Introduction To Practical Poultry Farming

The ban on the importation of processed chicken in Nigeria some years without adequate arrangement for alternative source of supply help increased the price of processed chicken by over 75% and as since been the driving force behind the successes recorded in the industry.

In spite of the achievement recorded in this industry, the industry falls short of its aim of self-sufficiency in animal protein consumption in the country that is put at 5gm/caput per day which is far cry from F. A. O. recommended level of 35gm/caput per day.

The importance of poultry to the national economy cannot be overemphasized, as it has become popular industry for the small holders that have great contribution to the economy of the country. The profession has assumed greater importance in improving the employment opportunity and animal food production in Nigeria.

With a population of over 140 million people and an estimated national population growth rate of 5.7% per annum, an average economic growth rate of 3.5% per annum in the past five {5} years, Nigeria has a large market for processed chicken and the investor can also process and export to West African {ECOWAS} market due to trade liberalization in the region hence making poultry farming a viable business in Nigeria.

There are two main poultry management systems in Nigeria, extensive and intensive. The extensive, or scavenging, system has two subsystems: the free-range system, also called the traditional or village system, in which birds are free to roam around the homestead, and the backyard system, also called the family or subsistence system, in which birds are partly confined within a fenced yard.

The intensive system also includes two subsystems: the semi-intensive system, in which a small number of birds are produced in complete confinement, and the industrial system, which is becoming more prominent though now only contributes a small portion of the poultry supply, particularly to urban markets.

The intensive system can be practiced either on deep litter system or cage sytem.

The short gestation period of poultry business if proper management procedure is followed is one of the attractive aspects of the project.

Poultry are kept mainly as a source of meat and egg. Chicken is one of the popular meats being classified under white meat having low cholesterol and superior to red meat health wise. Eggs have both domestic and industrial use and are produced by layers. It is a very profitable venture.

The rising middle class in Nigeria has continued to ensure the market for these products.

Other products that can be derived from poultry include feather, blood and waste matter which can be processes to yield useful product. The processing of these bye-products in Nigeria has not been fully harnessed.

The farmer has the choice of producing broilers, layers or day old chicks. Broilers are usually produced for meat, layers for egg and day old chick for restocking of the farm.

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