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On August 23rd, 2023, amidst the ongoing challenges faced by farmers in Nigeria, Afrimash hosted an insightful training session within the SMART Farmers Community group. The training, centred around ‘How to Cut Costs in Poultry Production,‘ was a reservoir of practical techniques that spanned critical aspects like feed management and waste reduction. 

With the mounting demand for poultry products, this training addressed the pressing need to manage resources effectively for better profits. So, whether you are a small-scale farmer with limited resources or a large-scale farmer looking to tighten operations,  read this recap to navigate the complexities of cost reduction while upholding the standards of poultry welfare and quality.

Meet the Facilitator: Adeoluwa Amoo, Livestock Farming Expert

Adeoluwa Amoo is an Animal Nutrition and Biotechnology graduate from the prestigious Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho. 

He is a Livestock Farming expert and has demonstrated his expertise through roles as a seasoned farm manager and supervisor. He has also successfully kept a personal poultry and fish farm, confirming his status as an experienced livestock farmer.

Adeoluwa currently works as the Livestock Fulfillment Officer at Afrimash Company Limited.

Tips to Cutting Costs in Poultry Production

The essence of every business is to make profits and to achieve that, we must minimize costs. With many poultry farms shutting down because of the high feed cost, it is important to learn how to cut costs in poultry production to stay afloat and make profits.

Here are some practical ways that will help you cut costs in Poultry Production:

Feed Management

In poultry production, approximately 70-75% of the total production costs are attributed to feed expenses. Maximizing the efficient utilization of feed can effectively resolve a substantial 70% of the challenges.

In managing poultry feed cost, consider the following:

Rodent Infestation: Guarding against rodent infestations is very important in managing poultry feed costs. Within your feed storage warehouses, rodents often appear due to the large quantity of stored feed. These rodents not only consume a significant amount of the feed but also contribute to wastage, as the feed they contaminate cannot be fed to the birds. Beyond their consumption of livestock feed, rodents also pose a threat to the well-being of the birds, and as such needs to be kept far away from the birds.

Pelletized Feed: Giving your birds pelletized feeds ensures there is no wastage during feeding and that the birds have an all-round balanced diet. You can assured that with every pelletized feed taken in, they have a balanced diet and won’t be able to drop any on the floor.

  • Feed Formulation: In our previous training on feed formulation, we learnt that one of the essence of feed formulation is to produce feed that aligns with your taste and preferences while also beating the cost of production.

A major component of feed is maize and soybean meal. Equipped with the knowledge of feed formulation, if you have birds not more than 1000 – 1500 or even up to 5000, you can easily plant your maize on your farmland, dry them, and prepare them according to specifications. 

This approach counters the escalating feed costs attributed to the rising price of maize. If you have maize planted on your farmland, reliance on market maize diminishes. You will be able to get the premixes, GNC, and PKC, which are not as expensive as the two primary ingredients, allowing for in-house feed milling. Thus, the precise cost of feed production is within your control.

As maize constitute about 60 -65% of whole feed and soybean meal 20 -30%, thats 80% accounted for. You have the remaining 20%, which you can purchase from feed millers to produce your feed.

In this journey, it is important to note that you must ensure you purchase your raw materials from verified sources to avoid using adulterated ingredients that can adversely impact animal well-being. Get your raw materials from trusted feed stores or feed mill. 


Apart from the feeds, the birds should be gotten from verified sources, such as Afrimash, where you can be certain you’re getting the correct birds! Getting your seeds from the right source is very important to cut down costs. And please raise the birds you can feed so you won’t get in the middle and have to starve the birds. It will be a colossal loss. For example, no matter the age of your pullets, unless they attain the required weight, they won’t start laying eggs. The same applies to broilers, they won’t enter the market size if not fed properly.

  • Feeding and Drinking Techniques: During the heat period, ensure you feed your birds during the cold early hours of the day to prevent high mortality rates. So, when the sun is up, retrieve the feed for the birds and give them water only, especially broilers. As the birds eat, their body breaks down the feed and produces heat. The internal and external heat can cause mortality. So, it is advisable to feed only in the morning and  evening.

Finally, you must have drinkable water before them, even when they have feed before them. Water contributes to an increase in their body weight. Also, ensure your birds they have necessary multivitamins in their water, as it helps their feed conversion.

Manpower

Also, to cut cost in poultry production, do not have more hands on the farm than the birds. We recommend 500 birds to 1 farm attendant for Deep litter system and one farm attendant to 1000 birds for Battery cage system. This way, you won’t have to spend resources on manpower than necessary for the farm.

Theft/Pilfering

This is a very common occurrence on farms, and is one major reason why farms are going under these days.

In a bid to sustain daily and live above the current economy, some farm workers have resolved to steal, and this will have a toll/gross effect on the farm profit.

One way to minimize this is to put in place proper security and proper documentation. If you have the record of the eggs laid daily, you can easily know when there is a decline.

And not only their eggs, the same is applicable to the birds on the farm, the amount of feed brought into the farm , the amount fed to the birds daily, the drugs on the farm and the type used daily. This is to prevent the farm attendants having the freedom to steal.

Biosecurity Measures

Biosecurity measures prevent unnecessary loss on the farm and spending more on treating birds. For example, the cost of Lasota vaccine is very minimal compared to the amount that would be lost if there’s a Newcastle infestation on the farm.

Likewise, Biosecurity measures such as feet bath goes a long way in preventing transferring of diseases from other farms.

Finally, prevent unnecessary wastage/egg breakage by debeaking your birds regularly. Also, prevent overcrowding in your pens!

Questions & Answers

Q: How do you minimize the cost of feed by formulating home-sourced feeds or alternatives? – Eric O. Onemen
A: Formulating feeds reduces cost because you will mix the ingredients in your desired quantity and also source the ingredients yourself from local feed mills. Learn More

Q: What is feet bath?
A: Feet bath is a sort of hole dug at the entrance of the farm and filled with disinfectant for dipping of feet before entering the farm.

Q: Okay, apart from digging a hole at the entrance, can I wash my feed with water filled with disinfectant before entering the farm?? And what kind of disinfectant can I use?
A: Yes you can wash your feet. That’s the essence of the feet bath.

Q: You mentioned that we should withdraw feed from broilers at a certain time during heat season, my question is that is 9 am to 5 pm recommended? – Usman Abubakar Sediq Sani
A: You can administer feed between 7 am and 9 am and retrieve the remnants and also administer between 6 pm and 8 pm for evenings. But in between ensure they have adequate water.

Q: How many kilograms of Feed can be enough for 50 birds in 4 weeks? Eric
A: This can be determined if you study the feeding chart I sent here when we had the last feed formulation class but by standard, at work feeds, they should feed on around 3 bags from day-old.

In summary, minimizing wastage across feed, resources, and labor is the most effective route to reducing expenses. By embracing these principles, you can enjoy profitability in your operations. What other ways have you employed to cut costs on your poultry farm? Share with us in the comments below!

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