Things to Consider When Buying Poultry Equipment
Type of Birds
Every bird is unique in their needs. The type of equipment you would use to rear quail birds is different from those of turkeys or chickens. And of course, you won’t rear a peacock the same way you would rear a chicken. Even chickens have different breeds and each breed has its own unique method of rearing it.
Broilers are raised differently from layers and the equipment used to raise them is different too. So, you see that you first have to give serious consideration to the type and breeds of poultry birds you want to buy before you go ahead to make your purchase.
Area of Specialization
Another factor that you should give consideration to before you buy poultry equipment is your area of poultry specialization. I mentioned in one of my previous articles that poultry farming is a very broad business with several sub-categories; there is meat production and packaging, poultry feed production as well as egg production; all under poultry farming.
Therefore, it is imperative that you have a clear idea of the category of poultry farming that you want to go into. If you want to be hatching your own eggs, you would need the right equipment and of course, if you want to process and package meat, you would need specialized equipment for that. Poultry feed production also has its own unique equipment. Before you start ordering, write your business plan and decide on what you want to achieve and then buy the right equipment to suit your needs.
Another very important factor to consider when buying poultry equipment is the size of your poultry farm. Some poultry tools and equipment are quite small and space is not really a challenge, but other equipment are really big and can take up a whole lot of space. You must be able to determine how much space you have for keeping equipment before you buy them. Look at the product information for dimensions and specifications and then determine if you have enough space for the equipment.
Yet another important thing to take note of is the price. There are lots of things to be bought and saving a couple of dollars on some items is not a bad idea. The best places to compare prices in online. You would find a lot of equipment manufacturers online and once you have looked into their product catalogue and made certain that they have you want, call them up for negotiations.
You don’t have to buy equipment at the prices stated on their website especially if you are just buying in bulk. You can always negotiate and you would be surprised that most suppliers would be willing to offer you further price reductions and discounts if you ask for it.
Custom-made or Ready-Made
What a lot of commercial poultry farmers do is to decide on their needs, draw up some designs and specifications to fulfill their needs and then forward the designs to poultry equipment manufacturers to custom-make the designs to meet with your specifications.
You can adopt this method too and use local welders and equipment manufacturers around you but if you feel that it would be too much stress; then you should opt for ready-made poultry equipment with pre-determined designs and specifications.
You must also consider who and how it would be operated. If you are buying incubation and hatching equipment for instance; you must know how to use it or at least have someone who can operate it for you. You should also consider buying equipment with manuals that would carefully explain how it should be assembled and used.
Some poultry equipment is relatively easy to use while some require a learning curve process. Ensure that the company you are buying from is ready to provide support during the period which you are learning how to use the equipment in order to avoid serious mistakes that can lead to losses.
This is especially important when constructing your poultry housing system. You must consider how waste like poop and chicken droppings or waste feed would be cleaned. This may seem like something that is very easy but practically, it is not. You have to keep the poultry clean in order to keep the birds in good health and keep the farm free from diseases.
But chicken droppings come almost every minute and it’s really hard to keep a poultry farm clean without mechanical assistance. It is therefore important for you to go with the construction pattern with optimal waste management system especially if you don’t have many laborers to help out.
Cash flow is yet another important factor to consider before buying poultry. In the process of managing your poultry farm; you would need constant flow of cash. The birds cannot go hungry or it would affect their growth. They may even start to die.
Therefore, you must always ensure that there is enough money to carry on all operational aspects of the business like electricity, heating and ventilation management, payment of workers, feeding and healthcare. What I am saying in essence is that you shouldn’t buy equipment at the expense of other aspects of farm operation management.
Technology is also very important when buying poultry equipment. As you already know, technology is always evolving and you don’t want to be caught using archaic equipment or buying equipment that other tech-savvy farmers are already moving from. Therefore, you must conduct your research carefully to be sure that you are buying the latest poultry equipment.
Online or Off-Line
Lastly, you have to decide on whether you want to buy on the internet or from local merchants. Each method has its pros and cons. One major disadvantage of buying online is that you don’t get to test what you are buying and you may also have shipping costs added to the costs of product which makes it more expensive to buy online In some cases. Ensure that weigh all the pros and cons before you make your purchase.