Feed formulation is the process of quantifying the amounts of feed ingredients that need to be combined to form a single uniform diet for livestock to supply all of their nutrient requirements.
Most livestock farmers have one major goal in mind, and that is raising healthy and fat livestock.
Yes, livestock farmers want their herds to be fat so that they can be attractive to buyers as most livestock are sold based on their weights and how healthy they look. For the animals to be healthy, they must feed on good foods made with the right ingredients like whole wheat, bone meal, palm kernel cake, oyster shells and a lot of other ingredients.
There is an increasing number of investors in the livestock farming business and it gives room for livestock feed production to boom.
This is a business that can give an attractive return on investments for a very long time and since it’s not a highly competitive business, I recommend you to give it serious consideration. Livestock feed production can be started on a very small scale (as small as 20 bags) so limited capital is not a challenge.
The livestock feed production industry has been largely promoted as one of the most profitable agribusinesses to venture into. This is because the producer does not undergo the risk and high costs of raising farm animals, which could usually cost a lot of money to run, probably get sick, or even worse.
Africa, especially Nigeria, has a major impact in the worldwide production and distribution of livestock feed. In 2016 for instance, the Nigerian animal feed sector was rated the 40th largest in the world, which is 11 steps ahead of its position in the previous years.
This shows that Nigerian farmers are quickly getting involved in the sector, because of the opportunities that abound in it.
About 1 billion tonnes of animal feed is sold worldwide, whereas Nigeria alone was estimated to have produced approximately 3.8 million metric tons of animal feed in 2014 alone.
The Nigerian Institute of Animal Science statistics also shows that Nigeria hit 5.3 million metric tonnes (MT) of animal feed in 2015, as it produced 3.2 million metric tonnes (MMT) of egg, 1.1 million metric tonnes (MMT) of chicken meat, 647,750 metric tonnes of aquaculture, 265,000 metric tonnes of pork, 53,000 metric tonnes of milk, and 41,250 metric tonnes of beef, amongst others.
This figure has grown steadily over the years, with the country experiencing leaps in the worldwide ranking of livestock feed producers, especially in the area of fish farming (aquaculture). With the above figure you will be convinced to venture into this Agro business but you need training to make it in this business.
Business Opportunities Available In Livestock Feed Production In Nigeria
• Chicken Feed Production (Poultry)
• Fish Food Production:
• Pig Feed Production
• Goat Feed Production
• Cattle Feed Production
• Dog Food Production
Five Steps To Starting A Livestock Feed Production Business
Feed Formulation-: First, you have to come up with a formula. This would depend on the livestock category you want to produce for.
Of course, the formula for chicken feed would be different from fish feed. To come up with a good formula, you should learn about the nutritional requirements of the category of animals you want to produce for.
Purchase of ingredients-: When you have come up with the right feed formula you can start purchasing ingredients based on what you would need.
Some popular ingredients are maize, corn and cassava grits for energy, wheat offal as a source of protein, noodle wastes for carbohydrate and proteins, soybean meal, fish meals palm kernel cake, oyster shells, bone meals, minerals and common salt.
Purchase of Equipment-: Some of the equipment that you would need include grinders(wet and dry), Mixers (Wet/ dry), Pelleters, Steam boiler, cooker, freezer, crumbler, elevators, conveyors, sifter, weighing scales, sealers and bag sewers and packaging bag.
This is just to give you an idea of some of the commonly used machines in livestock feed production but the specific equipment that you would need would depend on the type of feeds you want to produce. You can buy or lease equipment depending on your capacity.
Packaging-: The next thing to think about is how to package your manufactured feed.
The best guide is to look at your competitors and other popular feeds that livestock farmers buy more and then look at the packaging sizes that they use.
Your customers would want sizes that are sufficient to feed their herds for a specific period of time and would also be affordable.
It is best to have different sizes-; the really small sizes for people who want a test sample, medium sizes for people who cannot afford very big bags and lastly, the big bags for people who need to stock up on a lot of feed.
Marketing-: This is the part that a lot of new investors find very challenging. Don’t worry, I will show you three easy ways to market your livestock feed especially as a beginner.
For you to make fortune from feed formulation business and have your own market share from Nigerian growing livestock business you need to be trained because feed formulation is both a science and an art, requiring knowledge of feed and livestock, and some patience and innovation. Typical formulations indicate the amounts of each ingredient that should be included in the diet, and then provide the concentration of nutrients (composition) in the diet.
Join livestock feed formulation business training with Dr. Ndams Samuel, Animal Production Specialist And Agbaji Chinedu (Gmon) Agribusiness Consultant.