Sunday, 24 July 2011

How to Start A Successful Pig Farming Business

Pigs can be raised in controlled or free environment, as a small- or large-scale business. But in whatever size, a prospective farmer would need inputs as to how to raise pigs efficiently and in a more productive manner. Raising pigs can be pursued as a small-scale operation as source of family meat and supplement income or it can be made into a large-scale operation. Pigs may be raised in highly controlled environments (hog lots) indoor, in open spaces or barns as breeding sows or grown and sold for slaughter to butcher shops.

Small-scale pig farming plays an important role in the livelihood of many families in the developing world. In Kenya, most pigs are of exotic breeds and their crosses, and are concentrated mainly around Nairobi District and its environs. These areas have the advantage of favourable climate perhaps conducive for intensive pig farming and farmers have easy access to markets. Here are some brief issues that need to be considered carefully for successful pig farming;

Choosing Piglets to Raise

Pig feeders can be obtained from stock breeders, and producers, in auctions and classified ads. Pigs are of different breeds some of them are well suited for specific environments, indoor or outdoor. Crossbred pigs tend to grow faster, consume feed more efficiently and are vigorous. When buying a feeder, choose the large and healthy looking ones, at least 11kg. If you are choosing a male, which is observed to grow slightly faster than females, get one that is already castrated. Male or female, they are preferably immunized. Ask the breeder for health information and stock of the breeder.

Proper Nutrition for Pigs

Pigs feed on both grains and meat. They can also be fed with cooked table scraps and vegetables. Corn is their most common food, but they could benefit from having a diet with protein from soybeans or cooked meat. Further, they grow faster with vitamins and other supplements. Piglets have higher protein requirements than mature ones. Feeds can be bought packaged and in bulk. Pigs must also have adequate supply of drinking water daily, about 8 to15 litres. Provide water either through a tub or automatic nipple waterer.


Ideal Housing for Pigs

Pigs need housing to keep them warm during cold temperatures and to shelter them from excessive heat. Pigs are sensitive to heat and could die from heat stress. When housed indoors, temperature conditions must be well regulated. Controlled temperature conditions can help maximize growth. Cooling mechanisms for pigs can come in the form of drip water system or a wallow (for a hog pen).
Pigs can be housed indoors in individual stalls, pens (in groups or batch) or in barns. Even if the pigs are raised outdoors they would need a shelter during cold and hot weathers. The housing should have a space for feeding and bedding.

Pig Farm Sanitation

Sanitation is important to keep the pigs disease-free. A mechanism for easy cleaning and removal of waste is necessary for any type of pig housing. Some use slotted pen floors to make waste collection easy. Hosing a barn and removal of manure daily are recommended. So is keeping the floor dry to reduce odour.
After five to seven months, pigs are likely to reach ideal market weight of more than 90kgs .They could be sold at livestock auctions or slaughtered for meat.

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