Want to start livestock farming in Nigeria?
According to a report in 2019, Agriculture provides for more than 20% of the total Nigeria GDP. With livestock and crop farming being lucrative as such, it is in one best interest to think greatly of the same.
Livestock farming in the past years has gained much ground as we have seen lots of youths thronging to the same. It was first a means to an end but now it seems an end to the means itself. With the rate of unemployment in the country and the opportunity Livestock farming offers in Nigeria, I think it would be foolish to not see a path in this.
Livestock Farming In Nigeria
If we say livestock farming in Nigeria, what does this mean in itself? Livestock farming is the rearing and cultivation of animal and animal products for the sole purpose of consumption. Livestock farming in Nigeria connotes the rearing of Goats, Sheep, Poultry, Piggery, fisheries, and Cattle rearing for extensive production and sale. Livestock farming is one of the most lucrative Agro-Business in the country. And another way of diversification from the country’s inherent reliance on Crude Oil as a source of the nation’s income.
Government year in year out has been all about the inclusion of Livestock farming in Nigeria even in the students’ syllabus at school under the sphere of Animal Husbandry.
Types of Livestock Farming
Livestock farming has many spheres and potential and can be categorically grouped into five viz;
Though this might not be as extensive as some people might have argued but it is such that these are the commonest types of Livestock farming in Nigeria. Most importantly, we will be talking extensively about Poultry Farming and Goat Farming in Nigeria in this post.
How To Start Livestock Farming In Nigeria
Wondering on how to start livestock farming in Nigeria, and you seem at crossed on what to do, about which is more cost-effective yet lucrative? Seems your agony has come to an end, stick with me, and let’s enjoy the post at hand.
While livestock farming is profitable in Nigeria, it is reasonable that you focus on some details before you start your livestock farm.
Know Your Why
Ask yourself why you are going into the livestock business. For meat production or dairy production? Because if you do not strategize well enough, you might just become frustrated in the long run.
Knowing your purpose will ensure that you solely focus on the reason why you start livestock farming in the first place. You can’t be about dairy products and start a piggery farm. It makes no sense.
The second most important thing to consider. The size of the land must be proportionate to the scale of livestock business you want to involve in. If you’re practicing an intensive system of livestock farming, you don’t need much land but a good housing structure. But if it is extensive farming, you sure need to get a big land with access to cheap labor preferably in a rural locale. You should also consider the topography, its seasonal conditions, water flow, climates, vegetation, and access to transportation.
The form of farming you want to indulge in will determine the kind of structures you built. For an intensive system of farming, you must ensure your pen, cages are built to comfortably contain your animals. While a semi-intensive and extensive system of farming, need a large open space and most times, some shelters against rain and weather conditions. You should know that there are some animals you can’t rear under an extensive module of farming without running the risk of huge loss. So carefully consider your choice of housing is in respect to the characteristics of the livestock you’re planning on farming.
Get The Required Equipment
Ensure you’ve all the necessary equipment ready at hand before stocking your farm with livestock animals. This will avail that you don’t run the risk of a disservice to the very business you’re starting. Livestock farming is an Agro-Business and should be taken as such, well provided for before starting. Every livestock farm needs all these essential equipment which are; feeding equipment, livestock trailer, and water tanks irrespective of such types of livestock farming.
Seek Professional Help
There are enthusiastic veterinary doctors and animal nutritionists. Good veterinary help will ensure that your livestock stays in good health always. And proper care is given to them when they feel sick. Nutritionists will ensure that all their feed is per their dietary requirements.
Also, you’ve got to maintain a standing relationship with these professionals, as in the time of emergency it wouldn’t be hard to get the necessary help for your livestock.
Poultry Farming In Nigeria
One of the most lucrative livestock farming in Nigeria is poultry farming. This is the rearing of fowls for egg and meat production. Unarguably, most people can never do without meat or egg for a day and as such demands a constant market supply.
Why Poultry Farming?
There is always a ready market for poultry products anywhere in the country and its cost of production is near meager. Poultry farming is cost-effective and easy to learn.
You can also have a domestic poultry farm in your backyard providing for your immediate family’s nutrient requirements. While going to the commercial process, you will never suffer a lack of sales. It is profitable, needs no high start-up funds, has a ready market, and also a job opportunity for the myriad of unemployed Nigerian youths.
There are three ways to practice Poultry Farming, viz;
Intensive Poultry Farming
Semi-Intensive Poultry Farming
And The Extensive Poultry Farming.
Intensive Poultry Farming
This is when the poultry birds are housed in the cage built for them. Their housing structure is mostly a battery cage. A battery cage is when a poultry bird is housed in an iron-net like box that allows room for movements and ventilation. This type of housing is prevalent to Layers poultry birds. Those poultry birds that lay eggs. In this battery cage system, adequate provisions are made for the feeding of the birds and the eggs laid too.
Semi-Intensive Poultry Farming
For domestic or around the house poultry farming, the most suitable system is semi-intensive housing. Here, the poultry birds are housed in a building already filled with litter and are allowed freedom to move to great lengths, unlike the battery cage that does restrict the movement of birds to few steps. It depends on the scale of business and the types of birds farm.
Extensive Poultry Farming
For an extensive poultry farm, one needs a large expanse of land with a housing structure put in place for night dwellings. Though it is less costly than the other housing systems it’s more prone to danger. As there are no adequate controls over the movement and feeding of the poultry birds which may result in bad output at the end of the day.
It all depends on the types of poultry farming one is going into, for layer farmers, I highly recommend the intensive system, while for broilers and cockerels farmers should go for the Semi-intensive systems.
Types of Poultry Birds
Layers: These are poultry birds farm to largely produce eggs. They are egg-producing hens. They only suffered the threat of being turned into meat when their output as egg-producing birds is at the lowest minimum and there is no sense in keeping them any longer. This can take 2 – 3 years before happening.
Broilers: they are largely male and female fowls that are farm for their meat. They have a high tendency to produce a large chunk of meat at the least possible time under some favorable conditions.
Cockerels: these are poultry birds also farm for their meat-producing tendency. The only difference between cockerels and broilers is that cockerels can withstand the harshest weather conditions that will surely end the life of many broilers and for their special meat demands.
Considerations on Poultry Farming In Nigeria
To have a successful poultry farming business in Nigeria, you must ensure the following:
- The location must be accessible to transportation.
- The housing must have full ventilation systems and at night drapes to shelter them from the cold.
- Their feedings must always be a time. Irrespective of the housing systems practiced, their feeds must be quality and neat. A nutritious feed fasttrack the productivity and growth of Poultry birds.
- There must be easy access to water. And periodic medications should be considered by and large the systems practice.
- Effective marketing and sales are topnotch to ensuring a profitable poultry farm.
Goat Farming In Nigeria
Goat farming in Nigeria is just about as easy or if not easier than Poultry Farming. Increasingly with days, farmers are taking to goat farming in Nigeria because goats are multipurpose animals, they produce meat and dairy products. And could be rear for both.
It is widely claimed that goat milk is the best milk out there which can be used for other byproducts such as yogurts, cheese, butter e.t.c. It is also acclaimed that goat meat has lower cholesterol and fat contents than chicken while still offers more proteins than cow meat.
Requirement For Goat Farming
With all the above benefits, I think you can’t go wrong if you choose to practice goat farming in Nigeria following all the requirements for goat farming that will be listed below. They are no many requirements for goat farming though but they are important to the success of your business.
Know that you can’t fully restrict the movement of goats unless you want them restless and unproductive. Make sure their housing structure is fully ventilated and makes it clean all the time. And with protection from harsh weather conditions. For the beddings, make use of fresh hay and straw and consistently ensure a replacement once you notice the beddings are getting dried.
When purchasing or allotting lands for your goat farming, ensure it is arable land that will support pasture grazing. Allowing your goats to browse and graze around will ensure their healthiness, full productivity, and a reduction in their feeding cost. The pasture area should be fenced just like the housing structures. This will ensure proper control over when and what they eat.
You might want to ask, what to feed goats in Nigeria? Yes, there is a special supplement for commercially based goat farming which, most times, elude all the around-the-house sort of goat farming.
What to feed goats in Nigeria?
- Fresh and nutritious feed.
- Protein-based feed.
- Edibles stray and grasses.
- And grains.
Treatment and Access to Medication
You don’t want your goats running around with watery and worm-like feces sticking to their butt. Just like other domestic animals too, goats need proper medical care. To avoid large scale infection and an increase in productivity.
This should have been the priority but I put it at the end to create a resounding effect in you. While going for goats farming in Nigeria, you must consider the species of goats in the country. Species such as the Nigerian dwarf, the West-African Dwarf, Red Sokoto, Sahel, and Saanen are the indigenous Nigeria breeds of goats while Pygmy and Anglo-Nubians are exotic breeds of goats that have been domesticated for the Nigerian weather.
And also, you should consider which of these breeds of goats will suit your purpose be it for meat production or dairy production and in some rare cases fusion of the two.
Marketing of sheep and goats in Nigeria is determinant on some factors which are the location of your goat farming, the market requirements in such area, and the price at which a goat is sold.
You can’t be selling goat meat in a market that requires dairy products or vice versa. So you’ve got to study the market conditions very well before pitching your goat farm.
How Much Is A Goat?
And also you must know the price of a goat. How much is a goat in the average Nigerian market? Understandable that we all are in the money business but you shouldn’t put your price higher than what a goat is normally sold for. Have a market survey to know how much is a goat in the market and create a mouth-watering offer for yours. This is just one of the processes of marketing sheep and goats in Nigeria.
Livestock Producers Association Of Nigeria
As we speak there is not much news on the livestock producers association of Nigeria on the internet except their Facebook group. But irrespective of this, it is highly recommended that you register your livestock business with the government of Nigeria. This will allow you to access livestock farming in Nigeria loan. Every year, the Government of Nigeria rolls out mouthwatering loans offered to farmers under the aegis of the Livestock Producers Association of Nigeria many other Farmers’ Body with the tag name of Livestock Farming In Nigeria Loan. It is accessible to every livestock farmer irrespective of their division or scale in farming.
Also, some LAPO Microfinance banks give out loans for livestock farmers. And there is also the Nigeria Farmer’s Group out there for the welfare of crop and livestock farmers. There are numerous opportunities out there for Livestock farmers in Nigeria.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
What is the most profitable livestock farming?
Poultry farming is the most profitable livestock as there is always the demand for egg and meat daily. It has an already market structure that is very easy to tap in.
How can I start livestock farming in Nigeria?
It is quite easy, consider the types of livestock you’re farming, get a piece of land, build a housing structure for the animals, feed them, give them proper medical attention and market their products or by-products.
Which livestock is the most profitable in Nigeria?
It’s unarguably poultry farming with over 100 million Nigeria population, there is always a ready market for egg and chicken meat.
Which farming is most profitable?
That should be dairy and meat farming. As both are byproducts of Cattle, sheep, and goat farming.
What is the cheapest livestock to raise?
Let’s say snail farming as it requires less work and has a huge return on investment.
How do I start a small livestock farm?
You can start that in the backyard of your house by constructing a small pen or shed to house your livestock animals.
Which animal husbandry is the most profitable?
There are wide opportunities in animal husbandry and only by your environment and market conditions can the profitability rate be measured.
How profitable is cattle farming in Nigeria?
Very profitable. We can get milk, cheese, yogurts, hides, leather, horn, and lots more from cattle farming and most especially meat. All of which have a higher market value.