Poultry Farming in South Africa

© Chris Daly

The poultry industry of South Africa is of huge importance, both to the economy of commercial concerns as well as supply subsistence farmers and rural communities with a source of quality protein. These entities are geared towards assiting poultry breeders, as well as supplying the poultry market of South Africa with free-range eggs, poultry, quality meat and any items needed to start poultry farming.

SouthAfrica.co.za’s section on poultry farming and production in South Africa - written by industry experts - aims to help new farmers improve their farming methods by supplying information in all 11 South African languages.

Avian Influenza

Avian influenza, also known as bird flu, has turned into one of the world’s greatest disease threats...more

Avian Influenza Management

Highly pathogenic avian influenza is a notifiable disease, so a suspected outbreak must be reported to a state veterinarian as soon as possible....more

Biosecurity in Poultry Production

Biosecurity is seen as the first line of defence in the fight against poultry diseases....more

Breeder Market Poultry

You need to be calculated if you want to make it as a poultry breeder, as the market for commercial lines is dominated by well-established businesses....more

Chicken Breeds

Various chicken breeds are available in South Africa, each with their own unique strengths and weaknesses....more

Chicken Sexing

The most accurate ways of determining the gender of birds is through feather sexing, vent sexing and by waiting and seeing....more

Classification and Packaging of Eggs

Producers have to comply with Regulation no 725 administered under the Agricultural Product Standards Act, Act No 119 of 1990 if they want to sell eggs in South Africa....more

Cooking with Chicken

The great thing about chicken is that almost the whole bird can be used, you can eat the highly nutritious meat and use the leftover bones to make stock....more

Dual Purpose Chicken Breeds

Dual purpose chicken breeds are suited for both egg and meat production, many breeds fall into this category, including Black Australorps, New Hampshire's and White Leghorns....more

Egg Markets

Egg producers may sell their eggs directly from the farm, from door to door or via street hawking, producer markets or retailers....more

Egg Quality Maintenance

The eggs should also be kept at temperatures below 13 degrees Celsius and never be left in the sun or in a room that gets very hot....more

External Parasite Management

Whereas external parasite management might have been neglected in the past, it now forms an essential part in raising happy healthy birds....more

External Parasites and Lice

In the past, farmers might not have been too worried about external parasites, such as lice, mites, ticks, fleas and flies....more

Fleas in Poultry

These biting parasites may be red, brown or black, depending on the species. Adults are 1,5 mm to 4 mm in length, flat and have well developed back legs that allow easy movement on and between hosts....more

Free Range and Organic Poultry Production

At the time of writing South Africa had no legislation governing the labelling of organic or free range poultry products....more

Good Hygiene in Poultry Disease Management

The combination of good hygiene, sanitation and disinfection, is highly efficient in removing disease causing agents from poultry production systems....more

Identifying Poultry Problems - Look

Using basic stockman’s skills and your senses will help you to identify Poultry problems before they get out of control....more

Identifying Poultry Problems - Senses

Besides using your eyes, farmers should use their other senses to identify disease and management problems in Poultry....more

Indigenous Chicken Breeds

Indigenous chicken are generally hardier and better adapted to South African climatic conditions than the commercial breeds, making them better suited for free-range and small-scale production....more

Mites in Poultry

It is more difficult to get rid of mites than lice on poultry, making prevention of this external parasite even more so important. Mites are smaller than lice...more

Newcastle Disease

Newcastle Disease is one of the most dreaded poultry diseases around the world, because there is no cure, suspected outbreaks should be reported as soon as possible to an animal health technician or state vet, who will help to contain the disease....more

Poultry Bedding

Most poultry birds are raised on a layer of bedding spread over the top of the floor. When managed properly, bedding helps to improve bird welfare and health...more

Poultry Climate Control - Temperature

Climatic conditions can have a huge impact on poultry wellbeing and health, especially when birds are kept in housing....more

Poultry Climate Control - Ventilation and Humidity

In addition to keeping chickens at ideal temperatures, ventilation and humidity levels in housing should be controlled....more

Poultry Disease Management

Diseases are one of the biggest threats to poultry production, resulting in large-scale income losses on farms across the world....more

Poultry Feeding Tips

Feeding is one of the greatest expenses of most poultry farmers, sometimes accounting for more than 50% of production costs....more

Poultry Housing Tips

Before starting a poultry operation, consider the municipal by-laws on animal production in your region....more

Poultry Litter Management

Litter that is too dry and dusty will cause dehydration and respiratory problems, while litter that is too wet will promote bacterial and fungal growth and cause excessive ammonia production....more

Poultry Markets

Before starting a chicken venture, you need to think about what and where you are going to sell your produce....more

Poultry Ticks

While chicken may help to keep certain tick species in check on other livestock, such as cattle and around the house, they are susceptible to tampan or fowl ticks....more

Poultry Transportation

To avoid injuries and mortalities, chicken should be kept as comfortable and stress free as possible during transportation....more

Stress Management in Poultry

Chicken may look like rather happy-go-lucky animals, but there is a whole range of factors that may stress them out and render them more susceptible to diseases....more

Vaccination in Poultry Disease Prevention

While vaccination has become one of the most valuable weapons in the poultry farmer’s armour against certain diseases, it is not a foolproof guarantee that birds will not fall ill....more