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Poultry Farming for Beginners: How to Start

If you have been hunting down the business options to go for and landed on poultry farming, you must already know how profitable this business is. But one thing we need to agree on is that poultry farming for beginners can be hit-and-miss in many cases.

But it is true that poultry farming:

  • Generates massive income in less time
  • Has a high demand and value
  • Can be started with low capital
  • Quick return on investment
  • Generates a continuous source of income
  • Doesn’t require much space
  • Needs less maintenance
  • Needs no licence
  • Provides employment opportunities for others 

Yes, the benefits of poultry for beginners are tempting, but becoming successful requires experience and knowledge.

Experience is not something we can help you with or provide because it comes only with time. But knowledge, on the other hand, is something that we can help you with and answering your “What’s & How’s” is what we will do in this blog.

What Are Poultry Farms?

Red hens in a poultry farm

Poultry farms refer to farms that raise domestic birds commercially to produce meat, eggs, and feathers. A Poultry farm usually has chickens, ducks, turkey, and goose mostly but some poultry farm also has guinea fowl, pigeons, and ostriches.

Chickens are undoubtedly the most common, as the demand for chicken meat and eggs is off the roofs. Also, chickens are relatively easier to manage and cheaper than other poultry; hence, you are more likely to do better with chickens in business. Finally, chickens are the best option for poultry farming for beginners.

How Much Money Can You Make From Poultry Farming?

The trend of poultry farming has increased drastically over the years, and its graph is only spiking day by day. The reasons are because of the increase in demand for meat & eggs. Moreover, people realise and differentiate the difference between fresh meat & eggs compared to frozen or processed.

Poultry farming can also bring you profits in a short time compared to other businesses. This is because the initial capital you will need to invest in this business is low compared to other businesses like real estate, fashion stores or e-commerce.

So, how much will you make from poultry farming? 

If you work at a poultry farm here in the UK, you will make around £21,000 per year on average. The table below illustrates the money generated from poultry farming at all stages:

LevelAmount
Beginner£17,000
Average£21,000
Experienced£30,000


If it is your own business, then the case is different. The profits you make depend on how many chickens or ducks, or turkeys you have. The best way to put it is to imagine you have a thousand poultry. Then, after all the investments, including your employees’ salary, you can cover up at least half of your cost at once.

So you can easily cover up all the costs, and once you cover them, you will start making profits. And some investments like setting up the location, cages, waste disposal system, coops, and many others are only one-time investments.

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Poultry Farm?

Money counting machine

Speaking of investments, this boils down to the size of your poultry farm. You want to spend big and make a medium-scale farm that will give mass meat and egg production, a place to raise birds, a space to use all the equipment, a hatchery, and many more? 

That will cost you around £400,000 to £450,000. This also included purchasing various birds, additional equipment costs, your employees, your website, and your security cameras. Keep in mind that value is an estimation, and the cost depends on the place you are planning to build your poultry farm.

A place with more competition or a more known place to people costs more than a less known place and has less competition.  

However, if you don’t want to spend big and want a small and standard poultry farm with fewer birds, fewer employees, fewer and smaller equipment, it will cost you between £3,500 to £7,500.

Size of the FarmCost
Medium-Scale Farm£400,000 to £450,000
Small-Scale Farm£3,500 to £7,500


The decision depends on your vision and what you want to achieve in this industry. Our suggestion will be to start small and grow big with time, as this will help you know more about the business and give you the much-needed experience.

By the way, starting small can be as small as starting poultry farming at home!

Requirements for Poultry Farming

Poultry farming for beginners doesn’t seem very difficult once you list down your requirements and facts. There are few factors that affect egg and meat production from birds. One of them is genetics, the others being nutrition, disease, and environment. Unfortunately, genetics is something we don’t have much control over.

We do have a bit of control over diseases if we are extra careful, and the things we have the most control over are nutrition and the environment. These can’t be taken lightly, as most poultry farmers fail to make an impact in this industry due to not being able to take care of the various birds.

That is why you should make sure you fulfil all the requirements needed for poultry farming. And people with a diploma or a degree in poultry farming or on animals tend to do better. The ones without that diploma or degree usually hire someone. Plus, learning poultry farming from the farm nearest is another option you can opt for. The best part about this is that you will gain practical knowledge and experience.

Shelter

A shelter is the first and foremost thing you need to have. There are things you need to keep in mind when making the shelter, but making the shelter is still the easy part. Maintaining the shelter is the tricky part, especially if you happen to be a beginner.

When building the shelter, ensure it has access to sunlight during the day, is well ventilated, built-in open airspace, the cages or the house shouldn’t be too small, and each should be 10-15 feet away from one another.

Some essential maintenance tips of poultry farming for beginners include :

  • Keep the shelter clean and dry at all times 
  • Litter should have around a 3-inch depth
  • Litter should be changed once every week
  • Don’t occupy space with anything unnecessary
  • Try to keep as much space as possible for the chickens and the other birds to roam around.

Equipment

Some equipment mentioned below will only need to be bought once unless you upgrade your business. And some equipment like the feeder and water pot will need to be changed once a while to ensure cleanliness.

Feeder

The first poultry equipment is the feeder. You can buy either the metal or the plastic feeder. Ensure to put the right amount of feeders so that there is enough and keep the feeder clean to keep the poultry healthy.

Incubator

Egg incubator in a poultry farm

Furthermore, an incubator is a must-have as it provides the optimum temperature for the fertile eggs to hatch. And most modern incubators turn the eggs at least 6 to 8 times a day, which is the ideal amount.

Heater

Speaking of temperature, you will also need equipment that provides the optimum temperature for the poultry. This is where the heater comes in. It is important to recognise the exact amount of heat required because too many heaters can cause unbearable temperatures.

Water Pot

We all know water is essential for living, the same goes for those chickens, ducks, and turkeys. A water pot will help you with the water supply, and it should be cleaned regularly to make sure the fresh clean water you provide stays clean and fresh. 

Nests

Chicken eggs in a nest

Nests are crucial when it comes to chickens. The reason is that it gives them the comfort zone to live in and also lay eggs. As a result, there is an increase in egg production, and those eggs can also be collected easily and quickly due to the nest.

Fencing

Some people don’t cover their shelter with walls as it blocks the light and air supply. Instead of walls, they use fences to protect their poultry from predators. Wires are the most common thing used for fencing.

Exhaust Fans for Ventilation

You will need an exhaust fan for ventilation. As there will be hundreds or even thousands of chickens or ducks living under one roof, the air can get dirty, which can cause all sorts of diseases. So yes, you need to get all that air out, and for that, you need to have an exhaust fan.

How Do I Start A Poultry Farm?

Here are the ways and steps you will need to do to start your poultry farm. Keep in mind that they are in no particular order, but it is best to choose the poultry sector and the type of bird.

Choose The Poultry Sector & The Type of Bird

Different types of birds for poultry

As mentioned earlier, it is better to start small and then grow bigger eventually. If you want to apply that, you should choose either you want to start with egg production or meat production. You can go for both if you wish.

After deciding that, you will need to choose the type of bird you want. Choosing to stick with one bird is ideal because poultry farming for beginners is more like a learning phase, as you will learn so much more than you will earn. And once you start making, it doesn’t stop easily!

Anyway, chickens are the most popular, most demandable bird and relatively easier to manage. Other great options include duck, goose, turkey, guinea fowl, pigeon, and quail. Choosing a type of bird will depend a lot on the preference of the locals. So do your research well and choose accordingly.

Set The Location

Location is something that can’t be taken lightly, and there are some things that you need to keep in mind before selecting your location. A lot of the success of poultry farming for beginners is because of the suitable location.

The place you choose should have access to clean water, electricity, noise & pollution-free, and a good transportation system.

A place which is a little away from the town or residential areas should be perfect as you will get a calm, pollution and noise-free place which will lead to better output, and you will not be away from your consumers hence not pay high transportation.

To top it off, you might also get the land cheaply, and the labour cost will also be less. So things couldn’t have turned out better, right! Well, only if it was easy to find such a place.

Feeding

Chic

The amount of meat or egg production lies heavily on what the birds are fed. The importance of it is unquestionable, so much so that about 65% to 70% of total expenses goes towards feeding the birds.

The feed should have all the vitamins, proteins, minerals, and other necessary nutrients for proper health, growth, and development.

You can either purchase ingredients and prepare the feed by yourself or can buy ready-made feed. Beans and peas are good options, but you must make sure they are processed, meaning steamed or roasted.

Moreover, you can add antibiotics and medication if required in your feed. Along with the feed, serve them with freshwater as per demand.

Breeding

When it comes to breeding, most poultry is excellent breeders in nature, and if you maintain the right amount of males and females, they can easily breed and produce fertile eggs. 

If you want more eggs or meat in a specific manner, certain breeds specialise in certain types of eggs, for example. You can buy those breeds, but you need to decide which egg you want to go for before purchasing. And how demandable is it for your consumers?

Care 

Woman teding to hens

Taking care of the birds is crucial if you want to succeed in this industry. Remember, if you do your job right, they will do their job right. As simple as that!

These birds are prone to various types of diseases, which could also kill them. Vaccination will help boost their immune system and help them fight diseases and infections. So vaccinate them from time to time. Another great thing you can do is storing medicines and vaccines for emergency cases.

Other than vaccination, clean their house regularly and provide fresh water as mentioned before. To ensure the water is fresh, do check it after a few days. Yes, it may be a lot of work for poultry farming for beginners. But after a while, it gets easier as you will get used to it.

Besides, light is something that surprisingly has a considerable impact on poultry. If the light intensity is high, they feel anxious and feel the need to flee. Due to that, they start moving vigorously, which sometimes leads to one injuring the other.

With the optimum light intensity, you can reduce their stress, affect their mortality, increase their meat and egg production with minimal energy use.

Marketing

The last step is marketing. Marketing is essential for poultry farming for beginners, but you don’t need too much marketing as it is already demandable with high value.

Once you make your poultry farm, you should give it a name and a logo to be recognisable and help you introduce it clearly and quickly. The name and the logo have to be very attractive. 

Making a website can also help you reach more clients online, potentially opening doors to a lot more. Additionally, another way you can market is by telling your friends, neighbours, people you see daily about the poultry farm and what you can provide them. Other cheap marketing mediums can be flyers, posters, etc.

Diploma in Poultry Farming

Do you want to farm poultry commercially or keep domesticated young birds at home for eggs or meat? If yes, then enrol now and learn how to set up your own poultry business.

Conclusion

Poultry farming for beginners can be both challenging and accessible, or one or the other, depending on the knowledge a person has of this industry. And you know what helps in this case, a guide with everything one needs to know about poultry farming. Get a Diploma in Poultry Farming, and learn everything about it, so you can use them in real situations and get efficient results.

July 8, 2021

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