How To Start Ram And Sheep Rearing Business In Nigeria
Sheep and ram rearing business has become very profitable and lucrative in Nigeria. Livestock production is fast becoming a booming agribusiness venture in Nigeria. At this point in time that the federal government o Nigeria has banned the importation of frozen meat, there is no better time to invest your money in livestock farming; especially ram and sheep rearing business in Nigeria.
Sheep production and rearing of rams in Nigeria has lots of moneymaking opportunities that are too attractive to just ignore. In this article, you will be exposed to all the needed guidelines and methods that will help you succeed in ram and sheep rearing business in Nigeria. The ram is the male while the female is called ewe.
Important things to know before starting ram and sheep rearing business
Before you venture or invest your money into ram and sheep farming business in Nigeria, you really need to understand the following:
The different breeds of ram and sheep
You must be able to have background knowledge on the performance of the common ram and sheep breeds in Nigeria. Your understanding of these common breeds will help you make an informed decision on the particular species to rear in your farm.
These common breeds of ram and sheep have been found to perform optimally when bred in the same environment they originated from. This does not mean they that you cannot carry out ram and sheep rearing business in any part of the country. The statement simply implies that you will get the best result when you raise these livestock in their original environment.
The common breeds of ram and sheep include:
- The Yankasa breed: This is the most prominent breed of sheep in Nigeria today. It appears to be a crossbreed between the Uda and the Balami but smaller than them. The Yankasa have patches of black color around their eyes, muscle or legs.
- Uda: This particular sheep breed has very long legs and large in size. It comes in colors of white and black or brown and white.
- Balami sheep breed: Among the different breeds of sheep reared in Nigeria, the Balami is the largest. They come in full white color with long sagging ears. It is mostly found around Maiduguri.
- West African dwarf: This sheep breed can be found within the north central region of Nigeria ( Benue, Kogi, Plateau, and Kwara state)
You cannot venture into ram and sheep rearing business in Nigeria without having good knowledge about the breeding of sheep. All the aforementioned breeds of sheep take between 5 – 6 months to attain full maturity.
It is always advisable that you still rear them for another 6 months before they are taken to the market. For commercial sheep farming in Nigeria, you should rear the farm animals for at least one year so they can accumulate more body mass.
As a farmer or business person going into ram and sheep rearing business in Nigeria, you should know that the gestation period for a ram is between 145 – 147 days. The ewes (female sheep) come into heat every 17 days. The ram should be kept with the ewes at a ratio of 1:39
The Advantages Of Ram And Sheep Rearing Business
There are many benefits of ram and sheep farming business amongst them include:
High growth and maturity rate
It doesn’t take long for a sheep to reproduce, and when it does, it reaches full maturity very fast. After birth, it takes about 5 – 6 months for a sheep to attain maturity. When compared to other farm animals like goat, pig, rabbit, etc, sheep is above when it comes to the rate of maturity.
Highly disease resistant
The risk of disease outbreak is very much reduced in ram and sheep rearing business in Nigeria. This has made ram and sheep farming business to be very profitable in Nigeria. This is because, little amount of money is spent on ram and sheep medication.
Sheep and ram products are generally accepted in Nigeria. There is no culture or religion in Nigeria today that is against the consumption of rams or sheep. For this singular reason, there is an already large market or ram and sheep products in Nigeria.
How To Start Ram And Sheep Rearing Business
Starting your ram and sheep rearing business in Nigeria is not just a stroll in the pack. You must get all your arts right for you to thrive and succeed this livestock business in Nigeria. Before starting your ram and sheep rearing business in Nigeria, you must have done the following:
Get a detailed business plan
There is no commercial business venture that can stand the test of time without a good and detailed business plan. Ram and sheep rearing business is no exception to this important principle guiding business establishment.
The business plan will serve as a guide to you before, and during the course of your business. Without a good business plan, you are simply operating your business blindly and without direction at all.
Source your startup capital
After you have prepared your business plan, it’s now the time to source for funds to start your business. You can meet friends, family members, or even financial institutions for loan to start your ram and sheep rearing business.
Good breeding location
Once the money is available, you then proceed to get a very good farm location to rear your farm animals. The farm location you have chosen must be very comfortable to the farm animals and is easily accessible to customers as well.
The location should have access to clean water, the market and protected from the external environment.
Once the location is acquired, you can then proceed to constructing simple pen houses for the rams and sheep. The house should be built in such a way that the farm animals are protected from direct heat o sun and rain as well as other harmful substances and predators.
You should allow the rams and sheep to come out in the morning to graze and exercise themselves within the farm environment.
Buying the sheep
You can purchase the particular breed of sheep you want to rear in your farm from several northern states in Nigeria. You can buy them yourself by travelling to those locations or through a middleman.
These middlemen have the experience in the business and will help you get the best once you can pay them handsomely. The risk with these middlemen is the fear of them running away with your money. Before you involve a middleman, you must have his/her details and location or base.
Sheep and rams feed on virtually forage, hay, fresh grass, and grains (maize, soybeans, etc). The grains should be grounded for easy digestion. You should also feed with them with fees that are high in protein like legumes.
These farm animals eat an average of 1.5 kg of food on daily basis, and they also drink a lot of water. You must make sure that they always have clean drinking water at all times.
Starting your ram and sheep farming business without a very good marketing strategy to sell your products will reduce your profits. You must create a way to reach and sell to your customers.
No matter how large and big your ram and sheep grows, if you don’t have a good plan on how to sell them, you definitely won’t make money from them at all.
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