1. Animal Husbandry

A Guide to Poultry Farming Business in India

KJ Contributor
KJ Contributor
Poultry-farm
Poultry-farm

What is Poultry Farming? 

Let's start with the definition of chicken farming before moving on to commercial poultry farming. The kind of animal husbandry which deals with different types of domesticated birds, such as chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese for the purpose of producing various goods like eggs, meat and feathers is called poultry farming.

As of late the term “poultry farming” can be seen being used mostly in the context of chicken farming as chickens are more commonly raised and bred. Poultry farming is a part of and has originated from agriculture. In India, even though chickens are most extensively farmed, the raising and breeding of various types of birds has been prevalent for a very long time. 

Since independence poultry farming in India has changed tremendously. It has evolved from an unorganised and non-scientific system to something that is more methodical, planned, scientific, commercial, and structured. It has progressed from a backyard farming practice to a full-fledged technological-commercial sector. With the advent of the internet, one can even learn how to start their own poultry farming with the help of online courses. Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Orissa, Bihar, Kerala, Karnataka, among others are some of the states in our country where chicken farming is prominent. 

Benefits of commercial poultry farming 

Owning an Agri-business can be a great source of employment. People who wish to upskill themselves in more agriculture-based businesses can read more about it here. 

In the wake of the Covid pandemic, more people are looking to consume protein in their diet in a cost-effective manner. So, consumers have started to gather more and more knowledge and understanding about the different choices available in the market. With chicken being a natural source of protein, poultry has shown a surprising upwards trend. 

With the limelight now on the poultry industry, consumers have started to gather more and more knowledge and understanding about the different choices available in the market.

Commercial poultry farming has a lucrative market in India and has many benefits. The main benefits are: 

  • The initial investment that is required to start a business in poultry farming, is not very high. The business can begin small and grow into something greater over time  

  • It is a lucrative business that is full of opportunities and can provide entrepreneurship prospects to those looking for them.

  • In India, there is an enormous market for poultry products that will always thrive and never go away.

  • High-end and good quality Indian as well foreign breeds of birds are available in the market for commercial production

  • Farmers will have easy access to bank loans to start poultry farming owing to the various agricultural schemes available in the country. 

Types of poultry farming 

Broiler Poultry Farming 

India is the fifth largest broiler producing country in the world. In recent years, the broiler segment of the poultry industry has been one of the fastest growing. It's the tender, young meat of either male or female chickens.. The weight of the chicken ranges from 40 grams to 1.5 Kg and it can be maximum six weeks old. The rapid growth is mainly due to the interposition of the corporate sector which has started leaning towards scientific rearing of broilers. 

Layer Poultry Farming 

Layer poultry refers to birds raised solely for the purpose of laying eggs. To put it in other words, special hen species are raised for commercial egg production. They begin laying eggs at 18 weeks of age and continue to do so until they are 78 weeks old. During this time, they lay one egg for every 2.25 kg of food consumed. India is the best country in the world, in terms of egg production. 

Country Chicken Farming 

Country chicken, also known as free range chicken, is a poultry breed that is native to India. It deals with local breeds of chicken found in a particular geographical location. India is the world's fifth largest producer of chicken, with commercial poultry breeds accounting for a sizable portion of the harvest. The main advantage of country chicken is that it is more resistant to infections and has a higher survival rate. They adapt to new surroundings easily. They have a large egg production capacity and a low input cost. 

Starting a Poultry Business in India 

Although the benefits are many, starting a poultry farm can have its tough moments. But here are a few things to remember that can help you start your own successful poultry farm in India. 

Location: The first and most important step in starting your own farm is deciding on a location. The size of your land will be determined by the number of birds you intend to farm. Starting a poultry farm on your own land is a better option because rented land is at risk of being taken away. A farm set a little further away from the city would be ideal because labour is cheaper there. 

You must also ensure that the surrounding area is free of predatory animals that could harm the poultry farm or your birds. It is recommended that a good mode of transportation to and from the farm be used. Look for land with a clean and fresh water supply, as well as a pollution-free environment, for the best results. 

Breed selection: The next step in starting a successful poultry farm is selecting the right breed. In India, both high-quality domestic and imported breeds are available.. You can select a breed according to the type of goods you wish to produce: High quality layer chickens are best suited for producing eggs. Broiler poultry shall be opted if you wish to produce meat. Cockerels is another meat producing breed, but their growth rate is slower as compared to broilers, even so, they adapt to new environments quite easily. You can determine which product has the highest demand in your area and select the breed accordingly. 

Housing for poultry farming: Once you have chosen which breeds you want to rear, the next stage is to build a poultry shelter. Make sure that the coops or shelters you keep the birds in, are spacious enough for them to run about and move freely. The shelter must have a good ventilation design, as it enables better growth of the birds. 

If your poultry farm is big and the number of birds is large, then it’s advisable to make multiple shelters, with enough distance between each house. Make sure that the shelter is away from rainwater and direct sunlight. Regular cleaning of the shelters is a must, and a good drainage and sewer system in the shelter will be helpful in cleaning better.

Feeding: The birds at the poultry farm must be kept healthy by feeding them a hefty amount of food. It goes without saying how necessary a proper diet is for the growth of animals. There are many poultry feed producing companies in the market that produce food for various kinds of chicken breeds and other birds. You can also make their food at home. But it must be made sure that the homemade food has the correct ratio of the required nutrients. Clean water is very essential for the birds, alongside proper feed. 

By practicing the above mentioned steps, you too can soon start your own poultry farming business. All you have to do is take good care of the farm, the birds in it and keep up with the supply-demand in your local market. 

Conclusion: 

Poultry business is a beneficial and profitable agriculture based business in the Indian market owing to many reasons. Main reason being that unlike agriculture, poultry farming is not dependent on rain, sunlight or other weather based factors. Initially it can be started with a tiny flock of birds and then the number of birds can be increased as the business progresses. Poultry farming in India is a good way to start agriculture since it doesn’t require much space. The birds play a vital role in increasing the fertility of soil, which in turn is an important factor for cultivation. In addition to raised soil fertility, poultry waste is useful for organic agriculture and has much demanded in the market. 

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