1. Market research
It is very important in poultry farming to critically look at the demand. Is there a high demand for table eggs, out-grower chicken, or broiler meat? Most start-up farmers go by what a friend or relative or neighboring farmer is doing and hope to reap the benefits. It is important that you take your time to talk to clients or potential customers and listen to them. Do a survey on restaurants, hotels, open-air or takeaway eateries, supermarkets, and delis and collect as much data as possible. Ask questions about seasonal trends of products that you intend to bring into the market. Sometimes assumptions may not match survey results or outcomes, so be ready to change original plans and make new decisions.
2. Farm location
A poultry farm can be located on any dry land. Anywhere in the country as it is not dependent on any weather patterns. The ideal location would be the outskirts of urban or peri-urban cities for the easy market for products. Construct farm where there is access to an all-weather road, away from riparian land that experiences occasional flooding and landslide.
3. Housing system
The most common housing system in this country is deep litter, where the entire floor is covered by wood shaving, and the other equipment like nest boxes, feeders, and drinkers are centrally located. It is best suited for all types of birds and conforms to animal welfare requirements. The free-range type of poultry farming is common for Sakini chicken with a bit of housing at night and scavenging in an open enclosure. In organic farming, the chickens are most of the time on free-range scavenging and are on restricted commercial feed with no use of antibiotics and any additive.
4. Demand for building
The most ideal house in this region is an open-sided rectangular-shaped structure, with a roof of iron sheet or locally available waterproof material. The long side of the house must be on an East-west orientation to reduce direct sunlight on the chicks. Sidewalls should be 2-3 feet high made of bricks, iron sheet, or block, and the rest covered by wire mesh and chicken netting at 6-7 feet high. The floor could be concreted or compacted with red soil.
5. Choice of breed and supplier
If you want to keep commercial layers, choose the type of breed which is hardy with a low mortality rate, fast growth rates, high peak production, long peak period, and good persistence. If it is for both meat and egg production, look for a breed of high feed conversion efficiency, and of good tasty and tender quality meat (like dual-purpose Sasso).
6. Optimal health protection
Threats to your flock include protozoal and parasitic diseases, bacteria, yeast and mold, and viral infections. You will need good rearing conditions that include proper brooding, temperature control, ventilation, and humidity as well as quality water and adequate feed supply all the time. Biosecurity is pivotal to your success; the premises must be highly sanitized within and around the site with limited flock visits to only authorized personnel. The vaccination schedule must be followed to the letter and must be chosen based on efficacy and administered professionally.
7. Record keeping
Anything that cannot be counted cannot be measured. Most farmers ignore the value of good record keeping. Feed being the highest production cost in poultry production, it must be weighed to the level of grams fed/bird/day. And weight sampling must be done on weekly basis to establish production efficiency. Record keeping is one of the most essential steps in successful poultry farming.