Pig farming is a business anyone interested in agriculture should consider because pig meat (pork) is one of the most produced animal meat in the world. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 38% of the meat protein consumed in the world is pork. Pork is the most abundantly produced and consumed animal meat in the world. This global consumption of pork means you can start your pig farming business and export pork to the world. You can even start by exporting it to nearby Benin republic, the love for pork in that country is incredible!
Another strong reason for considering pig farming is because a pig can give birth to 6 to 12 piglets at once while being pregnant for only 4 months. This means that one pig can conceive twice in one year and give birth to 12 to 24 piglets. It also takes just 6 to 8 months for a pig to mature and reach market weight. So, if a pig gets pregnant in January and gives birth in May, by December the piglets will be ready for either sales or consumption. This makes pig farming a very commercially viable and profitable business. Also, there are many scientific benefits of eating pork meat making it a delicacy for millions of people.
If you’re interested in pig farming, there are certain key things you need to know and put in place in order to be successful. These things are:
- Breeds for Pig Farming
The most common pig breeds for commercial pig production are the Yorkshire, Landrace, Hampshire, Duroc, and Tibetan, Tamworth and Meishan breeds and their crosses. These breeds produce lean meat combined with efficient feed conversion (3 kg of good feed is needed to produce 1 kg of pork). A very good breed for pig farming is Large White.
- Start-up Cost of Pig Farming
The major expenditure of pig farming is in the construction of their pens (housing) and buying the pigs (weaners). A pig pen is an enclosure that houses pigs. It is also called or known as a Sty. A pig pen that can house 10 pigs can be constructed for about N80, 000. The different types of pig pen used for pig farming are:
- Breeding Pen: This is the pen where mature male and female pigs are kept for mating purposes.
- Farrowing Pen: This is the pen where pregnant and nursing female pigs (Sows) are kept. It is like the maternity ward for pigs.
- Weaner Pen: This is the pen where baby pigs (piglets) are taken to when they become 2 months old. This is the pen where the piglets are introduced to solid food after feeding exclusively on breast milk for the first 2 months of their life
- Grower Pen: This is the pen where pigs are kept for intensive feeding necessary for rapid growth.
- Finisher Pen: This is the pen where pigs are kept when they’ve reached maturity (8 to 9 months old) and are ready to be sold or slaughtered.
Running Costs of Pig Farming
Pigs are very rugged animals and they rarely fall sick. The only thing that can make your pigs fall sick is poor hygiene in the pens. Keeping the pens clean, giving them quality feed and clean water and deworming them regularly will make your pigs very healthy and free from illness. The major activities involved in running pig farming are:
- Feeding: New born piglets need a diet which is very rich in Colostrum and they get this from their mother’s milk. After 8 weeks piglets should stop drinking their mother’s milk and start eating solid food called Piglet or Weaner Mash. They eat this type of food for 2 months after which they switch to eating Pig Mash until they are matured. The cost of feeding 10 pigs from when they stop drinking milk to maturity (a period of 5 months) is about N50, 000. You can keep your feeding costs down by manufacturing or compounding the feeds you give your pigs.
- Regular Cleaning: The pigs and the pen should be cleaned every day with a disinfectant solution to kill all germs and bacteria in the pen.
This will reduce the rate of disease outbreaks on the farm. It is advisable to minimize as much as possible the contact between the older pigs and the younger pigs. The older pigs have a better immune system than the younger pigs. Mixing them together or letting them interact can cause transference of disease from the older pigs to the younger pigs that have a poorer immune system due to their age and development. Raising pigs generates odors that people will find offensive. The more pigs you raise, the more odor generated from your farm. Therefore, it is advisable to situate your farm very far from densely populated areas so that your neighbours don’t complain about the odor from your pig farm and even report you to the authorities for being a public nuisance.
- Medication: Anytime you notice the pigs are manifesting symptoms of poor health (constant tiredness, not eating, stooling etc.) always consult a veterinary doctor to carry out accurate diagnosis and treatment of your pigs. However, they are some standard medications you need to administer to your pigs regularly. For instance, at the piglet stage of their development, you must give them iron supplement to boost blood production within them. Piglets can grow faster than the rate their body produces blood to meet their blood requirement. This can lead to iron deficiency anemia in pigs. Iron supplements helps to prevent this from happening.
You can also put a mineral block in the pig pen for the health of the pigs. The mineral block is a hard composite of multivitamins and minerals beneficial to the pig’s health. This block is put in the pig pen and the pigs can eat it compensate for any vitamins and nutrients deficient in their diet. This is a very good practice necessary for preventing disease outbreaks in the pig farm.
When properly done, pig farming in can give you a gross profit margin of over 100%. So, if you are interested in pig farming in and you would like to see all the things you must do and put in place in order to be successful in pig farming in , subscribe today to watch our pig farming tutorial videos and learn the secrets for successful pig farming in .