Pig farming also known as piggery is an interesting farming practice that is churning out good money to breeders. People are silently going to the bank and their accounts getting fatter every day as a result of pig rearing. And yet so many people are not aware of this development. They don’t know that pig farming has the capacity to transform them into millionaires’ overtime with consistent good piggery practices.
It may interest you to know that the demand for pig meat (pork) is steadily on the increase every day. Pig meat contains a high level of protein with a great taste when eaten.
Check out the most delicious meat part is the one that has a little bit of oil when consumed and pork meat has it all through.
PIG FARMING INVOLVES
- Feed formulation
- Pig species
- Pens construction
- Pig weaning
- Provision for wallowing
- Gestation period
- Causes of death
- Diseases and how to control them
- veterinary Doctor/Experts in pig farming
WHY YOU SHOULD START PIG FARMING
- Pigs are easy to rear and managed. They feed on anything that comes their way. Their feeds are cheap and readily available; it could be industrial or domestic waste. You can as well plant their feeds and reduce the cost of feeding them.
- Pig farming is very profitable because they are the highest prolific animal. One female pig can give birth to 15 piglets at once.
- Rearing pigs for sale or for the offspring to achieve a herd is very profitable as long as you can cut down the cost of production especially feeding. This is because feeds account for 70 percent of the total cost of production.
- A mature pig is sold between #25,000-#30,000 depending on the weight.
In Nigeria, a closed system (pens) rearing is what piggery farmers are using. Putting the pigs in an environment in which they can be controlled.
Build standard pens that are big enough to accommodate all the piglets and can also be expanded in the future as the farm grows. Avoid overcrowding so that the pigs can grow well. Create extra room for inpigs or inglets to farrow (giving birth to piglet)
SPECIES OF PIG
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The commonest breeds are;
- White large etc.
Improved breeds are said to be good growers. A camborough boar can weigh 200kg in 1 year and 3 months.
In Nigeria the commonest breed is the local breed, they are not as massive as the foreign breeds and cannot attain up to 70kg in 8 months.
Duroc is acceptable for meat production because they do very well in terms of growth.
Landrace are good for farrows.
Buy your starting stock from different farms to avoid inbreeding and to be able to take something out of the stock in case of any negativity.
WEANING IN PIGS
A weaned pig can be sold between #3,000-#20,000 depending on the weight and the breed from 5-8 weeks old. That is why weight matters a lot in pig rearing. It takes 7-12 months for pigs to grow from piglets (young pigs) to maturity. Pigs can grow up to 80kg and sometimes 100kg. Mating is 8 months, meat is anytime from 8 months.
HOW MUCH IS REQUIRED TO SET UP A PIG FARMING BUSINESS?
It depends on the capital at your disposal but with #250,000 you can start a comfortable pig farming business and make good profits.
Pig farming is quite profitable as earlier said but capital-intensive and requires serious attention for optimum success to be achieved.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE STARTING PIG FARMING BUSINESS
- The type of breed to rear is a very important factor to consider because some species grow bigger, faster and larger than others which undergo the same feeding and environmental conditions.
- Cost: make sure you take inventory (record keeping) on all the expenses you made so as to be able to ascertain the profit.
PENS CONSTRUCTION IN PIG FARMING
Construct the pens away from the direction of a direct light. Make your floor smooth because pigs cannot handle slippery floors very well. Pigs can eat anything in sight so use concrete to build your pens to avoid every day repairs.
Feeding takes the largest part of production cost in pig farming business. They feed on cassava cooked or uncooked, maize, rice shaft etc. It is very important to know how to ration their food.
They have to be fed the right formula of PKC (palm kernel cake), brewery waste, fishmeal, kuli kuli etc.
You can source for their food from the market, from vegetable and fruit sellers.
For optimum yield you have to use compound feeds, consisting of GNC, PKC, Fish meal and Maize.
Liquid feeding is very good, mix your feed with water before giving it to them, you can even mix them with multi-vitamins before mixing with the feed. Sow requires about 20 litres of water for necessary growth. You can use a growth promoter instead of broiler premix.
FOOD FORMULATION IN PIG FARMING
50% cassava (you can buy them in a large quantity and feed them with bark, cut the tissue to chips, dry them and store for future use). 30% PKC, 10% GNC (groundnut meal) or soya bean meal, 60% blood meal (it can be gotten from abattoir).
2.5% oyster shell (bone meal/lime stone), 0.25% lysine, 0.25methionine, 0.5% salt, 0.25% premix, 0.03% (3g per 1kg baker’s yeast) pro-biotic 0.1% H-plus from animal care. All these formulation is #50-#100 per kg depending on your location.
MAINTAIN GOOD HYGIENIC CONDITIONS
Pigs are said to be naturally dirty though that could be contested anyway. You can manage their environment by building standard drainage for their waste to flow through easily. A clean and healthy environment can make your pigs to grow well.
VERETINARY DOCTOR/PIG SPECIALIST
Always obtain the services of a good veterinary Doctor for a successful pig farming business. For a commercial pig farming you have to employ additional hands, the person should have a reasonable knowledge about pig farming or you train the person.
Pig farming can be rigorous and stressful. Pigs are naturally destructive especially when they are hungry.
PROVISIONS FOR WALLOWING
Make provision for a wallowing trough. Their physiological make up requires them to wallow regularly due to their lack of sweat gland. Because of this reason they cannot withstand much heat as such they have to cool down their body temperature by wallowing in a cold place, mud or water.
Pigs will not defecate where they feed. They only get dirty when overcrowded. P.G 600 can be used to induce heat in animals.
GESTATION PERIOD IN PIG
They gestation period of a pig is 113-115 days (4 months). A pig farrows 2 times in a year. Giving birth to an average of 14 piglets and above at a time.
When a sow is on heat and is well fed (not overfed) there is the tendency for them to release more eggs and their fertilization will become very high.
You have to find out from the person that sold the stock for you if the sow can deliver by itself. Because some of them can’t deliver on their as such will need assistance. Immediately the piglets come out move them away from their mother so she won’t lay down on them. And also so they don’t bury themselves in the placenta.
When the pigs deliver select few of the males with much weight at birth for breeding stock, castrate the rest for body weight keep the females for multiplication.
CAUSES OF PIGLET MORTALITY
So many reasons account for mortality in piglet some of them are; sow cannibalism, sow crushing, piglet diarrhoea, delivering inside wallow, poor hygiene etc.
DISEASES IN PIG FARMING
Pigs are affected by bacterial /fungal diseases such as; swine fever, brucellosis, swine typhoid erysipelas, swine pox, foot and mouth disease etc.
The good thing is that good hygiene and proper health program helps in preventing diseases. Most local breeds are resistant to diseases.
There is market for pigs, presently in Nigeria pig farmers cannot meet up with their high level of demands. Locate bars, restaurants, road side roasters and market men/women who deal on pigs and sell for them. Once you have established contacts they will be the ones looking for you. The problem will then be if you can match up with their demands. A good market size for pigs starts from 50kg upward.
TERMS USED IN PIG FARMING
- Boar: A male pig of breeding age.
- Castrated pig: A male pig that the scrotum has been removed
- Growers: a young male or female pig between the ages of 3 to 6 months
- Gilt: a young female pig that has not yet been mated or farrows.
- Sow: breeding female pig
- Pork: pig meat
- Farrow: the process of giving birth to piglets.
Pig farming business can never be wrong; you can gather their feeds from around you to raise them at a less cost. People rearing pigs are few while consumption is on the increase. Start yours today.
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