How to Start a Poultry Feed Manufacturing Factory
A poultry feed mill or a poultry feed pellet manufacturing plant is always a profitable business due to the massive demand for high quality poultry feeds. As long as you can differentiate yourself and offer your customers better quality or something unique, you can always have farmers willing to try out your poultry feed products. The most important thing is to identify the market need where the current poultry feed suppliers are under-performing and then make the investments to fill the need.
Here are some of the steps that you can undertake when you are planning to start a poultry mill:-
Carry Out Market Research
Where is the gap in the current poultry feed market in your country? Who are the main players? What do they provide? How can you fill the gap and offer farmers something different? If you are not going to differentiate yourself, you are going to find it hard grabbing the market share from the current market leaders. Get some insight into the current poultry feed market and you will have an easy time identifying loopholes in the market that you can exploit with your poultry feed brands. If possible, you can hire an expert to carry out a feasibility study on the market before you proceed with your investments.
Acquire the Training and Technology on Poultry Feed Formulation
Poultry feed formulation is a science. You must mix the right set of ingredients through a least cost feed formulation in order to come up with the optimal poultry feed that will meet the nutritional requirements of poultry of a particular age and which is also economical to produce.
You need to have a veterinarian background with a focus on poultry feeding to be able to formulate high quality poultry feeds on your poultry mills. Alternatively, you may simply hire a poultry feed formulation specialist who will be in charge of operations at your poultry mill.
Have a Business Plan
Based on your above research and insight, draft a business plan on the form your poultry feed mill will take. What will be the capacity of your poultry feed mill? What will its management structure be? Who will be your target market? How do you plan to source your raw materials? How do you plan to distribute the finished poultry feeds? What will your marketing plan be? How do you plan to secure capital for the poultry feed mill? These are some of the questions that you should answer in your business plan. The poultry feed mill business plan will serve as your lighthouse, guiding you towards your objectives of setting up your poultry feed mill plant.
Get a Good Location
Poultry feed milling plants need to be built in specific locations and you will most likely need a local council clearance before you proceed with the project. It is most prudent to position a poultry feed milling plant in a location with numerous poultry farms as you will have a ready market for your finished products.
Buy the Poultry Feed Mill Machinery
The easiest way to make poultry feed mill machinery is by sourcing them from China. We have outlined in several articles on this website on the type of poultry feed machinery that you should purchase as well as the considerations that you need to keep in mind when sourcing your poultry feed mill machines.
Procure Raw Materials and Begin Processing
Sign deals with the raw materials suppliers in your locality and begin processing the first batch of poultry feeds for your requirements. It is always important to maintain a reliable supply line that will ensure that your feed processing line runs at all times.
Brand and Market Your Poultry Feed
There are various ways to brand and market your poultry feeds. Branding is often about product differentiation. Tell your customers why your poultry feeds offer customers a superior advantage. When it comes to marketing, there are various for a that you can use to reach out to farmers. These include agricultural shows and exhibitions, agricultural magazines, TV and radio commercials among many others.
Proper poultry feed storage is essential to ensuring top quality for your poultry feed. It helps protect them from the pests, critters and the mold that may damage the feed, ruin its nutritional integrity or infect it with dangerous toxins that could be potentially harmful to birds and humans.
Poor quality poultry feed will lead to a host of problems including poor growth, malnutrition, high rate of mortality as well as a host of health problems. All of these will have an impact on your poultry farm profitability. Here are some useful factors to keep in mind when it comes to poultry feed storage:-
Consider the Distance of the Silo from the Poultry House
The poultry storage facility should be kept as close to the poultry house as possible for practical reasons. Some poultry farms build the storage area for poultry feeds inside the poultry house. In many poultry farms, however, the feed silos are placed right next to the poultry house to provide for maximum convenience.
The Storage Facility
The poultry feed storage facility should meet certain minimum requirements. It should provide shelter from direct sunshine; must be cool and well ventilated; should be able to keep the feed dry and ensure low humidity; must protect the poultry feed from vermin such as mice and rats and insect pests; must keep the poultry feed off the ground to protect it from mold spoilage and ground condensation and finally, it should protect the poultry feed from drugs and chemicals.
The Storage Conditions
Poor storage conditions for your poultry feeds will reduce their shelf life and may lead to the loss of important nutrients like the anti-oxidants, some essential fatty acids along with vitamins. This will in turn hinder the growth of your poultry and lead to higher mortalities in your flock.
If poultry feed is stored in wet area, it will get moldy and stale and will pose a serious health risk for your birds. The worst are the molds that grow quickly on the poultry feed and produce mycotoxins. This mostly occurs during warm and humid weather. The use of moldy poultry feeds inevitably leads to illnesses, performance losses as well as possible mass mortality in your flock.
It is hard to estimate the shelf life of poultry feed in storage facilities, even under the best of conditions. The longevity will depend on the conditions in the storage as well as the composition of the poultry feed.
The local climate will also play a key role in determining the life-span of your poultry feed. This is especially so when it comes to the temperature and the relative humidity of the local area and the housing.
Even with an excellent food storage system, food should only be stored for a short duration of time. The ideal timeframe should be two months after the date of manufacture. By reducing the storage time, you can ensure a faster turnover thereby cutting down on the inventory costs while giving your flock fresh and high quality poultry feed.
When storing the poultry feed, you should be wary of the exposure to the sunshine. Radiation from the sun can degrade the quality of the feed through the effect of the greenhouse gases. Overheating may also negatively impact the nutritional content of the food leading to the breaking down and degradation of the proteins or the fats being rancid. Use housing material such as iron sheets that will reflect back most of the heat and radiation thus helping preserve a cool and dry environment inside the poultry feed storage area.
In very hot climates, it is advisable to use insulated bins for poultry feed storage so as to help keep cool and stable temperatures inside the poultry feed storage bin. Another advantage of insulated bins is that they can help reduce or entirely prevent condensation at night when the temperatures fall. Condensation creates humid conditions and is likely to lead to the growth of mold on top of the layers of poultry feed.
Improving your broiler feed efficiency will inevitably lead to an improvement in the profitability of your poultry production enterprise. Currently, most of the measures aimed at boosting the productivity of poultry farming enterprises mainly focus on creating the balance in feed ratio between the amino acids and energy and by boosting the digestibility of the nutrients in the poultry feed through other means.
However, there are ways in which the feed efficiency can be improved even after the feed has been processed and delivered to the poultry farm. Here are some ways to ensure that your broilers get the most out of their poultry feed:-
Invest in Excellent Storage
Molds and mycotoxins are the single biggest causes of feed losses. They deplete valuable nutrients and may even harbor harmful toxins that may pass down to humans. Moldy food is not just toxic but also unpalatable for the chickens and this is going to have an impact on feed consumption and conversion.
Mold growth will ocvcur mostly in climates that are warm and humid. While you can add mold inhibitors and mycotoxin binders to the poultry feed to control the growth of mold, it is usually not enough. You have to take it a step further. Make sure you inspect and thoroughly clean the silos where the poultry feed is kept. Even empty silos might have some hotspots where the mould is more likely to bloom and these must be cleaned thoroughly and treated with fungicides.
Using Feeders that Don’t Waste Food
Even in cases where you might be giving your chickens the best quality food, feed losses may still occur due to the type of feeders that you are using. If you are using poorly designed feeders, you are likely to grapple with lots of spillage that will lead to significant losses.
Invest in good feeders that minimize the losses as much as possible. Don’t scrimp on poultry feeders only to incur long term costs through poultry feed wastage. The poultry feeders should also be well managed. Make sure that they are placed optimally where the chickens can easily access the feeds, clean them regularly and supply a good number of them so that they are enough for the birds to limit overcrowding during feeding.
Another thing that will enhance the feed conversion efficiency is the close placement of drinkers close to the feeders. However, the drinkers shouldn’t be too close that they cause the spoilage of food.
Lighting is one of the key factors in poultry feed conversion efficiency. Don’t provide constant lighting. In an environment of constant lighting provision, the chickens tend to over-consume the feed. You have to provide your poultry with optimal lighting in their sheds for the best feed digestibility.
Remember that you are already feeding the birds at the level of their genetic potential so an over-consumption of food is simply wastage as the feed has less time to interact with the digestive enzymes in the chicken’s digestive tract. This will in turn result in the reduction of the poultry feed digestibility.
One technique that is recommended by many poultry experts is a lights on-lights off program if the chicken are feeding at night. This can take the format of 1 hour of light and 1 hour of darkness. This model allows the chickens to fully digest the feed they have consumed while they are resting. This also helps improve the feed efficiency as the birds will not be walking about all day. During the light hours, the birds also have the time to refill. With this system, however, you need sufficient space that will allow the birds to feed simultaneously. This will need careful placement and feeder management in the poultry house.
Avoid a Heavy Body Mass as Birds Approach Market Age
If you are part of a contract poultry farming venture, then you have to feed your poultry to the very end according to the guidelines laid out in your contract. However, if you are raising poultry for the open market, then you have a little leeway in how you are going to feed your poultry.
The feed efficiency generally gets worse as the birds grow older because they have a bigger body mass to maintain and they will need to take in more energy and amino acids. So you need to find the minimum weight for your market birds that is acceptable in order for you to boost the feed efficiency of your poultry. You can for example, look at the cost per weight gain.