5 Mistakes To Avoid In Poultry Farming
Like every SME in Africa, poultry farming will only succeed when the right measures are taken—in most cases, learning what to do and what not can be the determining factor between a thriving agribusiness and a failed one.
Failing to avoid common mistakes in poultry farming, can lead to a loss of some or sometimes all of your birds. Hence, putting the farmer in a difficult financial position. Although most experienced farmers will tell you that they are products of their mistakes, you should know that some mistakes can be fatal and irreversible. Knowing what they are and how to avoid them will save your agribusiness from failing. What are they?
Below we have put together 5 top pitfalls you should avoid in poultry farming.
1. Avoid Buying Birds From Dishonest Or Unknown Breeders
Making findings about a business partner before striking a business deal with them is one of the keys to running a sustainable SME in Africa and poultry farming is no exception. Hence, the reason why you should avoid buying birds from dishonest or unknown breeders. Why? For starters, the birds may have underlying health issues that may not be noticeable at a glance.
Secondly, if you are new to poultry farming, you most probably do not know how to differentiate between bird species. Buying your birds from an unknown breeder may imply that you are buying from a dishonest one. For instance, once a dishonest breeder sees that you are a newbie, he may give you white Cockerel instead of the broilers you ordered and white cockerels do not grow as fast as broilers.
Make adequate findings about your breeders before purchasing your birds from them. This way, you can have a certain level of assurance of the birds’ quality before making the purchase.
2. Using Cheap Poultry Feeds
Although scouting for deals is crucial to the financial success of any SME in Africa, you should know that in some cases, cheap can be detrimental to the survival of your poultry farming business. Hence, when it comes to purchasing feeds for your birds, you should prioritise quality above cheap.
Feeding your birds with quality feeds will enhance the overall production of your poultry. As a result, you will experience increased egg production and faster bird growth. Also, quality feed ensures that your birds remain in good health conditions. Hence, ensuring that they live longer.
Today, many poultry feed companies are adulterating products to cut cost. Then they reduce the prices of their products to attract customers. Using these feeds will affect your birds badly.
Hence, the reason why you should only purchase feeds from reputable poultry feed companies.
3. Poorly Ventilated And Poor Hygienic Poultry Environment
The benefits of working in a hygienic environment cuts across every SME in Africa and poultry farming is not exempted. One of the common mistakes you should avoid as a poultry farmer is keeping your birds in a poorly ventilated, dark coop, and a poor hygienic environment. This mistake can negatively affect the egg production of your birds. It also exposes them to various lice or mite infections and other respiratory infections. This kind of poultry environment exposes your birds to tons of health issues.
As a result, do all you can to keep your poultry environment clean and properly ventilated at all times. Make sure that your birds gain access to adequate lighting (install artificial lights if you must). However, make sure that they always have access to natural light.
Keep your poultry bedding clean at all times and change them as often as necessary.
4. Overcrowding Birds In Small Spaces
Every owner of an SME in Africa wants their business to thrive and to do so, they have to learn what to do and what to avoid constantly. One of the common mistakes that poultry farmers make is to save space at the expense of their birds. So, they overcrowd them within small spaces to help them make room for more birds. While this technique sounds smart, it is one of the most deadly mistakes any poultry farmer can make.
Overcrowding your birds in small spaces can cause a variety of issues like feather pecking, cannibalism, and stress. To avoid this, you need to make findings about the floor space requirements in terms of the weight of your birds, ambient temperature, and marketing age. For instance, an 18-day old broiler will need about 450 sq.cm to thrive. On the other hand, a 19-day to 42-day old broiler will need 1000 sq.cm to thrive. Keep in mind that this is just an illustration. Hence, you will need to find what will work for your poultry farming.
5. Keeping Your Birds Among Toxic Chemicals
Being nonchalant is one of the attributes you should avoid if you want to be a successful poultry farmer. Keeping your birds in the same environment with toxic chemicals like rat poisons, herbicides, and pesticides will kill them. Hence, the reason why you should keep such chemicals far from your poultry.
Aside from keeping toxic chemicals away from your birds, you need to come up with a measure to protect them every time you have to use a herbicide or pesticide in your poultry. Inhaling or consuming these chemicals will affect their overall health and most likely lead to the death of your birds.
The best thing to do is to avoid the use of these chemicals around your poultry environment. If you must, use them sparingly. Always wash your hands before and after going into your poultry as residues of these chemicals may remain on your hands.
Taking the right measures at all time will save any SME in Africa from drowning. Similarly, avoiding the mistakes listed above will protect your birds and set your poultry farming up for success. From the way you treat your birds and the environment you put them into the type of people you do business with, every step you take will affect your poultry farm’s overall success.