Poultry farming is one of the most lucrative forms of farming in South Africa today. There is a very huge market for poultry products such as meat, eggs, and dung. The cost of starting a poultry farming business in South Africa depends on the aspect of poultry farming that you want to engage in.
In this post, we will discuss the cost to start the different types of poultry farming. However, we will focus more on chickens (broilers and layers). We will also tell you how to start a profitable poultry farming business in South Africa. Let’s dive straight in without further ado.
Cost of Starting a Poultry Business in South Africa
According to research, many South Africans are becoming millionaires simply by becoming poultry farmers. The first step to starting a profitable poultry business is first finding out how much capital you need. How much does it cost to start a profitable poultry farm? Several ingredients go into running a poultry farm. It doesn’t matter whether you deal in broilers or layers, there are certain costs that you cannot do without. Here is a list below:
Land is one of the primary needs you must meet when starting a poultry farm. You can either purchase land or lease one for the business. The cost of land is relative as it depends on the scale at which you want to run the farm and your location. In some parts of South Africa, you can get farmlands for between ZAR$11,105 and ZAR$37,016 per plot.
After getting the land, the next thing that you must invest in is the housing for the birds. There are different types of housing depending on the rearing system that you will employ. The cheapest method is the free-range system where there isn’t an exact building. You just allow the birds to roam around in the compound.
For best results, it is best to employ floor or cage systems. The floor system just requires you to build a poultry house and allow the birds to roam around in the building. Alternatively, you can make use of bird cages. This method is regarded as the best for layers. The cost depends on the size of the farm but cages could cost from ZAR$11,105 for 500 birds.
There is a whole array of poultry equipment that you need to run a profitable poultry farming business. Your choice will depend on the system that you choose. The common pieces of poultry equipment that you will need include:
- Chick box
- Egg scale
- Egg tray
- Egg washer
- Fly tray
- Heaters or brooders
- Laying nests
- Ventilation fan
If you are running a commercial poultry farm, you should budget between ZAR$22,210 and ZAR$29,613 for poultry equipment. Smaller farms can budget between ZAR$2,221 and ZAR$7,774.
Vaccination and other medication costs
Vaccination is very important to ensure that your birds remain healthy. It also ensures that you reduce the mortality rate on your farm to the barest minimum. Just so you know, birds are highly prone to diseases and a single disease outbreak can wipe out the whole farm.
If you have a farm of 500 chicks, you should budget between ZAR$7,404 and ZAR$9,625 for vaccination and medication. The price may be negotiable depending on the veterinarian that you consult.
This is one of the most important and non-negotiable costs to deal with in poultry farming. You can either formulate your feed or purchase readymade feed from established vendors. The former option is more affordable, however, many of the feed ingredients on the market are adulterated. As such, we suggest that you stick to purchasing from established companies.
The feeding cost for 500 birds is between ZAR$9,995 and ZAR$11,105 for a month. If you are raising layers, you need to feed them for about 18 months. This means that you could spend between ZAR$181,379 and ZAR$192,483 on feeding alone.
Purchase of chicks
The main raw material for poultry farming is chicks. Without them, everything else is a waste of investment. Currently, day-old chicks cost between N260 and N400. If you want to purchase point-of-lay birds, they cost between ZAR$56 and ZAR$75.
How to Start the Poultry Farming Business in South Africa
Wondering how to start the poultry business in South Africa? Check out the tips below:
Study the market
The first thing that you should do is to study your market. A detailed feasibility study helps you to know what the market holds, how much capital you need, and who your prospective customers are. It also helps you to know who your competitors are and how to surpass them.
Write a business plan
After you have carried out a detailed study of the market, the next step is to write a business plan. A business plan gives a clear indication of what your business sets out to achieve. It acts as the map of your business and also helps you to attract investment when the need arises. If you cannot write a detailed business plan, you can draw up a Business Module Canvas (BMC) instead.
Seek out reputable suppliers
Two very important aspects of this business are getting healthy stock and purchasing healthy feed. You need reputable suppliers for both. Ensure that you find suppliers that have a healthy stock of birds. Doing this saves you from having excess mortality on your farm. It also assures you of high productivity. You should also seek out suppliers that have the best quality feed on the market. Don’t settle for cheap prices as they could mean substandard products.
Capital here means the funds you need for the business as well as the land and the equipment that you need. You can either raise capital from your savings or taking a loan. Other ways of raising capital include grants and funding from friends and family members.
In rounding up this post, we suggest that you gather as much knowledge about this business as possible. Poultry farming requires a hands-on approach so you must be knowledgeable about raising birds. You can reach out to existing farmers to find out their failures and successes. This knowledge will help run your business.