Pig farming which is also known as piggery is a lucrative aspect of farming in Nigeria that can create a massive cash flow to your bank account. Some reasons why this aspect of farming is booming in Nigeria are;
- There is a high demand of pork meat in Nigeria. They sells quickly.
- They reproduce in large numbers and grow super-fast. One pig can reproduce 12 piglets.
- Pig farming is cost effective.
Pigs mature quite a bit faster than a beef cow and render way more meat (and lard) then a chicken (and frankly they taste wonderful when prepared properly).
If you are planning on starting a piggery, here are some useful tips to consider and ensure you start on the right foot.
Choosing the right kind of pigs for your farm is essential. What is it you want to achieve? If you are breeding the pigs for meat, then a type such as the large white is excellent since not only does it give great quality meat, it also breeds well and your farm will be replenished quickly. Since it is not a rare breed, it is also inexpensive to purchase initially. Additionally, it’s easier to buy piglets than raise breeding stock if your are breeding for meat.
Set a Budget
It is advisable to set a budget before you consider purchasing your pigs to avoid getting carried away. If buying privately, ensure that the pigs are thoroughly checked for disease – intensive pig farming involves pigs being housed in close quarters, and disease will spread quickly, decimating your herd.
Keep Them Healthy
A healthy pig is a happy pig. Due to the restricted space and ease of the spread of disease including salmonella, many farmers add vet prescribed antibiotics to their pigs’ feed, to ensure a longer life and better health. Consider if this is something you want to do. It costs more initially, but could save you money in the long run, as disease ridden stock will have to be destroyed.
An alternative is to rely on natural methods like; de-worming with garlic (add approximately 1 pound of Garlic granules to one ton of feed), Oregano for fighting parasites and infection, Tea Tree oil for cuts and scrapes and, Geranium essential oil handy for bleeding (they tend to scuffle a lot).
A few basic husbandry skills can make for a happy home for the pigs too: clean water, an adequate, well-balanced diet and adequate ventilation.
Keep in mind that you may need to apply for planning permission to erect a piggery in agricultural land. This process can take many months, so applying as soon as possible is the best idea.
How much space you will need depends on how many pigs you want to be able to house. Before you bring home piglets you need to have a pen and some sort of shelter. If the pen is small, the piglets will grow faster because they will not have as much room to exercise. However, in a small pen the ground can be really destroyed and parasites have more of a chance to grow. So you need to weigh the pros and cons properly.
Choose the right Feed
Not every bag of pig feed is perfect for your swine. A Professor and Swine Nutritionist Eric van Heugten says that different life stages require different nutrients. “The greatest bang for your buck would be to go to at least two diets: One for young pigs and lactating sows, and one for older pigs and gestating sows.” Another option to is to make your own feed from a grain and protein source or find a natural pre-made feed in your area. Pigs also like lots of fresh milk, table scraps or local apples. Avoid feeding your pigs bakery scraps. It can alter the quality of meat.
Are you an established pig farmer? Feel free to share other tips that have worked for you.