Pig farming which is also known as piggery is a lucrative aspect of farming in Nigeria that can pull cash to your bank account on a daily basis.
Note this between 1970 and 2019, production of pig meat in Nigeria grew substantially from 28,350 to 302,027 thousand tones rising at an increasing annual rate that reached a maximum of 29.41% in 1984 and then decreased to 0.85% in 2019.
Currently Nigeria and Ghana jointly accounts for about $3 billion of consumption value in Nigeria and Ghana alone. A statistics from the pork upscale market in 2021.
If you are into pig farming, the primary reason why you’ll make money from this business is due to the high demand of pork meat in Nigeria and the meat sells fast in the market.
Not just Nigeria but can be exported. Did you know, China boast of being the highest consumers of pork.
Another factor to consider in this business is that pigs reproduce in large numbers and grow super-fast.
Just one pig can give birth to as much as 12 piglets at a time, making it one of the most reproducing farm animal in the world.
Piglets are also called shoat or farrow. A male pig is also known as Boar while the female is a sow. A group of pigs is called a herd or drove.
As a pig farmer, you can sell a fully grown pig for as high as ₦35,000 naira depending on the weight.
Now, imagine if you can rear at least a 100 pigs to maturity, you’ll be making nothing less than ₦3.5 Million naira from the sales.
If you can rear like 2000 pigs a year, you will be making roughly ₦60 Million naira. Considering how fast pigs reproduce, it won’t be hard to rear 100 pigs in a year.
The question now is, how do you go about setting up this business? We shall examine some useful guides below.
Top 10 Tips On How To Start Lucrative Pig Farming Business In Nigeria
Here are the top 10 tips on how to start lucrative pig farming business in Nigeria
1. Acquire Training
As it is commonly said knowledge is power, a man cannot give what he doesn’t have. Starting up a pig farm/ industry requires knowledge and skills.
You get to know about new techniques and insights which are developed continuously to take better care of your pigs and improve the end product.
It is not advisable to start a pig farm without having knowledge about it. So, before starting up the farming, try and get the basic training on what pig farming is all about by registering in any entrepreneurship training on pig farming where you can take internship.
On the other hand, there are local pig farmers who have long time experience that you can ask questions and learn from.
It is good to learn a modernize way of starting a pig business since they are already into the business with wealth of experience all these depends on your time, zeal to learn.
It will help you get first hand knowledge and solutions to issues that may occur during the pig faming process.
Also, it will provide you with the necessary information you should know for a successful pig farming.
2. Farm Land Selection
First of all, you have to select a very good location for starting this business. It will be better, if the land is far from residential area.
It will interest you to know that selecting a calm, noise and pollution free place will be good for better production of pigs.
How to choose a perfect location for running a commercial pig farming business:
i. The site should not be located in swampy areas that can be easily flooded by rainwater.
ii. Your pig farm site should have enough protection from direct sunlight and should provide ample fresh air.
iii. The farm should be located away from residential areas because of bad odour.
iv. If you are running a large scale pig farm, your pig farming site should have good accessibility by roads.
v. Your piggery must have provisions for the proper disposal of manure from the pig farm.
vi. A perfect location for pig farming should be connected to reliable water and electricity sources.
vii. Build your pig farm in a location where you can easily have access to veterinary aid.
Man labour will be required for large scale pig farming. So, Locate your farm where you have access to enough labourers.
It is expedient to Locate your farm close to your target market so that you will not spend more on transport.
Making a good house with the availability of all required facilities is very important for successful pig farming business.
A good house not only keeps the pigs healthy, but also helps them to stay free from adverse weather conditions.
Install a good ventilation system, and ensure flow of sufficient amount of fresh air and light inside the house.
Pigs are very sensitive to heat and they may become sick and die due to excessive heat or cold temperature.
So, controlled and moderate temperature can help to maximize the growth and production from pig farming business.
Pigs can be raised both indoors and individual stalls, pens or barns. In case of raising the pigs outdoor, they need special type of shelter during hot and cold weather.
It is good to keep sufficient space for feeding and bedding inside the house. Pigs generally like dry bed. So, always try to keep the house and bed dry.
Also make a suitable system for protecting from extreme humidity, heat and cold. For indoor pig farming system, make proper and sufficient ventilation systems in the house.
Make a proper drainage inside the house to keep the house dry. Good sanitation system inside the house is very important for pig farming.
I want to bring to your knowledge that it is important to make housing with good sanitation facilities so that you can easily clean the house.
Now take a look at the spacing below, your pig house should have at least such spacing.
4. Purchase A Healthy Piglet
In starting pig farming, it is important to buy the younger ones, because the younger ones are very easy to adapt and also easy to control than the older ones.
Purchasing of healthy pigs can help in achieving successful pig farming. So in getting the healthy pigs, you need to get it from a trusted pig farm.
Now, it is important to ensure that you check their health properly so as to save your money from vaccines and other medication.
As a beginner, it is advisable to buy just a few numbers of pigs, so that you can be able to manage and monitor them properly.
However, you can choose both local and hybrid piglets. For commercial purpose crossbreed of exotic and local breeds are very suitable.
This types of crossbreed pigs consume more feed, grow faster and become healthier than other available breeds.
There are various types of crossbreeds available. So, it may be difficult for you to select the right breed for your pig farming business.
So, while purchasing pigs look out the following signs:
i. Observe the pig when it is lying down
Does the pig look comfortable and relaxed? Is it breathing normally and regularly? Make sure the pig is not wheezing or gasping for air.
If it contracts, it means that the pig is battling to breathe. Only the chest of a normal breathing pig should be rising and falling.
Observe the pigs reactions when you clap your hands shout or whistle loudly. A healthy pig should react by looking at you when you make a sudden noise.
ii. Study each stocking pig when it is standing up
Observe the size to know if it is too fat or too thin. If the hips, shoulders, ribs or backbone under the skin protrudes out of the body of the pig, it means that the pig is too thin.
If it has rolls of excess fat around its neck, it means that it’s too fat. An excessively fat pig can develop leg and foot problems as well as the possibility of not breeding well.
iii. Analyze the overall appearance of the pig
- Is the back straight?
- Does it have a glossy coat?
- Is the pig’s skin healthy and clean?
- Are their legs strong and straight?
- Does the pig walk normally?
- Does the pig have any swellings or red sores on the head, body or limbs?
iv. Look out for these pig health symptoms
- Is the pig coughing?
It is important to ask the producer about their parents, their health information, production history and other records.
So, it is good to also ask if the pig has been vaccinated and dewormed or not. If not, ask the producer to do it urgently.
5. Select Right Breed
Selecting the right breed is very important for successful pig farming business. So, choose the breed wisely.
You should choose those breeds which are easily available in your area. Local breeds are also a good option, but production will be less.
Try to consult with some existing producers in your area, and ask for help for selecting the right breed for your business.
The following are some common and popular pig breeds for commercial production:
- Large white pig
- Duroc pig
- Landrace pig
- Pietrain pig
- Yorkshire pig
- Hampshire pig
- Tamworth Pig
- Meishan pig
- Berkshire Pig
- Poland China Pig
There are many other species of pig breeds for commercial purposes. However, the best pig breeds for commercial pig farming are Large White, Yorkshire, Hampshire, and Landrace.
The Large white pigs are very active and can adapt to most climates and this type of pig has a long, productive life in the breeding pen.
The pig is a highly prolific breeder and it utilizes feed efficiently. It also possesses a good carcass quality used to produce good quality bacon and pork.
The large white pig breed has also gained popularity for its ability to cross with and improve other pig breeds.
A mature boar (male) weighs between 300 kg and 450kg while a mature sow (female) weighs between 250 kg and 350 kg.
Feeding the pigs with good quality and nutritious food is the most important part of commercial pig production.
Good food not only help to keep the pigs healthy, but also help them to grow better and gain weight faster.
You can either feed them with a ready made commercial feeds or you can prepare the feeds on your own.
You can select the most economical ingredients for preparing the feeds. Basic ingredients of pig feed are oat, grains, maize, wheat, rice, sorghum and other millets.
You can add some protein supplements like oil cakes, fishmeal and meat meal. Feeding takes about 70% of pig production cost, just as in every other livestock farming. Pigs are omnivores just as human beings are.
Like human beings, pigs need to be put on a balanced diet including all six classes of food. The better the quality of food you feed your pigs, the faster they gain weight.
Generally, high-quality feed accounts for quick weight gain in commercial pig farming. It is better to stick to one feeding schedule for all the animals in the pig house.
If you have extra space on your farm, you can grow some crops which you can feed your pigs with. Pig feeds are expensive in the market and this will make you incur some extra expenses.
You can grow grain crops like maize, sorghum, wheat, oats, and millets to support your pig feeds. This savings on feed cost will directly reflect in your pig farming profits.
Apart from regular feed, supplemental feeds like fishmeal, oil cakes. mineral mixtures, salt cubes can be added in a regular pig diet.
Generally, feed intake in the commercial pig farming business is based on the age and the individual weight of pigs.
Taking good care of the animals is very important for getting good production from your business. Although, pigs are very hardy and require less caring and other management.
Ensure hygiene system inside the house. This will help the animals to stay free from all types of health hazard and diseases.
Keeping the boars and sows separated from each other is a great idea. All the boars are not necessary for breeding.
So, keep some for breeding and you can castrate the remaining pigs when they reach 3 to 4 weeks of age.
Take extra care of the pregnant and lactating sows. Vaccinate them on a regular basis to keep them safe from swine diseases.
I want you to note that it is important to keep good contact with a vet in your area. Keeping the pigs in a calm and quiet place will be good.
Don’t allow visitors inside your farm. However, you need to get a vet doctor to occasionally vaccinate your pigs to avoid infections and diseases.
There are many other diseases that can affect pigs, the following are just the common ones:
- Bacterial infection
- Swine influenza
- Dry, flaky and itchy skin
- Infectious arthritis
- Salmonella Infections
Always invite a veterinary doctor to your farm to diagnose and make prescriptions for the pigs.
Pigs are naturally very good breeders. They will breed easily if you keep good ratio of sows and boars. Pigs generally reach breeding age faster.
Both boars and sows become suitable for breeding within their 8 months of age. Heat period of a sow lasts for 2 to 3 days.
So, the first day during the heat period of a gilt is the best time to breed, and the second day is the best day for a sow.
A lactating sow become ready for breeding again 2-10 days after weaning. Gestation period of pigs is not more than 115 days.
Generally, a sow can give birth of piglets twice a year, and about 8-12 piglets each time making it one of the most productive mammal in the world.
Since it’s very productive the piglets can all grow together if properly taken care of and sold together there by generating huge income.
Remember a mature weight pig goes for ₦35,000 naira imagine selling 8-15 of the piglets when matured in just 3-4months.
During the breeding period, ensure that your pigs are placed on a good nutritional diet. Good nutrition replenishes their lost energy and prevents fat deposition that may lower reproduction.
Good nutrition is important to revitalize them and prevent the pig from becoming fat especially the sow.
It is very important that every piglet sucks the sow’s breast milk the same day they are born.
If you have some weak ones among the litter, help bring them to the sow’s breast so that they can suck.
The first milk is very important for them to build some immunity against diseases. Select the pigs you want to use for breeding in the future and keep in a different pig house.
Castrate the ones you want to fatten as they are still very young when they can absorb the pain and heal fast.
9. Employ Workers
The hiring of workers to work for you depends on the scale of your business and also the number of pigs that is on your farm.
A pig farm has so many work like clearing of the drainage, changing of the water in the pool to improve proper hygiene and prevent them from contamination, feeding the pigs regularly, including other jobs associated with pig farming.
It is advisable to start by employing few workers for a start and gradually increase them as workload becomes so big and the profit increases as well.
In pig farming, a piglet that you purchased at two months is matured enough for sale at the sixth month.
So in order for you as a farmer to boost your probability of making more profit, it is necessary that you buy them into different groups and then sell them in bulk.
Once your pigs have reached marketable weight, you can sell them to abattoirs or slaughterhouses and wholesale livestock dealers.
If you have the resources, you can process the pigs and sell them to the international market as well.
There are factories that need pigs for different products, you can become a supplier to them when people are aware.
Marketing: Secure a market for your pigs before commencing production.
Housing: Provide substantial structures that can protect the pigs from extreme weather, which might affect their performance.
Breeding: Acquire high-quality genetic material and breeding stock.
Feed: Ensure that feed meets all the nutritional requirements at different production stages.
Biosecurity: Put measures in place to prevent the disease from coming onto the farm, as well as spreading between pig houses.
Health: Healthy pigs are productive pigs, and prevention is always cheaper than cure.
Welfare: Ensure that the pigs are free from hunger, thirst and pain at all times.
Staff: Employ competent workers, and take good care of them.
Pig farming is a profitable business that you can think of, its source of income is not only from the meat but their skins also serve as a source of income because it is used for production of leather materials.
Engaging in this type of farming is very good because it pays well; they can give birth 2 or 3 times in a year, and at each stage, they can bear many numbers of piglets like 8 to 12.
For every year you will be expecting like 15 to 25 piglets. With the right knowledge, training, and finance, you can start up a successful pig farming business.
Therefore, it is advisable that before you start a pig farming business, you need to visit other established pig farms ask questions, visit google and interact with professionals in the business.