Today we will be explaining how to start pig farming, the challenges involved and opportunities surrounding it.
A Pig is described as an omnivorous domesticated hoofed mammal with sparse bristly hair and a flat snout for rooting in the soil, kept for its meat.
Pig farming also known as Hog farming is a branch of animal husbandry which deals with the raising of domestic pigs as livestock principally for food (e.g pork, gammon, bacon) and skins.
Pig farming can be practiced in many different styles or system.
Intensive commercial units: also known as pig factory farming. It is the primary method of pig production, in which pigs are housed indoors. This intensive system implies the organization of the system in such a way to increase or maximize the efficiency and Profit of the production.
Free range enterprises or extensive system: This system allows pigs to wander around a village or a town, or tethered in a simple shelter outside the owner’s house. This system involves pig herd rotated on pasture (oats, barley or lucerne) or cropland.
Pig farming faces many challenges or problems which includes:
High cost of feeding: one of the main challenges to maintain or increase pork production is the issue of feed. Feed typically represents 70% of the cost of production. Pigs will eat an average of 6 to 8 pounds of feed per day. Raising pigs to 300+ pounds live weight will require an extra feed.
Poor or inadequate slaughter facilities: also called abattoir where animals are slaughtered. One environmental concern associated with slaughter houses is wastewater and water contamination.
Most slaughter houses lacks employee training and supervision, equipment maintenance and welfare, poor condition of the animals arriving at the plant, distraction that impede animal movement, stressful equipment and methods.
Slaughter houses pollution contributes to a wide range of health and ecological threats which includes drinking water contamination, toxic algal out breaks
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Unorganized marketing: This is another challenge facing pork production. The market channel are Farm – abattoir – butchery or processing plant with finished products distributed to supermarkets .
Farm – Farm and individuals sales are other types of marketing channels which is left out most times. In most cases the pig farming or pork production industry is not linked to supporting structures; hence the entire marketing chain or channel from farm to retail is not viewed as single profit making entity.
Poor breeding stock: when selecting a breeding stock for farm, alot should be put into consideration.
Old animals are poor breeders and low producers. Production and breeding efficiency decline with age likewise level of performance.
Factors to consider when selecting a Pig farming breeding stock.
1. Age: Young animals will do better than old animal in breeding. Those that have not parturiated (to bring forth Young offsprings) for more than 3- times, should be selected.
Young pigs have a longer productive life.
2. Level of performance: Animals with highest production level should always be selected.
3. Good performance Animals.
Good mothering ability
Ability of a parent to pass good qualities to their offspring (prepotency)
Animals with poor performance should be culled (select animals from a group to reduce the numbers of the group in a controlled manner.)
4. Physical fitness: selected animals should be free from any physical defect like mono – eyed, defective and weak backline, limpling, irregular number of teats, scrotal hernia.
5. Health: sick or unhealthy animals are expensive to keep and care for and they do not breed well.
Animals that are resistant to diseases pass this characteristic to their offsprings.
When it comes to how to start pig farming, there are other factors you must also consider, such as ;
- Temperament: Animals with bad behavior should be culled. For example, aggressiveness, kicking and cannibalism.
- Product outcome or quality: Animals with good quality products like high quality and quantity meat and skin should be selected.
- Mothering ability: selected animals should have good mothering ability. Animals with good natural instinct towards their young ones.
This will enable them to rear the young ones up to weaning.
- Prolificacy: selected animals should be fertile (producing offspring in abundance). This is a quality that should be considered when selecting pigs.
The ancestry records help to choose the prolific breeds for mating.
- I believe you enjoyed our article on how to start Pig farming.