Pig rearing could be confusing for a beginner. However, if we can take you through a simple, step-by-step guide, it could be simpler for you;
- Determine the size of you intending piggery
- Research pig market in your state
- Hire an experienced pig farmer to build your pen
- Get healthy piglets
- Understand pig vaccines and vaccinations
- Understand pigs’ diseases and cure
- Understand pigs’ feed
- Start small
- Get practical pig farming training.
Determine the size of your intending pig farming business.
Just like every other thing, the planned size of your pig farm will determine every other decision, the pig pen (housing), the feeding, the labour, even the target market.For instance If your plan is to have a little pig farm, you may want to use somewhere at your backyard as their pen (house).
This will not be possible with a large scale piggery business in mind.
Build your piggery (pig house)
Your pen has to be spacious and as neat as possible (in order to avoid insects and diseases).
To start on a medium scale commercially level, you may consider half or a plot of land.
Pigs will natural love their pen (house) to be divided into four areas:
Where they eat, where they sleep/lie (pigs love to sleep near each other), where they urinate/defecate (pigs naturally choose this themselves) and the remainder part of the pen is used to travel from one point to another, to exercise and entertain themselves.
Pigs love to congregate together, so if half a plot accommodates certain number of pigs (depending on their sizes), don’t expect that a plot of land will naturally accommodate multiply by two of what half plot accommodates… it will accommodate more… because they love to lie and be around each other, so the more pigs, the less space… to an extent.
The best practice when constructing your pigs’ pen is to make it square, not rectangular.
Though rectangular pig pen can be used, it’s not going to give you the best in your pigs` management.
It’s as well advisable to let the floor of your pen drain very well and not be clay or poorly draining floor.
This is because pigs have pointy hooves that bear much weight.
A clay soil may not cause much problem in the dry environment, but can quickly make life tough for your pigs when the environment is wet because it can cause injury, feed wastage and can contribute to illness.
Should you consider concrete pens?
Concrete pens could be used for pig farming in Nigeria.
Concrete pens are good because they alleviate the problem of mud/footing that can be caused by the clay or web floor, but also present their own problems… they hold heat during hot months and could result in joint injuries and illness.
Finally, when constructing pens in your piggery, you have to assume they are all big… market size NOW.
This is important because, when the pen is too big, more pigs can be added to the pen, but what happens when the pigs in your farm are too much than the pen?
How easy it is to break down your pen and reconstruct another one?
What some pig farmers will do is to keep their pigs in such an unconducive environment, so making them sickly and dying… affecting the overall pig farm success.
Rearing pigs requires learning curves and every beginner needs to take his/her time.
As most things, walking slowly is the best strategy on the road you’re nor familiar with. If you’ve never rear pigs before, be sure there are many things you don’t know about pigs and their ways of life, pigs’ diseases & sicknesses and their growth rate.
“Start small” maybe the best advice I need to give you… especially when you don’t know anything about pig farming and you don’t have a partner who does or an experienced consultant who can hold you by the hand.
Research pig market in your area.
So many dumb people in the business world work hard to create products, then, start looking around for the market (buyers).
That’s a big error.
I know you’re not dumb.
The smartest thing a business minded person will do is to understand the market and market forces … even before venturing into any business.
As you’re planning to start a pig farming business in Nigeria (or elsewhere in Africa), you have to consider the marketing part of your intending business
Your first assignment is to answer the question; who and who around here will buy my pigs?
Do they buy them alive or as pork?
What are the forces that determine the market demand?
Do people eat more pork at certain time?
Are there taboo or religious beliefs against pork around here?
Who are the market players now? Is there available space in your market no one is serving yet?
All of this is called marketing research.
It`s a basic step top every entrepreneurial trip… and must never be neglected, even in the pig business.
Get healthy piglets (pig-children) for your pig farm
What will you consider before adopting a child?
Her health, her history, etc.
When planning to get your piglets, make sure you find out the best sources around you.
Your piglet must be healthy and a few history about their parents may be of good help.
Just like human, piglets are likely to take some of the traits of their parents, sickness, the number of children they bear, etc.
You also need to be sure that they have been given the appropriate vaccines.