Backyard poultry farming has emerged as a leading business from home for those who have ample outdoor space. Starting and operating a backyard poultry farm can be tedious, but a few simple hacks along the way can make it a well-oiled machine that’s easy to manage. If you’re considering kick-starting a backyard poultry farm, here are six ways you can make overall management easy.
Set Up Well-Defined Processes
A lot of what goes into running a poultry farm is redundant or routine work. Picking eggs, cleaning the coop, replacing water and maintaining hygiene are repetitive tasks that come together as everyday backyard poultry farming activities. The key to executing these tasks effectively is to convert them into well-defined processes. For example, picking eggs involves a lot of care, examination and hygiene. Set up a checklist of tasks that involves accessing the nesting boxes, examining the eggs for cracks/damage, wiping the surface of the eggs, a double-eye check and prompt refrigeration. Breaking down routine tasks into well-defined steps ensures reduced scope for error and also makes execution easy even for someone new on the job.
Choose The Right Chicken Breed
Well begun is half done. This phrase holds good with backyard poultry farming. Before you get started on operations, conduct thorough research on the various poultry breeds that thrive in your climate and region. Needless to say, this study is best done by having a poultry farming expert or veteran by your side. Different poultry breeds have different features, characteristics and profitability. Some chickens are reared for the plentiful eggs they hatch, while others are used for their meat. Ascertain where the chunk of your business lies. Study the market to see more profitable to you in terms of demand – eggs, meat or both. Accordingly, invest in the breed that delivers desired results so you can achieve the numbers you plan on.
Make Safety A Priority
The last thing you want in your backyard coop is for predators to invade your space and create havoc. One small oversight can result in sick/dead chickens and a big financial loss for you to recover from. For this reason, keep up the vigil and make safety a priority. Have more than one person scan your backyard for any possible burrows daily. Check your fence for any breakage or damage that you must promptly fix. You can periodically undertake a DIY fence repair to keep it in top condition at all times. Supervise your chickens ever so often to spot early signs of sickness. Remember, prevention is better than cure. Rather than reeling from losses and/or damage to property, arrest possible signs of danger immediately to make your overall operations easy and error-free. Even if you are in your home, establish a clear line of vision so you can glance at your coop every now and then. Modern homes with floor-to-ceiling-windows allow such visibility easily.
Choose A Walk-In Coop
A chicken coop is central to your poultry farm and overall everyday operations. Choose a coop that is not only comfortable and ideal for your flock but also makes operations and management easier for you. a walk-in coop offers easy human access to clean, change food/water trays and promptly access chickens in case of any distress or emergencies. A walk-in chicken coop is a sure-shot investment if your backyard poultry farm doesn’t rely on mechanization. Choose a coop that offers ample space for your chickens to walk around as they need plenty of exercises to stay healthy. Also, ensure your coop offers just the right amount of sunlight and ventilation to your flock. A well-lit, well-ventilated coop is key to the overall sanctity of your poultry farm.
Backyard poultry farming is a labour-intensive business that involves a lot of manual work. Making this a success requires effective delegation. Onboard a team of workers or family members who can chip in and split tasks such as cleaning, collection of eggs, supervision, feeding the chickens and more. Delegating effectively ensures all jobs can run parallel with ease of traceability of responsibility. Delegating also ensures that the ball is rolling should you have to attend to other personal chores. While an individual must specialize in certain tasks, your team must be adept at undertaking basic operations across the farm ranging from cleaning to feeding and collection of eggs. Having exposure to activities across the spectrum ensures no jobs are missed even if the concerned person is missing.
Don’t Bite More Than You Can Chew
Lastly, it is important to be realistic about your bandwidth, space, knowledge and financial forecasts. Don’t jump the gun by starting with large operations that can be overwhelming for you to manage. Instead, it is always wise to start small. Remember, chickens multiply quickly. And more importantly, you learn something new on the job every day. So, allow yourself to grow gradually and learn on the go by allowing yourself the levy to start small. Few chickens, small coop, small operations – master this before you can shift to larger operations.
We hope the above ideas help you create an error-proof operation cycle in your backyard poultry farm.