Thinking of starting a poultry farm? Know the types and breeds of birds to raise

Out of the many livestock farming ventures in Nigeria, poultry remains one of the most common and most profitable. For a naïve person willing to start a poultry farm for commercial purposes, knowing what type and breed of birds to raise can be quite confusing. And it is very important for every prospective poultry farmer to understand this so that the birds can give you your expected outcomes. Therefore, read on as we discuss the common type and breeds of poultry birds, and their varying characteristics.

Type of poultry birds

  1. Layers
  2. Broilers
  3. Cockerels

The Layers poultry bird type are used majorly for commercial egg production and with regards to this, there are different breeds of layers that are highly productive comparatively with one another.

The Broilers poultry bird type are a group of rapidly growing poultry birds that are reared for the sole aim of meat production. They gain the required slaughter weight within a very short period of time and the cost of rearing them could be high. Basically, they are meant for commercial production of meats.

The cockerels; they are a group of hardy poultry birds that are also meant for meat production. The demand for the meat produced by cockerels is usually subjected to preferences and individual differences. Cockerels grow slower compared to other poultry bird types but they thrive well in almost all types of environment.


Common breeds of poultry birds in Nigeria

  1. Isa Brown – The Isa Brown layers are highly suitable for poultry farmers in Nigeria because they are a group of bird that is highly adaptable to various climatic conditions which makes them suitable for the hot weather condition that is prevalent in Nigeria . Isa brown layers have a great feed conversion ration which results in the farmer making huge financial gains because of the quantity and quality of eggs they produce. They rarely become broody. Below are some of the features of the Isa Brown Layers that make them highly profitable for the farmer;

Features and Advantages of Isa brown

  • Livability is 94%
  • Average egg weight is 62g
  • Laying period is 18 to 90 weeks
  • Peak percentage is 96%
  • Average feed consumption per day is 110g
  • Age at 50% production is 144 days.
  • They are reared in different environmental condition
  • They are very prolific.
  • They have very good conversion rate

Disadvantages of Isa brown layers.

  • Egg color could be variable
  • Careful feeding is important to meet the demand of egg production.
  • Prone to egg binding, prolapse and peritonitis
Breed of Chicken – Isa brown
  1. Delkab-Amberlink – The Dekalb Amberlink is a Well Balanced and an all-round performance poultry bird. Often referred to as a champion egg layer with very strong and very brown eggs. The result is a predictable and proven profit. Delkab-Amberlink is white in color with some strains of brown color on them

As a poultry farmer and you are searching for a brown egg layer that looks good, ranges freely and offers the chance for an extended laying period, then this breed of layers bird which is hybrid is suitable for such purposes.

Features and advantages of this breed include the following,

  • Liveability is 94.8%
  • Peak of production is 95%
  • Average egg weight is 60.7g
  • Average feed intake is 114g/day
  • Age at 50% production is 142 days.

Disadvantages of the Delkab-Amberlink include the following,

  • They are prone to egg binding and prolapse
  • Careful implementation of feeding regimen so as not to distort the laying of eggs.
  • Laying can be unpredictable after the first year
  • They don’t make reliable brooders if the farmer wants to hatch some eggs.
  • They have a smaller egg weight
Breed of Chicken – Dekalb Amberlink


  1. Bovans Black –  They are hybrid laying birds that were gotten from crosses between pure breeds. They are usually light, grows very fast with good conversion rate. They are highly adaptable layer breeds known for optimal technical. The Disadvantages that can be observed in the Bovans black are discussed as follows,
  • They are bad brooders once the farmers wants to hatch some eggs.
  • They are prone to egg-binding and prolapse
  • They have poor feed conversion when compared to the Isa brown layers

Breed of Chicken – Bovans Black

Top 5 Profitable Small Scale Livestock Farming Businesses In Nigeria

Are you considering getting involved in businesses that are different from your regular job? Are you looking for extra cash? Are you considering farming so as to increase your income? Do you want farming on the side to support your family? You are most likely looking for something to do on the side asides your regular paying job.

Provided below is the top 5 profitable businesses of the various small scale farming that you can involve in. I am certain that the information you will find here will go a long way to help in your quest for more income and profits.

Before we go into more details, it is important that you know the different types of farming. You may decide to go into either crop farming or livestock farming.

While crop farming deals basically with a modern form of intensive farming that refers to the industrialized production of crops, livestock farming is the raising of animals for food and for other uses. ‘Livestock’ here refers firstly to cattle or dairy, poultry, pigs, horses, goats and sheep.
Today, even animals like donkeys, mules, rabbits, snails and insects such as bees are being raised as part of livestock farming.

I will therefore briefly endeavor to categorize the basic small scale farming under the livestock farming:

1. Cattle rearing


You can start raising a cow from a tender age. to purchase this calf, you need to set aside about 40-45,000 naira. If you have sufficient, you can buy 2 calves. This calf can be fed grasses at back of your house while you take care of it yourself.

Although, it takes long before they grow into maturity, you have sure started something worth of note instead of blowing away your cash unnecessarily. When you eventually sell your cow, you make a profit of at least 50-60%. This is a business you can venture into early.

2. Sheep and goat rearing

sheep and goat3

You can raise sheep on a small scale as backyard farming feeding them with low quality grasses and some concentrates. However, this requires you also to be patient. You do not need a large capital to start a sheep farm and the fact that sheep give birth to lambs frequently which is enough encouragement that your herd size will increase in no time.

Sheep can withstand adverse weather conditions because they are hardy animals and they do not require special housing, just a shed to rest after roaming around is enough for a start.

3. Poultry farming

This is obviously one of the commonest profitable farming most people are aware of. This the the rearing of domesticated birds which include turkeys, chickens, geese and ducks. This is done either for the purpose of the meat or the eggs. However, chickens are the most common of these birds.
Chickens raised for eggs are usually called layers while chickens raised for meat are often called broilers.There is an association in Nigeria whose has taken the responsibility of updating farmers (both small and large scale farmers) on current trends in poultry production. This body is known as the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN). You are sure to make your money if you follow instructions in the process.

4. Fish farming


Fish farming deals with raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures. Farming of aquatic organisms like fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants is also part of fish farming.

I have to confess at this point that majority of the Nigerian populace are delving into fish farming now. Even the international market is not left out. Then, why should you? You should realize that if fish farming is not profitable, people would have turned back from investing in it. Now, you want to ask, How much do i need to start fish farming? What do I need to start this venture? where can I locate my small fish venture?
If you have begun to ask these questions, to get started, you can read up on Introduction to Fish Farming

5. Pig farming

Piggery is a profitable business and is a sure way to make money and invest more. You can read more about pig farming.
Despite the bias against piggery in the nation, it does not seize to be a profitable business venture for anyone seeking extra profit and is ready to start small.These 5 basic and profitable small scale businesses are sure to earn you more income. However, I will advise you start as early as possible so you can advance your profit course quickly.

Adapted from Alleviate Poverty Today