Pig farming is a kind of livestock farming which involves the rearing of pigs. Pigs, if nurtured and reared well, mature for market quicker than most livestock. Their breeding rate (about 10 healthy piglets) also contributes to providing more profit to their farmer.
Pig farming isn’t gross as it’s stereotyped to be. In fact, an emphasis is placed on cleanliness and biosecurity like other livestock farms. Maybe even more than other farms.
Pig farming as you already guessed is the rearing of pigs for commercial purposes.
How Profitable Is Pig Farming?
Pig farming is highly profitable. It however doesn’t have the recognition it deserves in Nigeria. Pig meat (pork) is a good source of animal protein. The nutritional benefits pork is capable of giving trumps over religious biases some people have about it.
How Much Pig Farmers Make
A mature pig can be sold for N35,000-N40,000. The sale of 50 mature pigs for N35,000 would give you 50 × 35,000= N1,750,000. If you raise 200 mature pigs in a year, your return would be 200 × 35,000= 7 million naira.
However, the market-quality of the pigs depends on the quality of the pig’s breed and its overall health.
Demand For Pig Meat
The demand for pig meat (pork) is high in Nigeria but there are few localised sources. About 80% of the pork consumed in Nigeria is imported.
Pork is a major source of animal protein and though there are religious discriminations against pork, the nutritional benefits can not be ignored.
Tips To Set Up Pig Farm
Starting your pig farm can seem a little daunting and confusing at first ’cause where do you start from
Here are some tips you should know before launching your pig farm:
The startup capital is an important component that determines the others. It must be enough to cover vaccination, housing and feed for the pigs.
Free-Range or Intensive:
Pigs can either be reared in a free-range system or an intensive system.
In the free-range system, the pigs are allowed to roam about and graze on a fenced piece of land. In this system, the animals have enough space to themselves and there is less possibility of the spread of diseases.
Shade must be provided in the free-range system to prevent the pigs from getting sunburns and to provide a cool atmosphere for the pigs.
In an intensive system, the pigs are kept in a secured building and their movements are usually limited to the house. The animals might be allowed to roam on fenced grounds and are later returned to the building.
There must be enough space to accommodate the animals in the building to prevent overcrowding.
3. Housing: The house the pigs are kept in must allow enough air in and be cool even in hot periods. This is because pigs are vulnerable to stress from heat. The building should also be spacious enough for the number of pigs accommodated in it.
4. Getting the pigs: When getting the weaners (little pigs), ensure that they are of good genetics and in good health. Although we sometimes go for the cheaper alternative, don’t do that while purchasing the new pigs. Purchase the ones of good quality.
5. Availability of water: The availability of water is a very important factor that determines the proper growth and function of pigs.
On average, a young pig needs about 10 litres of water in a day while an adult pig needs 25-50 litres in a day.
That is a lot of water!
Apart from the nutritional benefits of water, pigs also use water to regulate their body temperature. This is also a reason why they bathe in mud.
There must be a constant supply of water available and a backup reserved water in case the supply of water is cut short.
6. Quality of feed: What kind of feed would you be providing your pigs? The feed must be a balanced diet, providing your swine all the needed nutrition.
7. Marketing: When your pigs are getting mature for the market, find a good market for them and sell at profitable rates.
8. Start small: It is advisable to start small when you’re just beginning. This would enable you to test your knowledge and capability. And it would also shorten the number of possible casualties that may occur due to your experience level. As soon as you get the hang of it, increase the number of weaners the next time.
Startup Cost And Requirements
The cost of starting up a pig farm must be enough to cover the land, housing, the pigs, vaccines, feed and feeding equipment.
Pig Farm Construction
The construction of a pig farm solely depends on whether it’s a free-range or an intensive housing system.
For an intensive housing system, a building with enough ventilation and light would be erected. This building must be able to keep them warm during the cold season and keep them cool during hot seasons.
For a free-range system, the field provided for the pigs to graze and roam on must be fenced to prevent them from wandering till they’re lost. Also, a house must be built to gather the pigs together when it’s dark to protect them from predators and cold.
Light, water and shade must be made available to the pigs in either kind of housing system. Good quality feed and water must also be provided.
The Best Pig Species
The best species of pigs in Nigeria are:
1. Local breeds: They came in different colours: white, black, brown.
Foreign breeds include:
2. Duroc: They are red in colour and are muscular. Also, their growth rate is faster than the other breeds.
3. Hampshire: They are black in colour with a white band around their body. They are also muscular.
4. Landrace: The pigs are white in colour and they have long bodies.
5. Yorkshire: This breed is white in colour and also has long bodies.
Challenges of Pig farming Business
1. Disease and infection: This is a major problem many livestock farmers face. The spread of disease can be prevented by not overcrowding, by vaccinating the pigs and by examining them regularly for signs of an infection.
2. Acquisition of land: Finding land that not only accommodates the pigs well but one that also accommodates their waste products might be hard to find. Also, when choosing a land, consider it’s closeness to markets, access to water and convenient roads.
3. Cost of feed: Pigs feed on several ranges of food: foods humans eat, vegetables, leftovers from restaurants and many other scraps.
4. Startup Capital: Fresh and young entrepreneurs face the problem of low or no startup capital. They may have the idea and knowledge to start a pig farm but the capital is absent.
This challenge can be tackled by saving, investing, receiving a loan, lending from friends and family, selling stuff you don’t need, and many more.
Pig farming is an interesting kind of livestock farming. It is an overlooked business, therefore, there are only a few farms in Nigeria. Even with this, it is consumed significantly in the country.
Pig farming requires time, money and care like other kinds of livestock farming. Like most livestock farms (if not all), pig farming is highly profitable. Gather the necessary knowledge you need to build a successful pig farming business and start building your farm.