Where can I get training on poultry farming and the agriculture sector?
For training in poultry production, chickens, ducks, turkeys contact the South African Poultry Association. If you need training in the area of poultry farming contact the South African Poultry Association who offer courses throughout the year.
Agricultural Research Council
- Agricultural Research Council – For training in poultry production, chickens, ducks, turkeys: Agricultural Research Council (ARC) offers a number of courses which include: Poultry production. Contact them here.
- Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (Livestock) Programme – Is a research, training and small business programme that addresses the basic issues underlying emerging farming systems and SMME Development in product processing and marketing. They provide guidance in areas small-scale poultry producers. Contact them here.
What regulations do I need to comply with as a poultry farmer?
A start-up must comply with health regulations but does not require a permit or licence to start a poultry production business. These differ from area to area, check regulations in with the local authority or associations in your area.
1. Abattoirs for broilers
As the establishment of an abattoir is an expensive and complicated to install. It is best for new members to market and sell their broiler chickens live.
2. Transport regulations apply
If you wish to transport slaughtered poultry. You must obtain and study the Meat Safety Act No 40 of 2000 for all the rules. All other regulations including these will be found under the General Regulation of the Public Health Act, 1919.
3. Animal welfare is extremely important
It is essential to ensure that birds are well tended to, that cages are not overloaded and high health standards are maintained. A shower and a disinfectant foot bath are a must before anyone is allowed to enter a broiler house.
4. Halaal and Kosher Certification
To obtain certification to sell Halaal and Kosher poultry products, your business has to have official certification from the Beth Din (Kosher) and the South African National Halaal Association to produce and sell products for Kosher and Halaal use. Businesses that produce for these religious entities are evaluated and inspected and impromptu audits take place regularly.
Only four kinds of poultry have been found to be profitable; chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys.
Ducks and geese have a further advantage as their feathers have always been an important by-product of the industry; this additional revenue stream and can mean the difference between success and failure.
What about ducks?
Down was a by-product of birds slaughtered for their meat. This isn’t the case any more as ducks and geese are reared for their down, which can fetch R1 000 a kilogram. Irrespective of species, quality can vary according to the season the birds are plucked, their age, the temperatures they are kept at, as well as their living conditions.
To run a successful duck farm, a combination of good nutrition and proper management are essential for raising healthy ducks.
Funding your Chicken Production business
You will need start-up capital to get your chicken farm going. There are various ways that you can acquire funding for your business.
1. Bootstrapping your business
The majority of start-ups are started without capital injection from venture capitalists and angel investors. If you are serious about turning your idea into a reality you are going to have to dip into your own pockets and bootstrap your way to the top.
It isn’t easy, but it can be very rewarding – both personally and financially, as you retain 100 percent of your equity.
2. Government funding and grants
There are numerous government funding and grants available, however you must match the criteria in order to qualify.
Chicken Production Handbook
Chicken Production Handbook Book’ (Afrikaans) is a practical handbook packed with valuable advice on how to start your chicken production venture in South Africa. To buy a copy of ‘Hoenderproduksie-Braaikuikens’ The publisher of the book and DVD, Johan Olivier (Kejafa Knowledge Works).
Now that you know the ins and outs of starting a chicken production your next step is to create a business plan.