Koem Vichet dropped out of his associate degree majoring in IT in Year 2 to set up a Khmer chicken farm in Kampot after noting a growing demand nationwide for poultry products.
The 32-year-old, from Stok Village in Kampot province, said Cambodia is witnessing an increase in demand for poultry products, particularly chicken meat, driven by a rising population and evolving consumer preferences.
This presents a promising opportunity for entrepreneurs who are considering establishing chicken farms. However, he said starting a poultry farm from scratch can be challenging.
“The reason I started a Khmer chicken farm is because I love raising animals and want to supply Khmer chickens to the market rather than import from other countries,” Vichet stated.
“I got the technique of raising chickens from my brother, who has many years of experience in raising and selling chickens”. Vichet told Kiripost that he has now been operating the farm for almost a year.
Planning and Preparation
Vichet said he chose a suitable location for his farm by taking into consideration factors such as accessibility, availability of utilities, and proximity to target markets. In addition, he had to ensure the area was conducive to poultry farming, with proper drainage and sufficient land for future expansion.
He recalled that first he had to prepare the cages to house the chickens. This involved pouring husks, sprinkling lime, and disinfecting inside and outside the cages before introducing the chicks.
After three days, he started vaccinating the chicks in stages. When they reached 21 days old, he taught them to eat natural nutritious food, such as rice, corn, rice, and bran.
To complete the farm, Vichet had to construct appropriate housing facilities for the chickens that provide adequate space, ventilation, and insulation. He also installed feeding and watering systems that are easy to manage and maintain. Additionally, he invested in proper waste management systems to ensure a clean and hygienic environment.
Moreover, he sourced high-quality chicken breeds from reputable suppliers and hatcheries, selecting those that are well-suited to local conditions, have good growth rates, and are resistant to common diseases.
Vichet said, “Developing a well-balanced and nutritious feed plan for my chicken farm is important, as well as consulting with animal nutritionists and poultry experts to formulate a diet that meets the specific nutritional requirements of the chickens at different growth stages.”
He also incorporates locally-sourced feed ingredients to reduce costs and support local agricultural production.
Vichet added that he implements strict biosecurity measures to prevent the introduction and spread of diseases, including controlling access to the farm, disinfection protocols, and regular vaccinations.
Vichet told Kiripost that he invested about $7,000 in the farm. He added that starting a chicken farm requires significant financial investment. The development of a comprehensive business plan is also key that includes projected costs, such as land acquisition, infrastructure development, stock procurement, feed expenses, labor, marketing, and contingency funds.
Local Chicken Farm Challenges
Vichet said his chicken farm faced some challenges when entering the market due to the struggle competing against established brands with greater resources, distribution networks, and better infrastructure.
He added that consumer habits, such as a preference for well-known chicken imports or price considerations, can pose obstacles. Additionally, a lack of networking opportunities further compounds the challenges faced by local chicken farms.
“I would like to say that relevant institutions helping ensure a market for local businesses is a commendable idea and supporting local businesses is crucial for fostering economic growth, creating employment opportunities, and promoting community development. The public should especially support agriculture and animal husbandry to avoid imports from neighboring countries,” he concluded.
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