Pig farming can yield a better financial return than other livestock such as sheep and cows but there are a few things that you need to consider. Here is how to get started with a pig farm. For those of you that cannot work with pigs for religious reasons, you can perhaps look at fish farming or look at various other ideas over here.

The business
Farming is a laborious and capital intensive business with a lot risk, when starting it is best to use a farming technique that matches your current experience and capital. In the case of pig farming this would mean that you buy the newly weaned piglets (young pigs), grow it and resell it, once you have experience in doing that for a while then you can consider breeding which requires more skill and experience.

As with any farming technique there are various intricacies in farming pigs as breeding is more complicated than rearing pigs and by starting with rearing pigs you also get a feel for all the costs involved in the rearing process. Once you get to the point where you understand pigs enough to breed them then you will have a higher reward, as pigs often produce up to ten piglets in a good litter.

Once your piglets are grown it’s time to sell them; depending on where you are there might be a livestock market or you can sell direct.

Facilities
Where you farm from is very important, whether it be on space on a farm or on a small holding, Shane Brody writing for Farmers Weekly has these tips:

  • Choose your housing system: intensive or free range, in other words high density, closed farming, or free-roaming in small camps.
  • If free range, provide shelter in the form of triangular shape housing which allows the piglets to safely lay in the corners to prevent being rolled on by their parents.
  • Have a reliable supply of clean water available. Keep at least two days’ water in reserve in case something goes wrong with supply.

It is important to understand that in business you often get out exactly what you put in, this is doubly true for farming, there is no shortcuts and cutting corners whether you don’t vaccinate or feed your pigs properly can be disastrous. I also want to touch on another subject: farming is really hard and if you not willing to work hard then farming is not for you. Shane Brody recommends that you first buy a few piglets to grow to adulthood to see if you have a “feel” for pig farming.

Resources
Type  Farming
Guides Pig farming: starting from scratch
Sector Farming
See also Farming Business Ideas in South Africa


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