Livestock Farming in Nigeria is a very lucrative agribusiness and one of the attractive features of this type of farming is the diverse options available.
In this post, we have provided you with the necessary steps you need to take when starting your livestock farming business.
Livestock Faming in Nigeria: Beginner’s Guide
First, we will provide the information you need to start any of the three most popular livestock farming options in Nigeria.
1. Goat farming
Goat farming is one of the most attractive types of livestock farming. And here are some of the reasons you should consider this type of farming
- It requires relatively low capital but yields high profits.
- Goat meat consumption in Nigeria is quite high
- Apart from the meat, items like shoes, bags, belts and other leather-base materials are made from goat skin because it is a very good source of leather
- Goats are easy to feed and manage as they require minimal supervision
- Goats reproduce a lot which means continuity for your business
- Goat offal can be used for drug production
- The faeces of goat can serve as an excellent source of manure.
Here are some of the things you need to know before you start your goat farming business.
There are different breeds of goat available in the Nigerian market and your choice of breed will be dependent on your goals. You can also rear multiple breeds however; raising multiple breeds is an option that requires larger capital.
The most suitable place to consider for goat farming is an area closest to pasture. The land should be spacious and fenced. Also, you’ll need a shelter for the goats so they can be shielded from harsh weather like rain and sun.
Pasture is the best form of food for goats but there are other healthy food options like specially formulated goat feeds. You can also grow your own pasture or make arrangements for your goats to graze in a nearby land. You could also either buy feeds or manufacture them depending on how much you can afford.
- Medical care
Goats need utmost care especially the females. Consequently, medical care should be ready available. You could have a vet doctor that comes to assess the goats on a weekly or monthly basis. This will prevent the spread of diseases which could very easily end your farm.
Beyond rearing the goats, there is also the need to have a marketing plan in place so that you can readily sell your goats or goat product when it is time.
- Farm workers
You should consider employing a number of people to assist you depending on how big your farm is. It could be in form of permanent staffs or staffs that come in once or twice a week to assist.
2. Poultry farming
Poultry farming is one of the most popular livestock farming options in Nigeria. In many cases, commercial poultry farming in Nigeria has made many people millionaire and it is not so difficult setting up your own poultry farm.
There are several reasons why you should consider starting a poultry farming business in Nigeria. One of the most popular reasons is the provision of egg and meat for consumption by the poultry birds.
Also, there is a large market for poultry products in Nigeria although it can be quite competitive because of the abundance of poultry farmers in the country.
Another interesting advantage is that there are no tribal, regional or religious taboos about consuming poultry products like eggs and meat and almost everyone likes poultry eggs and meat.
Overall, poultry farming is a great business idea with very good return on your investment ROI ratio. Anyone can start raising poultry in domestic and commercial purpose.
Here are the steps to take in setting up your poultry business.
- Farm Location
Generally, a plot of land of 120 x 60 square meters is suitable for setting up a medium sized poultry farm in Nigeria. However, the size of land depends on the number of birds you want to raise and the farming system.
Acquiring land is the most expensive part of commercial poultry farming business in Nigeria. You can buy the land far from the town or big cities but you need to select an environment that is pollution free. You can buy the land in a rural area because land and labour are highly available in a cheaper rate in these areas. However, when selecting the land, bear in mind that there should be adequate supply of water and the land should be free from animals and predators. The land should also be close to the market and accessible to major road networks.
There are three profitable systems of raising poultry.
- Extensive system,
- Semi-intensive system and
- Intensive poultry farming system
- Poultry Breeds
There are also three types of breed which are very suitable for commercial poultry farming in Nigeria. You can select any for your farm. The modern poultry breeds are highly productive. Modern layers produce more eggs than traditional breeds and broilers grow faster than ever. Selecting the right kind of breed for commercial production is very important. The three types of commercial poultry breeds are described below.
Layers: Layer poultry breeds are used for commercial egg production. If you want to produce eggs commercially, select highly productive layer breeds.
Broilers: Broiler poultry are very fast growing poultry breeds. Generally, they gain slaughter weight within a very short time by consuming certain amount of food. And they are used for commercial meat production.
Cockerels: Cockerels are another type of meat productive poultry breeds. Cockerel has a special demand for some people. Generally, they grow slower than other breeds. But very hardy and can survive and adopt themselves in almost all types of environment.
Good housing is very important for commercial poultry farming in Nigeria. Housing system depends on the poultry breeds and farming method. Housing design varies in accordance with various types of poultry raising methods. Follow the tips mentioned below while building suitable house for your poultry birds.
The poultry house must have to be well ventilated because a well-ventilated system keeps the bird healthy and productive. You can create a suitable system that allows sufficient amount of fresh air and light inside the house.
You can also try to make the house north to south faced. If you are building numerous poultry houses, the distance between one house to the other should be about 40 feet.
Before bringing the chick inside the farm, clean the house and entire farm area properly. If you are using the deep liter system, you should clean it regularly. You can use cheap materials like wooden or rice bran for making liter.
Keep the feeding and watering equipment in proper distance from each other according to the number of birds and farming systems and always clean all equipment regularly.
Ensure that, your birds are free from all types of animals, insects or predators inside the house.
The poultry house should be located in a calm and quiet place free from pollution and noise.
Good quality food keeps the bird healthy and highly productive. Always provide adequate amount of food according to the number and age of poultry birds. Along with feeding good foods, always supply sufficient amount of clean and fresh water according to the daily demands of poultry.
- Care and Management
Poultry birds are very sensitive and may be caught by diseases easily. Generally, they suffer by various types of viral, bacterial, fungal, nutritional and parasitic diseases. Proper vaccination is a must for keeping your birds diseases free, healthy and productive. So, vaccinate the birds timely. If somehow, diseases occurs in the farm then meet a vet doctor as soon as possible and listen to his advice.
Poultry products are easy to market because there is already an established market for poultry eggs and meat with huge demand. So, you don’t have to think about marketing your products. You can sell your products in both local markets and big cities.
3. Cattle farming
Cattle farming is another lucrative livestock rearing option. However, it is a capital-intensive business venture. But this type of business is very profitable. The selling price of a fully grown market size cattle is currently estimated at N200,000.
When rearing cattle, you don’t have to worry so much about diseases because cattle by nature are strong resistant livestock. They feed mainly grasses and have no trouble grazing. However, you should be aware of predators like snakes because they can poison and kill the cattle while grazing on an open field.
Cattles produce meat, milk and the blood and bone meal can be used as fertilizers and as feeds for livestock. The faeces (dung) can also be used as manure etc.
The different breeds of cattle include Azawal, Sokoto Gudali, Wadara, White Fulani, Ndama, Kekeku, Kuri, Brown Swiss, Holstein, Jersey etc.
They are ruminants that have hollow horns and hoofs with an even number of toes. They are mainly reared for their meat, milk, hide and skin, manure and as draught animals to work on the farm.
Cattle breeds can be categorized into three major groups, which are;
- Beef cattle: They are mainly reared to produce meat
- Dairy cattle: They are mainly reared to produce milk
- Dual purpose Cattle: They are capable of producing meat and milk
Overall, the economic importance of Cattle farming in Nigeria includes:
- Provision of meat and milk
- Suitable to pull plough on farms
- Provision of hide and skin
- Provision of blood meal and bone meal for feeds for farm animals
- Source of employment and income to people
- The dung serves as a very good source of manure
- Source of fertilizers can be gotten from blood, bones, and offal of cattle
Aside these top 3 options, other livestock rearing options include;
4. Fish farming
This is another excellent livestock farming option with an available market, low startup cost and high prospect of income. Catfish farming is the most common fish farming in Africa. You can start this business in a small-scale by setting up your own fish pond using a 1000 litres open plastic container. See how to start catfish farming business.
5. Pig farming
Pig farming is profitable. If you doubt this you can read the story of Anna Phosa, who became one of Africa’s largest pig farmers by starting her pig farm with just 4 piglets. Today, her pig farm has about 30 staff and supplies over 100 pigs weekly to buyers. The good thing about pigs is that they give birth to many piglets and pork is loved by many Africans.
6. Snail rearing
This is not a popular livestock farming because few people are into it. Snails are expensive and scarce in our local markets and hotels. However, people buy snails regardless of how expensive it is because of its high nutritional value. See how to start making money as a snail farming today
7. Dog breeding
Dog meat is cherished by several people, especially in Southern Nigeria. However, most people do not keep dogs for meat. Dogs are mainly kept as pets and for security reasons.
8. Honeybees farming
Honey is expensive in most African countries because few people are involved in honey bees farming. This is a business you can consider as there is very little competition in this business. However, you need to get trained before you can begin.
9. Rabbits & grasscutter farming
This is another business with little competition. Rabbits and grasscutter meat is cherished by many people. You can sell your grass cutters and rabbits to restaurants and hotels and directly to consumers. See a detailed guide on grass cutters farming.
10. Sheep Farming
Just like goat rearing, sheep farming is a lucrative livestock business as it provides a good income to the farmer by sales of the animals for meat or their wool which is used by textile industries.