Do you need a lucrative agricultural business to start? If yes, see the step by step guide on how to start pig farming in Nigeria. Pig farming involves the raising of pigs for commercial purposes such as meat (pork) and sometimes for their skin. Pig farming is quite profitable because pigs are very reproductive animals. One pig can give birth to as much as 15 piglets at a time.
It is no longer news that in today’s Nigeria where conventional white collar jobs are hardly available, agriculture has become a not just a solid alternative but a money spinner.
Over time, agro based businesses have proven to be profitable and sustainable because the primary need of man is food.
Agro businesses are also quite easy to run with the right direction.
This article intends to give the basic steps towards tapping from the agricultural goldmine through the business of pig farming.
Considering that one adult pig can go for as much as ₦30,000 you will definitely be smiling to the bank with this business.
Interested?…let us now look at some basic questions that need to be answered before deciding to invest your time and money into starting your pig farm.
- Where Will I Locate My Farm?
In setting up your pig farm, land is obviously your single highest investment. In selecting your location, you have to consider a few things;
i. Availability and Cost
To set up a small scale pig farm you will need to secure at least half a plot of land. It is essential that you have to keep the cost of land low by setting up the pig farm in a rural or semi urban area where the cost of the land will not be excessive.
If you intend to set up in an urban area, you have to ensure that you build the pens in such a way that the available land is judiciously utilized. Just have it in mind that pigs need quite a bit of space to move around for them to be healthy.
ii. Proximity to Butcher or Market
It could save you a lot in the long run if your pig farm is located close to your intended market or butcher. This is so because it could cost quite a lot to transport your live pigs from afar to these locations for sale or slaughter.
iii. Cultural Beliefs of the Locality
It is important for you to consider the traditions and beliefs of the locality where you intend to set up your pig farm or sell them. In Nigeria for example, adherents of Islam see consuming pork as taboo. This means that it would be unwise to setup your farm in an area highly populated by Muslims
Careful consideration of these points will help you to select a prime location for your pig farm.
- What is the Size of My Farm?
It is important to have a clear picture of the size of farm you intend to setup. This factor will determine your capital, land you will make available and your target market.
However for someone going into the business for the first time, it is recommended that you start small, that is maybe with two males and four females.
This will help you to get a grip of the intricacies of the business before going in big.
- How Much Capital do I Need?
Before proceeding with putting your intentions into actions, it is important to consider if you have the needed capital or if you will be able to raise it, the initial capital cost could vary from location to location, but on the average, adult pigs can go for between ₦30,000 to ₦35,000.
Adding up your construction costs, feed and other sundry expenses will give you a good idea of how much capital you will need to have at hand.
After satisfactorily answering these questions, it is now time to begin to put the necessary structures for your pig farm on ground.
1. Construct Your Pen
Just as the nature and quality of your house is important to your health and well-being so is the pen important to the pigs. It is important that you construct your pen in such a way that your pigs will have enough room to roam around as much as they want. It is also necessary to make sure that the pen is always kept neat. This will ensue that diseases do not spread easily in your farm.
Best practice dictates that pigs thrive in a square shaped pen construction which is divided into four parts for sleeping, eating, defecation and play area. Pigs are known to be intelligent and inquisitive animals, therefore you have to ensure that the pen is solidly constructed to prevent them from escaping.
Pigs love to lie in mud or water when the weather becomes hot, so it is advisable to make a small pool of water available for their wallowing area.
Lastly, ensure that the floor of your pen drains really well. If the soil becomes too wet and soft, the pig’s pointed hoofs can become stuck in. This would make movement very difficult for the pigs.
2. Arrange for Quality Feed
It is widely known that pigs can eat almost anything, in fact they are sometimes referred to as nature’s waste disposal system. Considering that you intend to raise the pigs for commercial purposes, it is necessary to give them specialized food that will help them grow and gain market weight quickly. Remember that the price of the pig depends largely on its weight.
There are various types of pig feed available in the market that are suited for pigs of different breeds and age. Apart from the specialized feed, you can also offer them vegetables, fruits, grass and meat. Do not give them raw meat because of the possible high bacteria content.
Also ensure that you provide lots of drinking water for the pigs because they consume high quantity of water especially during the dry season.
3. Buy the Right Piglets
It is very important to ensure that the piglets you use to start are very healthy and are from a good parent stock. Try as much as you can to confirm that they have been vaccinated against all the common pig diseases.
You can even engage a veterinary doctor when selecting your piglets. They will also give you proper advice on the right methods of feeding and necessary steps to take for the good health of your pigs.
Lastly, you will need to employ one or two workers who will assist you with feeding, cleaning and taking general care of the pigs.
After successfully setting up your farm, ensure that you continue to seek out more information that will improve the quality of pigs that you produce. Keep your ears to the ground for seminars and training sessions on pig farming to enable you connect with other pig farmers and also gain valuable information.
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