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Saturday, 15 June 2013 00:00
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Poultry processing business

Poultry is the second most widely eaten meat in the world, accounting for about 30% of meat production worldwide after beef at about 38%. This days and time, health practitioners advice people to take more of white meat than red meats.

The good of it is that it is low in sodium; it is also a good source of vit.B6 and phosphorus. It is also a very good source of protein, niacin and selenium. The bad of it, though is that the skin is very high in cholesterol.

In a more advance stage, the poultry processing business has become increasingly automated, machines are used for slaughter, peeling, dicing and packaging but like I have always said, this section deals with the smaller version of every big thing.

 It has become a trend that you get your chicken slaughtered at the same spot it is bought, and Nigerians, who are quick join a business trend, are making money from this business. It used to be the Northerners who did the slaughtering business. When I was young, I still remember we buy our fowl at a spot and still have to search for some other place where the slaughter is to be done.

This days, the story is different, not only has the business stopped being a ‘Northerner’s trade’, it has also become a one spot thing. The fact that big industries now does this and with machines too does not mean people don’t patronise the local traders. In my research, this local traders are patronised more, big companies most time, produce and supply it out.

Therefore, the market for the locals remain wide. Getting your live chicken, having it slaughtered and dressed at the same spot makes your cooking faster, stress free and time saving. To have a poultry processing business; you need a cutter, trimmer and packer. One person can function in all three departments for a start. You also need a cage where the fowls are displayed. You would probably need a store house where you can pack the fowl at the end of each day.

 You need a stove or gas- anything that can give you a constant supply of boiling water. A table and instruments for cutting. You would also need nylons for packaging.

This business has certain risk hazards involved , it is a repetitive work and the business is notorious for its high rate of repetitive injuries. Extra care have to be taken because of the hot water and cutting involved in the business. While the industry employs a large proportion of low wageworkers, it needs skilled personnel to avoid constant occurrence of accidents. There are also several diseases that can affect the birds; fowl pox, Newcastle disease, infectious bronchitis, quail bronchitis and many others. But good management and sanitation goes a long way to prevent this disease and quick detection helps you stop it from spreading.

The market for this business is a universal one and more poultry processors are needed.
However, why do people go into this business at all considering all the risk involved? Mrs. Nike Ayoola, who is a popular chicken trader at Kolignton bus stop, Agbado Ijaye, said the reason she is into chicken trade is because she loves it and to her including the processing stage was something natural. She didn’t see how you could be selling fowls and not involve the slaughter aspect, it is an added income. To start this business, you get already grown chickens.

According to her, you can start with; you need a cage, a stove, 60,000 naira to get at least; 30layers, 10 bidder, 20 cockrels, 20 boiler for a start. You could also get the local hens too, but we don’t sell that here. The layers and bidders lay eggs which we sell too.
The hens die at times due to heat in their store house, but there is a way we spread the expenses of the dead ones on the living ones. Even this morning, five died due to heat.

We are conscious, though of making their store clean, because the dirt can affect them. We make our fowls food our self and that reduces our overhead expenses. The season for this business is festive periods and weekends, we make more sales then at even costlier price.

 A fowl can go for as low as 1000 naira at times and as high as 2,500 or more. The slaughtering goes for a 100 naira. In a month, especially a festive month there could be a gain of more than 150,000naira from the 60,000 naira initial investment. Concerning the risk and hazards involved in the business, she has this to say “This business is a very good one, and I would not choose any other above it.

There is no business that doesn’t have its downside, when it takes you down, you rise again”.

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