Poultry farming is the raising of birds for meat, egg, or both purposes. Most Nigerians are familiar with raising chickens (layers, broilers, and noilers) and turkeys. What most people don’t know is that poultry farming is very widespread as you can raise all kinds of birds including ostriches.
How do you start ostrich farming in Nigeria? Ostriches are very large birds, the largest on earth. These non-flight birds lay the largest bird eggs on the planet while producing a huge amount of meat. This post will teach all you need to know about ostrich farming in Nigeria. Let’s get started.
How to Start Ostrich Farming in Nigeria
You probably didn’t know this, but ostrich farming in Nigeria is a very lucrative business. It is quite interesting to note that while this ostrich farming isn’t so popular here, it is quite profitable. Some experts believe that ostrich farming is even more profitable than cattle farming. This is because an ostrich can lay several eggs at different times in the same year. On the other hand, a cow can only bear a calf once a year. It takes two years for that calf to grow to a consumable size. This means that cattle have a longer turnover period than ostriches.
That being said, let’s look at how to start ostrich farming in Nigeria below:
Feasibility studies and business plan
Most people don’t consider running feasibility studies and writing business plans as essential. However, you should never start a business without first studying the market and writing down a proper plan. Your feasibility study should provide key information about the ostrich market in Nigeria, what breeds you should consider rearing, and the kinds of feed they consume. It should also show you who your target market is, how much you need to start, and the profitability of the business.
Once you gather your information, you should use it to write a detailed business plan. If you cannot write a full business plan, you can work with a Business Module Canvas. The idea is to have your idea well-documented and your findings structured. Doing this guides you and other stakeholders through proper business administration and navigation of the market space. It also helps you to raise funds from banks, angel investors, and loved ones who would like to invest.
You cannot start ostrich farming in Nigeria without capital. The capital is necessary to purchase or lease land for your farming, set up the bird pens, purchase your birds, and buy food and healthcare supplies to mention a few.
You can raise capital for your ostrich farm in several ways. These include:
Loans from banks and government agencies.
Gifts and loans from loved ones.
Ensure that you work with a budget to ensure that you don’t misappropriate funds. Write down your expenses or sign up for an online finance tracking platform.
Purchase or lease land for your farm
A key aspect of starting an ostrich farm is finding the land you need for the farm. Most people who run this business prefer to set up their farms in rural areas. This is because there is more space for the birds to roam. It also avoids public disturbance since there is less population in such locations.
You can either purchase land or lease one for this business. Ensure that you securely fence the farm area. The fence should be high enough to keep the birds within the farm as ostriches are very large birds. Ensure that there is a shelter on the farm for the birds to hide during unfavorable weather conditions.
Since the farm will likely be situated in a rural area, you may consider hiring labor. Depending on the size of the farm, you can choose to hire one individual or a couple. Their responsibility will be to care for the birds, serve them food, clean the farm area, and ensure proper welfare for the birds. When employing labor for your farm, you should consider these factors:
A person who,
Can care for the birds properly.
Understands the needs of the birds.
Is dedicated to the work.
Skilled or semi-skilled in agriculture.
Choose your ostrich breed
As one would expect, there is a wide array of ostrich breeds. Examples include African black ostrich, blue-neck ostrich, and red-neck ostrich. Of course, each ostrich breed has its unique characteristics. As such, you should study each breed to find out its peculiarities. Also, you should get sufficient information from your feasibility studies on which breed suits your environment more.
After deciding on the breed to raise on your farm, you should source for your birds. Make sure that you buy your birds from trusted locations only. The birds should be from a disease-resistant stock as well. Unhatched eggs are cheaper, but you have to hatch them yourself, and they take a long to mature.
You can quicken the process by investing in young ostriches, maybe around three months old. Begin with a male and two females for a small farm.
Bird and farm management
There are several practices that you must carry out daily on your farm to properly manage your birds and the farm. These management practices include:
Serving food and water daily.
Cleaning the farm area frequently.
Getting rid of waste food and water.
Checking the area for dangerous items or predators that may harm the birds.
Make sure that you serve healthy rations of food and water. You must be particular about the water as ostriches consume a lot of water daily. Also, you can invest in healthy feeds for your birds. Alternatively, plant grasses or food crops for your birds.
Marketing your products
The best time to market the products from your ostrich farm is when the farm is still in its preliminary stages. You can sell either the meat or eggs from your farm. Your best bet is supermarkets or departmental stores as people rarely buy ostrich products in the local market.
There you have it for how to start ostrich farming in Nigeria. Do you think we left anything out? Drop them in the comments section below.