Pork, shockingly the most widely consumed meat in the world, followed by poultry and beef, has been largely ignored by thousands of people interested in farming for various reasons and beliefs. These ideologies have kept Africa at just producing (a small amount of) less than 5% of the world’s pork products, thereby making its pig farming industry one of the smallest on the planet.
China on the other hand, has benefitted greatly from the pig farming industry more than any other country because, they’re not just the highest producers of pigs, but are also the largest net importer of pig products in the world.
Since the cost of pig feed can be relatively low, raising pigs has proven to be one of the most affordable branches of animal husbandry, and so, makes it one of the most lucrative farm businesses to venture into; especially since they produce more meat than almost all other farm animals including sheep, goats, & cattle, and their global demand is at an explosive rate.
If you’ve been searching for a lucrative farm animal business to venture into, this article on pig farming wouldn’t just inspire you, but would place you on the right direction.
What Is Pig Farming About?
Pig farming, a branch of animal husbandry, is the process of breeding and raising domestic pigs for personal or commercial purposes in a piggery. Pigs are largely a native of the African continent and belong to the genus Sus, which is within the family of even-toed ungulates.
The domestic pigs raised are descendants of their ancestors, the Eurasian wild boar and some other species not in their genus, such as the warthog and the babirusa.
Business Opportunities In Pig Farming Around The World
1). Food Production:
The consumption of pork and other pig related products is at an extremely high rate around the world. As earlier stated, it trumps the consumption of sheep, goats, and even cattle in many parts of the world. This excessive consumption and demand for pig products makes it more than a lucrative farm business to venture into. With demand far exceeding supply, raring the right pig breed and building a network of associates to supply to, whether locally or via exports, makes it a highly lucrative business for both newbies and experienced pig farmers to execute.
Pig skin, though sensitive, can be great leather products used in manufacturing American footballs, boots, furniture, shoes, belts, gloves, saddle seats, and many more items. With its business opportunities spanning into the leather industry, your ability to diversify your pig farming income from just food production to leather production can lead to an increased return on your investment.
Benefits Of Pig Farming
1). The pig reproduction rate is very high.
2). Source of income and employment.
3). Excessive global demand than supply.
4). Pigs have low mortality rate.
5). Cheaper to raise than many other farm animals.
6). They have a strong immune system.
7). They sell at great prices.
The Suitable Species For Pig Farming
1). Yorkshire Pig:
- They are white in colour.
- They have erect ears.
- Their average litter size is 13 pigs per sow.
- They have a slow growth rate.
2). Berkshire Pig:
- They are black and white with erect ears.
- They have white on all four legs, face, and tail.
- They have occasional splash of white on their bodies.
3). Tamworth Pig:
- They are golden-red in colour.
- They are great foragers.
- Their faces are slightly dished; i.e wide between the ears and jowl light.
- Their ears are large and erect.
- They have red coats that makes them adaptable to various climates and protects them from sunburns
- They are intelligent and agreeable in disposition.
- They are prolific and able to produce and care for large litters.
- Their piglets are vigorous and often have 100% survivability.
- Both the males and females reach a mature weight of 500 – 600 lbs (227 – 272 kg).
4). Mulefoot Pig:
- They are mainly black.
- They have medium flop and pricked ears, falling forward and not covering their entire face.
- They have soft hair coat.
- They have solid, non-cloven hoof.
- They can be great pastured pigs.
- They are cold and heat tolerant, and can survive many climatic conditions.
- There are not ferel hogs.
5). Hereford Pig:
- They are red and white in colour.
- They have superior feeding qualities.
- They have at least, three white legs.
6). Large Black Pig:
- They are excellent foragers
- They have a solid black snout to tail.
- They have large lop ears covering the eyes.
- They have a snout and long strait face.
- They have long deep bodies.
- They are huge black pigs.
- They are a fantastic breed for pastured pig production.
- They are rare.
7). Poland China Pig:
- They are black with six white points on their face, feet, and switch.
- They have floppy ears.
- They have a stubby black tail.
8). Chester White Pig:
- They are white in colour, which dresses out to a light pink colour.
- They have a dished face.
- They have medium fall floppy ears.
- They have a full thick coat.
- They are heritage hogs.
- They have supreme mothering abilities, durabilities, and soundness..
- They have superior muscles.
9). Hampshire Pig:
- They have erect ears.
- They are black in colour with a white belt.
- They are used for breeding purposes.
- They are a heritage breed.
10). Landrace Pig:
- They are white in colour.
- Their ears droop and slant forward.
- They have the ability to furrow and raise large litters.
- They are popular in the United States.
11). Duroc Pig:
- They are red all over.
- They have no white markings.
- Their ears are droopy.
- They are big boned with feet firmly planted on the ground.
- No white belts or white feet.
How To Setup Your Pig Farm
1). Secure A Location:
When choosing a site for raising pigs, it’s important to pick a non-residential area. Since the pig business could ooze off unpleasant odours in the neighbourhood, choosing a farmland that’s slightly rural but close to the city is important.
Also purchase a wide expanse of land, preferably 5 to 10 acres if you’re trying not to start too small. The size of the land is very important because pigs love to forage. Setting them free during the day to get their own food within your pasture is an important piece to ensuring you secure a large area. Since farmlands in rural communities are usually cheap, acquiring a large area for raising pigs is highly important.
The proximity of the farmland to the city too, will ensure it’s easy to transport the pigs to the market. For people who’d prefer to visit your farmland for a purchase, having a farm close to the city makes it a lot easier for them.
While many other factors are crucial to the success of your pig farm, picking the right site to set up your farm is one of the most important factors.
2). Build Ideal Pig Pens (Housing):
The pig pen must be built to protect them from the rain, predators, and to keep them warm or cool during odd temperatures. Due to the high sensitivity of pigs to oddly warm environments, it is important that the temperature of their pens are always regulated. Their houses can be cooled by using a wallow or a dripping water system. Wallows are largely used for a hog pen.
The pig pens should also be built to be spacious enough to enable a free roam among the pigs. This would not just help prevent pig violence, but would also reduce the chances of a disease breakout affecting all the pigs.
The drainage in the pens should also be well constructed, so as to allow a free flow of water. Asides the drainage, small pig pools should be constructed because pigs like to play a lot in water and also use it as a way to cool off. This water should be changed daily at the same time the pens are cleaned, so that pests and diseases do not become a misfortune that befalls your pig farm.
3). Purchase Healthy Piglets To Raise:
When starting a new pig farm, purchasing healthy piglets is too important. Their health status won’t just determine their mortality rate, but also their reproductive rate.
One way to buy the piglets, also known as pig feeders, is to approach the producers and the stock breeders. They’d advise you on which to get from them and especially what your budget can afford. Usually, pigs that were cross-bred are vibrant, have a high appetite, and grow faster. This makes a mixed breed a top choice for most new farmers.
When trying to purchase a piglet or feeder, it’s advisable you talk to a veterinary doctor to verify their health status. A healthy piglet for a new farm should usually be large and weigh a minimum of 25 lbs. The sex also determines the growth rate, as male piglets are know to grow faster than the female piglets.
4). Pig Feed:
Pigs can feed on almost anything, but the best meals for domesticated pigs raised primarily for commercial purposes are usually grains and meat. While corn is one of their most coveted meals, they can be fed with cooked vegetables, and left over meals in the house.
To ensure the pigs grow fast and healthy, it is preferable that they feed on vitamins, rich supplements, and heavy protein meals, which could span anywhere from soya beans to cooked meat.
The pig feed should be purchased in large quantities, and a larger part of the protein feed should be reserved for the mature pigs, since they consume more meals than the smaller pigs.
Their water supply should also be adequate because they consume an average of two to six gallons of water everyday. Ensure it’s always available, because water consumption has a major role to play in the overall health and growth of the pigs. The water can be provided through a sprinkler, trough, or a tub.
Since the pigs wouldn’t just drink their water, but would also step on it and wash their faces and body in it, it’s important the water should be changed on a regular basis.
5). Carry Out A Period Pig Sanitation:
The pig pens should undergo a periodic sanitation. Various methodologies have to be employed to ensure that the pig pens are well cleaned and taken care of to prevent an out-break of diseases.You can make the waste collection process easier by using slotted pen floors. This plus ensuring the pen floors are always dry is important for a disease-free environment to thrive.
A Short Feasibility Study On Pig Farming
While healthy piglets are usually bought at a size of about 25lbs, they can reach market size in five to seven months at a weight exceeding 70 to 100kg. The gestation period of the pigs too is usually 115 days, and since each child birth could result in 10 to 15 piglets being born, a mother who gives birth two times a year can account for at least 20 piglets, which multiplied by 100 other mothers is equal to 2,000 piglets.
Each piglet usually sells for 5,000 to 9,000 Naira in the market, and the pregnant mothers also sell for 30,000 to 60,000 Naira in the market. These prices are largely dependent on the weight of the pigs because in some regions, a pig can go for 350 to 600 Naira per kilogram.
So if the pigs are well fed and each grow to weigh about 70 to 100 kg in 5 to 7 months, 10 pigs can account for a 350,000 Naira sale, while 1,000 pigs can account for a sale value of 35 million Naira.
Challenges Of Pig Farming
The challenges of pig farming mostly ranges between these listed below:
1). Inadequate supply of a sort-after pig breed.
2). High cost of good quality pig feed.
3) Poor marketing.
4). Pests and diseases.
5). Unproductive pig stock.
6). Low quality feed from local suppliers.
7). Lack of experience.
8). High cost of water and electricity in some areas.