One of the ways to make money in the livestock industry, especially in Nigeria, is by selling rams. By starting a ram selling business, you will be able to make cool profits without even owning a big farm. Besides, the return on investment is higher and faster than you could imagine.
While the target consumer or customer for this business is the Muslims, there are non-muslims that like to consume mutton (sheep meat). Moslems slaughter rams during Sallah and other related religious festivals, child naming ceremonies, personal consumptions and some even give rams out as a gift to their family and friends.
So for a country like Nigeria, there is a ready-market for ram. In fact, some people had observed the opportunities and profits in the ram selling business, they started and they are reaping the profits year after year.
One important thing, however, is that there are many things to put into consideration before starting a ram selling enterprise. They include:
- The feasibility and suitability study of the business, which is very important should be carried out. However, if you live where there are fewer Muslims, then prepare to convey your animals to a suitable market where there is high demand during festive periods.
- Ram selling business is a seasonal business in which high sales comes only in Islamic festive periods such as the Eid-El-Fitri (Sallah) and Eid-Ul-Adha.
- All Rams are not of the same morphological characteristics i.e. there are different breeds which ranged from slow-growing to fast-growing breeds; also there are dwarf-type, medium, and moderately tall types. The latter command a higher price than the others.
- Climate and Weather are factors that affect sheep generally and it could be disease incidences such as Kata and other related diseases. So both climate and weather should be considered before starting.
- There is a need to get well-built pens for keeping your stock and it is advised to have one before getting your animal.
How to source for rams to sell
There are two options to get rams to sell to consumers;
- Personally breeding male sheep (rams) and female sheep (ewes) together to produce offspring.
- Buying from producers/breeders stated in the first option
The advantages of being a ram producer/breeder over buying from producers/breeders
- There is no rigorous effort of getting rams to sell prior to the festive season.
- There are ready spaces/pens to keep your animals.
- The source of each animal and age is known.
- Breeders can sell cheaper than those who buy from breeders.
- In situations where there are remnants after sales, it is easier to return them back to the farm until the next festive season.
Advantages of buying from breeders over being a breeder
- It is cheaper to start the business because you won’t be raising animals that attract more costs to produce.
- There is less fear of diseases since you are not keeping for a longer time.
- You can select the animals you want to sell from the breeder’s flock; after all, you will be paying and not for free.
- There is no need to wait for years to get matured rams to sell; since it will take a breeder up to 2-3years to breed a male lamb to a ‘sellable’ size or weight.
- Prospects can select their preferred means of getting rams based on their personal judgment. What is important is having good animals to sell.
The strategies you need to apply in this ram selling business
- Get a good sum of money as a good starting capital.
- Create every means to reduce the cost of production (both cost of purchase and feeding) Read this article for more on how to feed at the lowest cost
- Get a clean and spacious house/pen to keep selected rams to sell.
- Feed them well at least 10 days to taking them to the market.
Now if you’ve already gotten your rams, the next thing is to plan how you will get them to the market. You start this by surveying the physical market to check for potential limitations or competitors. Note, all competitors may not be available at the time of your survey but you can interview people in the marketplace for more useful information.
Start the conveyance of the rams to the market a few days (probably 5 days) to the actual festival day. Set a price based on the animal’s physical look such as attractiveness and weight; also consider your competitors’ selling price(s).
Take along with you substantial forage grasses or legumes and never overfeed your animals when taking them to the market for sales. Just give them a few grasses or legumes but enough water to reduce the accumulation of stress. It is also very important to use a good van that allows enough ventilation. Any van void of this could cause damage or loss, such as mortality due to suffocation.
Please note that you must have a very good and concrete relationship with your supplier as it will give guarantee and favoritism in your subsequent business deals. Also, it makes sourcing for animals easy for you rather than moving from one place to another in search of rams to sell during the festive periods. Most importantly, never dabble into this business without surveying your environment.