This article is a fool-proof guide to how to start cattle -rearing business and make money from it in Nigeria. Cattle-rearing business is a multi-faceted business that yields an array of income lines. This is because every part of the cattle can be turned to cash! Not a surprise there’s a phrase that goes by “cash cow”.
Bar the unending stress, cattle farming, and general livestock rearing are very lucrative. Embarking on this business always seems like a herculean endeavour. However, this article exists to calm your fears and put you through a clear path to success. Usually, successful livestock farmers do not mind the stress at all, it’s worth it!
Things You Should not Bother Yourself With
Is there is a market for me?
You are guaranteed to always have a market in Nigeria. Unlike other races of the world who have different reservations for cattle rearing and subsequent killing for food, Nigerians and Africans love to eat beef. Some peoples of the world are vegetarians, some worship cattle, some make cattle pets (yes, they are cute animals), but be sure that your supply will always meet demand in Nigeria and Africa.
Do I need a Degree in Agriculture or Vet Medicine?
This is not to say no knowledge is required for cattle rearing business in Nigeria. This is to say success can be achieved in this business even when all you have is a few weeks of apprenticeship from an expert. There are several short Cattle-rearing courses one can take online and offline. This is to better equip you with better information on how to handle difficulties, know what to expect at different stages of the business, and how to deal with them.
Must I Create a Special Condition for Cattle Survival?
For local cattle, they are already accustomed to the hot and humid weather conditions in Nigeria. Of course, sufficient shed and proper ventilation MUST be provided for the wellbeing of your cattle. Else, you will find out that your cows will start developing serious respiratory problems. Foreign cattle will have a hard time adjusting to our weather here, but they always eventually cope – under normal and reasonable conditions.
Byproducts of Cattle Rearing
Cash cows, again. Cattle are not meant for just meat. There are several other products one could derive from cattle. Sometimes, if well managed, profit from these byproducts even overshadow meat.
Keratin, a high-value protein derived from cow hooves is used in producing foams for fire extinguishers. Mostly, cow hooves are disposed and discarded but this can be put to good use. Top farmers earn good money from selling cow hooves to processors.
Hide and Skin
Authentic leather is becoming more and more obscene in the world today. This directly affects the prices of designer wears and shoes worldwide. Hides and skin become more and more expensive due to the shortness in supply. To produce premium leather wears, shoes, bags, belts, and other items are in high demand by these world-famous fashion houses. So the world needs your cattle rearing business running in Nigeria.
Cheese is worshipped in the medical world as it helps reduce the risks of heart diseases and heart attacks. It comprises of several vitamins and minerals, most importantly, calcium. Besides, cheese is rich in natural proteins and fat.
Dairy milk comes in abundance to well-fed cows. The overall quality of fresh milk that comes out from well-fed cows cannot be toppled by any synthetic process. This particular byproduct is in special high-demand as a lot of people prefer this natural milk over the processed ones. Brands will come for your products too, you will make extra if you give them the freedom to brand your products as theirs. Just be the farm!
You are surprised? Don’t be. Bones are fast becoming more and more relevant in the contemporary world. Bones are used to making jewelry, plastics, chinaware, flutes, bone meals. Calcium-rich and strong bones will sell way higher than others.
For local farmers who cannot afford mechanised farming, your cattle can be hired to help till the ground and facilitate other on-farm activities which would have been tedious for we weak humans. Just make sure you select your strongest cows. Besides, they love the exercise.
Cow pancreas has elements rich in insulin, so this part of their body is in high-demand. They also have other important organs used in the pharmaceutical industry for the production of vaccines for asthma, fever, and so on.
Imagine. Even their feces is useful. Don’t trash your cattle dung, as they provide a great source of organic manure for rich farm produce. Many countries export this. Your cattle rearing business in Nigeria can go international with the right management.
Step-by-Step Process Flow to Start Your Cattle Business
Draw a detailed business Plan
Growing in a gradual, steady manner is important in this business. Even if you have the means to start from the big stage, I would advise you to start small if you do not plan to have seasoned experts in your full employ. This is because it is relatively easier to manage difficulties and your learning process if you have a small herd. This way, you are not afraid to fail forward.
Know Why you are in Cattle Business
Ask yourself again, why am I doing this? What value do I aim to add by rearing cattle? What is the focus? This could be the most difficult and easiest of your business decisions…so make no mistakes here. Your envisaged end-product will determine your cattle diet, their grooming and other routines.
Get your Capital
This is a vital part of your cattle rearing business. Get your money at hand, to prevent scampering around in order to get things done. For your cattle rearing business in Nigeria, capital of N200k-N500k would be reasonable to start up with, depending on the availability of resources and your taste. One adult cow can be sold for up to N200k. Now, there are easy ways to get quick loans on your phone, don’t let lack of adequate capital stop your dream.
Secure a Good Location
What makes a good location for your cattle business?
- Vast land – to allow your cows to wander freely and happily
- Rich vegetation – for healthy ventilation and good pasture
- Great ventilation – make sure there are no nearby tall buildings that could disrupt cool breeze
- Proximity to the market – for ease of transportation for your cows
- Good source of water – for the cows and pasture
Plan infrastructure and Security
The next step is to do a proper safe house for your cattle. The interior of your house should be cool, at the proper room temperature to shield them against harsh weather. The exterior should have various sheds so that your cattle can rest under them during hot periods of the day. Besides, perform routine snake and rodent repellant exercises to keep fangs and poisons far away. Your facility should have a reasonably high fence with barbed wire installed (not mandatory), to prevent your happy cattle from wandering away. Not only that, petty thieves also pry on well-fed cattle – protect your investment. Definitely something your cattle rearing business in Nigeria needs.
Get the Best Cow Breeds
Getting the right breeds for your farm cannot be overstated. Imagine buying the Keteku breed for dairy production. Wrong breed, imminent failure. Below are the best breeds for the different end-purposes:
For meat production
For dairy production
- Adamawa Gudali
- Sokoto Gudali
You can visit Wikipedia for a long list od cattle breeds, countries and their respective uses (diary or meat)
Get Services of a Veterinarian
To maintain a lean budget for your cattle rearing business in Nigeria, you don’t have to employ a veterinarian full-time. Just contract them on consultation basis and ask the right questions to learn fast. Managing cows can be tricky, they are big mammals and are susceptible to infections just like human beings. Study the cattle’s body language, appetite, discharges, and general health closely. Veterinarians will ensure that you do not cave into the notorious pitfalls of the business.
Common Diseases in Cattle
Heartwater: Heartwater can be treated with Tetracycline. Symptoms of this disease are majorly fever and convulsion, in extreme cases.
Redwater: Symptoms include fever, lack of appetite, red urine, pale eyes, and sometimes nervous signs such as difficulty in walking.
Gall sickness: Spread by blood, the signs of this disease are depression, lack of appetite, fever, pale gums and eyes, as well as constipation.
Ticks: The wounds created by ticks can be further explored by bacteria, fungi, and flies.