Poultry Farming Guides

The Complete Guide to Free Range Chicken Farming in the Philippines

Several articles on this website, as well as our Native Chicken Farming in the Philippines guide cover native chicken farming in the Philippines which is, in general, carried out under free range or semi-free range conditions.

This article takes a closer look at free range chicken farming in the Philippines which can be done with a variety of poultry breeds including native Philippines chickens, non-native breeds, as well as hybrid breeds.

So let’s jump into some of the things you have to keep in mind if you want to successfully do free range chicken farming in the Philippines.

Site Selection for Free Range Chicken Farming in the Philippines

The very first and most important thing to keep in mind is that whether or not you choose a good site for your free range chicken farming venture in the Philippines will have a large impact on the chance of its success.

Many of the requirements are in line with what we have written about in our Native Chicken Farming in the Philippines guide.

For example, the farming site should be flat and should not be in a tough terrain. Also, the site should be shaded with trees as this serves as a windbreaker and also helps protect the poultry from predators.

Separately, the site should be grassy to allow for enough pasture for free range chicken forage. There should be easy access to clean water and electricity as you will need them when maintaining your free range chicken farm in the Philippines.

Finally, the site should be far from roads and train tracks with high traffic to protect the birds from theft and possible spread of diseases.

Ensuring the Chickens Have a Ranging Area

Under a free range model of farming in the Philippines (and around the world), the birds need a ranging area around the house where they can be exposed to sunlight and also forage for their own food in the pasture.

As a rule of thumb, allow for at least one square foot per bird. That said, the larger area you have for the chickens, the better. To protect the birds, the pasture range should be properly fenced off with barbed wire, chicken wire, and a net. Other types of fencing materials such as wooden boards or iron sheets can be used as well.

Besides fencing the area off, make sure that there is proper water distribution throughout the ranging area and pasture area.

Also, if possible, ensure that the pasture area is situated among trees. And, that it is free of chemical agents and chemical fertilizers so as to provide the chickens with a healthier pasture where they can source clean food.

Chicken Housing for Free Range Farming in the Philippines

Just as properly selecting a site and providing enough space for the chickens, providing suitable housing is an important step in setting up your chicken farming enterprise.

Ideally, just like with the outside pasture, you should aim for one square foot per hen as your stock density. However, if you have limited space, two hens per square feet are acceptable as well.

The chicken house should have in-and-out openings on both sides to give the chickens easier access to the outside pasture.

Preferably, it should be elevated, and it must also be well ventilated.

For more details about what makes an ideal chicken house for free range chicken farming in the Philippines, check out our ebook about farming native chicken in the country.

And, if you want to get detailed step-by-step plans for a variety of chicken houses that you can build yourself, check out Building a Chicken Coop, a great ebook full of practical advice by Bill Keene.

Building a Herbal Garden to Support Your Free Range Farming Venture

A herbal garden will be essential in your chicken farming venture – especially if you are planning to undertake organic farming.

The garden will be a great supplement in maintaining the health of your flock. Some of the most common herbs that you will find useful in your free range chicking farming venture in the Philippines include the following:

  • Garlic: It can serve as a natural antibiotic that you can give the chickens by either putting it in the feed or in the water they drink.
  • Chilli: Can be useful for its antiviral and antibiotic effects.
  • Oregano: You can give your free range chickens this if they are suffering from respiratory conditions.
  • Ginger: Similarly to garlic, it can serve as a natural antibiotic.
  • Lemongrass: You can its juice for detoxification.
  • Guava: The leaves of guava plants can be used as an antibiotic.
  • Ipil-Ipil: Can be useful as an anti-parasitic and a de-wormer.

Of course, beside their medicinal value, the herbs can also be used for natural flavoring of chicken feed.

Equipment for Free Range Chicken Farming

Besides just fencing off a range and building a house for the chickens, you will also need to purchase a variety of equipment to support the chicken.

Among other items, you will have to buy drinkers, feeders, brooding equipment, heaters and heating bulbs, and chicken plucker machines.

Bedding / Litter for Free Range Chicken Farming in the Philippines

Bedding (also referred to as litter in its unused state) is material used for the comfort of the hens as well as for hygienical reasons. It is especially important during the brooding stage.

Generally, the bedding (or litter) should be changed on a regular basis with the frequency depending on how heavily it gets contaminated. Usually, it should be changed anywhere between two to three weeks.

One thing to make sure is that the bedding you use in your free range chicken house provides for proper ventilation. Some of the materials that can be used as litter include sawdust, rice straw, and rice hull.Usually, this can be after a duration of two to three weeks.

On a side note, after the bedding has been used, it can be used as a healthy organic manure.

Cleaning & Disinfecting Your Free Range Chicken Farm

Proper cleaning of the house, drinkers, and other equipment is crucial to the biosecurity of a free range chicken farming venture in the Philippines. It will protect your birds from infections and other diseases, and provide for an ideal environment to grow the chickens in.

Some of the steps you can do to ensure the cleanliness of your chicken farm include:

  • Having a foot bath that is at least 4 inches deep where visitors can dip and disinfect their feet before entering the farm
  • Using cleaning materials such as a dustpan, broom, brush, pale, and web broom to clean the farming equipment as well as the range and chicken house regularly
  • Using detergents and disinfecting materials like chlorine and powder soap in addition to the above

Free Range Chickens’ Feeding Requirements

For free range chickens in the Philippines, you will need a feed formulation that roughly consists of:

  • 70% cereal
  • 26% protein (mainly from plants)
  • 4% minerals and vitamins

You can either use commercial feeds or formulate your own free range chicken feeds where you directly control the quality of the ingredients contained in the feeds.

The feed you provide the chickens will also be naturally supplemented by the chickens’ foraging in their pasture.

To learn more about providing chicken with the right feed, get our Native Chicken Farming in the Philippines guide.

Providing Your Chicken with Clean Drinking Water

Just like with humans, clean drinking water is essential for the health of your chicken flock – and subsequently for the success of your free range chicken farm in the Philippines, and everywhere else in the world for that matter.

As one would expect, chickens are unforgiving when deprived of adequate drinking water – and in that state, they rarely hit their peak production capability.

Vaccination of Free Range Chicken in the Philippines

While it may not sound so at first, vaccination is acceptable under free range chicken farming in the Philippines.

In fact, for the best possible health of your chickens and performance of your farm, make sure that your flock has been vaccinated in a timely fashion against all of the possible diseases.

That is because any single disease puts stress on the chicken affected, and in turn, the chicken’s production will be negatively impacted.

To learn more about vaccination and biosecurity of chickens, check our chicken farming guide. And, of course, also consult with your local veterinary officer to find out what vaccines might be mandatory in your area.

Besides vaccines, you can also look at various other preventive medicines for your free range chickens to boost their survivability to the maximum possible extent.

Ensuring You Have Enough Manpower for Your Free Range Chicken Farm

When planning your free range chicken farm in the Philippines, make sure that you either have the time to take care of your farm all by yourself, or that you factor the costs of hiring extra help into your calculations.

The cost of the help will vary quite a lot depending on the region of the Philippines.

Learn More with Our Native Chicken Farming Guide

While the above should provide you with all of the basics necessary for you to start a free range chicken farm, if you are serious about the venture, we recommend you to get our Native Chicken Farming in the Philippines guide which covers all of the topic above in furher details, as well as many other topics.

You can buy it for $9.99 through Gumroad by clicking here.

Posted by poultrymanual in Chicken Farming, Poultry Farming in the Philippines

Pilmico Egg Machines in the Philippines: All You Need to Know About Them

Ever heard of the egg machines in the Philippines? This is not necessarily a machine that produces eggs. Instead, it is a backyard farming starter kit comprising of a cage of ready-to-lay pullets.

The poultry egg machines are distributed by Pilmico which is a subsidiary of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, a company that specializes in livestock feed milling. And, many farmers across the Philippines receive the kit so that they can boost their poultry income and get a commercially viable small-scale poultry farming venture started.

Every egg machine that is distributed to the farmer comes with 48 layers. Besides that, it includes a laying cage for optimal management and performance, as well as one-month’s supply of poultry feeds.

All recipients of the Pilmico egg machines get advance training.

The training covers poultry management and husbandry so that the recipients can take better care of the birds, maximize their yields, and minimize the mortality of the pullets as when introduced into a new environment on their premises.

The poultry rearing training above is provided by professional Pilmico poultry trainers and specialists.

These are point of lay pullets, so, within only a few days, the chicken should start laying eggs and the production levels should be maintained if the provided instructions are followed carefully, and the right poultry husbandry measures are applied.

In no time, with the Pilmico egg machine, you should have enough eggs not only for your home consumption, but also extras that you can sell.

For extra learning materials, make sure to check out our original guides about native chicken farming in the Philippines and layer management.

Going back to the kit, with the right management measures, you can have a laying efficiency of 70%. That means at least 70% of the layers will lay eggs on a daily basis. This will give you a massive egg supply that you can sell for profit.

And, of course, you can save the money you earn for future investments into your poultry venture.

You can use the money to buy feeds for the chicken, as well as to meet any veterinary costs that might arise from your venture.

If raised well, you can expect these birds to continue laying eggs for at least one year. If you keep enough of the profits from that year, you should have enough money to spend on buying pullets for the next growing cycle.

The Goal of the Pilmico “Egg Machines”

Furthermore, with good business acumen, you can even expand the stock from the initial egg machine, and grow your poultry egg production enterprise into a larger business that is producing thousands of eggs per month for the Philippines market.

In fact, that is what Pilmico is trying to achieve with the egg machine project – it is trying to empower the underprivileged farmers in the Philippines to become more efficient, productive, and self-sufficient by empowering them with knowledge and entrepreneurial thinking as applicable to poultry production.

Pilmico is trying to make backyard poultry farming not only more efficient, but also profitable and sustainable.

The project was started over 2 years ago, and to date, it has distributed more than 252 egg machines to hundreds of farmers across the Philippines.

The poultry egg machines are distributed as part of a program called “Mahalin Pagkaing Atin”. And, the aim of Pilmico’s campaign is to promote sustainable agriculture and entrepreneurship by promoting local produce. It aims to give farmers as well as local consumers “pride of product, pride of place” thinking so that they can produce locally and consume locally to boost the local economy.

Apart from the egg machine kits that it distributes to farmers, Pilmico also offers various training and knowledge exchange programs through lectures on animal husbandry as well as animal nutrition in order to help boost farmers’ capacity. There are also branding and micro-financing seminars aimed at helping farmers improve their business skills.

Posted by poultrymanual in Chicken Farming, Poultry Farming in the Philippines

Philippine Poultry Farm Business Plan

One of the things that make poultry farming generally a no-brainer is the fact that chickens are very easy to raise. That does not mean, however, that poultry farming is an easy business. In fact, the main challenge is to scale up the farming venture and make it profitable.

In other words, it is not a big deal raising 5 chickens in your backyard, but raising 10,000 chickens is a whole different ball game. While the former requires just a little attention and some farming skills, the latter requires management skills on top of that.

In this article, we will take you through some basic steps on how you can formulate a poultry farming business plan in the Philippines and start a large-scale profitable poultry farming venture in the country.

The market for poultry meat and eggs is already very competitive as these are at the top of the menu in many Filipino households and many players are already jostling for space. However, there is always some room for an extra player to enter the market and differentiate themselves with their products and brands.

The First Step in Formulating Your Business Plan

The most important step before deciding to venture into poultry farming is deciding on the type of poultry business that you are planning to start in the Philippines.

Do you want to be a contract poultry grower, a free range chicken farmer, a broiler farmer, an organic chicken farmer, a native chicken farmer, a turkey farmer or a duck farmer? Identifying your niche is one of the most important steps to getting started with poultry farming in the Philippines and around the world.

Commercial chicken farming will generally be only successful if you lay out a clear plan on what you plan to achieve and how. Poultry business is vast and there are multiple sectors where you can invest your money and run a profitable enterprise depending on your financial capabilities. These include the following:

  • Starting a hatchery or incubation farm
  • Starting a chicken breeding farm
  • Starting a broiler farm
  • Starting an egg production farm
  • Starting an organic chicken farm
  • Starting a free range chicken farm
  • Starting a chicken abattoir
  • Starting a chicken processing and packaging company

Value Addition in Poultry Farming

Rearing chicken and value addition in poultry farming generally require more significant investments in acquiring the right machinery, technology, building of linkages and marketing. You will need access to land and capital to get your poultry enterprise started.

Another option is to go for contract poultry farming which is also capital-intensive but carries lower risks with a bigger scale as the contract poultry farming companies generally offer growers greater technical support.

In case you decide to start a farm independently, you will need good technical and marketing support as you have to figure out the market and understand its unique needs and requirements before you pump in tens of thousands of dollars.

Part of the technical support and knowledge about the industry involves understanding the regulatory and environmental requirements for setting up a poultry enterprise.

For example, the poultry enterprise must meet the required environmental standards.

Technical support also involves health support.

The chickens must have a good standard of biosecurity. They must be vaccinated well and on time, and given the right feeds and a fresh supply of water.

Choosing the Right Farming System

As mentioned above, it is possible to farm chicken in a wide variety of ways.

The most common are conventional farming systems, but there is a significant niche involving free range and organic poultry farming systems as well.

Part of the decision above will be based on the area you are located in and on how well its needs are met. In other words, when venturing into a poultry farming enterprise, it is important to figure out your niche market that will meet in the interests or demand of your buyers – rather than just basing your business on your preferences.

Once you have a niche market in mind, it is possible to produce quality poultry products that will match the unique need, and that will result in a sustainable business.

Marketing and Advertising

The final step is often the most overlooked one.

While, of course, you have to raise your chicken, you will also need to create a unique selling point and advertise your chickens and chicken products widely in your niche market.

Getting the word around is the surest way to generate demand for your poultry products. Of course, you should make high-quality products that will generate a lot of buzz and word-of-mouth. However, you shuold also look at other, more active, options such as printing and distributing pamphlets, usigin online advertising, or buying a spot on billboards, in newspapers, in radio broadcasts, and at agricultural shows and exhibitions.

For more tips on how to start your poultry business in the Philippines, make sure to check our other articles, as well as our poultry farming guides.

Posted by poultrymanual in Poultry Business, Poultry Farming in the Philippines, 0 comments

The Burning of Chickens in the Philippines in 2017

The main control mechanism adopted by the government of Philippines in stopping the spread of avian influenza was the wholesale destruction of chicken in the affected areas. This generally involved the killing and burning of hundreds of thousands of birds.

One of the worst affected areas was the Pampanga region in the island of Luzon where over 200,000 chickens, turkey and duck were destroyed.

The main goal of the Philippine government was to stop the spread of the bird flu to other farms and regions. The authorities directed their main efforts at killing the bird flu virus at its source in the poultry farms that are situated in Pampanga. After the destruction, the authorities undertook measures aimed at creating a new and healthy environment for poultry farming. It was a long going effort that took several months.

The wholesale destruction of birds in the Pampanga region led to massive losses for the poultry farmers in the region with many facing a bleak future.

Some of the farmers who underwent the losses have been unable to raise new flock once more while others were unable to raise birds for distribution beyond the quarantine area. This meant a loss of market and loss of revenues.

As the bird flu fears spread across the Philippines and in its export destination markets, many people stopped eating chicken altogether and were not able to buy any poultry meat including chicken, duck and turkey meat for a long time. This led to further losses for farmers.

So the battle against bird flu is not just about stopping the spread by destroying affected or exposed chickens; it is also about restoring confidence in the Philippine poultry industry and winning back the customers to begin spending money once more on the country’s poultry products.

Following the drastic losses in the affected regions, the Philippine government pledged to offer farmers compensation for the losses suffered. However, many farmers are skeptical given the low confidence that the populace have in the authorities who have a history of malfeasance. Besides, where is the money going to come from?

Posted by poultrymanual in Poultry Farming in the Philippines, Poultry News, 0 comments

Business Opportunities in the Philippines Poultry Value Chain

The success and profitability of a small scale poultry farming enterprise in the Philippines pretty much depends on the dedication, skill and hard work of the person starting the poultry enterprise. Without the commitment and the willingness to learn and improve constantly, you are going to burn your fingers pretty fast.

All entrepreneurs have a special something that sets them apart from others. It is a strait that is measurable by psychological tests as well as social indices. No matter their industry, people with these traits often succeed beyond imagination. One of the main ingredients of a true entrepreneur is a hunger for success and persistence. They don’t give up and have an eye for efficiency. They will constantly look for numerous ways through which they can skin the cat until they arrive at the right one that will make them a fortune.

When it comes to starting poultry business in the Philippines, you must bring with you the entrepreneur’s mindset: a willingness to take risks, an eye for efficiency in processes and persistence.

Initially, the decision to venture into a poultry business in the Philippines is generally a very personal one. Perhaps you need to try out something new, create a new income stream, solve the food security problem in your backyard and so on.

Most people generally have the idea pretty much figured out and they know what they are going to do. However, some people still have to go through a discovery or exploratory phase with aim of identifying the various business opportunities in the Philippines poultry value chain.

In spite of the rapid expansion in the Philippine poultry industry in the recent years, there is still a gap in production and consumption in poultry meat in the country. Rapid population growth and fast rising incomes means that there is still a huge domestic market for chicken in the country. It also helps that Filipinos love their chicken and this create a massive local poultry demand that any investor can exploit and earn huge profits.

As a poultry investor in the Philippines, you can be a breeder, producer, integrator, input supplier, processor, equipment supplier, service provider and many other roles that will all prove profitable. There are lots of business opportunities that are available in the Philippines poultry value chain that any savvy investor can exploit. Here is a low down on some of these huge opportunities:-

Poultry Feeds Raw Material Supplier: As a farmer, you can grow corn, soya, sunflower or rice etc for sale to the poultry feed manufacturers in the Philippines or to farmers that are mixing their own poultry feeds in their backyards.

As a Breeder: You can run a parent or grandparent farm for particular poultry breeds and brood day old chicks into month old chicks for sale to farmers who fear the risks of chick placement and brooding. The returns for this enterprise are typically huge, especially if you are brooding native chickens or commercial layers.

Become a Contract Farmer in the Philippines: You can join any of the contract poultry farming companies in the Philippines such as SMFI and Vitarich and grow chickens under contract that you will subsequently sell to the contract poultry farming company. As a contract grower, you are also entitled to technical support from the contract farming company among other forms of support.

Make Poultry Feeds: If you have the technical expertise in least cost poultry feed formulation, you can formulate poultry feeds and sell to independent poultry farmers. There is still room for more players in the industry.

Agrovet: You can run an agro-vet supplies and stock various poultry related farm inputs such as vaccines, poultry feeds, feeders, drinkers and many others. This can be a lucrative business in an area with numerous poultry farmers.

Poultry Equipment Suppliers: Buy common and essential poultry equipment in bulk, enjoy advantageous pricing and resell these to the farmers in your locality at a profit. The poultry equipment business is generally a lucrative one. However, it is important to study the market so you can figure out what sells in your locality.

An Abattoir: You can start an abattoir that will safely process chicken from farms before sale for consumers that prefer dressed chickens. This can be a great investment in a locality with many independent growers.

Chicken Transportation: Chicken transportation is generally a headache due to the stress and losses that it inflicts on the flock. You can form a business as a specialized transporter that caters to the poultry farming niche.

Training and Extension Services: If you are qualified in animal science with a specialization in poultry farming, you can organize poultry farming workshops and seminars to equip farmers with relevant skills at a small fee. You can go as far as offering farmers in your locality extension services.

Poultry Housing Solutions Provider: One of the biggest challenges farmers face is how to build an ideal poultry house or coop that will provide an optimal environment for their flock. If you have a specialization in this area, this could be your niche.

Poultry Technology Provider: There are various cutting edge technologies and devices that are used in poultry farming in the Philippines. These range from lighting and ventilation solutions to hatchery, incubation, feed formulation, chicken dressing and other poultry farming processes. Become the one-stop solution for poultry technologies in your locality in the Philippines.

Posted by poultrymanual in Poultry Business, Poultry Farming in the Philippines, 0 comments