Advantage of pig rearing
1. Pigs convert inedible feeds, forages, certain grain byproducts obtained from mills, meat byproducts, damaged feeds and garbage into valuable nutritious meat. Most of these feeds are either not edible or not very palatable to human beings.
2. Pigs grow fast and have prolific breeder, farrowing 10-12 piglets at a time. A sow is capable of producing two litters per year under optimal management conditions.
3. The return of pig rearing is high. With a small investment on building and equipment, proper feeding and sound disease control programme the farmer can profitably utilize his time and labor in this subsidiary occupation; the feces of pigs is used as a manure to maintain soil fertility.
Steps for starting the pig farming business
1. Buying your pigs. It is important that you prepare the purebred stock from an acknowledged breeder that has quality purebred stock, which is greatly helpful for your advertising and marketing later with an instant credibility.
2. Housing and bonding. For the first 4-6 weeks, it is better to keep new pigs away from predators by placing them in a stall or safe quaters, which will also help you keep a close eye on your pigs to observe their performance. Wood shaving would be the best choice for pig bedding, and the living environment for pigs should be all natural and chemicals free. At the end of the 4-6 weeks, your pigs should be ready to be moved to their new home for the next 3 months before ready to market, and the boar can be separated from the gilts to prevent any premature breeding.
3. Fencing and outdoor shelter. It is good time to start fencing during the first 4-6 weeks, and pigs can be fenced by many different ways. There are three most popular fencing for pigs.
—Perimeter fencing with hot-wire is the cheapest way to go especially for large areas.
—Hog wire roll fencing with metal T post and wood post for bracing corners and long spans is a little more expensive.
—Hog panels with metal T post for support is the most expensive way to go, but it is also the easiest way to install and virtually maintenance free.
For outdoor shelter, it is always better to use the natural environment for shade and protection. A wooden area is good to choose, but if you have no wooden area, you have to build or purchase one.
4. Pig watering and feed schedule. Be sure you have adequate and constant supply of fresh water, because pigs need a lot of fresh clean water. It is a good start that to get your pigs off to a start with 18-20% pig feed. It is best to put the young pigs on a free choice diet, but not to feed them with more than 20% protein because it can cause scours which is dangerous for baby pigs.
5. Worming schedule. You can give your pigs ivermectin every 6 months to kill eternal worms and external parasites; or you can use some organic worming products.
6. Breeding. Your pigs should be reaching 200-250 lbs after about 6 months and they are now ready for breeding.
7. Pig gestation and farrowing. Pig gestation period will last 114 days. It will be important that you log the breeding days so that you will have some ideas of when the new piglets will arrive. Your sows will need to be separated from the other pigs into her own separate living areas and put on a 18% 12 lbs to 15 lbs diet, approximately one month before giving birth.
8. Raising piglets. The new born piglets has to be given good nursery and after 8-10 weeks, piglets should be separated from the sow to wean for being raised to market weight.