How to start a layers egg business in Zimbabwe

How to start a layers egg business in Zimbabwe

This article will explain how to start a layers egg farming business in Zimbabwe, and the business plan. Before you start an egg laying business, you have to decide how many layers you want to keep, where you are going keep them, and your target market. The number of birds you keep will depend on the amount of land and capital you have, and also the size of your target market. You should always carry out a feasibility study, market research and write a business plan before you venture into any business. Do not make the mistake of starting a layers chicken egg farming business or any other business just because someone is doing it and he/she says it’s profitable.

What you need:


This is a very important factor to consider. It will determine whether you succeed or not in the layer business.  The kind of housing you need and the size of the land will depend on the size of your layer project. An ideal poultry farm should be sited where there’s a large availability of cheap land and at the same time should be close to your market. Chicken layers cannot adjust well to temperature extremes, so it is very important that chickens be housed, cared and provided with an environment that will enable them to maintain their thermal balance. The right housing should have proper ventilation and the right lighting. Ventilation is necessary so that adequate air exchange can take place. Lighting stimulates hens to lay eggs. If you want to produce eggs year-round, you will need to install adequate lighting in your facility.

Layers need a certain minimum space and convenient place to grow well, otherwise if the space is not enough they may suffocate to death, which will be a great loss to your business. You should allow at least 0.15 square metres per bird, which may be covered with clean straw, wood shavings, or sawdust. Your housing can be barns, layer cages, chicken runs or hutches. The cost of construction depends on the size. You should have equipment including feeders, drinkers, lighting system and waste disposal system. You will also need chicken layer nests for the layers to lay eggs. If you purchase layer cages as housing for your layers, the layer cages will already have the laying nests, feeders etc.


Chicken Layers start to lay eggs at about 19 weeks of age. You can buy layer chicks and feed them till they are 19 weeks, or the more popular option of buying them when they are at the point of lay i.e. at 19 weeks of age. It is very important to buy high quality point of layer chicks, which are vaccinated; otherwise your layers will have a low rate of egg production and a high mortality rate.  It is recommended to buy layers from well established companies like Novatek and Irvines.


It is very important to give the layers the right feeds, and the right quantities, so that they grow well and have a high egg production rate. The type of feeds you choose will determine the success of your business. It is recommended to use the feeds which are sold by the company where you bought the point of lay chickens from. You will have to feed the birds according to the specific instructions on the packet of the feed. The type of feed also depends on the housing, season and age of the layers.


The number of staff you will need depends on the size of your poultry project.  If you are keeping 50 birds at the back of your house you may not need an employee as you and your family will take care of the birds. On the other hand, if you have a poultry farm you will need dedicated staff to look after the birds, and to manage the business. You need good management skills and technical knowledge of layer rearing techniques if you want to be profitable. Do your research, and train those who are working for you.


The amount of capital you need will depend on the scale of your project, location of your farm, and the type of management technology you are using. A small scale being production being run behind your house will require less money than a medium to high scale layers business.


Before you start the egg laying business, you should define the market you are targeting. For small scale production, you can sell to those in your neighborhood, by simply putting a “Eggs for Sale” sign at your gate. For medium to large scale production you can supply to supermarkets, tuckshops, schools, vendors etc. If you have good networking skills it will be very easy for you to market your eggs.


For the business plan, go to

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