Have you decided to learn chicken farming and are interested in where to study it? Poultry farming is one of the most profitable agribusinesses because of its outstanding features. The expansion of commercial chickens and eggs is at an all-time high. But how do you start?
Before jumping on the bandwagon of this business, you need to research first and decide on the best institution or program to study chicken farming. And this article will help you explore different options you have.
Becoming a Member of Specific Associations
For example, you can join the American Association of Poultry Sciences and the National Chicken Council. With these memberships, students can access all kinds of resources on poultry keeping and information on grants and scholarships.
If they don’t know how to access or apply for grants, they can order an essay paper and have their propositions drafted professionally. They can take advantage of the several educational opportunities offered by the association. Also, they’ll interact with other members and get input on poultry keeping best practices.
Joining a Program in a Local Community College
Enroll in a local community college program in your area with courses focused on livestock management or biology. These programs will teach you the scientific and technical aspects of raising and breeding chickens.
Community colleges are usually cheaper than four-year institutions and will have more flexible schedules that may work better for your current obligations. These programs will offer courses on raising chickens and specific classes on preparing chicken for sale.
Besides, they have strong ties to their local communities and may offer courses that address specific area needs.
Undergoing Specialized Training With a Contractor
If you join an existing farm, there may be courses teaching the business model and providing basic training. Train with a poultry rearing contractor that specializes in livestock management. It’s an excellent way to gain hands-on experience.
This approach could also lead to immediate employment for graduates. Contractors would likely prefer to hire those who they have already trained.
Working for an Influential Poultry Association
These are organizations dedicated to promoting the success of chicken farmers via advocacy and educational resources. Working for them offers invaluable experience in this industry. Moreover, they’re connections that could serve you well later on.
If you want to go the more official route, your local poultry association may have guidelines to help you get certified as a poultry farmer. You can contact them via email or on their website.
A lot of grants go to students who want to learn about agriculture. Check with your school’s financial aid office to see if there’s anything that would help pay for your chicken education.
Factors to Consider When Selecting Where to Learn Poultry Keeping
Although most institutions offer similar training, they don’t provide the same experience. Here are some factors that every student must take into consideration before starting a poultry farming course.
It’s important to find a school with a curriculum that matches what you want to get out of your education.
If you plan on starting a commercial egg unit, look for a school specializing in poultry farming. Make sure the curriculum is comprehensive and up-to-date. Chicken farming has changed a lot over the years. You want to know what’s new when it’s time to start your poultry project.
Look for courses that include animal psychology, vegetable science, and soil studies. These might seem like strange things to study as part of a chicken-farming degree, but they all have applications in the real world. They’ll help you stand out when it comes time to look for work after graduating.
It’s worth taking into consideration the experience and qualifications of the tutors. You don’t have to be looking for an experienced farmer.
Many tutors come from other backgrounds and have expertise in veterinary medicine, nutrition, and husbandry or business development. But in all cases, ensure people teaching you have been approved by relevant industry bodies.
Chicken farming is an incredibly hands-on profession. Whatever the size of your operation will be in future years, there’s no substitute for hands-on experience when working with poultry. The chosen college must have excelled in poultry farming for years.
You’re not going to learn a lot if all you do is read textbooks. You’ll need to roll up your sleeves and get dirty. Nothing beats getting your hands dirty when it comes to poultry rearing. A teacher can only do so much at the front of the class, but when you’re working on real-world applications, that’s where things start to click.
Ask each school what teaching methods they use and how often students are expected to engage in hands-on learning as part of their curriculum.
Course Duration and Cost
You may have already got a sense of some schools’ timetables, but it’s important to confirm this with a school you’re considering. Some programs take longer than others because they cover more material.
Sometimes, they teach at different speeds, and this is something you’ll need to factor into your decision-making process. You’ll also want to know how much each program will cost.
You don’t want to start a course and then realize it’s too expensive or lasts too long.
Visit the Schools You Find Appealing
While this isn’t always necessary, it helps get a feel for the school’s vibe before you commit to applying or enrolling. You can ask questions about financial aid, the curriculum, and support services. In addition, students will see whether the school’s programs align with your goals.
Consider Studying From Home
Many people decide that they’d rather study at their own pace, and several online resources will help you do that. If this sounds like a good option, then go for it!
Set up regular check-ins with an advisor or mentor who can help keep you accountable and motivated as you work toward your goal. There are tons of online resources that can help guide you through the process, from books and magazines to YouTube videos and podcasts.
The Bottom Line
There is a lot of interest in poultry farming, and given the proper training, anyone can do it. However, it’s important to find out where to study chicken farming if you want to become an expert. Then, plan your project to reduce the risk of starting something new and failing.
A business takes time and commitment, but you can have a successful, sustainable chicken farming operation with the correct tools and training.
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken Scratch.