How To Start Commercial Pig Farming Business

commercial pig farming business 5

Do you want to start a commercial pig farming business? Or perhaps, you already run a piggery, but you want to learn one more useful tips for your pig farm? Then, you are welcome to continue reading this comprehensive pig farming guide.

In this post, I’m going to teach you how to start a commercial pig farming business in Nigeria.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of setting up and running a pig farm.

You will also learn about the pig breeds that are the best for your location and the type of business model you choose to run.

We will also explore the cost centres in running a piggery business. Remember, Expenses can make or break a business. So, we will find out what expenses you need to be aware of when you start pig farming.

To make it very easy for you to navigate through this guide, use this table of content below.

Attention Pig Farmers! Please do me a favour!!

Before I dive into the main content of this piggery guide, I need you to promise me that you will read this post till the end.

I want you to also promise me that you will apply every knowledge shared in this post.

This post is an outcome of due diligence, proper research, and shared experiences. I don’t want the wealth of knowledge shared here to be a waste.

I promise you that you would have gotten at least 50% of the knowledge you need to start a profitable piggery business in Nigeria by the time you are done reading this post.

The other 30% is a necessity that should come from proper training under expert pig farmers close to you.

Your comment is very valuable to us. It will help us improve on this guide to offer more value to you and other people too.

Please, do me this favour, before you leave this page, do well to tell us what you have learned.

Also, feel free to point out the areas which I did not cover and possible recommendations.

One more thing, please. Sharing this post will be a good way to help me make an impact in this world.

Someone will definitely thank you for sharing this comprehensive commercial pig farming guide.

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Advantages of Pig farming business

If you have read till this point, I must commend you for choosing to go into pig farming. I truly admire your passion to learn and make a living from this very lucrative agribusiness idea.

There are tons of benefits associated with commercial pig farming. I have outlined some benefits of going into piggery business below.

These benefits should give you a reason to start your own piggery today.

  1. Pigs have the advantage of being prolific breeders
  2. They have a faster growth rate:
  3. Pig Farming is very Lucrative in Nigeria. A single pig can be sold as high as N35,000 to N70,000 depending on the size.
  4. The animal has a high food conversion ratio
  5. Setup cost and management of commercial pig farming business are easy.
  6. Pig meat (pork) is in high demand in Nigeria and in Foreign market
  7. Commercial Pig Farming Business in Nigeria creates Employment
  8. Commercial Pig products
  9. Pig dungs from pig farms are used as manure.

Read Also: Benefits of commercial Pig Farming Business

Who Can Start a Commercial Pig Farming Business in Nigeria?

  • Do you want to make a huge profit from agriculture? Pig farming business is a good idea for you.
  • In need of a part-time job for additional income? You are welcome to the piggery business
  • Uneducated and unemployed? You can make more money from pig farming with the right training.
  • Are you a small scale farmer looking to add some livestock to the farm? Add a piggery to your list.
  • Guess what? Even women in the agriculture sector can try this business too.

Pig products you can focus on in commercial pig farming Business

Pig has a wide variety of usage and is highly demanded as meat for human consumption and as raw material for many industries.

Most people use pork as a common ingredient in making many kinds of sausages.

Ham and bacon are also popular products which are made from fresh pork. Bacon is prepared using salted and/or smoked pork taken from the sides of pigs while the shoulders and legs of pigs are most commonly prepared as ham.

Other useful products which you can focus on producing in commercial pig farming include:

  1. Pigskin: Do also know that Pig skin is a good specimen for practicing of tattoo art? The skin is also used for simulating human flesh when testing bullets. Other products such as low-fat butter, x-ray films, drug capsule, safety gloves and even chewing gum are produced using pig skin.
  2. Internal organs: The internal organs of pigs are used for making pet food, tambourine skin & football (bladder), surgical anticoagulant (stomach mucus),  heart valves (surgery), as well as insulin (pancreas).
  1. Pig Bones: Pig bones are used for making fabric softener, match heads, train brakes, yoghurt, beer, wine corks, ice cream, inkjet paper and for stabilizing the propellant in bullet making.
  2. Pig fat: Pigs have the highest fat content bodily and this fat is used in the production of soaps, crayons, shampoos, and biodiesel.
  3. Pig blood: This is used in making fish foods, aluminum ingot moulds cigarette filters and toothpaste.
  4. Bristles and ears: The bristle and ears of pigs are used to make paint brushes and they are also used for testing chemical weapons.

Commercial pig farming products – Infographics

commercial pig farming business infographics

Costs involved in commercial pig farming business.

In the pig business, the larger the number of pigs your sows can produce, the more profit you can make. Therefore, you must target to get the maximum number of piglets possible and sell off the piglets as soon as they are ripe for the market.

To efficiently run a profitable big farm, you must take care of the following cost centers:

  • Buying or leasing of Land
  • Cost of building a storage room where pig feed can be mixed and stored. Equipment can also be stored there.
  • Depending on the location of the farmer, the cost of building a room for yourself and your workers may be incurred
  • Pig housing construction
  • Cost of installing water facilities including pumps, pipes, taps, drinking nipples, reservoirs and boreholes if needed.
  • Expenses on Self-feeders
  • Feed scale
  • Cost of Fencing and gate
  • Money put into Road construction.
  • Purchase of personal Trucks for transportation of pigs and feed.
  • Beginning stock of gilts (young female pig) and boars (young male pig) which are 8 -10 months old for pig breeding business.
  • Beginning stock of piglets for growing-out farmers, the same thing as ‘fattening.’

Other costs involved in pig farming:

  • Cost of Labour
  • Transportation cost
  • Fuel cost
  • Veterinary Bills
  • Medication
  • Slaughter fees
  • Repairs and maintenance of fences, buildings, and vehicles
  • Additional animals.
costs involved in Commercial pig farming business
Credits: Living Green & FrugallyPinterest

How to start a commercial pig farming business

Every pig farmer out there has his/her own success strategy. But, the first thing you must know to be a successful pig farmer, is to have basic ideas about pigs and how they are managed.

Other things you need to know before starting out your pig farm include

  1. How to Select high-quality pig breeds.
  2. What should a good pig farming site look like?
  3. How to Build a very well secured and safe shelter for your pigs
  4. What are the methods of planning and scheduling Pig feeding?
  5. How to manage pig breeding
  6. Health and Disease of pigs and how to manage them.

Another success tip is the use of a well-prepared pig rearing business plan. It will be a good guide to running a profitable pig farming business.

A well detailed commercial pig farming business plan should include all the financial details of purchasing pig breeds, management cost and marketing cost.

How to choose a perfect location for running a commercial pig farm

  • The site should not be located in swampy areas that can be easily flooded by rainwater.
  • Your pig farm site should have enough protection from direct sunlight and should provide ample fresh air.
  • The farm should be located away from residential areas because of bad odour.
  • If you are running a large scale pig farm, your pig farm site should have good accessibility by roads.
  • Your piggery must have provisions for proper disposal of manure from the pig farm.
  • A perfect location for pig farming should be connected to reliable water and electricity sources.
  • 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 farms. So, Locate your farm where you have access to enough labourers.
  • Locate your farm close to your target market so that you will not spend more on transport.
ideal-pig-farm-for-commercial-pig-farming-business
Ideal pig house with shade and open area: Credit: Treehugger

What should a good pig housing/pen look like?

After the selection of suitable land for your pig farming business, the next thing is to build a pig pen or pigsty.

1. Pig housing should be well spaced and aerated:

A well-spaced pen is vital if you don’t want your pigs to injure themselves. Besides that, giving your pigs enough space in the pen is necessary to keep the pigs healthy.

It also minimizes the spread of diseases and other contamination to the entire farm.

You can build separate pens for boar, farrowing, dry sow and weaner if you have the resources. This is highly recommended for a successful pig farming business.

2. Pigs are best kept in pens that have a proper drainage system

You need to build your pig house in such a way that you can easily drain out dirty used on the farm.

If you have stagnant water in the pen, it will attract insects and other harmful pests that may harm your pigs.

3. Build a pool in your pen where your pigs can swim

Pigs lack sweat pores in their skin. So, the only way they can cool themselves down is to swim in cold water.

By providing a pool in the pen, you have not only provided them an opportunity to cool their temperature, but you have also provided them a place to wash when they become too dirty.

Make sure to change the water always. Refill the pool as frequently as possible to keep the water clean all the time.

If you are keeping them outdoor, a strong shelter should be built for them to shade themselves from rain and sun heat.

Swimming pool for commercial pig farming business
Swimming pool in a locally constructed pig pen: Credit – YouTube

4. Put all equipment for raising pigs in place before bringing your pigs.

Don’t try to bring your pigs to the farm until you have fully prepared their pen. Make sure the feeders and drinkers have been fully fitted and every specification for a good pig house has been met.

Construct a shelter that can protect pigs from adverse climatic conditions, to prevent diseases, to control parasites and to protect from external predators.

5. Make provisions to keep your pigs warm in cold seasons

If you stay in a cold area, cover the floor of the pen with straw or paddy husk to keep the pigs warm.

A heat lamp can be installed in the pig house to provide heat in extremely cold seasons.

6. Use the ideal pigsty dimensions to construct your pig pen.

An ideal pig pen should be 3 x 3 meters in floor size while the side walls should be raised 4 – 5 feet high from the ground.

7. Provide shade for the pigs.

Pigs can easily become overheated when exposed to prolonged sunshine. As stated earlier, they lack sweat pores.

You must provide shelter to keep them away from extreme hot sun. Also, do not forget to provide a small pool of water I mentioned earlier.

8. Use strong materials to build your pig house

This is really important because pigs can grow very big and heavy. If you use low-quality materials, they may push it down while playing in the pen.

Ensure you use strong materials and always check your structures to ensure they are strong.

9. Disinfect the pens and invest in the prevention of diseases in your pig farm

Finally, disinfect the pens before introducing the pigs into it, especially when keeping the pregnant pigs.

Put strict measures on the farm to disease control diseases as much as possible. You may need to safety boots, gloves, nose mask, etc.

Invest in building a proper pig housing that offers comfort to the pigs and allows for the efficient running of daily cleaning routines.

How to buy your first pig for commercial pig farming business

Now you are ready to stock your farm with pigs that will yield a profit for you.

Just before you do that, here are some tips that will help you select the right pigs for your farm.

1. You have to decide whether you will breed pigs and sell, or to buy young pigs (weaners) to grow out and sell? I advise you to start with weaners, grow them out and sell them a few times before attempting to breed pigs.

This will give you experience and an indication of costs. You will also get to understand pigs better and be better able to develop management protocols.

2. You must ensure that the pig you are bringing to your farm is in perfect and healthy condition.

3. Buy only from trusted sources and make sure the ones you are buying has a good vaccination history.

4. Take someone with experience and knowledge in this field with you when buying pigs for the first time.

If you have access to one, a veterinary doctor is a good person to go with when getting your stocking pigs.

It is better to pay more for a good pig than less for a pig that might die very soon or one that will not perform well. Examine the pig carefully to ensure you’re purchasing a good quality animal.

Ask the seller a lot of questions to help verify the condition of the pig.

If you don’t know the right questions to ask when purchasing your stocking pigs, use these below as a guide:

Questions to ask when buying your stocking pigs.

  • How old is the pig?
  • Has it ever been sick?
  • Is it receiving any vaccinations or has it received any vaccinations in the past? If yes, for which disease(s)?
  • Has it received any treatment for parasites?
  • For an adult pig, ask if it has bred before?
  • Is there a reason why the seller is selling the pig?

commercial pig farming business pig inspection

Credit: Ø-Vet Health Supervision

Things to observe when buying your stocking pigs

1. 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. Observe the belly of the pig to see if it contracts when it breathes. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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?
  • Does the pig have any swellings or red sores on the head, body or limbs?
  • Are their legs strong and straight?
  • Does the pig walk normally?

4. Look out for these pig health symptoms

  • Is the pig coughing?
  • Sneezing
  • Itching – This you can be seen if the animal rubs against objects for prolonged periods of time.
  • Diarrhea – You will know this if you see soft or watery pig dung in the pig pen.
  • Constipation – The pig is suffering from constipation if you see small, dry and hard droppings.

5. If you want to go into breeding pigs, check out these 

  • The litter size of pigs.
  • Strength and activeness of the litters
  • Observe the milking ability of pigs
  • Note the temperament of pigs

You can start your pig business with as many pigs as you want to start with. However, I discourage you from starting with too many if you are just starting.

It is better to start with a small number and increase gradually because you will learn more as you progress.

Also, the risk of something going wrong when you are operating on a small scale is minimal.

A Veterinary Doctor is very important for the success of your pig farm. You need the services of a veterinary doctor on standby. One who can visit your pig farm at short notice for regular checkup and vaccination as well as feeding and nutrition advice.

Best Pig Breeds Suitable for commercial pig farming purpose

There are several pig breeds suitable for commercial pig farming purpose and they are

  1. Large white pig
  2. Duroc pig
  3. Landrace pig
  4. Pietrain pig
  5. Yorkshire pig
  6. Hampshire pig
  7. Tamworth Pig
  8. Meishan pig
  9. Berkshire Pig
  10. Poland China Pig

There are many other species or pig breed for commercial purpose. 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. Its also possess a good carcass quality used to produce good quality bacon and pork. 

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.

Feed management in commercial pig farming

  • Feeding takes about 70% of pig production cost, just as in every other livestock farming.
  • Pigs are omnivores just as human beings are. This means that pigs can consume both plants and animals.
  • 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.
  • Make sure your feed is not contaminated in any way.
  • All feed supply should come along with fresh and clean water. Older pigs will consume about three to five gallons of water per day.
  • Add antibiotics at a ratio of 10 mg/kg to pig feed/fodder with the instruction of a veterinary professional. This will enhance the immune system of the pigs and prevent diseases from affecting them.
  • If you have extra space on your farm, you can grow some crops which you can feed your pigs. 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 regular pig diet.
  • Generally, feed intake in commercial pig farming business is based on the age and the individual weight of pigs.

Feed requirement in commercial pig farming business 

The table below shows the estimated quantity of feed consumed daily by pigs in a commercial pig farming business.

S/NThe weight of the pig in Kilograms – (kg)Feed consumption/pig/day – (kg)
125kg2 – 2.5kg
250kg3.25 – 3.5kg
3100kg5.3 – 5.5kg
4.150kg6.8 – 7.2kg
5.200kg7.5 – 8.0kg
6250kg8.3 – 8.6kg

(Source: India Agrifarming)

Breeding management in commercial pig rearing business

  • Pigs have a short gestation period and can breed at least two times in a year. The pregnancy period (gestation period) for pigs is 3 months 3 weeks and 3 days (114 days).
  • Even though pigs have a short gestation period, they produce very large litters reaching up to 12 – 15 piglets in a single birth. This is exactly what makes breeding of pigs a very lucrative agribusiness.
  • You must learn how to detect heat in breeding pigs. Ideally, breeding occurs during a time called ‘standing heat’ during which time the female will ‘lock up’, meaning that she will exhibit a natural behaviour of standing rigidly and be receptive to mounting of a boar. You must also know how to induce heat in sows. Read more about heat detection in pigs here.
  • It is extremely important to select a good boar since it contributes to half the quality of the herd.
  • A breeding boar should come from a good mother. By implication, a sow that gives birth to over 10 piglets per litter or more.
  • You only need a few males to mate with many females in your piggery.
  • A pig is ready to start breeding when it is  8 – 10 months old. Breeding males (Boars) should be at least 8 months old. A boar that is 10 months old is able to breed with about 12 females.
  • If you want to service a larger number of females, use older males to do the job. A single boar that is at least a year old can mate with as many as 50 females housed in pig stalls, or 40 located in a pasture.

How to take care of the pigs during breeding

  • 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 reproductivity. Good nutrition is important to revitalize them and prevent the pig from becoming fat especially the sow.
  • Take good care of pregnant pigs until they give birth.
  • When the piglets are born, take good care of them also. It is very important that every piglet sucks the sow’s breast milk the same day they are born. If you have some weak animals 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.
  • Do not forget to vaccinate the young pigs and maintain a vaccination schedule too.
  • Remove the needle teeth of pigs as soon as they start developing before it becomes too hard. See a video of how to cut pig teeth here.
  • 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.

The bottom line is for you to plan a breeding program which will match your resources. Don’t overshoot your budget so that you will not lose money at the end.

Reasons why your pigs may not conceive

If your pigs are not breeding well or producing plenty piglets in a litter, it could be because of these;

  • Poor breeding management leading to poor conception ability.
  • If the sow is too fat, it will also lead to low conception in pigs.
  • A pig that is just experiencing its first heat cycle may have low conception.
  • If you use a boar that’s too young, it will release premature sperm that will lead to poor conception in your pig farm.
  • Using a single boar to breed more than 5 times in a week. Ahn Ahn!! Do you want to kill the pig? LOL. Don’t use a pig that’s overworked.
  • The boar is bigger than the sow. The weight of the boar will be on the young sow.

Management and Vaccination in Commercial Pig Farming

  • In any livestock farming, care should be taken throughout their growth period to prevent any unhealthy conditions and diseases.
  • Newborn piglets should be vaccinated against Swine fever at the age of 60 days.
  • Deworm your pigs regularly to prevent them from having a worm infection which can cause a drastic loss in weight.
  • Skin infections are also very common in pigs. For the treatment, contact local veterinary facility.
  • In case of any disease, The pen and shelter should be thoroughly cleaned out and washed.
  • As your pigs continue to increase, you will need more hands on your pig farm to help you will all the pig management process.

Some common diseases of pigs.

The following are some of the diseases that affect pigs.

  1. Tetanus.
  2. Bacterial infection
  3. Swine influenza.
  4. Diarrhea.
  5. Seizures.
  6. Dry, flaky and itchy skin.
  7. Pneumonia.
  8. Constipation.
  9. Infectious arthritis.
  10. Salmonella Infections

There are many other diseases that can affect pigs, these are just the common ones. Always invite a veterinary doctor to your farm to diagnose and make prescriptions for the pigs.

How to Market your Pigs

The first step to massive sales in pig farming is to know your market. This is part of what is contained in the commercial pig farming business plan.

You must ask yourself this very important question before you start pig farming:

What is the level of demand for pork in my area? Ask yourself this even before you buy your first stocking pig because there are people with religious and cultural beliefs which are against eating of pork.

The answer to the question will help you decide on the species of pigs you want to sell and the consumer group you are going to focus on.

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 to the international market as well. There are factories that need pigs for different products, you can become a supplier to them.

The marketing opportunity is endless. Commercial pig farming does not require too much marketing as pork has excellent demand globally.

‘Na customers go rush you ooo!’ LOL!!

Hope you enjoyed your reading? Please tell us in the comment section below.

If you have questions or contribution to make this topic better, please leave them in the comment section below and I will review and publish them immediately.

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19 Comments

  1. Hi, thanks a lot for taking out the time to share this info, pls is there a platform where someone can engage you besides here? Facebook/twitter etc If there’s any pls share, God bless you!

  2. What an informative publication. I’m surely going to share with my farmer partners in Western Uganda with whom we are planning to expand our business.

  3. this is very good information worth sharing with prospective farmers. i am a prospective farmer and this gives me alot of guidance on how to begin. in Uganda i have only heard about Land race, Large white, cambrough being promoted. i have not heard yorkshire and Hampshire breeds.

    • Learning from an expert in your location is a good way to start.
      You can ask pig sellers for contacts to pig farmers near you.

  4. Very informative. Especially about vaccinations ..and heat behaviour..for farmers already on this platform. can somehow perhaps share with me a business plan for a loan. I basically have most of everything. Just need capital to do a proper adjustment

    • Pig farming ebook has not been published yet.

      The book will be available on our website when it is published.

    • We are currently working on a detailed book that will take you through the step by step process of starting and running a pig farm. It will be the most precious pig farming guide you’ve ever read.

      Thanks for your compliment.

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