What are the different types of poultry farm?
There are generally 4 different types of poultry farming enterprise:
Each has its own unique purpose and contribution to the poultry value chain.
Breeders hold parent stock of birds for producing eggs which will eventually supply hatcheries.
Hatcheries receive fertilised eggs from the breeders in the da that they are laid and incubate them until the day the chicks hatch.
Poultry farms are typically recipients of day-old chicks which they raise for the purpose of producing market-ready chicken meat or eggs.
In certain cases, upstream from layer poultry farms which produce eggs for consumption are those which raise day-old chicks to point of lay pullets.
Why is choosing the type of poultry farm important for success?
Each type of poultry farm has its own specific manner of operation.
A kind of culture.
Your choice should be a result of deep analysis, practical experience and consideration.
Once you start and have sunk your investment in one mode of farming,
To restructure not only takes MASSIVE reinvestment but retraining also adds to the uphill challenge.
Just think about a layer farmer wanting to switch codes to broiler farming.
The following menu of changes are inevitable:
- chick supplies
- rearing & handling expertise
- time scales for production
- new buyers
- seasonality and other trends
These business parameters are completely different from such a change.
- Broiler chicks are not necessarily sold by the same vendors as layer chicks. You may need to find new suppliers.
- Raising meat chicken over 6 weeks is quite different from raising layer hens for 72 weeks.
- Egg production occurs each day in a layer farm and a layer operation is primed for collecting, cleaning, grading, packaging, storing and delivery each day. Broiler farms have a longer production loop (6 weeks vs. 1 day)
- Buyers of eggs are not necessarily buyers of chicken meat. Therefore if a switch is made, new marketing efforts will be needed to reach a new audience.
- Seasonality. End of year public holidays can increase demand for chicken meat, whereas eggs are not affected by this, for example.
- Rearing meat birds means at the point of production birds need processing into carcasses. No such processing is required with layer eggs.
Just a few points to consider.
Also, intuition plays a big part in running a business.
Once your organisation is geared to do things in a certain way, the upheaval to change can be like learning to walk all over again.
(Not impossible, but humbling and requiring GREAT patience.)
Clearly, once you’re up and running it comes as second nature to get up and going.
But up until the moment of victory, it seems like a near impossibility.
Choose with care.
Produce comparative production plans
When making investment choices in business, investors are known to use a comparative tool known as an alternatives analysis.
It is exactly as it sounds.
It’s a tool which helps you weigh up alternative investment opportunities.
You get to see each one in its costs and benefits lined up against the others which makes it easy to make good judgement.
Using this approach,
Analyse the costs vs. benefits of the business case of each type of poultry business.
The end of this desk exercise should be a confident decision.
Further reading: Alternative Analysis (Project Management Knowledge)
A great way to gain greater confidence with different types of poultry farming business is to visit some.
Seeing how things are 1st hand, from experience, is quite different from learning theory.
If you go prepared to gather every grain of detail, such a day out can be invaluable.
Go armed with good quality questions though.
The wealth of information and wisdom at your fingertips with your hosts throughout the day is there for a limited time only.
Quality questions will help you make many priceless discoveries.
EVERY successful business must have a financial plan.
Owners have got to know what they are going to get out of it BEFORE stepping in to make sure their efforts will be rewarded.
(PLUS the plan should also declare HOW MUCH reward there shall be too.)
When making your decision about which type of poultry farm you will run,
You should draft a financial plan for each type and perform a detailed examination.
It will require a lot of scouting for price inputs and costs etc. but once you’ve done the leg work and have some projections,
It will be clear which options offers the most benefit.
Regardless of which type of poultry business you choose to run,
It is advisable that you get some professional poultry farming training.
Learn the fundamentals of poultry farming, equipping your self with everything from the basics to advanced topics.
Formal training grants a well-rounded, proven knowledge-base which you will need to draw upon during your tenure of ownership.
It saves lots of time and mistakes in the long run.
A worthwhile investment in the early stages of starting up.