In almost any country in the world that you visit, you would find a huge market for poultry products because poultry products are regarded as healthy meals. Eggs for instance, are recommended to be eaten everyday as a source of protein.
Poultry meat is also very healthy and nutritious; chicken breasts for instance contain lower cholesterol and is said to be good for weight management and control of heart diseases. The profitability of poultry business is not a subject for debate because it is already established that poultry farming is profitable. Whether you would make profits or not depends on how you run the business.
One of the major determinants of profitability in poultry farming is site selection. You have to select a very good location for your poultry farm in order to succeed. Some of the important factors to consider when selecting a site for your poultry farm include-:
10 Critical Factors to Consider When Choosing a Location for Your Poultry Farm
1. Neighborhood-: Nobody likes noise and strong offensive odors close to their homes. One of the ways to quickly run into problems with environmental protection agencies is to site your poultry farm close to a living area.
Of course, you can start your little backyard poultry farm in your home and as long as you keep it clean and make use of noise prevention techniques, you won’t have challenges but once you decide to go commercial, it is better to look for a farm land to site your poultry. Farm lands are usually out of town and the only neighbors you would have are other farmers who wouldn’t be bothered with the noise or smell coming from your own farm.
2. Setbacks-: One other important factor to consider is the setbacks to provide in order to prevent water quality problems and nuisance. There are recommended guidelines for setbacks. For instance, it is recommended that you provide a setback of at least 500 feet from other residences that are not poultry farms; for public areas and places like schools or churches, the recommended setback is 1,500 feet, for public roadways 150 feet and for streams, 100 feet. A visit to the local town planning office would further open your eyes to the rules and guidelines to follow for setback provision.
3. Utilities and public amenities-: You would need some public utilities like electricity and water to run your commercial poultry farm. Therefore, you have to consider the availability of these facilities in the area where you have chosen to site your poultry farm. If these facilities are not readily available, what would be the cost of providing alternative source power?
If you are setting up your poultry farm in a place like Nigeria where constant electricity supply is a fairytale, you have to look at the area and find out how regularly they get electricity and how much it would cost you to buy a generator and fuel it monthly. This is very important because unplanned electricity costs can cripple your business by seizing too much of your profits.
4. Road Network-: Next, you must consider the road network in the place where you plan to site your poultry farm. You would need to have access to very good roads to ease the supply process. Customers can get discouraged from buying from you if the road to your farm is too bad. Make sure you choose a place that is accessible and has very good roads.
5. Expansion Plan-: Your business is definitely going to grow. Just manage it efficiently and you will see. Hence, you need to start planning for the growth of your business; you must ensure that the site you choose has enough space for expansion. For instance, if you start with 1,500 birds, soon enough your herd would grow to about 3000 birds and you cannot rear 3,000 birds in the same space you used for 1500 birds.
Therefore, it is very important to plan adequately for expansion in this business. You may even want to delve into other aspects of poultry farming in the future and you need space to be able to do that. If you want to start producing and packaging meat in the future for example, you would need space for that. The same thing also applies if you want to add poultry feed production to your line of business. You don’t have to start looking for space each time you consider a new business plan when you have already made plans for space before you started out.
6. Topography-: The topography of the area is also important. You have to consider how leveled the site is because if it is not properly leveled, you would need to spend a lot of money on grading to be able to get a well leveled ground for construction and that would shoot up construction costs.
7. Drainage-: Ensure that the site has proper drainage system. Absence of a good drainage system may lead to erosion and cause great problems for your farm. You should also take the slope of the area into consideration; ensure that water would flow out of the place and not into the buildings.
8. Wind direction-: The prevailing wind direction of the area would give you an idea of how much distance you need to provide between your poultry farm and other residences. Like I already mentioned, odor is a great problem in poultry farming and if you don’t want your neighbors complaining and reporting you to the authorities you must take steps to reduce the effect of odors on your neighbors residence and then use distance as a cushioning strategy.
9. Waste Management-: Another factor to consider is waste management. Some of the waste from your chickens can be used as manure but you need enough space to collect and process it.
10. Natural Disasters-: You should also find out about the area and natural disasters. You must know what natural disasters like earthquakes, storms and tsunamis the area is prone to and what preventive measures to take to reduce the effects if and when they happen.