Back in 2016, Bill Gates said that if he were a poor person living in a developing country, he’d grow chickens. Chickens can feed your family and chickens can make you a lot of money.
Perhaps that hypothetical Poor Bill would figure out how to pay for the chicks, the feed, and the vaccines to grow those chickens. Poor Bill might even be savvy enough to find a buyer for his first 500 chickens. Then 1,000. Then 10,000. Etc.
Trouble for most farmers is that they can’t afford to feed 500 chicks, or 1,000 or 10,000, and even if they could, they don’t have a way to get those chickens to the city, to the companies that could buy 500 chickens at a time, or 1,000 or 10,000.
This is the premise behind Birdpreneur, a crowdpoultry company in Nigeria that solves both those issues: allowing middle class Nigerians to provide the poultry capital, providing that capital to smallholder poultry farmers who could grow those chickens, and provides access to buyers for the market-ready chickens.
As Michael said in Barcelona (watch the video), chickens can make you a lot of money. How much money? That we’re about to find out.
One pioneering American investor just wired $12,700 to Birdpreneur. That is enough to raise 5,000 chickens. We’ll update this post with pictures of the chicks when they arrive at the farm, and pictures of the chickens as they grow. We’ll post the actual expenses as they accrue and the actual market prices when the chickens are sold. The goal is to show quantitatively how much money can be earned growing chickens in Nigeria, inviting other investors to follow along.
And as chickens are eaten elsewhere, we’ll be doing this in other countries later in 2018, so that we can make “chicken to chicken” comparisons around the developing world.
UPDATE 1 – February 20, 2018
The chicks have arrived. Our 5,000 chicks plus 1,000 paid for by two Nigerian investors. 170 Naira for each chick ($0.47), for a total of 850,000 Naira ($2,355).
We’re also paying for labor and rent, plus vaccinations and chicken feed. More details on those costs in the months ahead.
UPDATE 2 – March 2, 2018
The chicks no longer look like chicks, nor do they look quite like adult chickens.
UPDATE 3 – March 9, 2018
The rainy season is starting in Nigeria, which is the worst time to be a chicken.
UPDATE 4 – March 16, 2018
An infection swept through the flock and 100 of the chickens didn’t survive. The rest are doing fine, continuing to grow like… chickens. 2% mortality is well within the expectations, but Birdpreneur knows how to hedge against mortality, and thus didn’t start with 5,000 chicks, but added an extra 200 to mitigate against loses.
UPDATE 5 – March 22, 2018
Coming up on the end of Week 5. No losses. Bigger chickens. Birdpreneur founder Michael Iyanro posted this short tour of the facility.
Light, fresh air, and space to walk around, all three are a whole lot better than the way nearly all chickens are raised in the United States and Europe.
Stay tuned for further updates and ask your questions below.