Cutting costs and saving on expenses has become almost inevitable for poultry farmers to survive the impact of the Covid pandemic. But even beyond the current situation, it always helps to make more profits. In the years to come, it may be important to focus on these following 5 broad areas in order to save money and increase revenue.
1.Reuse and Recycle
In a farm, there are always items that we consider waste. But what we fail to realize is that some of these can actually be used again for a different purpose. The first thing which comes to mind is the reuse of chicken feed. There is bound to be some amount of chicken feed lying on the poultry floor after feeding sessions. This can be collected and reused as feed for the next day, if floor is clean or used as manure if floor also has droppings. Kitchen food waste from peels of fruits, vegetables and other food items can also be used as chicken feed as it contains good amount of nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins. Empty feed bags can be reused by being cut and stapled to the chick pen walls to block cold winds and rain.
2. Upgrade Equipment Technology
Advancement in technology has given birth to collaboration and automation through machines that can halve your labour investment. For instance, with consumers preferring cage free chickens, egg collection can be done by robotic collectors which use an array of sensors to find and collect eggs without disturbing the chickens. Such kind of one-time investments which can break even and payback within a short time and eliminate labour costs. Smart automated lighting equipment can also help in replicating regular day/night cycle which will result in healthier chickens with increased weight and better profits through higher selling costs. There are new robotic automated devices which can move in between the poultry houses to clean, disinfect, and even turn and aerate the poultry bedding, thus cutting manual labour costs significantly while increasing profits.
3. Buying Right Breeds
This relates to buying breeds of high productivity and good health to avoid problems and extra costs of treatment due to disease. Aseel, Kadaknath and Giriraja breeds of chicken can be bought at the initial stage itself as the chickens reared will be healthy, less affected by disease, having good body weight of more than 1000 grams at 20 weeks and annual egg production more than 100 which will fetch good revenue and savings in treatment costs for medicine. When making the purchase, be sure to take note of vaccinations and health of day old chicks.
Revaluating land taken on rent by considering less expensive spaces for rent can give good savings in troubled times like these when the revenue is less. One can even negotiate with existing owner/s for reduced monthly rentals by explaining and convincing about the current pandemic situation and reduce the fixed costs consequently which may help quite a bit. Negotiating with banks/financing institutions for reducing lending rates or extending loan periods to cut costs can also be looked into.
5.Converting to Solar Power
Electricity costs form a major chunk in fixed monthly costs in a poultry farm. Solar power gives savings in electricity bills and additional revenue by selling back to the power companies. The initial investment cost may look high but it should be seen as a long-term investment with other benefits like depreciation write-off and grants for buying, installing solar equipment from Government agencies and future tax savings which can reduce the overall cost. The payback period can be within 3 to 5 years with zero power bills afterwards.