Is Chicken farming profitable in South Africa?

Learn if chicken farming is profitable in South Africa. Is chicken farming profitable in South Africa? The short answer is yes, it is profitable for chicken farming and is a very successful business. What makes chicken farming profitable? Let’s look at some of the factors that make it lucrative to raise poultry.

It’s important to remember that you need to do it on a big scale to see profits when you do chicken farming in South Africa. Starting with 20 chickens will not help much. While starting small may work in other types of farming such as cattle and pigs, because of the price they sell for, that’s not the case with chickens in South Africa.

From the outset, you should be prepared to go big and that’s how profitable your chicken farm would be in South Africa. This is due to the costs of chicken farming, such as feed, machinery and transport in South Africa, and the imminent disease. You need to plan your farm very well and effectively to get a proper return on investment.

What makes Chicken farming profitable in South Africa?

  1. Chicken farming has a quick turn around – At around 5 to 9 weeks of age, you can lift a chick to the slaughter weight. Between 16 and 21 weeks, hens begin laying eggs and can lay up to 380 eggs a year. This is a very short time for you to wait and start seeing your investment return.
  2. Chickens have high demand in South Africa and the world at large – The poultry industry alone in the US is worth $50 billion, demand for chicken and eggs continues to grow, and over the next three decades it is projected to grow by 24 per cent.
  3. Chicken farming land requirements – Chicken farming does not require a lot of rooms, unlike farming cattle or other livestock, chickens do just well when they are confined in small spaces. You may opt to either do free-range or intensive farming in South Africa.
  4. Chicken farming has a lower barrier to entry – To start with poultry farming in South Africa, you do not need a lot of money; this means it won’t take long to get your return on the initial investment. Chickens grow very rapidly in such a way that in a year you can grow several batches.


Bad farm management is generally the number one reason why many farmers in South Africa report not seeing poultry farming profits. Poor management entails poor sanitation and lack of water and not attending adequately to the symptoms of disease shown by chickens.

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Keith Rainz

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