Pig farming, a branch of animal husbandry, involves the breeding of domestic swine for subsistence or commercial use on a pig farm. Pigs belong to the genus Sus, a part of the even-toed ungulate Suidae family and are indigenous to Africa.
Pig meat (pork) is consumed in many parts of the world especially in Africa, and its high demand makes it very lucrative to startup as a business. As demand exceeds supply, selecting the appropriate breed of pig and building your marketing reach either through local supply or exporting generates a high return on investment (ROI).
The skins of pigs are great by-products used by leather manufacturing industries to produce football, shoes, bags, belts and many other leather products.
Benefits of pig farming
- Pigs are known to be highly prolific in their rate of reproduction. A single well fed sow can give birth to at least 10 piglets at once.
- Source of income and employment.
- They can digest low-cost feed supplements and convert it to a high increase in body weight.
- Pigs have a healthy immune system, and this keeps their mortality rate very low.
- The demand for pig globally is ever growing.
With an insight into the benefits of pig production and the impressive rate of return on investment, this article focuses on how to start-up a piggery farm to boost your income.
How do you start your pig farm?
Starting a successful pig farm is dependent on critical factors which include location, housing, pig breeds, feeding, and other management practices.
Pigs produces odours that are unpleasant to non-farmers. Therefore, you should consider establishing your pig farm in a less populated area preferably within a rural setting but not too far from the urban region. Although you can start with a small pig farm, acquiring a large area of land for semi-intensive management is preferable. This allows the pigs to graze conveniently at their own pace and retire later into the pens for continuous feeding and wallowing. Land acquisition is the most important factor for pig farming. The proximity of farmland to the city will also facilitate the transport of pigs to the market.
- Housing – Building standard pens:
The construction of the pens should protect the pigs from harsh environmental conditions such as rain, too cold or hot weather and predators. The size of the housing must be spacious enough to allow free passage between the pigs. This would not only help prevent violence but will also reduce the risk of disease contamination
Proper drainage must also be put into place to prevent stagnant water that may cause the build-up of insects and other dangerous pests.
- Buy healthy pigs:
It is important to start your pig farm with healthy and hybrid breeds of pigs. You can achieve this by consulting credible sources with vaccination history to buy your first set of breeding stock. It is advisable for a beginner to purchase a small number of piglets and gradually increase as you gain more experience.
- Employ the services of workers and professionals:
Try as much as possible to employ the services of workers to help daily routine management of the piggery and professionals especially a veterinary doctor to quarantine the health status of your piglets, vaccination, and feeding.
- Feeding and water supply:
Pigs as ruminants are adapted to feed on varieties of feed ingredients and needs fiber, energy, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to ensure fast and healthy growth. Their water supply should also be adequate as they consume an average of two to six gallons of water per day. Make sure that it is always available as water consumption is vital to the overall health and growth of pigs. Water can be supplied in drinking troughs. Pigs make use of water not only for drinking but also to wallow in it to clean their body.
- Regular sanitation:
The pens should be cleaned and disinfected regularly. For a better waste collection process, the floors of the pen can be slatted and ensuring the floor is kept dry is essential for a disease-free environment.
In conclusion, Pig farming like many other farming methods, is a lucrative business. With the right training, knowledge, and innovative financing, you can start a successful pig farm.