By Nathan Eyagu
Poultry farming is one of the most simple and lucrative businesses that anyone regardless of age, religion, gender can venture into it.
With the continued demand for poultry products like eggs and meat, the prices of chicken continues raising up daily and seasonally.
As one who has participated in this business and talked to a number of farmers who are in this business, I was able to get some information for those intending to take poultry as a serious investment majorly focusing on broilers and layers, this information will greatly help those with intention of rearing the birds above with knowledge.
But first, let's look at the difference between the two so that you can get to understand what it means to rear them.
Layers are a type of birds that are raised mainly for egg production and at the end of their production period (typically 72 weeks) they are sold for meat consumption. They usually begin to start laying eggs at 18 weeks and continually do that to 72 weeks when they become old layers.
Layer birds come majorly in brown colors.
Broilers are a type of chicken raised purposely for meat consumption. They are usually raised for a short period. Broilers come mostly in white colors.
Before taking any step,one should consider the following factors so as to grow effectively;
The cost of starting either layer birds farming or broilers chicken farming will defer because of the time frame for raising either of the two types of chicken.
For example, the initial cost of raising 500 layer chicken birds will be way higher than that of broilers because of the equipment that will be bought. Equipment like the cage is essential at the beginning except you want to practice the free-range or deep-liter type of chicken farming that most people are currently practicing since it's cheap.
The equipment that will be needed to raise 500 layer chicken birds will probably include but not be limited to;
Drinkers and feeders
Some people can also opt for open containers but ensure to keep them clean at most times to prevent your birds from getting diseases.
Cages (At least 5) if one can afford to buy them.
Usually start up feeds can be expensive as there is need to see all the young chicks grow, precaution should always be paid to the type of feeds given to the birds.
For layers, they have special feeds for continued egg production so if you are considering rearing them, then pay close attention to that and weigh your pocket.
If you are to make your decisions based on the cost of investment, then I will advise going into raising broilers rather than raising layers.
Another factor to consider when trying to decide on raising either broilers or layer chicken birds is the management of the birds. One key reason why most people fail in the chicken farming business is the lack of good management on the farm.
Imagine you employing some one to rear for you birds with out you paying attention to your farm, it's you who knows how much you invested and the expectations,give time to your farm.
For layer chicken birds, the management needs special and close attention. The amount you are to spend on managing layer birds for at least 18 weeks before they start producing is enough to feed and manage broilers for two production cycles.
The cost of medication, vaccination, and personnel management are high. This is one reason why people prefer to go into broilers raising than layers chicken.
The next factor in the process of determining the type of chicken farming you want to go into is the profitability of the business. Both types of chicken farming are profitable depending on how you look at it.
For broilers chicken, you can make a profit from it every six weeks which means that you can raise broilers for as much as 8 times every year and make money.
If you’re a beginner that wants to make money easily and maybe ready to spill out some money every few weeks without being concerned about the duration, you can decide to start with broilers as it's easy and cheap.
If you’re someone that is patient about taking out profit, then going into layers chicken farming is what you should consider going into.
As a beginner in chicken farming, most people go into starting a layers farm, just because it brings daily income. One thing people don’t know is that before the 18 – 24 weeks where they start laying fully (at least 80%), you would have spent some money feeding and vaccinating the chicks if they bought point of lay birds (14 – 16 weeks birds).
If you are someone skeptical about buying ready-to-lay birds for factories and you want to raise your birds yourself, you will be extra patient for a period of 18 weeks before you will tangible results.
Personally, if I’m going to advise anyone, I will say both types of chicken farming are profitable depending on how you want to look at it.
Before even setting up your business, I believe you would have done some market research about the types of birds that sell most in the area and also which birds are customers want but find difficult to get? All these will help in your decision-making when you want to start either a broilers farm or a layers farm.
Most people have the feeling of copy and paste simply because one Is rearing and is growing big, know where your market is, don't rush and later make loses.
Some of the places where you can sell your broilers to are:
Restaurants and hotels
Road side traders
On the second look, places, where you can sell your layers bird products (egg), are:
Eatery and restaurants
The list is endless, so you can just look around you, do your own research and decide where and how you want to sell your products.
Currently in Uganda, eggs are on high demand,I visited soroti egg sellers who gave testimonies over increased demand for eggs,you can eat big via eggs.
There is no business that brings money that doesn’t have its own risk. As they the saying “the lower the risk, the lower the profit and the higher the risk, the higher the money that will be made”, so it is in poultry farming.
A simple outbreak of diseases can make all the money spent on raising your birds to go down the drain and imagine they have started laying eggs. It might be difficult to recover from the loss if this happens to anyone.
Unlike broilers chicken, even if something happens to you, you can easily bounce back and do another batch of breeding in a space of 4 weeks and make your money.
When making a decision, I always advise that you do your research because raising chicken and investing in this type of business goes beyond the four points mentioned above.
For more information you can click on the link to check on some poultry farming videos and subscribe