Poultry farming in Ghana has emerged as an important agricultural sector, contributing significantly to both the nation’s economy and its food security. According to the latest statistics, as of 2020, the poultry industry in Ghana accounted for approximately 16% of the total livestock production, with an annual production of over 128,000 metric tons of poultry meat and nearly 2.3 billion eggs.
This sector has experienced substantial growth over the years, driven by increased demand for affordable and protein-rich sources, and has created employment opportunities for thousands of Ghanaians while fostering economic development.
Poultry Farming in Ghana:
Yes, it is true that poultry farming in Ghana has been getting worse since 2000. Most big chicken farms that started in the late 1960s and early 1970s are now either closed or about to close. The government wanted to make imported frozen chicken more expensive by adding taxes, but they couldn’t do it because the International Monetary Fund (IMF) didn’t agree.
The Ghanaian government is working on a law to raise taxes on imported frozen chicken from other countries. They want to make it easier for small businesses to get money in Ghana. They’re also teaching people how to take care of chickens.
They want people to eat chicken that’s raised in Ghana. They’re also going to teach people who work in the chicken industry how to do their jobs better. Business owners need to solve money and management problems in the chicken industry in Ghana. So it is your time to start commercial poultry farming.
Here we are going to describe how to start commercial poultry farming in Ghana.
01. Learn Poultry Farming
The first thing you should do when starting a poultry farm is get some basic training. Poultry farming in Ghana has some challenges so don’t try to run a poultry farm without learning the ropes from a reliable farming training center. Remember, it’s a delicate business because you’re dealing with living birds.
For instance, if you don’t know how to take care of baby chicks, it can end up costing your farm a lot. Your whole batch of chicks could die if you don’t know what to do. So, make sure you understand all the basics of farming to run your chicken business successfully.
You can easily take a training course, even a short one, to learn how to raise chicks. There are many places that offer poultry farming courses. Sign up for one to learn the fundamentals. You can also talk to an experienced farmer to pick up some useful tips for handling chicks.
02. Choose Your Poultry Sector
Poultry farming is a big industry with two main options, first raising chickens for meat (called broilers) and raising chickens for eggs (known as layers). You can also get into hatching eggs and raising baby chicks.
In this business, you can choose to work in all these areas or just focus on one or two, especially when you’re starting out. So, decide what part of poultry farming you want to do.
Types of Poultry Farming You Can Choose From:
- Meat production (Broilers breeding)
- Egg production (Layers breeding)
- Poultry feed production
- Chicken breeding (Hatchery)
- Egg and meat processing
Before you begin your poultry farm, make sure you’re sure about selling your chickens. If you decide to raise broiler chickens, think about the risks involved. If you can’t find people who want to buy your broilers, your poultry farm won’t work because it costs a lot to run.
So, only start raising broilers, for example, when you have people or companies nearby who are willing to buy from you.
03. Choose The Right Type Of Bird
Poultry farm owners raise different kinds of poultry breeds. When you begin your small poultry farm, it’s a good idea to start with just a few types of birds, like 20 or 50, and then add more as your business gets bigger.
Most poultry farms raise birds like chickens for both meat (called broilers) and eggs (called layers). They also raise other birds like ducks, geese, quail, guinea fowl, turkeys, pigeons, most favorite Ayam Cemani chicken, and even peacocks.
You should also decide whether you want to raise broilers (for meat) or layers (for eggs). This choice determines whether you focus on producing meat or eggs on your farm.
04. Set Farm Location
When starting a poultry farm, choosing the right location is crucial. Your chosen spot should have all the necessary facilities. It’s a good idea to build your poultry farm a bit away from the town because this can save you money on land and labor costs.
However, don’t set up your chicken farm too far from the nearest town. You’ll need to be closer to town to reach your customers easily. Plus, being too far from a city can lead to higher transportation expenses.
According to data from the USDA, if your poultry farm is near four poultry companies or integrators, you could earn 8 percent more income than if you’re near only one supplier. This data highlights how important the location of your poultry farm is for its success.
05. Have A Business Plan
To run your poultry farming in Ghana successful, it’s important to have a clear plan ahead of time. This plan should show what you want your farm to look like in the next 3-5 years. Here’s what you should include:
1. Your Vision: Write down what you want to achieve with your poultry farm.
2. Objectives: List the specific goals you want to reach.
3. Poultry Products: Describe what kind of poultry products you’ll produce, like eggs or meat.
4. Target Audience: Identify the people you want to sell your products to.
5. Marketing Strategy: Explain how you’ll promote and sell your poultry products.
6. Setup Cost: Know how much it will cost to set up your farm.
Having a well-thought-out plan has two big advantages. First, it keeps you on the right track, helping you run your farm confidently. Second, it makes your farm more attractive to potential investors. Investors will want to see your plan before deciding to invest in your farm.
06. Install A Perfect Poultry Housing System
To begin a poultry farm, you need a good chicken cage. How well your chickens stay healthy depends on how comfy their cage is.
It’s a good idea to visit nearby farms first and check out their cages. You can get some helpful ideas this way.
Remember, a great chicken cage keeps birds safe from bad weather like strong sun, rain, diseases, wind, and pests. So, don’t forget the basics of a poultry cage when starting your farm.
Depending on what you have, you can choose different types of chicken houses. For broiler farming, go for a deep litter system. If you’re into egg production, battery cage-type houses work better.
Experts recommend 500 square feet of space for 1000 broilers, plus 100 square feet for walkways, good lighting, and ventilation for commercial poultry farming in Ghana.
07. Buy Poultry Farming Equipment
The success of your poultry farm depends a lot on the quality of the tools you use. Good equipment helps your birds eat and drink well. There are many types of equipment for poultry farms, but you can start with the basics. Make sure you have the right feeders, waterers, nests, cages, and places for your birds to rest.
You’ll also need heaters, a way to get rid of waste, lights, and a place for eggs. But for a small farm, you don’t need all the fancy and expensive stuff. It’s smart to start with just the basics to keep your chickens healthy. Later, when your business grows, you can get a loan to buy fancier equipment.
The place where they make baby chicks has machines that keep the eggs warm for 18 days, and then other machines keep them warm for 3 more days, all at the right temperature and humidity needed for the chicks to hatch.
08. Buy Chicks of Good Breeds
To begin your poultry farm business, start by purchasing quality chicks from reliable breeders. Make sure they are healthy and well-fed; as diseased or malnourished chicks can cause problems. Before getting the chicks, prepare a brooder on your farm to keep them warm and safe.
It’s essential to avoid buying too many chicks at once; try to keep the number below 500. This will make it easier to manage and care for them effectively. Starting with healthy chicks and proper preparation will set a strong foundation for your poultry farm’s success.
09. Feed The Chicks
When you’re starting a poultry farm, one of the most important things to understand is how to properly feed your chicks. You’ll be spending a big chunk of your money on their food – about 70% of your total expenses. But here’s the thing: you can actually make your own poultry feed using ingredients you buy from the market.
Now, making your own feed is great, but it takes some know-how. Until you’ve got that down, it’s a good idea to buy bird feed from a reliable source for your poultry farm.
The key here is to make sure the feed you provide is well-balanced and packed with nutrition. If your chickens don’t get the right food, they won’t produce as many eggs, and they could get sick because they’re missing essential nutrients.
There are specific diseases, like dermatitis, paralysis, chicken rickets, and liver syndrome, that can strike if the feed lacks certain vitamins. For instance, young chickens aged one to seven weeks need feed with 2900 kilocalories of energy, while the adults need slightly less, around 2800 kilocalories.
Also, be careful about the moisture content in ingredients like maize and Azolla – it shouldn’t go above 10-11%, as this can lead to the growth of harmful fungus. So, when you buy feed for your poultry farm, make sure it’s from a trusted company.
In a nutshell, knowing how to feed your chicks properly is a crucial aspect of running a successful poultry farm. It impacts your expenses, the health of your birds, and ultimately, your farm’s productivity. Whether you’re buying feed or making your own, always prioritize nutrition and quality to ensure your poultry thrive.
10. Set A Poultry Health Management Plan
One reason you might lose your poultry business is not taking care of the health of your birds. This can lead to a lot of them dying. To prevent this, you need a good health plan for your poultry farm.
This plan should include things like making sure the birds have clean water to drink and keeping their living area clean.
Viruses are the main reason why poultry get sick, and they pose the biggest danger to poultry farms. But we can make the risk of viruses lower by keeping the farm clean, using security measures to protect the birds, and giving vaccines to baby chicks and adult chickens.
You also need to make sure the lighting in their area is right. Chickens need 16 hours of light each day. It’s best to use yellow, red, or orange light for 24 hours if you have broiler breeds.
Before you start your poultry farm, it’s a good idea to talk to a lighting expert to make sure you have the right setup for your chickens. This will help your business succeed.
11. Market Your Farm Products
When you’re starting your poultry business, remember that marketing is really important. Without a good marketing plan, it’s tough to reach your goals for your farm.
To sell your products, first, figure out what people in your area want and need. Learn about the folks who will buy your poultry products.
In the beginning, sell your products nearby. Many chicken farmers do this to save time and money on travel. It’s also good because selling in the same place often helps you build trust with customers.
Try to find low-cost ways to reach your customers. For example, you can make and hand out flyers. They’re a cheap way to let a lot of people know about your farm products. If your flyer looks cool, it’ll catch people’s eyes, and some might want to buy from you.
Your poultry farm can do well if you start off right. First, pick the type of poultry you like and want to raise. Find a good spot for your farm, get enough money, hire some help, and market your products.
So, those are the important things to keep in mind when starting your poultry farm. Be careful and think about all the possible risks before you jump in. Don’t commit to anything without a good plan.
Starting a chicken farm can make you a good amount of money because people always want to buy chicken. But before you start, you should figure out what type of chicken business is best by looking at what people want. Then, decide what kind of chickens you want to raise.
Pick a good spot for your farm, think about how much money you’ll need, and let people know about your farm. It’s also a good idea to have a nice farm logo so people can recognize your farm easily.
Best 20 tips that you should never forget:
1. Choose the Right Poultry Breed: Select poultry breeds that are well-suited for the Ghanaian climate and market demand. Popular choices include broilers, layers, and local breeds like the local fowl.
2. Proper Housing: Build well-ventilated and secure housing for your poultry to protect them from predators and harsh weather conditions.
3. Biosecurity Measures: Implement strict biosecurity measures to prevent disease outbreaks on your farm. Restrict access to outsiders, provide foot baths, and quarantine new birds.
4. Feeding: Provide a balanced diet with the right mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins. Consider formulating your feed or buying high-quality commercial feeds.
5. Clean Water Supply: Ensure a constant and clean water supply for your birds. Regularly clean water containers to prevent contamination.
6. Health Management: Develop a vaccination and health management program in consultation with a veterinarian. Regularly monitor the health of your birds.
7. Space Management: Avoid overcrowding in the poultry house. Adequate space prevents stress and disease spread.
8. Record Keeping: Maintain detailed records of expenses, production, and health status of your poultry. This helps in decision-making and tracking profitability.
9. Market Research: Understand the poultry market in Ghana. Identify your target customers and their preferences.
10. Marketing Strategy: Develop a marketing strategy to sell your poultry products. Consider local markets, supermarkets, restaurants, and online platforms.
11. Proper Waste Management: Implement effective waste management practices to maintain a clean and healthy environment. Properly dispose of litter and manure.
12. Egg Handling: Handle eggs with care to avoid breakage and contamination. Proper storage and packaging are essential.
13. Routine Cleaning: Regularly clean and disinfect the poultry house to prevent disease outbreaks and maintain bird health.
14. Training: Continuously educate yourself about modern poultry farming techniques. Attend seminars, workshops, or online courses.
15. Financial Planning: Create a budget and financial plan to manage your expenses and income effectively.
16. Security: Ensure the security of your farm by installing security systems and hiring reliable staff.
17. Environmental Regulations: Be aware of and adhere to local environmental regulations regarding poultry farming.
18. Diversification: Consider diversifying your poultry products, such as producing chicken meat, eggs, and poultry manure for sale.
19. Weather Considerations: Be prepared for weather-related challenges, such as drought or heavy rains, by having contingency plans in place.
20. Networking: Connect with other poultry farmers and industry experts for advice and support. Networking can be invaluable for your success.
Remember that poultry farming requires dedication, patience, and continuous learning. Keep up-to-date with industry trends and adapt your practices as needed to ensure a profitable and sustainable poultry farming business in Ghana.