Pig farming business is one of the most lucrative livestock production businesses in Nigeria. We will talk about pig farming business in this article, covering the basics you need to start your own profitable pig farm. Pig farming business is one of 50 Agriculture business ideas covered in an earlier article. You want to check it out when you are through reading this.
You probably just ‘winked your nose’ at the thought of pigs. Yes, they are dirty animals, no doubt. But what if I told you that pig farming business guarantees an 80-100% return on your investment, that you could buy piglet from local farmers for as low as #3,000-5,000 and, after all is said and done, sell a fully matured pig for as high as #40,000-80,000? Now imagine selling 5 fully matured pigs in a day. Do I have your attention now? 🙂
As with everything else, the devil is in the details so let’s get some details on pig farming business, shall we?
Most livestock farmers and young entrepreneurs shy away from this business for many different reasons: they are probably unaware of its profitability, they have a high contempt for pigs on hygienic or religious grounds, or they simply lack the knowledge to start a pig farm. These factors and more have deprived entrepreneurs from venturing into this business and enjoying the massive income that it offers.
Pork is a favorite for many Nigerians. Just take a stroll to some of the top restaurants and hotels (especially in Abuja and Lagos) you would see firsthand how pig meat is prepared and served as mouth-watering, enticing delicacy. These hotels and restaurants require a constant supply of pork to meet the ever-present need of their customers.
BENEFITS OF STARTING UP A PIG FARMING BUSINESS
- Pigs grow very fast because they eat a lot (or they eat a lot because they grow very fast, I don’t know which); with proper feeding a piglet will reach marketable size in about 4-6 months from the time of purchase.
- You could start with just two animals, a male and a female pig. The female pig is capable of reproducing over 20 piglet per year.
- Feed for pigs are very cheap. Pigs will generally eat any edible food they can find.
- Pig has a high market value in the Nigerian market.
- With pigs nothing is wasted, even their feces are used as manure for agricultural purposes.
If you are appalled by the dirt and smell most people associate with pig farming, it is very possible to rear pigs in a clean and hygienic environment.
Starting a pig farm is actually a simple task, all you need do is to get a farmland where you can build a pig pen, buy healthy breed of piglet to begin with, feed the pigs, nurture them to maturity, vaccinate them for disease prevention, and in 6 months’ time they would be fit for the market.
GET A FARMLAND
Land is a fundamental need necessary to start any livestock business. You will need to find a location where you can build your pig pen. It could be small or large (depending on the scale of business you intend to venture into). Some farmers keep their pigs in the open to forage for food (outdoor pig farming) while others prefer to build a pig pen and keep the animals indoors.
Another factor that should determine the size of your pig farm is the amount of pigs you intend to start with. Keep in mind that pigs reproduce in large numbers; once they start reproducing you may need a larger space to keep them.
BUILD A PIG PEN
A pig pen is where pigs are kept. When constructing a pig pen make sure it is sturdy enough. Pigs are generally rough animals – they tear down everything in sight (the ones they can). You wouldn’t want to build a new pen time and again so construct a strong pen the first time around.
You should make provision for a pool in your pig pen. Pigs are notorious for swimming and wallowing in water; it helps them keep cool. You also install an adequate drainage system to help clean and get rid of stagnate water in the pen.
PURCHASE HEALTHY PIGLET
How you start your pig farm is totally up to you. You could buy a couple of adult pigs with the intention of getting them to reproduce, or you could buy young piglet and rear them to maturity.
What is important is that buying healthy pigs translates to a successful business. When sourcing for healthy pigs, approach a reliable pig farm to select healthy animals. Remember to ask for the pig vaccination history. This would tell you if the pigs have been given their required vaccine up to the time of purchase.
FEEDING THE PIGS
This singular important factor determines the growth rate of your pigs. Pigs eat anything but they are big eaters – they will always eat as long as there is food. When there is no food, they turn on their piglet or they roam about and destroy things. So make sure they always have something to eat.
Pigs feed on normal everyday food that people consume. Leftover food and vegetables from your kitchen could be fed to the pig. But for a commercial pig farm, this is not wise because those leftover foods won’t even begin to scratch the surface when pigs eat.
Grain waste from breweries make good feed for pigs and they will last you a while. To balance the diet, you can add other things like salt and palm kernel. When possible, get fruits waste and anything else you can find.
Pigs, like humans, need clean water and nutritious food containing the right proportion of protein, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals. This is necessary to enhance their growth and development. No matter how clean you keep things, pigs will always find a way to mess it up. You want to keep their food well out of reach or they will consume the entire thing in one day, leaving you with more expenses and a red face.
Depending on the number of pigs you have in your farm, you might need to hire more hands to help you run the farm. A pig farm has its own share of labor: the water in the pool should be changed constantly to keep good hygiene and avoid contamination, drainage has to be cleared; someone will have to feed and water the pigs regularly, as well as other menial jobs that come with pig farming. You could start with a few employees and increase the work force as the farm expands.
KEEP THEM HEALTHY
Even though pigs are less prone to diseases (when compared to other livestock), it is important to consult a veterinary doctor to plan out a vaccination table for your pigs. Prevention, they say, is better than cure. Giving your pigs the required vaccinations will protect them from disease outbreak.
After about 6 months of nurturing the pigs, they would have grown to marketable size and they will keep growing if you let them. The market for pigs is ever-present. You can approach restaurants and hotels to supply your animals. With the right publicity buyers will always locate your farm to book for pigs even before they are matured.
You could also sell your pigs to local markets. You would be surprised at the volume of pork purchased by domestic households and road-side barbecue vendors. Furthermore young farmers who are just starting out can buy pigs from your farm.
Think about it (and act)
Take a moment and assume you buy just 20 piglet at #5,000 each (totaling #100,000), after 6 months those piglet would have matured to a marketable size. And if you chose to sell just 10 of them for #40,000 each, that’s an easy (not so much) #300,000! And you still have 10 more pigs in your farm. When you think about it, it’s not a bad business at all, is it? Act now!
Share this post with every young agriculture entrepreneur you know. If you would like to learn how to write a business plan for pig farming business, take this free Writing a Business Plan online course.