Poultry farming is raising domesticated chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese for meat, eggs, and feathers. In “How to Start a poultry guide,” we will look deep into what every beginner needs to start a poultry business journey.
In this Article;
Introduction to how to start a poultry
How to Start Poultry Farming is a big business. In the US, an estimated 12% of the total meat supply is produced by domestic producers.
The United States also accounts for nearly 70% of global broiler meat production, thanks in part to the ease of raising poultry on large-scale farms.
Around the world, there are countless stories of people taking up poultry farming to make a living and provide for their families, and a how-to-start poultry guide is essential.
Poultry farming is a business like any other. When you raise poultry for profit, you must concern yourself with such matters as raising your birds profitably, obtaining the best product price, and minimizing risk.
You also have to keep records, make decisions, and hire staff. Some of these tasks are easier to perform than others, but they are all necessary to learn how to start poultry. The next section, the “How to start a poultry” guide, will brief you on a little history of poultry.
History of Poultry
When the first poultry was raised for meat in China, they were ducks. Raising chickens to provide meat was not encouraged then because farmers tended to focus on raising ducks for their eggs.
Poultry farming changed when a Chinese emperor realized the economic benefit of raising chickens.
Poultry farming traces back to prehistoric times. In the early days, people raised chickens for their food, which was out of necessity. These people did not have many facilities or know little about poultry.
Poultry farming has been around for many years. The history of poultry farming can be traced back to ancient times when the Romans raised chickens for meat and eggs and raised hogs, ducks, geese, and goats for meat and milk.
Poultry farming started in Ancient Egypt and was used as food and fertilizer. However, poultry farming became widespread during the 19th century when the public recognized that chickens were a good source of protein. Next is the “How to start a poultry” guide will touch on the types of poultry.
How to start poultry (Types of poultry)
The world of poultry is vast and diverse. There are hundreds of different types of poultry, each with its unique flavor and nutritional profile.
The most commonly known poultry types are chickens and turkeys, but there is much more to discover! Poultry provides various health benefits, including a great source of protein and nutrients such as B vitamins and iron.
Types of poultry based on production
1. Eggs Production
Egg production is producing eggs from chickens, most often from chickens that are rared for that purpose. The traditional method, which is still the most common, is for chickens to be kept in large cages or barns to continue to live as they would in the wild.
Eggs that result from this method are “free-range” eggs, though that term can be misleading, as it often refers to eggs from chickens that have been allowed access to the outdoors rather than those that live in barns.
The second most common method widely used today is to have chickens raised in individual cages or small groups.
2. Poultry Meat Production
The most common meat consumed in the United States and the world is chicken, which comes from poultry. Poultry meat production is a critical source of food for people and a large industry.
Several types of poultry meat include chicken, turkey, duck, and goose. The most common poultry meat consumed in the United States is chicken, which is produced from poultry.
Poultry meat production is the process of producing meat from poultry. Poultry meat is used the same way as meat from other animals, such as steak, hamburger, and pork. However, many prefer to eat chicken because of its unique taste, texture, and health benefits. Chicken is a good protein source, making it a healthy addition to a healthy diet.
Poultry meat is high in protein, and many people are turning to it as a way of getting more of it into their diets leading to the discovery of antibiotics in chicken feed, which are then passed on to the meat, making it possible bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics. The only way to avoid this is to buy antibiotic-free meat, and unfortunately, this is often more expensive.
Poultry meat production is a significant industry in the United States. It provided more than half of the country’s poultry meat and was responsible for more than one-third of the total US meat production in 2017.
This meat is for poultry dishes, burgers, hot dogs, and poultry products such as eggs and mayonnaise. The US poultry industry is also a significant source of income for several small and medium-sized farms.
3. How to start a poultry (Day-old chicks production)
Chickens are one of the most versatile creatures on the planet. However, the journey from egg to edible product is long and complicated. Chickens raised on farms produce day-old chicks (DOCs). The DOCs get transported to specialized farms where they will be grown and raised into the chickens we know and love.
Chickens are one of the most widely farmed animals in the world. In 2017, the total number of chickens raised for their meat was more than 83 billion, making them the most farmed animal by a wide margin.
The meat and egg industry is among the most potent industries globally, and as a result, day-old chicks are at a scale unlike anything else. Chickens are essential to the modern food system, whether from a hatchery or a small backyard flock.
Chick production is a complex endeavor requiring careful planning, constant monitoring, and the right equipment. It is also a continuous process, meaning keeping the operation moving steadily is imperative to avoid delays that could cause issues down the line.
That is where day-old chick production comes in. Day-old chicks are the youngest in their brood, a crucial component of the production process.
4. Identify common breeds of poultry
There are many different poultry breeds, each of which resembles the other breeds but varies slightly in size, shape, and color. The most common breeds of poultry include the following:
- List of common breeds of poultry
- Razorback chickens
- Muscovy ducks and more
The most common colors of domesticated poultry include white, black, blue, and brown. Other colors, such as red and yellow, are also seen in the domesticated breeds. However, remember that not all colors are in the same proportions in all breeds.
5. Selection of poultry for production
The selection of poultry is characterized based on egg-laying or meat production. Layers, or chickens that mainly produce eggs are often raised for egg production.
Heavily-feathered breeds, such as the Australorp, are often selected for egg production, and Meat-type breeds, such as the Buckeye, are for meat production.
Most will want to pay close attention to the characteristics discussed above when selecting a poultry breed for production. Others will also want to consider the purpose for which they intend to raise the birds. For example, some common uses for poultry include
- Brooders (poultry that produces more eggs)
- Decorative purposes (e.g., for the show, for sales)
- Companions (e.g., for keeping company, for having around the house)
- In some cases, the breed of bird will determine the purpose for which you will raise them. For example, it is generally easier to raise a large number of meat birds, such as broilers.
6. Housing for poultry
Housing for poultry is very essential in the process of learning. When most have a flock of chickens or ducks, they need a place to spend their lifespan. That place is known as a poultry shelter. Poultry shelters protect most chickens or ducks from weather, predators, and other dangers.
They keep the poultry warm and dry, providing them with food, water, and shelter.
Poultry needs shelter to keep them warm during cold hours. One option is to build a chicken coop, and a chicken coop is a structure designed specifically for housing chickens.
The first step toward starting a backyard flock of chickens is building or purchasing a shelter for the birds. Most experts recommend building a chicken coop rather than purchasing one pre-made, designing a coop to meet specific flock needs.
Most individuals can also purchase ready-made chicken coops, but it is important to note that these typically overheat easily and often provide poor ventilation for their birds.
7. Feeding in poultry
Feeding poultry is another vital activity to consider. Most birds eat what is available to them, but some birds are more fussy eaters than others. For example, some breeds eat much grain, and others eat almost nothing other than bugs, worms, and seeds. Most will want to encourage their birds to eat more formulated feed; they can feed them pellets or seeds.
Chickens, like other animals, eat to obtain the nutrients they need to grow and stay healthy. Chickens are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. Chickens are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals.
While most birds live on pasture and grow naturally from eggs, some birds are on a more restricted diet, such as a meat-based diet. Poultry raised on a vegetarian diet is called “crop fed,” and poultry raised on a diet of animal-based ingredients only is called “grain fed.” The bird’s diet largely dictates the texture and flavor of the meat, so choosing the proper diet can make for birds with better-tasting meat. For example, vegetarian turkeys are leaner than their meat-based counterparts, producing turkey meat to improve its flavor.
This general guide on “how to start poultry” highlights the basic practices in poultry.