AN expert in the poultry value chain, Mr Taofiq Hamzat, has suggested ways poultry farmers can reduce cost of feeds for poultry production by producing themselves.
Hamzat, who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hamkat Global Services and Principal Partner, Jazkat Integrated Services, while speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, noted globally, feeds account for more 60 to 70 per cent of poultry production.
He further stated that:”For a farmer to generate enough money from his poultry farm, he must be able to take care of the feeds. There are ways with which cost of feeds can be reduced. The first one is for a farmer to formulate his own diet, for instance, a 25kg bag of broiler feed is about N7,300, one bird will eat eat close to 4kg till market size which means we are talking about 16 bags of feeds, if you multiply that, that will be N115,000.
“But if you mix your own feeds, you can save as much as N30,000 just from 100 fowls. So, if you raise 1,000 fowls, you can save up to N300,000. Number two is that you can always buy your feeds ingredients when they are cheap. We all know maize is seasonal, we know when it is cheap, you can bulk purchase, you can shop around, if you go to one shop if it is not available you can go to another
“So that at least you will be able to obtain feeds ingredients that are cheap to get your animals going. But for a poultry farmer to get optimum result, there are four keys to adhere to, the first one is passion: You cannot do anything if you do not have passion for it. The second one is presence, you cannot be an absentee poultry farmer, if you set up a poultry farm, you must find a way of establishing your presence in that farm.
“You can do it by proxy, in this world of technology you can install CCTV in your farm to monitor what is going on when you were not around. The third one is persevarance, we all know that where there is life, there will be death. You can have as high as ten thousand birds today, if you are careless or if anything goes wrong, you can lose all of them within four weeks which means you must be somebody that is ready to persevare that is if you have any problem, you will start all over again.
“And the last one is partnership. A poultry farmer should not operate in isolation, you network with your colleagues. For instance, if they are selling tons of maize, you can network. If you are not able to buy a whole truck, gather yourself to contribute money and buy the truckload of maize and share.
“You can introduce ways by which all of you would rally round and probably talk on problems that you experience within your various farms so that you know how to address such problem.”
Hamzat also advised poultry farmers that:”There are certain measures to be taken especially during the heat period. Because experience has shown that there are losses during heat period. Number one: Make sure you supply a lot of water. Because during this period birds can can consume five times they consume during the normal weather. Aside that, make sure you introduce measures that will ensure you do not waste feeds.
“During heat period you can change your feeds to pelleted form, with that you are not going to use more feeds and will save energy. Also, during the heat period, make sure you feed them only during the cold time so that your mortality will not be much.
“Poultry farmers must also remove unproductive and sick animals from their floor. For instance, you have hundred fowls and two or three of them are sick, remove them and sell them off because they will be eating and will not be productive. By so doing, the food meant for hundred will be consumed by 90 and you will get the same result so there are other technical things that can be done to make sure that you bring cost of production down, but feed is the major thing. The moment the problem of feed is off, you are good to go.”