How Do I Start Chicken Production In South Africa?

How Do I Start Chicken Production In South Africa?



Traditional free range poultry farm

Where can I get training on poultry farming and the agriculture sector?

For training in poultry production, chickens, ducks, turkeys contact the South African Poultry Association. If you need training in the area of poultry farming contact the South African Poultry Association who offer courses throughout the year.


Feeding poultry

Agricultural Research Council

  • Agricultural Research Council – For training in poultry production, chickens, ducks, turkeys: Agricultural Research Council (ARC) offers a number of courses which include: Poultry production. Contact them here.
  • Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (Livestock) Programme  – Is a research, training and small business programme that addresses the basic issues underlying emerging farming systems and SMME Development in product processing and marketing. They provide guidance in areas small-scale poultry producers. Contact them here.


Free-range chicken farming in South Africa

What regulations do I need to comply with as a poultry farmer?

A start-up must comply with health regulations but does not require a permit or licence to start a poultry production business. These differ from area to area, check regulations in with the local authority or associations in your area.

Other regulations:

1.  Abattoirs for broilers

As the establishment of an abattoir is an expensive and complicated to install. It is best for new members to market and sell their broiler chickens live. Click here to learn more.

2. Transport regulations apply

If you wish to transport slaughtered poultry. You must obtain and study the Meat Safety Act No 40 of 2000 for all the rules. All other regulations including these will be found under the General Regulation of the Public Health Act, 1919. Click here to learn more.

3. Animal welfare is extremely important

It is essential to ensure that birds are well tended to, that cages are not overloaded and high health standards are maintained. A shower and a disinfectant foot bath are a must before anyone is allowed to enter a broiler house.

4. Halaal and Kosher Certification

To obtain certification to sell Halaal and Kosher poultry products, your business has to have official certification from the Beth Din (Kosher) and the South African National Halaal Association to produce and sell products for Kosher and Halaal use. Businesses that produce for these religious entities are evaluated and inspected and impromptu audits take place regularly.

Only four kinds of poultry have been found to be profitable; chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys.

Ducks and geese have a further advantage as their feathers have always been an important by-product of the industry; this additional revenue stream and can mean the difference between success and failure.

4Other Poultry


How to fund your poultry farm

Funding your Chicken Production business

You will need start-up capital to get your chicken farm going. There are various ways that you can acquire funding for your business.

1. Bootstrapping your business

The majority of start-ups are started without capital injection from venture capitalists and angel investors. If you are serious about turning your idea into a reality you are going to have to dip into your own pockets and bootstrap your way to the top.

It isn’t easy, but it can be very rewarding – both personally and financially, as you retain 100 percent of your equity.

Here are 10 Bootstrapping Tips to Help Turn Your Idea Into a Reality.

2. Government funding and grants

There are numerous government funding and grants available, however you must match the criteria in order to qualify.

This comprehensive guide to Government Funding and Grants for Small Businesses gives you an indepth overview of the programmes available.

6Chicken Production Handbook


Chicken Production Handbook Book’ (Afrikaans) is a practical handbook packed with valuable advice on how to start your chicken production venture in South Africa. To buy a copy of ‘Hoenderproduksie-Braaikuikens’ The publisher of the book and DVD, Johan Olivier (Kejafa Knowledge Works).

Next Steps

Now that you know the ins and outs of starting a chicken production your next step is to create a business plan.

Here is a Free Farming Sample Business Plan to get you going.

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  • There are few points to bear in mind. You should take preventive measures to keep the chicks free from the parasites. The accommodation and the ground of nesting have to be healthy. You can think of using additional runs. The prospect will keep insects, germs and parasites at bay. Secondly, the place ought to have a smooth drainage mechanism. Water clogging and jams can create conducive conditions for the multiplication of the disease-causing-germs. The equation is simple to understand. Healthy livestock gives rise to a healthy yield. The latter in turn, is responsible for reaping a rich return. It is not enough that you know how to raise chicken. It is equally crucial that you focus on the bills and bones of healthfulness.

  • John Schemel have an excellent training course for small scale farmers in the poultry sector as well as chicken houses of various sizes

    • Jeffrey