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Livestock farming is the rearing of animals for food and for other human uses. The word ‘Livestock’ applies primarily to cattle or dairy cows, chickens, goats, pigs, horses and sheep. Today, even animals like donkeys, mules, rabbits and insects such as bees are being raised as part of livestock farming. The usefulness of livestock organs in medicines like insulin has been understood only recently. Nevertheless, livestock farms have been benefiting us in many ways for ages – they provide us with eggs, honey, meat, milk, etc. The skins or hides and even hair of these animals have been used to make blankets, clothing, shoes and the like. The hoofs and horns of these farm animals have been used to make common items like buttons and combs.
Livestock farming or animal husbandry is simply the process of breeding animals for consumption purpose. But in this article, we will be looking at the profit or business side of livestock farming. Commercial is lucrative and we cannot overlook the potential of earning huge profits from any aspect of livestock production. For instance, in layers and egg production researchers have discovered that the quantity of poultry egg produced globally is yet to meet the demand of consumers, hence the need for more eggs (which you can take advantage of).
Another example is animal milk production. People drink milk to nourish their body for improved body function. However, the global demand for milk is higher than the current supply. So there is a need for additional production of animal milk to meet the demands of consumers. It is a known fact that as long as humans exist, there will always be need for food and the two major sources of food for mankind are crops and animals. Over the years, livestock farming has received much attention, and it is now considered important since it is the only aspect of agriculture that guarantees provision of meat (animal protein). There are great benefits in investing into this particular aspect of agriculture. Livestock farming is one of the most profitable businesses in the agriculture or agro-allied industry. But most people shy away from this business because it is capital and labour intensive. However, if you are interested in rearing animals for profits, then below are seven livestock farming businesses you can start that can fetch you good money.
1.Poultry farming
2.Pig farming
3.Fish farming
4.Snail farming
5.Cattle farming
6.Goat farming
7.Rabbit farming
Basic Needs Of Livestock Farming Business
1.Capital: Capital is one of the most important factors of production known to man. Capital is needed to set up an animal production and processing farm and capital is needed to sustain productivity. Either you getting started on a small scale or go in large scale of animal production, you will need capital.
2.Land: No agribusiness done on papers. Based on your target and area of focus in livestock farming, you will need land to set up your farm house. At times, it might be an acre of land, plots of land or just your backyard.
3.Training: Adequate training is the key to success in livestock business. For you to be successful in livestock farming, you must be thirsty for knowledge and information. Since you can never have or know all the trade secrets at the very beginning, it is always advisable to have genuine training on animal husbandry before you start investing . There are various Government agricultural establishments or private institutions that provide training on various types of livestock farming.
4. Dedication: No business is guaranteed to be successful, livestock farming included, without a total dedication of the owner. A livestock farmer must be dedicated and hardworking to make his vision come true.
5. Discipline: Discipline is a fundamental element in obtaining goals, dreams and desires. Discipline is what keeps us going when times are tough and not going our way. It makes the bad times easier to get through. We must constantly practice, repeat, and believe in our purpose.
Factors Affecting Livestock Farming Business
Financial Inadequacies/Low Capital: To set up a thriving livestock farming business, you need adequate capital. Capital is one of the major challenges facing the animal production and processing industries. Livestock farming is a capital intensive business which might not be easy to set up for any small or low income earner. Financial inadequacies have led to slow growing animal industries or even destroyed animal production industries. A farmer who loves to start a livestock business and animal processing has to find other sources such as loan and farm grants. If you are starting out small you can begin from your home if you have space and expand when you are able to acquire more land.
Livestock Diseases and Pest Infestation: Livestock diseases remain one of the constraints that hinder the growth of animal production. Livestock diseases always affect animal products and hence this has reduced the productivity in the industry. Livestock farming industries have many viral infections such as Newcastle and Gumboro in poultry farming, cracked head and fin rots in fish farming, Brucellosis in sheep and goats farming and many others have a vital impact on animal production markets which has led to losing of huge amount of money. Prospective farmers are encouraged to know much about proper vaccines applications and best farm management methods. Always seek the services of a livestock specialist before and during management of the farm.
Market and Storage Amenities: Market and storage facilities is one of the problems that hinder the progress of agribusiness . Since most of the animal products are perishable products that expire within a short period of time, there should be ways of storing the products before they arrive at the market. This will prevent farmers from losing their livestock which at most times, results in low profits. One of the ways to avoid this and to have maximum animal productivity is to provide for storage facilities such as deep freezers and other use of preservation.
Transportation: Transportation is very significant and one of the key elements to the development of any industry. Lack of access to good roads to farms and from farms to the market hinders the development of the animal production industry. The movement of animal products from production to sales points requires good transport networks that are either not available or in very bad shape. Farmers are therefore advised to have their farms close to markets.
Animal Nutrition and Feed Supplies: 70 – 80% of the livestock farming expenses goes into animal nutrition and feed supplies. The provision of feed that is adequate both in quality and quantity and accessible to animals all year round is the most outstanding problem of livestock production due to the scarcity and high cost of animal feeds. Since the reasons for going into animal production is to make profit, you need to acquire feed at the lowest possible cost. To minimize the cost of feeds and to increase profits, farmers are advised to learn the on-farm or self-feed formulation and production.
Farmers are encouraged to do a proper market research of their markets and discover the potentials before starting livestock business. A through feasibility study must be carried out before commencing.
John F Fowler is a business consultant, entrepreneur and youth entrepreneurship development trainer. He has produced books on various SME business start-ups . For business advice contact him on info@startabusiness.com.ng , www.startabusiness.com.ng, whatsapp +234 802 325 4577.
Monday December 4, 2017.

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