How to Start a Pig Farm Business
Did you know that a pig can give birth to up to 15 piglets at a time? Pigs are known to be the most reproductive animals in the world and they grow very fast making them the most potent source of meat among various other livestock species. This ...
Did you know that a pig can give birth to up to 15 piglets at a time?
Pigs are known to be the most reproductive animals in the world and they grow very fast making them the most potent source of meat among various other livestock species. This makes pig farming a popular and very lucrative business to start.
Starting and maintaining a pig farm is however not an easy task because, as compared to other animals such as sheep, cattle or even goats, pigs require a high level of maintenance and management because they are highly sensitive animals.
The demand for pork meat is huge in many countries. Therefore, if you can effectively manage a pig farm you are going to yield good returns since the feed-to-meat conversion ratio of pigs is better than in any other livestock.
In this article, we are going to take you step-by-step on how to start, maintain and manage your pig farming business;
Identify and purchase a preferred breed
There are several pig breeds available in the market such as Landrace, Chester White, Poland China, Duroc and Yorkshire. Before making a purchase, you need to do adequate research to make an informed decision on which commercially profitable breed you will purchase for your farm.
Factors to consider include; the feed-to-meat conversion rate, maturity rate, body conformation, resistance to diseases (does it have a sick record in the past) and type of feeds required.
When buying pigs for the first time, you might want to go with someone with experience with pig farming to help you out.
Determine the type of housing
There are two options when it comes to rearing the pigs, that is, intensive range and free-range.
This involves rearing pigs in a closed house system. When constructing a pigsty there are various requirements the farmer should observe.
- Ensure the housing is big enough to accommodate the pig comfortably. Pigs do grow to be huge and long.
- See to it that you separate the feeding area from the resting area. This helps to facilitate easy cleaning. Pigsty should be cleaned at least twice a week.
- Houses should be constructed in a sloping manner. This facilitates easy cleaning of the house while ensuring that water drains away. Stagnant water can cause a risk of infection in pigs.
Finally, the pigsty should be divided into different pens in that you can move the pigs to a different pen with each phase of their growth. Also, ensure that the pigsty is not close to the house, the stench from the pigsty can be very uncomfortable and also, pigs can be very noisy which can be quite disturbing.
This is where pigs are reared in a sizable piece of land and are left to roam freely. With free-range, you need to ensure that your farm has a lot of grass and soil for the pigs’ comfort. Pigs reared on free-range are fed on pasture, damaged feeds, garbage and forage.
Also, on free-range, you should put up strong fences to prevent the pigs from wandering away from the farm. The fences and corner poles need to be dug deep and made strong enough. This is because pigs grow to be strong therefore if the fences are not strong enough, they will break it down. Also, pigs are known to be diggers, therefore you need to ensure that the poles and fences are dug in deep.
As much as the pigs are on free-range, you will also need to up a simple shed to help them shield themselves from adverse weather conditions. The shed does not need to be as advanced and expensive as one on intensive range.
A pig’s health, growth ration and quality of meat is largely dependent on the availability of highly nutritious food. A good animal feed should consist of maize, sorghum, wheat, millet, oats, rice. You also need to add protein supplements and these could comprise oil cakes and meat meals. There are two options when it comes to feeding your pigs. One is that you can either choose to feed your pigs with packaged feeds available at animal feed stores. Or, you could mix their feed using food remnants from the kitchen and damaged feeds from the farm. This method is more cost-effective though you need to be knowledgeable about the ratios and nutrients required.
The advantage of using pre-packaged food is that the nutrients are balanced hence the pig will grow much faster and healthier.
Another important aspect of feeding is water. Pigs consume a lot of water, about 1.5 to 2 gallons of water per day. Therefore, you need to ensure your farm has a steady supply of clean water.
Caring for the pigs
Like all other animals, pigs do need to be taken care of at every stage. The most critical phases are when they are piglets and when they are in their gestation period.
Pigs need to be vaccinated and dewormed as required and their breeding ground kept free from diseases since these are very vulnerable animals especially to diseases such as infections.
If you have successfully managed to rear your pigs to maturity, then this is the final step that you are required to fulfill to complete your pig farming business.
Pork is a product that is high on demand in so many markets and usually fetches good money for farmers. As a pig farmer, there are several market options for you to sell your pigs they include;
- Getting into a contract with restaurants to supply them with pork meat
- Selling to local slaughterhouses
- Selling to local meat processing companies.
- You can also produce bacon and sausage which you will package and sell to supermarkets or at a farmer’s market in your local area.
There are many advantages of starting a pig farm business however the greatest of them all is that, compared to other livestock, pig farming is perhaps the only one that generates great profits to farmers. If you are just starting on this venture, you should seek out relevant training that you could attend to further educate you on the business of rearing and breeding pigs. There is so much more to be learned in this business, helpful tips that could help you scale up your business.