Most farmers have one important goal in mind: to raise healthy, fat cattle. Yes, farmers want their herds to be fat so they can be attractive to buyers, since most animals are sold based on their weight and healthy appearance. For animals to be healthy, they must be fed good food made with the right ingredients, such as whole wheat, bone meal, palm kernel cake, oyster shells, and many other ingredients.
There are a growing number of investors in the livestock business, allowing the production of livestock feed to grow by leaps and bounds. This is a business that can give an attractive return on investment for a long time and as it is not a highly competitive business, I advise you to consider it seriously. Livestock feed production can be started on a very small scale (as little as 20 bags), so limited capital is not a problem.
Starting a Cattle Feed Production Business
If you don’t have enough money to buy the necessary equipment, this is what you should do. Now, animal feeding is all about the formula: the ingredients that are added to it and the proportion that is used. The ingredient is what makes a good animal feed, so first you have to find a unique formula. Do some research and you will be able to come up with a very good formula.
After you should have obtained your unique formula, then you should look out for animal food producers who have the necessary equipment. I know that many feed producers in Nigeria allow you to rent their machines or produce and package your brand of animal feed for you at a price. Whatever is available and profitable in your country, just go for it.
When you have your feed packaged, then you can start marketing and selling and then keep repeating the cycle until you have raised enough funds to buy the necessary equipment to start your feed production business. Trust me, as long as your feed is good quality and you work hard and stay focused, you will have your own equipment in no time.
If you have enough capital and want to start a cattle feed production business, then these are the steps you need to take:
Steps to Start Livestock Feed Production Business
1. Food Formulation:
First, you have to find a formula. This will depend on the category of livestock you want to produce for. Of course, the formula for feeding chickens would be different from that for fish. To get a good formula, you must learn about the nutritional requirements of the category of animals you want to produce for.
Common nutritional needs are protein, vitamins, fiber and carbohydrates. This is the most important aspect of your feed production business and you should take all the necessary steps to make sure you get it right. One of these steps includes hiring an animal nutritionist to give you a good formula.
2. Buying ingredients:
Once you have found the right formula for your feed, you can start buying ingredients based on what you need. Some popular ingredients are: corn, corn and cassava semolina for energy, wheat offal for protein, waste noodles for carbohydrates and protein, soybean meal, fish meal, palm kernel cake, oyster shells, bone meal, minerals and cooking salt.
3. Purchase of equipment:
Some of the equipment you would need includes crushers (wet and dry), mixers (wet and dry), pelletizers, steam boilers, stoves, freezers, crushers, elevators, conveyors, sifters, weighing scales, sealers, and bag and pouch sewers.
This is just to give you an idea of some of the machines commonly used in cattle feed production, but the specific equipment you would need would depend on the type of food you want to produce. You can buy ready-made equipment or have one made to your specifications.
The next thing to think about is how to package your manufactured food. The best guide is to look at your competitors and other popular foods that farmers buy more and then look at the sizes of the packages they use.
Your customers would want sizes that are sufficient to feed their herds for a specific period of time and that are also affordable. It’s best to have different sizes; really small sizes for people who want a test sample, medium sizes for people who can’t afford very large bags, and finally large bags for people who need to store a lot of food.
This is the part that many new investors find very challenging. Don’t worry, I’ll show you three easy ways to market your cattle feed, especially as a beginner.
- Using sales reps: Believe me, there are many people who are looking for opportunities like this to make some money. What you need to do is introduce attractive commissions that will encourage them to sell more. Don’t reward your sales reps with a fixed salary; this can affect your business because sales reps may not be motivated to work hard and at the end of the day, you still have to pay them. But if you reward them with commissions, they will be encouraged to work harder because they know that their earnings are based on the amount of product they can sell. Just make sure the commissions are reasonable.
- Supply to stores: Another option to consider is selling to cattle feed stores. Look for animal feed or pet supply stores and present them with some free samples that they can sell to their customers and leave their contact information; as long as your product is very good, the farmers who were lucky enough to buy the samples will demand it again and that will force the vendors to call you for a restocking.
- Personal distribution outlet: If your pocket is deep enough, then it won’t hurt to have your own outlet for your brand of cattle feed.
- Selling online: There’s nothing that can’t be sold online these days. I’ve seen people sell vegetables online, so what’s stopping you from promoting, advertising and selling your cattle feed online?