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Tips On How To Start A Successful Poultry Business

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Umar Nsubuga

Raising poultry is a growing commercial enterprise that pays well if well-managed.

Although poultry includes the raising of chicken, ducks and turkeys, the latter two are less prominent. 

Imelda Kasi, a chicken farmer says before venturing into chicken farming, there is a need to make a rough estimate of the amount of money that will be required to raise the birds.

She says many beginners make the age-old mistake of buying the chicks and raising money for the feeds as the birds grow. This is very dangerous to your investment.

Although local chicken types can be kept under controlled enclosures, fed and restricted like the exotic types, they are not fast paying, she says.

One-day-old chicks are available on order from reputable breeders in the country. She says broilers and layers are the attractive exotic chicken types to rear. A good management team is essential to avoid losses. 

Comfortable temperatures will enable the chicks to move freely feeding and drinking water naturally. Photos by Umar Nsubuga

“Commercial chicken rearing requires an intensive management schedule that often demands the workers to go an extra mile,” she says.

Preparing the rearing houses

One-day-old chicks are kept in a brooder house for the first days of their lifetime. Emphasis is placed on maintaining a warm environment similar to that provided by the mother in the first few weeks of life.

“Build your brooder house to provide ample space to let in fresh air. A disused garage or boys’ quarters can suffice to make a good brooding room. Share some ideas on making a good brooder house from experienced poultry farmers in your area. The chicks now called brooders, are in the stage of growing feathers”, Kasi advises.

Kasi also says that it is important to keep the birds warm in this feather-developing stage by using electric or paraffin lamps. You can also use charcoal stoves conveniently located to provide sufficient evenly distributed warmth all day long. In the cold of the night or the rainy times, several chicks may die of cold.

However, monitor the brooder house periodically throughout the day. You will also need to wake up in the night to check on their progress.

Comfortable temperatures will enable the chicks to move freely feeding and drinking water naturally.

“It is advisable to provide constant lighting for these chickens from the chick stage to the sixth week when sales are intense. Feed the chicks on chick mash for the first four weeks then change the feed to growers’ mash, Kasi explains.

During their first week, Kasi says the chicks should have vitamins and sugars in their drinking water to boost their energy. Avoid overcrowding in the brooder house as this leads to the death of chicks.

“Transfer the chicks from the brooder to the chicken house, which is more spacious. It is important to provide feed and clean drinking water all the time to maintain optimum growth,” she says.

As they grow, many farmers give vegetables to improve the nutrition of their bird stock. 

“Marketing of broilers becomes problematic when farmers have not surveyed the market sufficiently. However, be warned, there are many conmen on the market. Better sell for less cash than wait for a fat check which you may never get,” she says.

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