy enriched feed.
Layer Egg Production.
Layer hens are special species of hens that start laying eggs commercially from 18-19 weeks of age. They continue laying eggs continuously till their 72-78 weeks of age. They can produce about one kg of eggs by consuming about 2.25 kg of food during their egg laying period.
Remember: feeding your layer-hens with nutrition-rich feed ensures quality sizable eggs.
Vaccination program is a must for chicks for keeping them free from all types of diseases. Infact vaccination is one of the steps to take to ensure a successful layer poultry farming business in Nigeria. Ensure your day old layer chicks are vaccinated after hatch, to immunize them against diseases like; newcastle disease, marek’s disease, lnfectious bronchitis, lnfectious laryngotracheitis, fowl pox, and fowl cholera,
The main advantage of
poultry vaccination are listed below.
- Timely vaccination makes disease resistance
power in the body of chick.
- Help to keep the hen free from infective poultry
- Disease prevalence will be less.
- Mortality rate will reduce.
- And low mortality rate = more production = more
Tips breeders of poultry should know when vaccinating:
- Always follow the instructions on the label, including storage conditions.
- Use disposable syringes and needles.
- Discard all unused vaccines, syringes and needles in a proper manner.
- Be clean, but never use detergents or disinfectants near vaccination equipment. Do not disinfect skin before vaccinating with fowl pox or Marek’s HVT vaccine, as this will kill the vaccine virus
- Do not vaccinate sick birds (except in outbreaks of laryngotracheitis or fowl pox).
- Protect vaccines from heat and direct sunlight.
- Most vaccines are living, disease-producing agents. Handle them with care.
Birds that are housed on the floor and have access to pastures and outdoor areas will have greater exposure to internal and external parasites. For birds housed in these conditions, it is important to have a prevention program in place and treat as required. This helps to minimise physical stress and keep birds in good condition so they can resist disease. Control parasites by:
- Regularly inspecting birds for external parasites.
- Spraying or dusting birds thoroughly with an approved insecticide if you can see lice or mites – spray the shed, perches and nests thoroughly, making sure the insecticide gets into crevices.
- Cleaning sheds and rotating ranges to prevent worms.
- Regularly checking faecal material for any sign of worms.
- Always checking the label on worming treatments for withholding periods as some are not suitable for production birds.
- Regularly observe your birds for any signs of ill health or problems within the flock such as feather pecking.
- Ensure to remove sick birds from the main flock and obtain a diagnosis from a qualified person. Sick birds usually appear different to healthy birds. You can give the correct treatment once you identify the disease or problem. Keep ill birds quarantined from the flock until completely recovered. If medication is given, it is important to adhere to any withholding periods.
- Consulting a veterinarian.
Running a successful layer poultry farming business in Nigeria all dwells on good management and approach. Layer poultry farming is indeed lucrative as it provides two massive income streams which is meat and egg production. Ensure you take all the steps mention above and surely you’ll make a huge return from your investment.