One of the major types of chicken rearing in Nigeria is Broiler Production. In fact, broiler meat is said to be the fastest growing protein production in the world.
In this post, we take a look at Broiler Production in Nigeria and how you can get started in 2019.
Broiler Production in Nigeria: How to Start in 2019
Basically, broilers are meat producing birds of poultry breeds. These birds are raised specifically for meat production. Broilers are a hybrid of the egg-laying chicken, both being a subspecies of the red jungle fowl. They are known for their white feathers and yellowish skin.
When you decide to start a broiler production in Nigeria, there are certain factors you should consider. For instance, it is necessary that you provide comfortable housing for the birds. Prior to providing housing, the selection of the site is very important. Generally, the broiler farm should have a suitable land area, adequate water supply and electricity, market access and proper ventilation.
We have highlighted these important factors below:
There are basically two breeds of broiler in Nigeria namely Ross and Cobb. So you can select either one of them to get started.
When selecting your ideal breed, one thing you should know is that a good chick comes from a good breeding flock. You should select day-old chicks with good quality. During brooding, you should place a chick guard for the first week around them. Also, adjust the hovers temperature to 950Fahrenheit in the first week and reduce by 50F every week until 700F.
The hatchery is the place where the embryos hatch into chicks. It is important the hatcheries are monitored for optimal conditions where the chick embryos are totally controlled until a timely hatch with full vigor. Once the chick has been moved to the farm, the condition required for them to thrive is quite different and we will highlight them here.
There is also the need for thermoregulation because a day old chick cannot regulate its own body temperature so there’s the need to supply the thermal neutral zone for it.
You can achieve this by warming the building 24 to 48 hours before the chicks arrive. Generally, warming a concrete floor can take 1 to 2 days. If you put the chick on a cold floor, it will refrain to eat and be inactive. This is not a good sign because the most critical period is the first five days. By the time the chick is 2 weeks old, it can now regulate its body temperature.
Typically, the temperature at chick level should run from 31 to 330C and gradually stabilize at 210C at 28 days. Generally, the smaller chicks require a higher brooding temperature than bigger birds. You can check how your chick is doing by holding its legs against your cheek. If they are cold you should increase the house temperature. Typically, proper temperature management will assure high weight gain, lower FCR, lower cull rate, lower mortality and practically reduce bird growing costs.
You should assess your chicks after 24 hours to see if they have been properly accommodated. You can randomly select 100 chicks. If 95 out of the 100 chicks have full crops with a mixture of feed and water then you’re right on course. If this isn’t the case, you can investigate the feed quantity in feeders and on the floor, water quality, building temperature, hatchery problems since these factors can contribute.
When your chicks get to 7 days, weighing these birds is a great way to assess how well they are doing. It is expected that chicks should have quadrupled their day old weight within the first 7 days. Also, this means that for each one gram of weight gain at 7 days will yield an additional 6 grams at 35 days old.
Generally, a good 7-day weight correlates positively with lower FCR and low final mortality.
Also, the 7th-day mortality is important. If the estimated mortality is 1% after 7 days, this is a good result but if the percentage is much higher then something must be wrong.
Additionally, it is important the chick house is properly ventilated and sealed from any draft wind at chick level especially during the first two weeks after birth. You should never compromise ventilation in order to keep the correct temperature and you should use minimum ventilation fans to keep the oxygen at the correct level.
Use a high-quality pre starter and starter feed. You should also remember to add a toxin binder to the feed. It is a known fact that the maize in Nigeria contains a high concentration of Mycotoxins which can cause feed refusal. In the first week, the feed has to be distributed on paper sheets aside the drinkers. This feed space usually occupies 50% of the floor
When feeding the chick, the initial feed application on paper should be 50 g/chick. You can then subsequently top up the feed on the paper before gradually moving to the feeders.
Feeds play a vital role in poultry farming and take up the major cost of poultry production which affects the production output of the birds. When you don’t feed the birds properly, it can lead to several deficiency diseases resulting in poor production performance.
You should ensure that the broiler feed contains all the required nutrients (carbohydrates, fats, protein, minerals, and vitamins) in the right proportion for better growth of the birds. You can also include some additives to facilitate digestion and growth of these birds.
We have highlighted the types of poultry feed below based on the age of the birds
Age of chicks / Feed type
0-10days / Pre-starter
11-21days / Starter
22days / Finisher
In addition, we have estimated the expected feed consumption of broilers based on age
Chicks (age in days) / Feed weight in body / Weight gain/day grams
1st day / 20g/bird/day / 45-55g
2nd day / 22g/bird/day / 55-95g
3rd day / 24g/bird/day / 95-135g
4th day / 26g/bird/day / 135-175g
5th day / 28g/bird/day / 175-215g
6th day / 30g/bird/day / 215-255g
7th day / 32g/bird/day / 255-295g
8th day / 34g/bird/day / 295-335g
9th day / 36g/bird/day / 335-385g
10th day / 38g/bird/day / 385-425g
11th day / 40g/bird/day / 425-465g
12th day / 42g/bird/day / 465-505g
13th day / 44g/bird/day / 505-545g
14th day / 46g/bird/day / 545-585g
15th day / 48g/bird/day / 585-625g
16th day / 50g/bird/day / 625-665g
17th day / 52g/bird/day / 665-705g
18th day / 54g/bird/day / 705-745g
19th day / 56g/bird/day / 745-785g
20th day / 58g/bird/day / 785-825g
21st day / 60g/bird/day / 825-865g
22nd day / 62g/bird/day / 865-905g
23rd day / 64g/bird/day / 905-945g
24th day / 66g/bird/day / 945-985g
25th day / 68g/bird/day / 985-1,025g
26th day / 70g/bird/day / 1,025-1,045g
Drinking water should be from a tested well. If the water has a bad odor or wrong pH, it will not be consumed by the birds. The ideal pH of the water is 5.5-7.5. Also, the suitable temperature of the water is 10-14OC although birds are not restricted to this range but they shouldn’t be supplied water above 30oC
Stocking density should run around 25 kg per meter by slaughter time. Since, we have a hot climate in Nigeria, it is preferable not to exceed the above density.
In order to protect our flock from pathogens, a good vaccine supplier, and a good vaccination application plan should be adopted. It is preferable to apply vaccines in the water early in the morning, to avoid hot temperatures during the day, and utilize the high water consumption in the morning. You can deny the birds from water for 1 hour in order for the vaccine to be utilized in 1-2 hours. Additionally, the water should be clean from any chlorine and disinfectant. You can treat it with a stabilizer or skim milk to neutralize any chlorine residues.
One of the major challenges with broiler production is disease control. This is why there is the need to put in place stringent measures to reduce the incidence of diseases on the farm. You should protect the farm from unwanted visitors. And the area should also be clean and disinfected especially during the period of depletion and introduction of new flock.
Another ways is to establish and perform a vermin control plan because mice and rats are known for Salmonella and Pasteurella vectors. You should also ensure that farm staffs change their clothes to their farm work clothes once they resume on the farm because many viral and bacterial diseases tend to stay in clothing and shoes.
You can also use shoe dips with Phenol disinfectant dips before entering every poultry house. Additionally, you should apply vaccines correctly for utmost efficiency.
When disposing of dead birds, use an efficient cremation facility because dead birds tend to attract vermin, wild birds, dogs, and cats, thereby introducing viruses and bacteria in the farm.
Broilers are best sold during festive periods. However, there are several ways of selling these birds. These include selling at 4 weeks old, selling when matured or slaughter and sell
- Sell at 4 weeks old
If you want to avoid the stress of rearing the birds from a day old till maturity, you can sell them to buyers that prefer buying broilers only after they must have grown feathers.
In this case, you just need to raise your broiler chicks from a day old to 3 weeks old, depending on what your market wants. You can sell your bird between N600-700.
- Sell when matured
This is the most popular way of selling broilers. In this case, you are expect to raise the broilers till 6 weeks or more then start selling to the consumers. The profit margin here is higher and the best time to sell your birds in this case is during Easter, Christmas or Sallah celebrations.
You can sell the broiler for a minimum of N2500. However, how much you sell will depend on the size of the broiler and the location of the market.
- Slaughter and sell
You can also slaughter and sell your broiler. In this case, you may have to package the chicken for your consumer. The target market here are people who don’t want to go through the stress of slaughtering live animals.
It is important that you must have carried out a market research prior to starting your broiler production business. This will enable you to understand this best method to adopt when starting your broiler production.
In some place, the best option is to wait till your birds are matured while in some other cases, it makes more business sense to slaughter and sell.
One of the most lucrative marketing channels for your business are restaurants and fast food businesses. Because chicken features prominently on the food menu of these eateries, you can pitch your service to these customers and kick start a lucrative business venture.
You can also target the local markets where you can sell your birds during the festive season. Overall, there are many ways to market your birds and generate an income from this business.
When considering whether you should start a broiler farmer, some of the factors that that should guide you are summarized below:
- Type of House (recommended – deep litter with open sides for cross ventilation)
- Feeding system (ad libitum)
- Litter type (recommended – wood shavings of an appropriate type and quality)
- Stock density (recommended – 12 mature broiler per m2)
- Breed of broiler (recommended – viable commercial breeds/hybrids)
- Maturity age/live weight (recommended – 6-7 weeks/1.6-2kg)
- Mortality (recommended – 5-10% maximum including runts and deformed birds)
- Production rate (recommended – 6-6.5 production batch per year)
- Production period (it takes 7-8 weeks to completion (including a one week period of cleaning and rest of the pens)
- Medication (recommended – 5% of the feed cost including payment for vet services)
Overall, you should calculate your expected cost and returns prior to starting your broiler production business.