Animal Husbandry has always been and will always be a profitable venture. This is because there has and will always be the demand directly for animals or their products all which include meat, fiber, skin, eggs or milk. The world’s consumption of animal products obviously makes rearing them profitable, with statistics showing that they contribute to 40% of the calorie content from food supply.
There are many animals that contribute to this figure, some of the mass reared animals include; chickens, different fish, cows, goats, and pigs. Of course people are more familiar with the rearing of fish, cows and chickens than they are with rearing pigs but they have a lot of use. For starters, on a commercial scale pigs are reared as livestock, mostly for their meat. However, there are a few other things they can be used to produce including leather (from their skin) and brushes (from their bristly hairs).
STARTING YOUR PIGGERY
Pig farming steadily gains popularity among options for animal husbandry mostly because of the little investment required for startup for the buildings and farming equipment. You probably already know of the uses for pigs and are simply looking for advice on rearing them. For commercial purposes land is a major requirement, that and the basic structures and amenities – food and water. After that, the pigs practically take care of themselves. It’s not exactly all you have to do though since the focus for you is tips running a piggery efficiently, with maximum profit. Here are a few tips to ensure you make profit with managing your farm.
LOCATION – This is not just about selecting a space; a lot of market analysis is required as to the best location for set up. The idea is to make seemingly little things big - taking full hold of opportunities around the location. This is done by considering the businesses around that may need produce from your farm and the competitors in the market. The focus of market analysis on location selection should be on tightening the belt on expenditure that would arise from preventable recurrent events – things like transportation costs. In most cases the perfect location does not exist and a balance should be found between locations that are available. You may also want to strongly consider the religion factor when choosing the location to start your farm in a place like Nigeria. Starting a pig farm in locations that are heavily populated by Muslims may not be wise, due to the fact that Muslims do not eat pork hence you might be setting yourself up for failure because you will not have a market for your product.
CONSTRUCTING PROFESSIONAL PENS – This is the most important aspect of marketing – expressing professionalism. However, the need for professional pens stretches beyond having professional appearance. It is necessary to give your pigs the best chance of growth performance which translates to profit in minimal times. The professional pen should ideally be 6 feet in width to 10 feet in length with side panel at least 3 feet high. Not only this, it should also have absorbent bedding made of wood shavings around the pen to keep the environment dry at all times.
BUYING HEALTHY PIGS – This is of course the most important aspect to making profit. The span of growth to accepted weight is usually around 5 months but ensuring that they are no losses in number is heavily dependent on buying healthy piglets in the first place. A healthy pig is best analyzed with its Body, Ears/nose/eyes, Skin and Temperament (B.E.S.T) with standards for healthy pig with each assessment item. For instance, the eyes of healthy pigs are bright, with pink eyelids… in this case a pig with sunk or irritated eyes could be sick and should not be bought for your farm.
CONTRACTING A VETERINARIAN –
As expected, buying a perfectly healthy pig isn’t always a guarantee that it won’t fall sick. Having a vet come to the farm every now and then should help keep sickness at bay, or at least ensure that it isn’t spread to every other pig. Not only for this, pigs have high breeding rates – which is one of the reasons why it is profitable. The gestation period for pigs is 114 days. This means that a Gilt (female pig without piglets) could give birth twice a year, each time giving birth to a litter of piglets. A vet will ensure that the piglets are healthy, and that they remain that way thereby multiplying the number of pigs on your farm, giving you even more profit.
FEEDING THEM OFTEN – It all boils down to this in the end. Pigs, like humans require food and water for growth, at all times. Feeding at regular times amount to healthy, big pigs that meet the market specifications fast. Although pigs can eat waste from houses, it would be detrimental to their growth having them feed mainly on that. Their feed ranges from grains, fruits to vegetables and are best using hanging clip-on feeders to ensure the feed is at the right height. It is redundant at this point saying that water is important, but having it available at all times is even more so. Having fresh water and feed available at all times are the most important things to ensure your pigs grow well throughout the feeding period.
Ultimately pigs are very smart, they take care of themselves. Running a pig farm should not be difficult, and making outstanding profit shouldn’t be either if the above steps are considered.