poultry farming business in Nigeria

Poultry farming in Nigeria is a dynamic and economically significant agricultural venture that involves the breeding, rearing, and management of domesticated birds, primarily chickens, for the production of meat (broilers) and eggs (layers).

This agribusiness sector plays a crucial role in the country’s food production, providing a sustainable source of protein and contributing to economic growth.

In this article, we shall be focusing on Starting a Profitable Poultry Farming Business in Nigeria.

1.  Get Your Mindset Right:

The Poultry farm business is the most profitable of all Nigeria’s agricultural sub-sectors with a current market value of about N1.6 trillion approximately $4.2 billion according to both CBN and United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (UNFAO) report.

Before embarking on this poultry farming business venture, it’s crucial to see it beyond mere farming. You must perceive this undertaking as a business and treat it accordingly.

While it’s true that some individuals have amassed fortunes in this industry, that alone doesn’t guarantee success. Every business, even the world’s top companies, relies on effective management.

The failures in businesses often stem from the people overseeing them rather than an inherent lack of potential in the Business. Despite the perceived profitability of poultry farming, it’s not as flawless as one might assume.

Many people think that diving into the poultry business is a surefire way to make quick millions. If it were that simple, poverty wouldn’t persist in Nigeria. I’m not suggesting that it’s extremely challenging, but rather emphasizing the need for the right knowledge to run a successful poultry farm, both within and outside Nigeria.

To truly derive value from any business endeavor, including poultry farming, it’s imperative to invest time in learning its intricacies.

I recall an individual who owned a small poultry with just five chicks. Unfortunately, he experienced a high mortality rate among them and, perplexed, ended up consuming the surviving chicks while they were still young.

Upon investigating the cause of this business setback, I found that the man lacked sufficient knowledge about poultry farming. This scenario isn’t isolated; numerous others in Nigeria encounter similar issues with their poultry businesses.

As reiterated earlier, you must approach it with a business mindset—taking it seriously. This perspective should be instilled not only in yourself but also in your team members, including investors.

2. Capital:

Starting a poultry farm in Nigeria on a commercial scale with profit in view will require a minimum investment of 2million Naira.

This capital will be spent on:

  1. Land and Infrastructure: Purchase or lease of land and construction of poultry houses, pens, or cages
  2. Equipment: Purchase of equipment such as feeders, drinkers, heat lamps (for brooding), and egg collection systems (for layer farming).
  3. Chicks or Pullets: Cost of acquiring the initial stock of chicks or pullets. The price can vary based on the breed and source.
  4. Feed: Working capital for purchasing poultry feed. The amount will depend on the number of birds and their growth stage (starter, grower, or layer feed).
  5. Labor: Payment for labor, including farm workers responsible for tasks such as feeding, cleaning, and general farm management.
  6. Utilities: Budget for utilities such as electricity and water supply, especially if the farm is not located in an area with readily available services.
  7. Veterinary Care: Budget for veterinary services and medications to ensure the health of the poultry flock.
  8. Miscellaneous Expenses: Additional costs for items such as bedding material, waste disposal, transportation, and other miscellaneous farm-related expenses.

It’s important to note that the capital required can vary widely based on the scale of your poultry farm. Small-scale and backyard poultry farms may require less initial capital compared to large commercial operations.

As a rough estimate, for a small to medium-scale poultry farm with around 500 birds (broilers or layers), you might need a starting capital ranging from N2,000,000 to N6,000,000, depending on the factors mentioned above.

Keep in mind that it is advisable to conduct a detailed feasibility study and business plan to determine your specific requirements and financial projections.

3. Secure a Land:

Certainly, acquiring land is a necessity; no farming business worldwide can operate without it.

In Nigeria, a standard plot of land is typically measured at 120 by 60, and an acre comprises six plots.

The amount of land you require for your proposed poultry farming project depends on your specific plan.

Here are essential considerations before securing land:

  1. Location: Avoid selecting land in a residential area due to potential issues related to the unpleasant odors and noise generated by the poultry. Opt for a location in a developing area that is expected to remain non-residential for several years.
  2. Size: For instance, if you plan to rear 2000 layers or a similar number of broilers, approximately one and a half plots should suffice. Opting for two plots is not necessarily wasteful; it provides additional space for storing poultry equipment.
  3. The Land should not be swampy.

Ensure that your choice of land aligns with the scale and nature of your poultry farming operation.

4. Training:

This is really essential and it is advisable to get yourself through practical training on a farm where the owner has over 3 years experience in the poultry business.

Getting yourself and employees through training prevents trial and error.

Trust me when I tell you that errors can cost you millions in this business.

5. Get Your Poultry Pens Ready:

Poultry pen

Constructing poultry pens should never rely on assumptions; it requires a specific and informed approach.

Poultry pens are designed in a way that distinguishes brooding pens from layers pens. The brooding pen is specially crafted for very young chicks, catering to their unique needs.

During this initial stage, chicks, much like newborn babies, should not be exposed to cold conditions. This consideration is a crucial factor in designing a brooding pen.

It’s essential to recognize that the most critical period in your poultry business occurs during the first few weeks, known as the brooding period. During this phase, your birds are exceptionally delicate, and without proper care, they can succumb to various challenges easily.

The brooding stage demands serious attention, ideally from someone well-versed and experienced in handling this crucial period. The expertise required is paramount because small oversights can lead to significant consequences.

In any commercial chicken farming venture, the necessity of a poultry pen is unavoidable unless you are opting for organic poultry farming.

Understanding and addressing the unique needs of each stage, especially during the brooding period, is fundamental to the success and well-being of your poultry.

6. Getting the Chicks:

chicks from hatchery

Getting the chicks is very important because it is the foundation of this whole business.

As the saying goes, “If the foundation is faulty, what can the righteous do? Nothing.”

Choosing the right hatchery is crucial because the quality of the chicks profoundly influences their future growth. Birds obtained from an unreliable hatchery are likely to face challenges as they develop due to inherent deficiencies.

These deficiencies arise when essential vaccinations are omitted, and proper hatchery protocols are neglected. Consequently, these birds may struggle with their health throughout their lives.

To ensure the well-being and success of your poultry venture, exercise caution in selecting where and how you procure your chicks. Opt for a reputable hatchery to lay a strong foundation for your business.

The time it takes for an agricultural or farm-raised chicken (referred to as “agric fowl”) to reach maturity for processing and consumption depends on the type of chicken and the desired market weight.

  1. Broilers: Broilers are chickens specifically raised for meat production. They are typically ready for processing at a relatively young age, around 6 to 7 weeks. Broilers are bred for fast growth and efficient meat production.
  2. Layers or Dual-Purpose Chickens: Chickens raised for both egg-laying and meat (dual-purpose) or those raised primarily for egg production (layers) are usually processed later than broilers. For meat, they are typically ready for processing around 14 to 20 weeks, depending on the breed and desired weight.
  3. Cockerels: Cockerels are male chickens raised for meat. They are often processed at a later age compared to broilers, typically around 14 to 20 weeks, again depending on the breed and desired weight.

It’s important to note that the processing age can vary based on factors such as genetics, nutrition, and management practices.

In some cases, farmers and producers often determine the optimal processing age based on the specific goals of their operation and the market they are targeting for the sale of poultry meat.

7. Implement Biosecurity Measures:

Effective biosecurity measures are crucial in poultry farming to prevent the introduction and spread of diseases among the flock. Disease prevention is a key aspect of maintaining the health and productivity of poultry.

These biosecurity measures encompass:

1. Quarantine Procedures for New Birds: Quarantine involves isolating new birds from the existing flock for a specific period to monitor their health and prevent the potential spread of diseases.

The quarantine procedures for New Birds:

  • Isolation Area: Designate a separate area for new birds away from the existing flock.
  • Duration: Keep new birds in quarantine for at least 2-4 weeks.
  • Health Checks: During quarantine, regularly monitor the health of new birds for signs of diseases.
  • Biosecurity Protocols: Ensure strict adherence to biosecurity protocols, including using separate equipment and clothing when handling quarantined birds.

2. Regular Health Checks: Regular health checks involve systematic observations and assessments of the overall health and well-being of the poultry flock.

The efficient procedure of regular health checks in poultry farm is normally carried out by:

  • Visual Inspections: Conduct regular visual inspections to identify any signs of illness, unusual behavior, or changes in appetite.
  • Record-Keeping: Maintain detailed health records, documenting observations, treatments, and any abnormalities.
  • Professional Assistance: Engage a qualified veterinarian for regular health assessments and to address any health concerns promptly.

3. Vaccination Programs: Vaccination is the administration of vaccines to poultry to stimulate the immune system, providing protection against specific diseases. These vaccination programs are carried out by:

  • Vaccine Schedule: Develop a comprehensive vaccination schedule based on the specific diseases prevalent in your region.
  • Proper Storage: Ensure proper storage of vaccines according to manufacturer guidelines to maintain their effectiveness.
  • Administering Vaccines: Administer vaccines according to recommended dosages and methods, considering the age and health status of the birds.
  • Record Keeping: Maintain accurate records of vaccination dates, types, and batches used for each bird.

Benefits of Biosecurity Measures in a poultry farm:

  • Disease Prevention: Reduces the risk of introducing and spreading diseases within the poultry flock.
  • Productivity: Healthy birds are more productive in terms of egg production (layers) or weight gain (broilers).
  • Economic Stability: Minimizes the financial impact of disease outbreaks on the poultry farming business.
  • Sustainable Operations: Promotes long-term sustainability by preventing the development of antibiotic-resistant strains due to overreliance on medication.

Challenges of Biosecurity Measures in a poultry farm:

  • Costs: Implementing biosecurity measures may incur additional costs, but the long-term benefits often outweigh the expenses.
  • Compliance: Ensuring consistent compliance with biosecurity protocols may require ongoing training and monitoring of farm personnel.

Implementing biosecurity measures is a proactive strategy to safeguard the health and productivity of your poultry farm.

8. Management:

How can a business succeed without good management?

Good poultry business management is needed to keep things running both for the birds and the people (employees) involved in the poultry business.

Learn more about Business Management and growth from this; 6 Business Growth and Development Strategies that work Today.

Types Of Equipment & Tools Used In The Poultry Farming Business

Here are the types of equipment and tools used in poultry farming in Nigeria:

  1. Poultry Houses/Coops: Brooder houses for chicks, Layer houses for egg-laying hens, and Broiler houses for meat chickens
  2. Feeders: Gravity feeders, Trough feeders, or Automatic feeders
  3. Watering Systems: Nipple drinkers, Bell drinkers, or Automatic waterers
  4. Incubators: Used for hatching eggs and raising chicks
  5. Brooders: Heat lamps or electric heaters to provide warmth for chicks
  6. Egg Trays and Cases: For collecting and transporting eggs
  7. Nesting Boxes: Provide a place for hens to lay eggs
  8. Egg Candlers: Used to check the fertility of eggs during incubation
  9. Ventilation Systems: Fans and vents to regulate air circulation in poultry houses
  10. Lighting Systems: Artificial lighting to stimulate egg production
  11. Poultry Cages: Commonly used for layer birds to facilitate egg collection
  12. Manure Removal Systems: Conveyor belts or manual methods to remove waste from the poultry house
  13. Biosecurity Equipment: Footbaths, hand sanitizers, and other tools to prevent disease transmission
  14. Egg Grading and Sorting Machines: Automates the process of sorting and grading eggs
  15. Poultry Scales: Used for weighing birds for monitoring growth and feed efficiency
  16. Poultry Vaccination Equipment: Syringes and needles for administering vaccines
  17. Poultry Processing Equipment: Equipment for slaughtering and processing birds for meat
  18. Record-Keeping Tools: Farm management software, notebooks, or other tools for keeping track of production data
  19. Poultry Health Products: Medications, vitamins, and supplements to maintain bird health
  20. Egg Washers: Equipment for cleaning and sanitizing eggs

These tools and equipment contribute to the efficiency and success of poultry farming operations in Nigeria, helping farmers manage their flocks, ensure proper nutrition, and maintain the overall health of the poultry.

How much money can you make from poultry farming in Nigeria?

Analysis of Profit Potential in Poultry Farming in Nigeria: A Case Study of 500 Layers

In Nigeria, poultry farming, specifically layer farming, presents a viable business opportunity. The profitability of this venture can be assessed through a comprehensive analysis of recurring expenses and potential revenue. Here’s a breakdown of the financial aspects based on the case study of a 500-layer poultry farm:

1. Expenses Calculation:

  • Chick Cost: N60,000
  • Chick Mash (0-8 weeks): N408,000
  • Grower Feed (9-20 weeks): N480,000
  • Medication (4 months): N7,440
  • Vaccination: N7,050

Total Expenses: N962,490

2. Revenue Generation:

Note: Typically, a hen, which is a female chicken, lays eggs almost daily. On average, hens lay between 4 to 7 eggs per week. This means that over the course of a month, a hen can lay anywhere from 16 to 28 eggs, depending on various factors such as breed, age, and environmental conditions.

Still using our case study of 500 layers: Let’s assume an average laying rate of 5 eggs per week per hen, the calculation would be as follows:

Number of eggs laid by one layer per week = 5
Number of layers = 500

Total number of eggs per week = 5 (eggs per layer) X 500 (number of layers) = 2,500 eggs

Assuming a month has roughly 4 weeks:

Total number of eggs per month = 2500 (eggs per week) X 4 (weeks) = 10,000 eggs

Number of eggs = 10,000
Eggs per crate = 30

Number of crates = 10,000 (eggs) / 30 (eggs per crate) ≈ 333 crates

The cost of a crate of eggs = N2,500

Monthly Revenue from Egg sales = 2,500 X 333 = N832,500

  • Egg Sales (12 months): N9,990,000
  • Sold Layers @N2,500 per 1 (after 1 year and 8 months): N1,250,000

Total Revenue: N11,240,000

3. Profit Calculation:

  • Total Revenue – Total Expenses: N11,240,000 – N962,490 = N10,277,510

Note: The net profit is subject to variations in production, market conditions, and the successful implementation of biosecurity measures.

When does a Layer stop laying

The laying productivity of a layer (a chicken raised primarily for egg production) tends to decline as the bird ages.

The age at which a layer stops laying eggs can vary based on factors such as breed, genetics, health, and management practices. Here is a breakdown explanation:

  1. Peak Production: Layers typically reach peak egg production in the first year of laying, usually around 6 to 12 months of age. During this period, they lay eggs consistently and at a relatively high rate.
  2. Decline in Productivity: After the first year, egg production gradually declines. While some hens may continue laying eggs for several years, the rate and frequency of laying decrease.
  3. End of Lay: In commercial egg production, hens are often considered to be at the end of their productive laying life around 2 to 3 years of age. At this point, the decline in egg production becomes more significant, and the cost of maintaining the hens outweighs the economic benefits of the eggs they produce.
  4. Molting and Rest Periods: Layers may experience a molt, a natural process of feather shedding and regrowth, which can also affect egg production. Additionally, some producers intentionally give hens a rest period to allow their bodies to recover before another laying cycle.

It’s important to note that backyard or small-scale farmers may choose to keep older hens for reasons other than egg production, such as pest control or as pets. The decision to cull or retire a layer depends on the goals and priorities of the poultry keeper.

How Long does It take for a Layer to be Rear and Ready for sale

The time it takes to rear a layer (a female chicken raised for egg production) and get it ready for sale depends on various factors, including the breed of the chicken, the production system, and the specific goals of the poultry farm. Here is a general timeline guide:

  1. Chick Stage: Day-old chicks are typically purchased for rearing layers. The chick stage lasts for several weeks, during which the chicks are raised in a brooder with controlled temperature and provided with appropriate nutrition.
  2. Pullet Stage: After the chick stage, the birds are referred to as pullets. The pullet stage lasts from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the breed. During this time, the pullets are gradually transitioned to the layer diet, and they develop the physical and reproductive maturity necessary for egg-laying.
  3. Point of Lay: This is the stage when pullets reach sexual maturity and are ready to start laying eggs. The age at which a pullet becomes a “point of lay” can vary, but it is typically around 18 to 22 weeks, depending on the breed and management practices.
  4. Egg Production: Once the pullets reach the point of lay, they usually start laying eggs regularly. The peak of egg production is often reached a few weeks after the onset of laying.

In summary, it generally takes around 18 to 22 weeks for layers to be reared and reach the point of lay. After reaching the point of lay, they can be considered ready for sale as egg-laying hens or as meat.

Which poultry farm is most profitable?

Here are types of poultry farming considered to be very profitable in Nigeria:

  1. Broiler Farming: Broiler farming, which involves raising chickens for meat production, is often considered profitable due to the relatively short production cycle. Broilers are typically ready for market within 6 to 8 weeks. The demand for chicken meat is generally high, making it a potentially lucrative venture.
  2. Layer Farming: Layer farming, focused on egg production, can also be profitable. Layers are productive for an extended period, and eggs have a consistent demand in the market. However, egg production is a longer-term investment compared to broiler farming.
  3. Free-Range or Organic Poultry Farming: Some farmers opt for free-range or organic poultry farming, where birds are raised with access to outdoor areas and are often provided with organic feed. While this approach may have higher production costs, it can cater to niche markets willing to pay a premium for organic or free-range products.
  4. Poultry Breeding: Poultry breeding operations involve breeding and selling day-old chicks or hatching eggs to other farmers. This can be a profitable niche, especially if the breeder focuses on producing high-quality, disease-resistant, or specialty breeds.
  5. Quail or Turkey Farming: Depending on the local market demand, farming quails or turkeys are also profitable. Quail eggs and turkey meat are sought after by most consumers in Nigeria.
  6. Integrated Poultry Farming: Some farmers choose integrated poultry farming, combining broiler and layer farming, to diversify their income streams. For example, income from selling broilers can supplement revenue during the initial stages of layer farming.

It’s crucial to know that profitability is influenced by factors such as efficient feed management, disease control, biosecurity measures, and effective marketing strategies. Additionally, compliance with regulations and standards set by the government authority is essential for sustained success in the poultry industry.

What are the opportunities in poultry farming in Nigeria?

Poultry farming in Nigeria offers various opportunities for individuals seeking to enter the agricultural sector, such as:

  1. Broiler Farming: Raising chickens specifically for meat production (broilers) is a lucrative venture in Nigeria due to the high demand for chicken meat. The relatively short production cycle of broilers (6 to 8 weeks) allows for a quick return on investment.
  2. Layer Farming: Egg production from layers is another significant opportunity. Eggs have a consistent demand in the market, and layer farming can provide a steady income over a more extended period compared to broiler farming.
  3. Poultry Breeding: There is a demand for high-quality day-old chicks and hatching eggs in Nigeria. Poultry breeders can focus on producing disease-resistant or specialty breeds to meet specific market needs.
  4. Free-Range and Organic Farming: With the increasing demand for organic and free-range products, there is an opportunity for farmers to cater to niche markets. Offering eggs or meat from birds raised with access to outdoor areas and organic feed can attract health-conscious consumers.
  5. Value-Added Products: Processing poultry products into value-added items such as sausages, smoked chicken, or pre-packaged cuts can open up new markets and increase profitability.
  6. Quail Farming: Quail farming has gained popularity in Nigeria. Quail eggs are considered nutritious, and quail meat is also sought after. Quail farming requires less space and can be a viable option for those with limited resources.
  7. Turkey Farming: Raising turkeys can be profitable, especially around festive seasons when there is an increased demand for turkey meat. Turkey farming can be a complementary venture for poultry farmers looking to diversify.
  8. Poultry Waste Management: Utilizing poultry waste for compost or as fertilizer can be an additional source of income. Proper waste management practices contribute to environmental sustainability.
  9. Training and Consultancy: Experienced poultry farmers can offer training and consultancy services to individuals interested in starting or improving their poultry farming operations.
  10. Government Support Programs: Various government support programs and initiatives exist to encourage and empower poultry farmers. These may include subsidized loans, training programs, and assistance with acquiring equipment.

To capitalize on these opportunities, aspiring poultry farmers should conduct thorough market research, implement sound management practices, prioritize biosecurity measures, and stay informed about industry trends and best practices.

Additionally, taking advantage of available support programs can contribute to the success of your poultry farming ventures in Nigeria.

Challenges in Poultry Farming Business in Nigeria

Here are the prevalent challenges faced by poultry farmers in Nigeria along with potential solutions:

  1. Disease Outbreaks: Poultry farms are susceptible to diseases that can quickly spread and lead to significant losses.
    Solution: Implement strict biosecurity measures, conduct regular health checks, and collaborate with veterinarians for preventive healthcare.
  2. Inadequate Infrastructure: Lack of proper infrastructure, including reliable electricity and water supply, can hinder poultry farming operations.
    Solution: Invest in alternative power sources (e.g., generators, solar) and water storage systems. Consider location factors when setting up the farm.
  3. Feed Costs: The cost of poultry feed, a significant expense, can fluctuate due to market conditions.
    Solution: Explore cost-effective feed options, engage in bulk purchasing, and consider on-farm feed production. Optimize feed management practices.
  4. Market Access: Finding reliable markets for poultry products can be challenging, affecting profitability.
    Solution: Establish partnerships with local markets, restaurants, and retailers. Explore online sales platforms. Diversify products to meet market demands.
  5. Government Policies: Regulatory challenges and policy changes can impact the poultry industry.
    Solution: Stay informed about government policies, join industry associations to advocate for favorable policies, and actively engage with relevant regulatory bodies.
  6. High Mortality Rates: High mortality rates, especially among chicks, lead to financial losses.
    Solution: Provide a conducive environment, proper nutrition, and regular health checks. Follow recommended vaccination schedules.
  7. Access to Finance: Limited access to affordable financing for poultry farming operations can be a constraint.
    Solution: Explore government-sponsored agricultural loans and grants. Establish a solid business plan to attract private investors or financial institutions.
  8. Lack of Training: Inadequate knowledge and skills among farmers can lead to suboptimal practices.
    Solution: Seek training programs, workshops, and extension services. Stay updated on best practices through industry publications and online resources.
  9. Climate Variability: Unpredictable weather patterns impact poultry farming, affecting temperature control and feed production.
    Solution: Invest in climate-controlled housing, explore drought-resistant feed options, and develop contingency plans for extreme weather events.
  10. Market Fluctuations: Price fluctuations in the poultry market impact profit margins.
    Solution: Diversify products, implement efficient cost management practices, and monitor market trends to make informed business decisions.

Successful poultry farming in Nigeria requires a proactive approach to addressing these challenges to prevent mass loss.

Recommended articles:


Starting a poultry farming business in Nigeria requires dedication, careful planning, and ongoing management.

Regularly assess and adjust your strategies based on the evolving needs of your farm and the market.

Engaging with experienced poultry farmers and agricultural extension services can provide valuable insights and support for your journey in poultry farming.

I hope you benefited from this article; poultry farming business in Nigeria.

Do you have questions or contributions? please drop them in the comment section below.

Be a Lifter via the share buttons to others who could be in need of such knowledge.

Discover more from StartBizEasy

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Similar Posts


  1. I enjoyed reading this article. However, I lost you when you got to the drugs section. I could not make sense of the ‘Standard Calculation… There was also the vaccination line that is completely omitted from the calculation. Then the rest of Some necessary vaccination for layers that did not give proper calculation references to arrive at the stated amount: N7,050.

    When you got into the calculations when they start laying, the medicines and vaccines are missing. So, based on these factors, I’ll put forward that this will be a money-losing venture regardless of how one scales the venture because there would be the following costs that your analysis cannot cover: housing (Pen), equipment, staff, and other costs.

    Please tell me I am wrong and prove it.

    Thank you,

    1. You are wrong. For clarification on the drugs, you can tell the owner of the hatchery to put you through for better understanding.
      The reason I didn’t include the Pen is that the pen is a one time cost. Those expenses (one-time cost) are what you can always cover overtime.

      And no one starts making a profit from day one in any business (even if you are an employee), you must first incure expenses before the profits start coming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *