How profitable is chicken farming? Can anyone do it or do you need skills to start operating as a chicken farmer. Everything you need to know on how to start with Farming with Broiler Chickens in SA and Steps to Success and Making Money
Chicken Farming: Broilers
Broilers are one of the most acquired chickens to produce meat in the farming industry and with quick returns on investments it is very popular with beginner chicken farmers. To start farming with broilers you will need land. As a small scale farmer looking to farm with only 100 to 500 chickens you don’t need a large property. If you have permission from your neighbours, you can even do small scale farming in your backyard.
How to farm with Broilers?
When buying your day old chicks by an hatchery make sure that they vaccinate the chicks, this is an requirement by law and you should not leave the premises if they have not done so. By failing to do so you are putting your chicks and business at risk.
When you transport your day old chicks make sure that they have enough ventilation and that they are not too cold. Day old chicks are tough little creators and can travel long distances without food and water.
Unpacking your day old chicks at their new home should be done with great care and it is advisable that your bedding was sprayed with virukill at least two days before the chicks arrive. The chicks will start to eat and drink by themselves so no need to train them to do so.
Hygiene is essential when farming with broilers. Make sure that your water buckets and feeding trays were sprayed with virukill to eliminate all germs an bacteria. People entering your coop should wash their hand and boots. Try to keep unwanted guests out and do not allow unnecessary traffic in your coops.
How long should Broiler Chicks stay on Starter Feed?
Chicks won’t feed a lot in the first week but as they progress into larger chickens and feathers appear they will want to consume more food with high protein. They should be kept on starter feed for ate least 12 to 16 days.
It is advisable to mix grower feed with starter feed for two days before only giving grower feed. The reason for this is that grower feed has bigger chunks and the chickens must get used to it as they will want to eat as much as possible and might get constipated or end up with swollen crops.
If you do not have an automated watering system you need to clean their drinkers every other day .
How long will it take for Broilers to be ready to slaughter?
This is a question that many aspiring chicken farmers ask and often one that is miss calculated in their chicken farming business plan. Broilers take up to 42 days to be slaughter ready. That will give a large chicken of around 2.7 kg. Chicken Farmers do not have to grow them that big and can stop feeding at around 1.9 kg. The net weight of the chicken will then be roughly 1.2 to 1.3 kg which is an acceptable weight in the chicken market.
Who will buy Broiler Chickens?
The good news is that most families in South Africa loves to eat chicken. That opens many doors for chicken farmers in SA. Some methods to sell your chickens include:
- Directly from your premises
- Sell to Abattoirs
- Slaughter at abattoirs and then sell portioned meat
- Get contracts with butcheries and supermarkets
- Sell live chickens at urban areas and in townships.
How much money can you make with Chicken Farming?
If farmed correctly your profit margins should be around 52% up to 58%
Chicken Farming: Layers
Firstly you need to find out what chicken layer breed works best in your Province or State. An all round layer, the Lohmann Brown is known to be a perfect breed with a high yield in Egg production anywhere in South Africa.
The Lohmann Brown is also a good choice for free range egg farming as well as barn or intensive farming due to it’s toughness and high egg production.
Layer chickens is an expensive startup and return of investment can be anything from around 16 months up to 5 years depending on the size of your chicken farming business.
Due to a long lifespan, layer chickens needs more medication and coop maintenance than broilers chickens. Feeding is ongoing and you need to keep that in mind when working out your budget for the next year. To start your layer farming business and you decide to buy day old chicks you need to understand that you could wait 6 to 8 months before your chickens will be in full production.
Both Layers and Broiler chickens produce manure that is valuable to crop farmers and you can sell manure once you cleaned your coop. That money you can invest in feed, bedding and medicine for the chickens to increase your profit margins for the next term.
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Farming with Broiler Chickens in SA with Steps to Success and Making Money
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