Poultry Farming Guide For Beginners – Everything You Need to Know

The demand for poultry products is on the rise, making poultry farming one of the best business ideas. For beginners, starting a poultry business can be a daunting process.

Whether looking to rear chicken or any type of poultry, getting it right from the start will set you up for success. Poultry farming for commercial purposes can be a great source of income.

In this guide, I’ll explain everything you need to know about starting poultry farming for beginners. I’ll explain the steps you need to take to start a successful poultry farming business.

What’s poultry farming?

Even before we get started, let’s understand the meaning of poultry farming.

Poultry farming is the raising of domestic birds for meat, eggs, and feathers. The different birds can be chicken, duck, turkey quail, etc.

For the purpose of this guide, I’ll focus on chicken farming. It’s understandable, considering chicken is the most common poultry in the world.

Chicken poultry farming, when done correctly, is a very profitable agribusiness. But to make profits, you need to manage the poultry farm very well.

Poultry farms for beginners

Poultry farming, like any other business, must follow certain operation principles. The principles must also be followed by proper farm management. 

Below are some steps every beginner should follow when starting a poultry farm.

Learn Poultry Farming

Start by taking a course on poultry farming. You need to understand the basic rules of poultry farming to succeed.

Basic training will teach you how to rear day-old chicks to maturity. These are skills you need to learn before starting any poultry business.

Enroll in an online course and reach out to a nearby farmer for training. There are also many agencies that run poultry courses. Learning gets you the basics and a few tricks that come in handy when the poultry farm is up and running.

Choose a poultry sector

Next, you need to choose the right bird and sector. On the type of bird, we are going with chicken for the sake of the guide. But depending on your purpose, you can choose what best works in your area.

Next, you need to decide between broilers and layers. Are you raring chicken for meat or for eggs? You can even decide to run a hatchery for other chicken farmers. Below are some chicken products to focus on:

  • Checking to process
  • Broiler chicken for meat
  • Chicken for eggs
  • Poultry feed production
  • Poultry farming equipment
  • Poultry feed production

Set a farm location

With a chicken product decided, you need to choose a farm location. Consider a location with good access to electricity, water, security, etc.

Your location should not be too far away from the consumers. You don’t want to incur excess transportation costs.

Construct a house

With a location picked, go ahead and construct a poultry farmhouse. Visit a few farms near you and get ideas on the best farmhouses.

The ideal house should protect the birds from snow, wind, sunshine, rain, pests, and diseases. Make sure you construct a house that best matches your business plan needs.

How many birds do you want to rear? Such questions will help you choose the right house for your chicken.

Get necessary equipment

Next, you need to get all the necessary chicken equipment. These are items and tools you’ll use on the farm on a daily basis. Quality equipment will ensure your chicken eats well and lives healthily.

Some of the equipment you can get include:

  • Feeders
  • Nests
  • Cages
  • Coops
  • Egg tray
  • Ventilation system
  • Lighting 
  • Heaters
  • Waste disposal system
  • Waterers
  • Brooders

With all equipment ready, get your first stater chicks.

Buy starter chicks

You can now get quality chick breeds from a reliable farm. Do some research and get chicks from a dependable breeder.

Make sure the brooder is ready and set up when the chicks arrive. Ensure each brooder holds just the right number of chicks.

Feed chicks properly

You also need to know how to feed the chicks properly. This is why taking a course on poultry farming is essential.

Poultry feeding can be expensive, taking up to 70% of your production costs. Start with feeds sold in the market as a beginner. You can make yours with some experience in the business.

Maintain a proper health management program

Most mortality cases in chicken rearing arise from poor health management. Ensure you have a proper health management program to prevent the spread of diseases.

Market and sell your poultry harvest

Lastly, you need to get a ready market for your products to avoid making losses. Products like broilers need a market right away to avoid extra feeding costs.

Final verdict

This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding poultry farming. The best way to learn is from experienced poultry farmers near you. Make sure you network with fellow farmers and share ideas.

As always, write a poultry business plan to help guide you with the decisions you make.


How to Grow Tomatoes for Beginners?

Looking to grow some tomatoes as a beginner? Tomatoes are widely and can be found in almost any dish. So it makes sense to try and grow tomatoes at home. 

Growing your tomatoes gives you variety and tasty results. We all know supermarkets sell uniform-appearance tomatoes. So growing your own gives you options, tastier and fresher results.

However, growing tomatoes at home are not easy for any beginner. Tomatoes take long to grow. You need to take time and prepare accordingly before starting to grow tomatoes.

So how do you go about growing tomatoes as a beginner? Join me below as I take you through steps to grow tomatoes as a beginner and everything you need to know.

Decide on the right tomato type

The first step for a beginner is choosing the right type of tomato variety to grow. Some tomatoes cannot do well in containers while others require big space.

So what are the two main types of tomatoes to grow? Depending on the available space, you need to choose between vines and bushes.

The first type of tomato to consider is determinate. It’s a bush-type tomato growing like a bush. They grow short and produce fruits once they reach a certain height.

They are a great choice to grow in containers as they don’t take up much space. However, determinate tomatoes will start to die once they finish fruiting.

Secondly, we have vine tomato types. These are the indeterminate ones and grow tall producing tomatoes all year. You can be sure of enjoying tomato harvest beyond the first harvest.

Indeterminate tomatoes are tender perennials and can provide you with tomato fruits throughout the year. Some growers have claimed their vines in greenhouses growing for up to 3 years under the right conditions.

They are ideal for growing in gardens since they can grow up to 16 feet long. Lastly, we have semi-determinate. This one grows more like determinate tomatoes but ends up producing a second crop.

I would recommend you to follow some expert guys from Backyard Gardeners Network, they have some great articles on tomato plants as well as well-explained differences between determinate vs indeterminate tomatoes. Generally, there are over 1000 different types of tomatoes from the hybrid ones to the heirloom ones.

As a beginner, it’s important to determine which type you will be growing. How tall does it grow and the size of the fruits? Does it require support? What is the maturity period? These questions will help you choose the right variety for your needs.

Soil preparation

You need to prepare the soil and ensure they meet the right nutrient requirements. Tomatoes require a lot of nutrients to produce big fruits. You need well-drained soil. The soil should be loose and well broken down.

In addition, you need to maintain pH levels of 6 to 7.5. Make sure you perform soil analysis and come up with test results. This will help you choose the right fertilizer. Gypsum is used to lower the pH while lime helps raise the pH levels.

Nursery Preparation

You can grow seeds indoors or outdoors in a nursery. The nursery is prepared by raising the beds 15cm high. Make sure the soil is fine and the seeds are well-spaced.

Plant seeds at a depth of 1 cm and water the well. Watering should be done in the morning. Seeds germination is expected in around 8 days.

Transplanting and planting

With the soil prepared, now it’s time to transplant your seedlings. Make sure the nursery is watered thoroughly before transplanting. This helps loosen the soil and the roots to carry a ball of soil when transplanting.

Transplanting seedlings should be done early in the morning, or evening. You can grow your seedlings in a pot or a garden. Make sure you maintain proper spacing between 65 to 45 cm holes.

Fertilizer application and watering

You need to apply fertilizer and the base to ensure excellent root development. Start with a phosphate fertilizer before adding urea in 2 to 3 weeks.

When tomato plants start to flower, you can apply NPK fertilizer. You can read Stephanie’s article for more detail about applying fertilizer for tomato plants. Apart from watering, the plant needs to get a lot of water for maximum growth. However, make sure you avoid overwatering.

Support and Pruning

Tomato plants require support to ensure they grow vertically. Use poles and strings to provide support. You also need to prune older leaves, side shoots, and dead leaves to ensure maximum fruit growth.

Make sure you remove suckers between the branches as they don’t bear fruits. Yellow and wilting leaves as the plant matures need to be removed.

Tomato growing tips for beginners

  • Type or variety: Know the type or variety of tomatoes you’re growing. Are they bush or vines? Will they require a trellis, stakes, or a tomato cage?
  • Days to maturity: How long will the tomato take from growing to harvest? Warm Seasons are usually short and most farmers start growing seeds indoors. You need to plan when to grow and know when they can be ready for harvesting.
  • Early harvest: Check for fruits that are ready and harvest them on time, This ensures other fruits are set and grow bigger.
  • Soil tests: Soil testing is essential to ensure tomato plants get proper nutrients. Add necessary and recommended tomato fertilizers.

Final verdict

Overall, growing tomatoes as a beginner are not difficult when you follow the steps above. Choose the right tomato variety, prepare the soil well, add fertilizer, and water, and provide support.


The Benefits of Bringing Cattle and Crops Together

Integrating cattle and crops is a new sustainable agribusiness that works perfectly in developing and developed countries. But many farmers still wonder whether the practice is beneficial.

Bringing cattle and crops together does have several benefits. Cash crops and cattle together can help bring diversity to a farm. This type of farming is essential in farms with little land.

It’s a great way that can help boost your farm’s profitability. The combination can help reduce diseases, increase soil nutrients and improve soil health.

Let’s see some of the benefits farmers stand to gain by bringing cattle and crops together.

Benefits of bringing cattle and crops together

Low production cost and increased profits

This type of farming will for sure lead to increased profits. This is because of the reduced production cost. When rearing cattle alone, the production cost is high because of the cost of cattle feeds.

Farmers can grow crops like corn in the spring and use it to feed the cattle when ready. Over the winter periods, farmers can grow barley or rye and use it to feed cattle during the summer.

It’s a cost-effective way that will save you thousands in animal feed. The same will not happen when you only have cattle and have to buy most of the feeds. Some of the fruits and vegetables in your garden can also be used to feed cattle. 

Take, for example, cabbage or kale farmers or even tomatoes. How much of your vegetables go to waste because of lacking a good market on time? Such vegetables and fruits can be used to feed cattle, greatly reducing losses.

When it comes to crop production costs, manure is extensively used as opposed to artificial fertilizer. Farmers end up saving a lot in the cost of fertilizer for their crops.

Natural organic fertilizer from cattle contributes hugely to the soil fertility in your area.

Opportunities for strategic winter grazing fields

During winter seasons, cattle farmers face challenges with feeds. But this can be solved when you practice growing crops and bringing animals into the same field. Most farm crops harvested before winter falls can be used as feed for cattle.

Crop covers harvested before winter can be used extensively for feed during the winter season. The unique rotation ensures your cattle have feed throughout the year.

High yields on crops due to grazing

Grazing on farms can also lead to high crop yields. When animals graze on pasture and other grazing crops, they tend to perform better as opposed to traditional cropping methods.

Traditional cropping methods involve the removal of weeds and preparation of the ground.

Mixed farming situation

The mixed farming situation provides a mutual benefit for the crops and cattle. Post-harvest, the cattle can feed on the crops. This is beneficial in so many ways. 

First, it helps farmers terminate cover crops without having to dig into the ground. This is a great way to save on extra costs for animal feed. If you have neighbors doing crop farming, you can talk with them and have your cattle graze their farms.

It is a great way for such farmers to get some post-harvest income and have the soil positively impacted. But if you have the crop farm and cattle, you’ll have a free pasture for your cattle.

This is a great relationship that saves you on feed while also improving the soil health for the next planting season. 

It’s important to note that most grazing fields cost $500 per acre. You can imagine how much you’ll be saving by grazing your cattle on land you’ve already harvested.

Great reduction of environmental pollution and soil erosion

Bringing cattle and crops together also helps reduce environmental pollution and soil erosion. In farms where there are only cattle, huge piles of manure can lead to environmental pollution. However, that’s not the case in farms with crops. The manure is extensively used in the field to fertilize the farms.

There are usually little chemicals used when you have crops and cattle on the same farm. This further helps reduce pollution.

The type of farming also helps reduce soil erosion by having plants rotate between farms and grazing areas.

Risk reduction through diversification

Bringing the two together can also help reduce risks. In case of an incident, you’ll have something by the side. Take, for example, an incident that leads to the loss of cattle. You’ll reduce losses by having a good harvest of the crops.

You can have as many crops in the field for commercial and animal feed. Corn that can go to waste can be used as animal feed, helping reduce losses.

Final verdict

It’s always good to bring cattle and crops together as the combination can help you save production costs. Some of the plants grown during spring can be used as cattle feed during the winter season. The cattle also help clear post-harvest cover without causing much soil disturbance.