Every great business have its upsides and downsides, so is pig farming business; which is quickly becoming my top-pick among a pool of agricultural businesses which spills money. You may call it a dirty job, you may look at this business with disdain but if underrate the revenue potential of pig farming business, you will be missing out on a whole lot of financial honeycomb.
If you ever wish to try your hands on any agribusiness especially if you wish to focus your investment on animal husbandry, then you should definitely give a serious consideration to piggery.
Pig farming is also referred to as piggery and its an aspect of farming in Nigeria that only the smartest investors and entrepreneurs with foresight ventures into and somehow everyone who does so, are usually always glad they did.
Pig farming business in Nigerian (just as in most places) is done primarily for food (like; pork, bacon, gammon) and sometimes for their skin.
This agribusiness is becoming increasingly popular throughout Africa and rightfully so, Pork meat is a tasty delicacy not only in Nigeria but throughout the world.
For its unique popularity, pork meat is always on demand.
Pigs are also very adaptive animal hence they’d do just fine in almost any African country, the average Nigerian climate is very appropriate for pig farming.
Piggery doesn’t just bring huge financial returns, it brings bulky returns VERY QUICKLY.
How many times can a pig deliver give birth in a year, and How many piglets can a pig have in every birth?
A pig can deliver as much as 12 -15 piglets in a single delivery. Pig’s pregnancy lasts for 3 months 3 weeks and 3 days and a well fed pig goes through this process twice in a year, this makes it one of the most reproducing mammal in the world.
PIG FARMING TERMINOLOGIES
As a pig farmer, you are expected to know some terminologies regarding your trade.
Herd or drove; A group of pigs or all the pigs on a farm
Hog or swine: the species as a whole
Piglet or Shoat: unweaned young pig
Boar or hog: male pig of breeding age
Barrow: castrated male pig before puberty
Stag: male pig, castrated later in life
Gilt: young female not yet mated, or not yet farrowed
Sow: breeding female
Pork: the meat of the pig
Farrowing: when pigs are giving birth
Sty: a small pig-house
Pig-shed: a larger pig-house
BASIC PIG FARMING EQUIPMENT
If you want to do top class modern pig farming, here are some specialized equipments you might want in your farm:
special hog pens,
Automated watering system,
heat lamps for cold seasons,
dirt blaster wash to mention but a few.
STARTING A PIG FARM.
It won’t be out of place to have a general knowledge and understand some essential materials which will aid you; going into this venture
Pig Farming Business Plan
Every successful business begins with adequate planning, we know that the best way to plan a business is to have a clearly spelt out business plan for a certain period of time.
Piggery is not an exception, it requires a plan just like every other businesses.
Take time to create your pig farming business plan, this would help you see many problems even before they occur and can save you from failures or disasters in future.
Don’t have an idea how to draft a pig farming business plan?
No problems at all!
You might want to have a personalized professional business plan for your piggery or any other type of business, we can help with that at a very affordable fee, contact us.
Your business plan would help you reveal things like;
The expenses for each year:
- Your basic cash flow analysis.
- Cost of land, housing, breeding, feeding, – It’ll also show you your breeding plan, which would help you avoid overcrowding.
- and more.
HOW LUCRATIVE IS PIG FARMING IN NIGERIA?
I wouldn’t be missing words if I say pig farming business in Nigerian is extremely profitable, aside the cost of securing the farm land and building pig pens you only need little capital to begin piggery business and make good annual profits. Pig farming can bring you an impressive sum of money. To analyse the business, we look at some key performance index:
The demand for pock meat is high;
Do pigs grow fast?
piglets grow to become matured pigs very quickly;
They can eat almost any kind of food that mrans they aren’t selective when it comes to feeding, hence you’ll have a cheap feeding plan.
Let’s take this senerio:
A pig farmer who start farming business with 22 adult pigs which comprise of 20 females and 2 males, if in a year each of the 20 female pigs delivers 20 more pigs ( at 10 pigs/delivery), at the end of the calendar year, that farmers would be having 400 pigs. Let’s assume at the end of the year the farmer were only able to manage 80 matured pigs which the farmer sold at 40k each (depending of course on their weight).
I’ll leave you to do the maths, but don’t let the huge figures fool you, you’ve got a lot of work to do and to achieve the above senerio which by the way is 100% achievable.
In addition, let’s also assume the farmer have his own vegetable farm, or plants potato, maize, cassava etc hence saves a lot of money and doesn’t have to spend a fortune to feed his pigs.
Let me say upfront that your business profitability would largely depend on how much knowledge you have about such business. Truth is most people who intend to start a business, would never think of getting any entrepreneurship training, neither do they have any experienced pig farmer as mentor or spend time to visit and study a nearby pig farm nor undergo a practical pig farming training and they’d just think the above senerio would work for them no matter what.
Not so fast dear!
Let me be of service to you, allow me to lead you on the path to becoming a successful pig farmer FOR FREE; Get FREE PIG FARMING BUSINESS PLAN HERE
Now let’s get down, get our hands dirty and get into the nitty gritty of setting up your own pig farming business.
Before you would ever think of going to purchasing your little piglets for stocking, you should give the first priority to a secured farming premises and some of these outlined activities below.
1. CONSTRUCT A SECURED BREEDING GROUND.
Its no news that pigs are fatty animals and hence they’d need a lot of space area for their activities.
You need to consider your feeding plan, whether you intend to go the methods of complete intensive, semi intensive or open grazing system.
Most pig farmers in Nigeria would prefer the semi intensive method of pig farming and would usually start their business with between 50 to 150 piglets (although you can begin with even lesser number of pigs in your backyard) and then gradually increase the number of their fold. Should you fall into this category, then you’ll need between 2-5 acres of land so that your pig can graze in the open and retire to the pen where they’d continue feeding and playing.
If you choose to set up your pig farm in a rural area, ensure there is a motorable route to the rural location before you contemplate purchasing any land there for farming purposes.
You can also lease a land from a period of 3 years up ( nothing less than 3 years) before you’ll be able to buy a land of your own.
If you can device a great marketing strategy (which I’d discuss later on this article), butchers will even fight over themselves to come to your farm to buy your pigs, this would reduce your budgeted cost of transportation to sell off your pork in city markets.
While you are giving consideration to construction of a breeding ground for your pig farming business, the following should be your top priority:
a.) ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER:
Pigs will need lots of fresh and clean water. When the temperature is rising during the day, they’d need a bath to cool off. Pigs also drink lots of water, so think about a ready source of clean water supply when choosing a pig farming location.
b.) ACCESS TO TRANSPORT FACILITIES:
If your farm is not easily accessible, no butchers would fight over themselves to buy from you, even getting your goods and feeds to the farm or farm produce to the market, could be a “hell experience “
Kindly note that It is better ( business-wise) to choose an expensive urban area with accessible roads which is also close to the market, for goods transportation over a cheap rural farm location with no good access roads.
c.) ENVISAGE THE FUTURE OF THE BUSINESS.
when you begin your farming business, days can quickly turn into months and months into years.
Whatever would inconvenience you now might be more inconveniencing in two years, whatever looks fairly OK for you now, would be too small in two years.
For instance; When you buy your little piglets for stocking, look at the space you have provided for them, try to see them as full grown pigs and then imagine if the space is OK or too small for them, if it’ll be too small, then make amends “while the sun shines”.
Most Nigerian pig farmers usually adopt the semi intensive system of rearing pigs.
This method comprises of having a pig pen on one end of the farm, and having an open grazing land area where the animals can do their open grazing.
It’s always a good practice to raise pigs in pasture by leaving them occasionally to root around in the fields where they can find plants to eat, and that can only be achieved when you have large enough land space to cater for their amusement. You would need to secure your farm land if you want to adopt this approach, pigs often wander away if adequate security measures are not taken.
2. BUILD STANDARD PENS
Big spacious pen is important if you don’t want your pigs to injure themselves. A good and specious pen is also important to keep the pigs healthy and free from diseases and contamination. Proper drainage is needed too to avoid water becoming stagnant in your pen which could attract insects and other harmful pests to harm your pigs.
To avoid your pigs getting overly dirty, you need to build a water pool where they can play and swim ( pigs likes swimming) and cool themselves which is important to their well being. Changing the water and refilling the pool as frequently as possible will ensure that they are clean all the time. If you are keeping them outdoor, shelter should be build for them.
Important Points to Note for Pig Housing
Construct shed on dry and properly raised ground.
Avoid water – logging, marshy and heavy rainfall areas.
The side walls of the sheds should be 4 – 5 ft. high and remaining height should be fitted with pipes or wooden poles.
The walls should be plastered to make them damp proof.
The roof should be at least 8 – 10 ft. high.
The pig sty should be well ventilated.
The floor should be concrete/hard , even, non – slippery, impervious, well sloped (3 cm per metre) and properly drained to remain dry and clean.
A feed trough space of 6 – 12 inches per pig should be provided. The corners of feed troughs, drains and walls should be rounded for easy cleaning.
Provide adequate open space for each animal which should be double of covered area
Provide proper shade and cool drinking water during hot seasons.
Deep litter pig housing
Deep litter housing is a type of pig housing where the floor is filled with sawdust 2 – 3 feet in the both open and covered area.
This method of pig farming is well suited for high rainfall and high altitude area. The floor of the pen remains clean and dry due to the sawdust. The pig house also provides better micro – environment in summer and winter as well as better physiological adaptation. This model provide 2 – 3 times higher manure than that conventional concrete floor pigpen.
Advantages of deep litter housing
Deep litter housing is well suited for high rainfall and high altitude area.
The floor of the pen remains clean and dry due to the sawdust.
The pig house also provides better micro – environment both summer and winter, better physiological adaptation.
This model provide 2 – 3 times higher manure than that conventional concrete floor pigpen
3. BUY HEALTHY PIGLETS
To ensure a healthy farm, you need to make sure the piglets you are about to start your farm with are purchased from a healthy source. Buy from trusted pig dealers and make sure the ones you are buying has a history of proper vaccination.
You might want to look out for the signs of a healthy pigs, some of which I have listed below;
Good temperament ( watch out for aggressive piglets and be avoid them like a plague )
Having good appetite;
Clear bright eyes;
Check for any sign of muscular cramps or pains and avoid such piglets.
Some popular breeds in Nigeria to choose from are:
local breeds of white, brown, and black colored pigs.
Common foreign breeds are: Hampshire, Hereford pig, American Yorkshire, Berkshire pig, Landrace, Tamworth pig, Duroc, Mulefoot pig, and a few others.
You can also get various hybrid piglets in Nigeria, they grow quicker and are much healthier in comparison with other breeds.
Every farming business is a learning curve, so I usually advice young entrepreneurs who want to go into piggery business to start small and grow along the learning curve. This way, you will be able to learn the highs and lows of the business and should anything go wrong at this stage, your risk will be very minimal.
This is one of the reason am giving you an editable free pig farming business plan to adequately plan your farm and forecast its yearly growth.
Talk To Veterinary Doctor – You need the services of vet doctors especially as a young pig farmer, as you gain more experience in the business, you would not be needing them as much.
Vet doctors are would help you to perform regular check up and vaccination as well as feeding and nutrition advice. Pigs generally eats what human being eat and doe not present much worries when it comes to feed.
3. EMPLOY WORKERS
Employ 4 – 5 persons if your pigs are up to 100. If you are starting on a smaller scale, you may need lesser number of worker 1 – 2 workers who will be assisting in the cleaning of the pigs and the pens, feeding the pigs and making sure they are well behaved and other things necessary.
Just like humans, Pigs eat a wide variety of foods, anything humans can eat, they can eat. Like humans as well, they need a balanced diet such as fibre, energy, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to thrive. Feeding will take the major chunk of your spending in the farm.
Pigs, like all animals, must have constant access to clean fresh drinking water. They’d also love tipping the trough to make a wallow, pigs will also stand in the water trough and wash their dirty faces in it, so it needs to be checked regularly, cleaned out and refilled. Galvanised troughs are robust and easy to clean, and are usually not too easy for the pigs to tip over. Automatic drinkers are available but aren’t half as much fun for the pigs
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF FARM PIGS
Generally raising newborn piglets need a pen house temperature of around 95 degrees Fahrenheit for the first week. Then the temperature should be dropped by 5 degrees each week until it is time for weaning. Young piglets must also be allowed to either root in the soil, on the other hand you can buy iron supplement from pet stores.
Young growing piglets should be offered creep feed until they are fully weaned. you should also offer them pasture but ensure you provide only the most nutritious available pasture to encourage growth, since their stomachs are not yet developed enough for rougher or less nutritious fare.
Pumpkin ( popularly known as ugwu) stems (which the vegetable sellers would gladly give for free after they have removed the leaves) do serve as an excellent nutritional pasture for both young and matured pigs.
To properly care for pigs, you need to pay wrapped attention to three key aspects;
- Good health care.
- Good/ Proper housing and
- Good diet.
We shall now talk about these three vital aspects of caring for farm pigs.
- Good Health Care
Providing your pigs the vaccines recommended for your local area by a veterinarian, and limiting the pigs’ contact with other animals, will go a long way toward preventing disease. It is also crucial to keep their housing area clean and free of manure.
Pigs are often prone to worm infections, especially if they are not rotated through different pastures. Many worm species leave eggs or larvae in the host animals’ feces, and rotating to a new pasture helps to disrupt ,the worms’ life cycles. If your pigs do get worms, use a commercial dewormer and feed your pigs fresh garlic to help eliminate the infection. More on this when i shall be discussing common pig sicknesses and treatments.
Your veterinarian also may administer a tablespoon of wormwood powder per 25 pounds of pig.
2. Good/ Proper Housing
If you’re raising pigs on a pasture, they will need only a covered three-sided shelter large enough for them all to lie down beside each other inside. A board fence around the pasture with a single strand of electrified perimeter wire will be enough to keep pigs contained.
You can raise pigs in a pen exclusively inside a barn, but the enclosure will need deep bedding to allow for rooting, and it will need frequent cleaning to help prevent disease. Whether indoors or outdoors, piglets will need 16 square feet of space each, while weaners and older pigs require closer to 40 square feet.
If the winter temperatures in your area drop much below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you will need to offer supplemental heating, such as a heat lamp or heated floor mat.
In the summer your pigs will need a wallow, an area with mud and water, in order to keep cool. If you don’t provide one yourself, your pigs may dig their own.
3. Good Diet
Good food and water is needed for optimal pig growth, when you offer pigs a high-quality pig feed preferably commercial hog feed that will allow them to gain weight rapidly and stay consistently healthy.
If you want to reduce considerably, the number of times a vet doctor visit your pig farm then you have to pay attention to the quality of food you are feeding your swine. A little while we shall discuss how to formulate your own pig feeds, pigs can however, benefit from a wide variety of diet types including pasture, wooded lots, scrap vegetables, whey, other dairy and day old bread, remnants from restaurants all of which can reduce their need for grain. The food you offer your pigs can affect how its meat taste.
A very important aspect of pig diets is water. Clean water should be available in the farm at all times. Automatic waterers, serviced by a hose is more preferable, you can also provide large drums of water, its usualy difficult for the pigs to overturn the drums or soil the water inside them.
OTHER PIG MANAGEMENT PRACTICE
Culling of animals: Unproductive pigs with diminished size or with very high inter-farrowing period, repeat breeders, aged animals, unproductive boars etc. are to be culled and sold out for meat purpose.
Castration of piglets: Male piglets which are unwanted and not fit for breeding purpose are to be castrated just after weaning and may be kept in the farm as fattener animal which later on may be sold for meat purpose.
Segregation of diseased animal: A separate house should be there to keep the animals suffering from contagious diseases.
Record Keeping: The ultimate profit or loss in a farm can only be found out by keeping proper records in the farm which includes data sheet of individual animal, total stock of animals, feed register, expenditure statement etc.
COMMON PIG DISEASE AND TREATMENTS
Health care measure to be followed in a pig farm is one of the most important factors and if not followed properly, farmer may incur a heavy loss. The pigs can be infected with a number of internal parasites, skin infections and other bacterial and viral diseases, which in turn will result in poor growth and even death of pig.
Generally, symptoms of illness in pig is characterized by the following;
Loss of appetite,
Refusal to move or sluggish movement, Rough body coat,
Constipation or diarrhea,
Dull skin and hair,
Separates itself from the rest etc.
Piglets should be dewormed once in three months. Worms from pigs may infect human being also.
Most commonly found parasitic Pig disease are Ascaries, Strong infection, Coccidiosis and mange mite infection. Drugs like Piperzine in feed and water, Fenbendazole in feed (Single dose) or Ivermectin are useful against parasitic infection in pig. The pregnant sow should be treated before farrowing. kindly contact your local veterinary on how to use these drugs, he may prescribe other drugs according to your region.
Another commonly occurring ailment in pig is the skin infection which may be caused by ticks , mites and lice. Mange caused by mites may occur around the head, ears, legs and tails which subsequently spread all over the body.
Tick and lice feed on the skin and irritate the pigs which will scratch its body. The skin infection caused by the external parasites can be treated by spraying. Dipping or painting with Butox – 1% solution spray or dipping or Tickting or Deltamethrin (two application at 1 0 days interval or Ivermectin should be done regularly. Other diseases like piglet diarrhoea, salmonellosis, mastitis etc can be treated when it occurs in consultation with your local veterinarian.
Notable infectious diseases of pigs
Classical swine fever or Hog cholera is one of the most important and devastating viral diseases of pigs. The disease affects both domesticated and wild pigs under natural conditions. It is characterized by fever, multiple generalized petechial and ecchymotic hemorrhages giving rise to visceral and skin lesion. Symptoms of tremor, in coordination and paralysis and occasionally peracute death without any signs may also be observed.
Pig farmers are advised to vaccinate the animals against swine fever about 20 – 30 days before breeding.
Respiratory disorder/ Pneumonia: is frequently caused by Pasteurella, it is considered to be an important disease of pigs.
Symptoms in affected pigs are apathetic, anorexia, high fever, coughing and sneezing, difficulty in breathing, red eyes with discharge. The treatment is more effective if appropriate antibiotic is used based on the drug sensitivity of the isolated bacteria.
Colibacillosis (piglet diarrhoea): It is caused by pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli and its a disease primarily of the newborn or young pigs. The disease may be manifested by diarrhea,respiratory distress and arthritis. Thorough sanitation, adequate feeding of colostrums and milk during the first few hours after birth is important to reduce the problem. Oral rehydration therapy along with specific antibiotics is useful for the treatment of the affected piglets. Occurrence of most of the diseases can be prevented by following strict hygienic measure and by timely vaccination of pigs.
A separate house should be provided to keep the animals suffering from contagious diseases in isolation or quarantine.
HOW TO FORMULATE YOUR OWN PIG FEED
While you can buy bags of premixed pig food at most farm supply stores, you might want to make your own pig food mix. Many people believe that you can feed pigs anything, such as your table scraps and whatever else you can get your hands on. While it’s true that pigs will eat just about anything, they should be fed a balanced diet just like any other animal. This is especially true if you are raising your pigs commercially, as you want them to be as healthy as possible.
Feed your weaners, or pigs that are being weaned off of their mother’s milk, a special mix of food until they are about 10 to 12 weeks old. Create a feed mix that is comprised of about 76 percent corn or wheat, 12 percent skim milk powder, 6 percent soybean meal, 6 percent calcium and protein supplement, and 0.2 percent salt.
Begin feeding your pigs a grower diet when they are about 12 weeks old. Create a feed mix that is 79 percent sorghum, 10 percent soybean meal, 7 percent calcium and protein supplement, 4 percent sunflower or peanut meal, and 0.25 percent salt.
Feed your breeder pigs a different mix than the rest of your pigs. Make a feed mix that is 80 percent sorghum, 10 percent sunflower meal, 10 percent calcium and protein supplement, and 0.25 percent salt.
HOW TO MARKET MATURED PIGS
This is the main point of starting this business in the first place.
It is only proper to have a marketing plan in place even before the commencement of your enterprise.
While you should have a detailed marketing plan in your pig business plan, I will give you a quick heads up on how to market your pigs to customers.
Before your pigs grow to maturity, do a feasibility study in your area, try to know those who buys, those who sells, where their main market is at, do they have a pig buyers/sellers union? and the likes.
The answers to some of these questions would tell you who to make friends with. Now make friends with your would be buyers even before your pigs is matured, asked them vital questions, buy poke meat from them and start introducing your more unique pig breeds to them ( even if your pigs is same with the ones they sell in such market).
If you do this job very well, when your pigs are ready to be shipped into the market, buyers won’t be in short supplies.
HOW TO DETERMINE PIG PRICE PRICE IN NIGERIA
We all agree that the financial return is one of the biggest motivation that entices many entrepreneurs into pig farming.
How much do pigs sell for?
The answer is quite simple.
Pigs are weighed and sold in amount that’s corresponding to their weight in kilograms (KG).
Let’s say you have a grown up, castrated or ready-to-be-sold pig in your pig farm.
The pig buyer will know how much such pig is worth by weighing it on the scale.
Let’s say your pig weighs 65KG, the price for it is 65 x the market price of a KG as at the moment.
As at the time of writing this post, the price pig in Nigeria per kilogram is about N550-N700 ( $2 – $2.5)
That may not be the price in your region. and that may not be the price as at the time you’re reading this post (so you need to find out)
Glad you stick around till the end of this article
Piggery as you can see from this article is not a very difficult business to run, if you put everything I’ve dicussed in this article, you just need to have:
Money and the passion to succeed in this business.
You should also learn a thing or two from other more experienced farmers in your area.
Having a concrete plan is very invaluable if you really want to have a successful pig farm, that’s why am giving you this FREE PIGGERY BUSINESS PLAN
I would want to believe that I have been able to answer the basic questions on pig farming business giving you the necessary information that will be useful for building a successful piggery business.
I however encourage you to ask me your questions in the comment section below.