How To Set Up A Standard Poultry Farm In Nigeria

How To Set Up A Standard Poultry Farm In NigeriaThe main objective of setting standards for the Nigerian Poultry is to set in motion a procedure of providing wholesome Animal products for human consumption. This procedure shall set minimal standards to minimize the potential food safety hazards associated with livestock production and processing. These Standards recognize the major elements in the production process and identify Food Safety objectives for the different activities along the value chain.

The basic principles used in setting these Standards were based on Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Hazard Analysis and Critical Points (HACCP) concept Sanitation Standards Operating Procedure (SSOP) Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

These Standards relate to the requirements for starting a Poultry Farm

Location of Farms and Facilities,  Lay out of Farm and Facilities, Production Process, Equipment and Machinery, Waste Disposal and Management, Water Quality, Other Inputs; Poultry Products Quality, Records

The scope of these standards shall cover procedures, processes and specifications in the Poultry Production and Poultry Feed.

By maintaining the benchmark set below, the Nigerian Poultry Industry shall improve capability of providing Nigerians with safe Poultry products produced in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.


Poultry farming started in Nigeria over five decades ago mainly as back yard enterprises. Over the years, there has been expansion and modernization of facilities and rapid intensification had taken place. Whilst these resulted in better productivity and increased supply of poultry products, it however impacted negatively on the environment and this is due to the fact that corresponding minimum Standard Operating Procedures and controls have not been established for the Industry. The following are minimum standards required for the operation of a Poultry Farm, without prejudice to size of the Farm.


Poultry farms shall be located at least two kilometers (2km) away from residential development and at least two hundred and fifty meters (250m) away from one another in areas where poultry clusters exist.

Applying and enforcing this minimum Standards may require the establishment of dedicated Poultry Production Areas by various levels of Government and approvals shall be required before the commencement of any Poultry project.

The two hundred and fifty meter (250m) space between farms must be left fallow and free of vegetation including crops in order to inhibit rodents and other wildlife activity.

Specific Location for Poultry Breeder Stock

Location of Breeder flocks shall follow the general requirement given for location above but also shall not be located within a poultry cluster (must be located away from poultry activities).

Farm lay-out

All Poultry Farms must have a Distinct perimeter barrier to forestall unauthorized access of animals and humans; Distinct and nominated gates for traffic control;  Foot disinfection dips at all entrances to the farm; The disinfection system for all vehicles entering the Farm Premises; Foot disinfection dips at the entrances of all pens; Cloak room for toileting, washing and cloth change for all workers.

All production pens must be located away from the gates and as far back on the farm land as possible.

Production pens must be at least ten meters apart from each other

On-Farm Feed Mills, Feed and Product stores, Offices, Generators and Water Systems, must be located close to the entrance gate of farm.

Cloak Room must be located close to the entrance gate of the farm.

Deep pits or incinerators for disposal of dead birds must be located at the extreme back of the Farm Land.

Production Process

Production procedures could be very varied depending on the class of birds and size of operation. However, there are critical areas in Poultry operation where minimum standards must be strictly followed in order to produce safe and wholesome Poultry Products for human consumption.

Day old birds must be certified healthy and of highest quality by a registered veterinarian.

Day old and growing birds must go through certified Vaccination regime.

Birds must be fed with the highest quality Feed from day old to cull/cropping.

Feed must not be contaminated with chemicals, microbes nor foreign materials.

Feed must not contain Growth Hormones, Antibiotics or any other drug (except by prescription of a veterinary doctor and withdrawal periods and other safety precautions must be properly defined and observed for the period of medication).

Only Feed Additives such as Enzymes, Acids, Prebiotics and Probiotics etc are allowed in the Feed.

Equipment and Machinery

The quality and level of sophistication of Poultry Equipment vary widely and the choice of equipment used is dependent on the scale of operation. All equipment must be made from water repellant and chemical resistant materials such as hard plastics. All machines must conform to extant safety regulations.

Waste Disposal and Management

There are many Public Health issues attached to solid waste and runoff water from Poultry facilities because of their highly pathogenic nature. They may also contain highly toxic chemicals that are not easily degraded and may contaminate the environment for a long time. Poultry Farm Waste must therefore be carefully handled, contained, processed and stored. Where it is to be transported for disposal or processing, a properly equipped and certified waste transporter must be employed in order to avoid spillage and environmental contamination.

Prior to washing and disinfection of poultry house, litter from deep litter operations, growing pens and broiler houses must be swept, packed, sterilized and moved in an enclosed form.

If Litter shall be used as organic manure it must undergo treatment or dumped in dedicated dump sites approved by Local Government.

If used for feeding ruminants, litter shall not be transported from one poultry farm to another farm.

Droppings from caged layers must be channeled/ transported from each house to a collection point.

Droppings must be contained in a soak away which is evacuated as soon as it is full.

Soak away size must be 103 meter in size for every ten thousand layers on the farm.

Runoff water must not be drained into public water source but contained in a septic tank/soak away system.

All Staff handling manure/droppings shall have the following protective clothing:- Overall, Rain Boots, Gloves, mackintosh Apron and Nose Masks


Water used in poultry production must be clean and potable. It must meet the minimum standards for drinking water, devoid of heavy metals, harmful chemicals and


The quality of persons managing a poultry farm is key to having a successful poultry operation. It is therefore important that the services of the right personnel in terms of level of education, relevant training and experience should be engaged to run the

.All small scale Poultry Farms should engage the services of a Registered Animal Scientist.

All medium to large scale poultry Farms must employ the services of a resident Registered Animal Scientist

Poultry Farm Supervisors and Pen Attendants must have basic training in Animal Husbandry and Production

All farm workers must undergo certified training in relevant areas of poultry management yearly.

All Poultry Farms must engage the services of a consultant veterinarian (DVM)

All Poultry Farms must be registered with the State Ministry of Agriculture and Nigerian Institute of Animal Science.

Poultry Product Quality

Quality refers to inherent properties of products that determine the relative degree of excellence and value. Some properties that have been determined as desired by consumers and processors of poultry meat will include high meat to bone percentage, adequate skin covering, absence of feathers and freedom from discoloration.

For table eggs, it will include, egg size, shell integrity, albumen and Yolk quality. The following specifications are based on industry realities. It is different from an earlier work done by Standards


Four classes of Chicken Meat have been identified as presented as Ready-To-Cook Products in the Nigerian market.

Broiler or Fryer: these are processed chickens (usually less than 10 weeks of age) of either sex, with tender-meat, soft and pliable smooth-textured skin. They have flexible breast bone cartilage.

Roasters: these are processed chickens of either sex (usually 12 to 14 weeks of age). They have soft pliable, smooth-texture skin with soft meat but harder than those of fryers. They also have flexible breast bone cartilage

Hen or Fowl: these are processed adult female chickens (usually more than 10 months of age). The meat is hard and the breast bone cartilage not flexible.

Cock or Roosters: these are processed adult male chickens (usually more than 6 months of age) they have coarse skin toughened and dark meat.


For all these classes of Chicken, the Standards should be as follows:

There shall be no fecal contamination
There shall be no deformities like curved or dented breastfeeding and back bones

There shall be no bruised skin

There shall be no discolored skin

There shall be no feathers on skin

The product shall be free of chemical preservatives or drug residues

The product shall be growth hormone free

The product shall be free of microbial contamination e.g. Campylobacter, Clostridium, Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli

The product shall be clearly and appropriately labeled and tagged.


The following records shall be kept in a poultry farm:

Pen/House Number, Type of birds (e.g. broiler, layers, breeder and cockerel), Breed /source of birds, Stock population, Daily temperature, Date of delivery/age of birds, Transfer date (for layers), Daily feed intake, Brand of feed and date of delivery, Daily mortality, Daily production records, Vaccination records, Average weekly weight gain (broilers), Veterinary Medical Record


Biosecurity is what you do to reduce the chances of a disease being carried onto your farm or to your backyard by people, animal’s equipment or vehicles. Good biosecurity helps keep diseases from spreading to your poultry or birds.

Restrict Access to poultry through the use of fences and enclosures create a barrier between clean areas where the poultry are kept.

Wild Birds resident fowl or migratory birds should not be allowed contact with the poultry flock through the use of screens or overline nets.

New Birds should be separated from the general flock for 7-14days

Practice good sanitation procedures before working with other flocks wash hands, disinfect boots.

Visitors that wish to see poultry should wash their hands, change shoes use footwear provided by the owner such as rubber boots that can be disinfected

Keep the area of the flock clean from trash and garbage.

Clothes and boots should be disinfected upon exiting poultry areas.

Wash hands with soap before and after entering poultry houses.
All equipment used with poultry should be cleaned and disinfected.

Sick or dead chickens must be removed quickly and the community animal health workers or veterinarians should be informed of such
Billness or deaths

Dead birds should be burned and buried.

Egg crates / trays, cages, shovels should not be shared between family and neighbours.

Early reporting of all bird disease is important.


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