Chicken eggs and meat have always been popular foods in Russia. The demand and consumption of these goods is growing every year. There are 309 eggs per inhabitant of Russia per year, and this figure is increasing. In 2018, the production of chicken meat in the country increased by 1.2% to 6.7 million tons.
Of course, the market for meat and eggs is highly competitive, but consumer demand is not completely closed – especially since people are increasingly looking for an environmentally friendly product. How profitable is the chicken business? We will tell you in detail how to open a small farm, we will give approximate calculations of payback and profitability.
1. What breed of chickens to choose for home breeding?
2. Egg breeds
3. Meat breeds
4. Chicken breeding conditions
5. Poultry breeding technologies
6. Business plan for breeding chickens
7. Legal arrangement
10. Recommendations for feeding
11. Arrangement of a poultry house
12. Arrangement of a walking area
14. To whom and how to sell finished products?
15. Breeding chickens as a business: profitable or not – profitability and payback
What breed of chickens to choose for home breeding?
First, you need to choose a business direction – that is, determine what the birds will be bred for, for eggs or meat. Based on this, we choose the breed: the difference between broilers and laying hens is significant.
If you expect to sell meat, you need diligent birds with a large and soft belly. Specially bred broilers with regular nutrition are able to gain the desired weight in 3-4 months.
To incubate eggs, on the contrary, active chickens are needed. It is necessary to equip special areas for walking, conduct light and provide other conditions for obtaining eggs of a suitable size and quality.
It is customary to buy day-old chicks (and to raise them) or pullets 2-3 months old. It is better not to purchase adult birds.
To get eggs, it is important to buy good layers and a rooster (1 male for 10 females). A bird must lay at least 280-300 eggs per year.
- Andalusian blue.
- Loman Brown.
- White Leghorn.
- Italian partridge.
- Russian crested.
The maximum egg production is observed in birds in the first year of life. Then the number of eggs laid is reduced by 30-40%. At poultry farms, old chickens are discarded; in households, they make up no more than a third of the total herd. The livestock is completely renewed in 2.5-3 years.
It is better to buy pullets on your own at poultry farms (not through markets or resellers). Here the bird comes with documents, you can be sure of its age.
Purchased laying hens are kept in a quarantine zone for up to a month (to be checked for diseases), separately from the general herd.
Breeding broilers for meat is another line of business with chickens.
- Foxy Chick.
- Rhode Island.
It is recommended to buy chickens from special farms, since it is difficult to breed meat breeds yourself. Chicks (crosses and hybrids) may not retain parental qualities.
Broilers are intensively fattened for 3-4 months, then sent to slaughter. A lot of feed is spent on chickens – to fatten 1 individual in 2 months, you will have to spend up to 7 kg of feed.
Birds need quality nutrition and care. They have a predisposition to certain diseases. In addition, broilers have a high mortality rate (especially in the first 2 weeks).
Conditions of keeping chickens
For the comfort and health of chickens, for the performance of the flock in the poultry house, it is necessary to create suitable conditions:
Lighting. To increase egg production in the house, you need to provide good lighting.
Maintaining the right temperature. Birds do not grow well and lay eggs at too low or high temperatures. The normal range is 12-27 ° C. For the development of chicks, a temperature of 27-30 ° C is needed.
The poultry house floor should be insulated with boards, straw and sawdust. The straw is only clean.
Birds keep themselves clean. You just need to put a container with sand or ash. The house is cleaned every week, and every month is disinfected.
Chickens must have constant access to fresh air (good ventilation).
To relieve the birds of stress, the house needs to be soundproofed.
It is necessary to place convenient feeders and drinkers in the chicken coop.
Poultry breeding technologies
At the planning stage, a chicken breeding technology is selected. There are 2 main options:
Floor. The bird retains freedom of movement, gets the opportunity to walk in the fresh air. This technology is more for laying hens, as high activity increases egg production. Farmers can save on keeping the herd, instead of expensive commercially available feed, make homemade feed based on food waste.
Cellular. This option is more often used for breeding meat breeds. Chickens do not need a lot of activity because of which they lose calories – therefore they are contained in the cells. They are fed with compound feeds, which allow them to quickly increase the meat mass. The cage-based breeding method is more costly and labor-intensive – the feed is expensive, and the bird cages need to be cleaned regularly.
Business plan for breeding chickens
Under the terms of the plan, the businessman develops the egg business – that is, he breeds chickens to obtain and sell eggs, not meat. Then the initial costs will be lower – you do not need to purchase refrigeration equipment, organize a place for slaughtering poultry. Business can start with a small investment, then expand.
To organize a small farm, many workers are not required. At the start, the herd will be 400 heads – 1 employee will keep track of this number.
It is necessary to organize the delivery of food, all the necessary products to the farm and transportation of the finished product to the buyer. Therefore, a driver (with a car) is required.
An accountant will deal with the preparation of reports, document flow. You can find a specialist remotely by contacting an accounting firm.
The functions of a sales manager will initially be performed directly by a businessman.
When organizing a household, the owner himself can do the work – this will reduce monthly expenses. But with the expansion of the economy, workers will have to be hired.
When breeding broilers, it is important to choose the right feeding system that will allow the chickens to grow meat quickly and to achieve the desired weight.
2 ways to feed beef birds:
The extensive feeding method does not require large costs – it is suitable for entrepreneurs who do not have the money for large investments. Chickens are given compound feed and ordinary grain with various additives – boiled potatoes, oil cake and meal, vegetables, herbs, meat and bone meal. In the first 2-3 months, feeding is high in calories, then the energy value of the food decreases (you cannot overfeed the chickens).
Intensive feeding requires additional investments, but this technique is better suited for broiler breeding. The bird is kept in cages, fed with ready-made feed. She moves little and grows quickly.
It is necessary to organize a balanced diet of the bird so that the individuals receive the required amount of elements. It is worth choosing industrial compound feed carefully – not all are suitable.
You can prepare the grain mixture yourself. This way you can reduce costs and find the best nutritional recipe.
The most popular recipe is:
corn – 5 kg;
wheat – 1.5 kg;
barley – 1 kg;
peas – 0.5 kg;
sunflower cake – 0.8 kg;
flour (fish, meat and bone) – 0.8 kg;
feed yeast – 0.3 kg;
chopped or fresh grass – 0.5 kg;
vitamin and mineral supplement – 0.15 kg;
salt – 0.03 kg.
Chickens really need calcium, so chalk and charcoal containing this element should be constantly added to the feed. Salt is also good for improving digestion.
The daily feed rate for one chicken is 130-150 grams.
Poultry house arrangement
It is possible to raise chickens only in the country or in the countryside – that is, outside urban conditions. When building a chicken coop and choosing a floor covering, one must proceed from the calculation: per 1 sq. m can accommodate 2 birds. In the cage, up to 6-7 heads coexist.
The house should be warm and light (light for at least 13-14 hours a day). We pay special attention to the floor. The height of the insulation is at least 15 cm (it is optimal to bring it up to 50 cm).
Ventilation must be arranged so that rodents cannot enter the room. The latter is an additional risk factor as mice / rats carry diseases and infect birds. If you make ordinary vents, they need to be covered with protective nets.
Drinking bowls and feeders are placed along the walls, and nests in the corners. The height of the room should not be lower than 2 m, it is better to strengthen it with wooden logs, the racks should be stitched with boards. It is better to make the roof traditionally pitched.
Arrangement of a place for walking
Laying hens need physical activity for better egg production. Therefore, they need a place for walking (aviary). You can buy a ready-made mesh aviary or create one yourself. It is better to place it on the eastern side of the chicken coop – on the sunrise side. We place a manhole in the building so that the birds can safely enter the walking area.
The enclosure fence should be mesh so that sunlight can penetrate through it. Natural light is important for chickens (speaking of layers).
The height of the fence should reach 150-180 cm. Then the birds will not be able to fly over the fence and scatter over the terrain.
In the aviary, under a small canopy, you need to install equipment: drinkers, feeders, boxes with sand and ash.
After the place for the poultry house is found, you need to build the building itself. There are specialized materials and construction schemes for sale. If the budget allows, you can order a ready-made poultry house from professionals.
In order to save money, you can do it easier: when building, use available building materials (boards, slate, brick, cinder block, other types of building stone).
In the chicken coop we organize:
feeders and drinkers;
litter collection board;
place for walking.
The poultry house must be insulated, protected from precipitation. Inside, you need to equip a ventilation system, install fluorescent lamps or IR lamps. In the presence of a large livestock, automatic drinkers and a food supply system are installed in the chicken coop.
If the business is focused on selling meat, you need to equip a poultry slaughter area and buy refrigeration units for storing the product.