Poultry Feed Production Business In South Africa Is Very Key To Improving Employment:
The greatest cost component of poultry production business is the feed. So, it makes business sense to look into the possibility of making your own feed, if you are a farmer or specializing in making healthy, good quality poultry feed if you are interested in joining the poultry management value chain.
Poultry, as a general term, classifies all domestic birds which are reared for their meat or egg. So when I say poultry feed, I don’t mean only chicken. You can make feeds for other birds such as turkey, duck, geese, etc.
Setting up a poultry feed mill in Nigeria is not so capital-intensive, and with the right knowledge, determination coupled with a winning marketing strategy, you cannot go wrong.
In this article I have highlighted the basic steps required in setting up your own poultry feed mill.
WHY IS POULTRY FEED PRODUCTION GOOD BUSINESS
Medical experts warn of the dangers of excessive red meat consumption. As a result, most folks switch to poultry consumption for health reasons. The more people eat chicken, for example, the more the demand for chicken increases, and the more poultry feed is required to grow more chicken. If poultry is good business, poultry feed production is very good business.
Other benefits of the business include:
- An ever-present, ever-growing market.
- Raw materials can be sourced locally and cheaply too.
- The business is highly flexible; you can chose to start small-scale, medium scale, or large-scale production. Plus, you don’t need to own a poultry farm to start poultry feed business.
- If you do own a poultry farm, having your own feed production mill saves you a lot in cost and makes you good profits too when you sell to other farms.
- Equipment and machinery can be fabricated locally.
COMMON CATEGORIES OF POULTRY FEED
Chick/starter mesh: – this category of feed is solely for newly hatched chicks. The feed formulation for layer chicks is different from that for broilers. When producing chick or starter mesh, take note to include the right feed formulation that would enhance faster growth of the young chicks.
Broiler mesh: – this category of feed is mainly for broiler chicken (which are kept for their meat), the feed contains body building nutrient such as protein, minerals and vitamins to enhance growth in size and weight of the chicken.
Layer mesh: – this is a special category of feed produced for layer chicken. The feed content helps the birds with vital nutrient necessary for producing more eggs which are bigger in size. The feed also helps in hardening the shell of eggs.
Grower mesh: – the purpose of this feed is to ensure the rapid growth and development of the poultry chicken. Grower mesh is usually administered after the chick/starter mesh (when the birds grow to a certain level).
The breeds of chicken common in most poultry farms are: broilers and layer. Broilers are reared for their meat while layers are rear for the purpose of laying eggs. You need to produce different feeds that would be meet the needs of these common breeds at different levels of their growth.
After you must have learnt the ideal formulation for milling different poultry feed, you can now set out to buy the raw materials for the production of the feed. Poultry feed is commonly composed of readily available grains. They include: soy, whole maize, fish-meal, rice bran, sunflower cake, etc. other important raw materials are micro nutrients and vitamins such as calcium carbonate, amino acid, enzymes, etc.
NECESSARY EQUIPMENT AND MACHINERY
There are various equipment that are used to produce poultry feed. Some of the most basic ones you would need include:
- A disintegrator or milling machine: – this will reduce all the various grains into the right mesh size.
- A blender or mixer: – this would ensure a uniform mixture of the required micronutrients and vitamins with the meshed grains.
- Packaging line: – this machine is used to package the finished product into bags.
Other machinery and equipment include sewing machine, industrial weighing balance, trucks for transporting raw materials and finished products, and power generators.
The way you package your finished product will determine if buyers would be attracted to your feed or not. Most new products in the competitive market attract buyers through their creative style of packaging and branding. Poultry feed is usually packaged in 50kg bags. Ensure to give details of your product name, ingredients, and expiry date on the label of your product.
There are many ways to market your product to the public. Advertisement has its uses, but trust me, the quality of you poultry feed is the ultimate marketing strategy. When people buy your poultry feed and discover that it greatly increase the growth and productivity of their poultry farm, they would definitely come back for more. More so, they would tell others about your product.
Other important factors to increase your chances of success
Getting a perfect location for your poultry feed mill is very important to ensure success in the business. The mill should be located in an area with lots of poultry farms. Furthermore your feed mill should be large enough to house all the machinery and equipment and also have a storage area for the finished products and raw materials.
REGISTER YOUR COMPANY
To increase the public acceptance of your poultry feed you need to register your business with the relevant agencies (Corporate Affairs Commission) and acquire the required license from the relevant food control agencies. Poultry feed is one of the product that requires NAFDAC registration before you can start manufacturing the product.
TRAINING IS VERY IMPORTANT
Poultry feed production is not a trial and error kind of business. There are specifics that need to be followed and rules that need to be adhered to. For instance, you can’t just start mixing grains together to produce poultry feed! Specific mixing formulations need to be followed; micro-nutrients need to be added in the right proportion.
Getting the necessary training will help you understand the feed requirement for poultry chicken of different breeds and at different stages, and age. You could enroll in a training center that educates prospective poultry feed producers on the right feed formulation and composition for different poultry animals at different stages. Alternatively you could learn from seasoned poultry feed producers who is well experienced in the filled.
Have a Plan
Just like any other production business you need a laid-down plan. Writing a business plan for your poultry feed production business is critical to determine the long-term feasibility of your business. A business plan will contain the details of all the feasibility study and research that you have done to determine the profitability of the business.
Except for a few feed manufacturers who keep to the standards in poultry feed formulations, many feed companies in the country make very poor quality feeds, a situation which has led huge losses.
Poor quality feeds lead to a slow growth in chickens, low egg production, diseases or even death. Making poultry feeds on the farm is one of the best ways to maintain quality and cut the cost of production.
The common ingredients are whole maize, maize germ, cotton seed cake, soya beans, sunflower or fish meal (omena).
In addition, farmers need to add several feed additives (micronutrients, minerals and vitamins) to make ensure their chicken have a balanced feed that meets their daily nutrient requirements.
Material is available cheaply, especially after the harvesting season. Depending on the cost of raw material, farmers who make their own feeds at home save between 30 to 50 per cent for every 70kg bag of chicken feed, depending on the source of their raw materials.
Due to government regulation, major feed companies have reduced the standard quantity of feed from 70kg to 50kg per bag, but the price of feed still remains almost the same.
This means that farmers who are able to make their own feeds make great savings on feeds which take up to 80 per cent of the production costs.
To formulate feeds, farmers have to use the Pearson Square method. In this method, the digestible crude protein (DCP) is the basic nutritional requirement for any feed preparation for all animals and birds.
Now, assuming that a farmer wants to make feed for their chicken using this method, they have to know the crude protein content of each of the ingredients they want to use to make their feed.
Whole maize — 8.23%
Soya — 45%
Fishmeal (omena) — 55%
Maize bran — 7%
Sunflower — 35%
Each category of chicken has its nutritional requirement. For example, if we want to make feed for layers, the feed should have at least 18 per cent crude protein.
If one was to formulate feed for layers, then they would have to calculate the percentage of DCP in each of the ingredients they want to use to ensure that the total crude protein content is at least 18 per cent.
Therefore, to make a 70kg bag of feed for layers, a farmer would require the following ingredients:
34kg of whole maize
12kg of soya
8kg of omena (fishmeal)
10kg of maize bran
6kg of lime (as a calcium source)
To find out if all the above ingredients meet this standard of 18% crude protein, a farmer can do a simple calculation as follows:
Whole maize — 34kg x 8.23 ÷100 = 2.80 %
Soya — 12kg x 45kg ÷ 100 = 5.40 %
Omena — 8 kg x 55kg ÷ 100 = 4.40 %
Lime — 6 kg x 0 kg ÷ 100 = 0.00%
Total % of crude protein = 13.30%
o get the total crude protein percentage of all these ingredients in a 70kg bag of feed, the farmer should take this crude protein content of the combined ingredients, divide by 70kg and multiply by 100, thus — 13.30 ÷70 ×100 = 19%; this shows that the crude protein content of the above feed formulation is 19%, which is quite adequate for layers.
To ensure the chicken to get all they need in terms of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids, you need these additives in their standard quantities.
In order to make it even simpler for farmers who would wish to make their own feeds, below are feed formulations for each category of chickens and stage of growth already worked out such that all the farmer needs is to buy the ingredients and mix them:
Making a 70 kg layers of layers chick mash (1-4 weeks)
Growing chicks require feed with Digestible Crude Protein (DCP) of between 18 to 20 per cent. The following
Formulation can be used to make a 70kg bag of layers chick mash:
31.5kg of whole maize
9.1kg of wheat bran
7.0kg of wheat pollard
16.8 kg of sunflower (or 16.8 kg of linseed)
1.5kg of fishmeal
1.75kg of lime
30g of salt
20g of premix Amino acids
70g of tryptophan
3.0g of lysine
10g of methionine
70 g of Threonine
50g of enzymes
60g of coccidiostat
50g of toxin binder
Making a 70 kg bag of growers mash (4 to 8 weeks)
Growers (pullets or young layers) should be provided with feed having a protein content of between 16 and 18 per cent.
Such feed makes the young layers to grow fast in preparation for egg laying:
10kg of whole maize
17kg of maize germ
13kg of wheat pollard
10kg of wheat bran
6kg of cotton seed cake
5kg of sunflower cake
3.4kg of soya meal
2.07kg of lime
700g of bone meal
3kg of fishmeal
14g of salt
1g of coccidiostat
18g of Pre-mix
1g of zinc bacitracitrach
7g of mycotoxin binder
Making a 70 kg bag of layers’ mash (18 weeks and above)
34kg of whole maize
12kg of Soya
8kg of fishmeal
10kg of maize bran, rice germ or wheat bran
6kg of lime
50g toxin binder
Layer feed should contain a Digestible Crude Protein (DCP) content of between 16-18 per cent.
The feed should contain calcium (lime) for the formation of eggshells (laying hens that do not get enough calcium will use the calcium stored in their own born tissue to produce eggshells).
Layer feed should be introduced at 18 weeks.
Formulating a 70 kg bag of broiler feed
Broilers have different feed requirements in terms of energy, proteins and minerals during different stages of their growth. It is important that farmers adapt feed rations to these requirements for maximum production.
Young broilers have a high protein requirement for the development of muscles, feathers, etc. As the broilers grow, their energy requirements for the deposit of fat increase and their protein requirements decrease.
They therefore require high protein content in their starter rations than in the grower and finisher rations.
Broilers should have feed that has between 22 -24 per cent DCP.
The following guidelines can help the farmer to make the right feed at each stage of growth:
Broiler starter feed (1-4 weeks)
40kg of whole maize
12kg of fishmeal (or omena)
14kg of soya bean meal
4kg of lime
70g of premix
35g of lysine
35g of Threonine
Preparing broiler Finisher feed (70kg)
10kg of whole maize
16.7kg of maize germ
13.3kg of wheat pollard
10 kg wheat bran
6 kg of cotton seed cake
4.7kg of sunflower cake
3kg of fishmeal 2kg of lime
3.4kg of soya meal
40g of bone meal
10g of grower PMX
5g of salt
5g of coccidiostat
5g of Zincbacitrach
NOTE: For farmers who have more than 500 chickens, it is advisable to make 1 ton of feed at once (There are 14 bags of feed in one ton).
Therefore, to make 1 tonne of feed, all a farmer needs is to multiply each of the ingredients by 14. Ensure that all the feed you make will last for one month and not longer — this ensures the feed remains fresh and safe for chickens. Any feed that lasts more than one month may deteriorate in quality and can affect your chickens.
Daily feed requirements for each growth stage
Farmers should maintain the right feed quantities for chicken at each stage of growth as shown below:
— An egg-laying chicken requires 130-140g of feed per day.
— A chick requires a minimum 60g per day. If they finish their daily rations, give them fruit and vegetable cuttings to ensure they feed continuously.
— Young chickens (or pullets) which are about to start laying eggs should be fed 60g for 2 and ½ months and then put on layer diet (140g per day). Supplement the feed with vegetables, edible plant leaves and fruit peelings in addition to their feed rations.
— Broiler chicks require 67g per day. Broiler finishers require 67g of feed per day to the day of slaughter.
— Chickens are very sensitive to aflatoxins- never use rotten maize (maozo) while making feeds.
Where to buy ingredients
Farmers who need raw materials for feed making including feed additives (pre-mixes and amino acids) can order them from agroveterinary shops nearest to them.
There are also companies doing calibration services for farmers who wish to make feeds in large scale farming enterprises and even for any farmer who requires these services.
This article has been reviewed by Dr Joseph Akai, a reputable feed expert. It is adapted from The Organic Farmer magazine. (organicfarmermagazine)