Pig Rearing for Beginners in Nigeria – Startup Cost, Housing, Feeding, Business Plan

Are you interested in starting pig farming in Nigeria? What is the average cost of starting a pig farm?

Livestock farming in Nigeria has increasingly become attractive among Nigerians. This is because many have discovered the huge potential and possibilities presented by this sector. If you have ever been to Oke Aro pig farm estate, you’ll understand me better.

This article will focus on one of such areas. Pig farming in Nigeria is big business that you too can start. If you are interested in this area of livestock farming, read on as we cover the basics.

We will provide you with as much information on what to expect and what farming strategies to adopt when running a piggery.

Complete Guide to Commercial Pig Farming in Nigeria

  • Choosing your Preferred Farming Method

To choose a pig farming system that matches your needs, you need to have an understanding of the most common farming methods available. Pig farming consists of 3 main methods. These include the free-range system, the semi-intensive and the intensive methods.

Let’s briefly explain each of these;

a) The Free-Range System of Farming

The name itself is key to understanding its meaning. Under this system of pig farming, the pigs are not kept within an enclosure, but are allowed to roam freely. This is mostly adopted by people with little means of providing adequate food and care for the pigs. They are allowed to scavenge for food by themselves.

This method is not the best as it exposes them to hazards. They cool off in dirty water, are more open to diseases as well as cause damage to food crops especially in rural areas. These take a longer time to reach maturity as compared with the rest. A major reason for this is due to poor feeding.

Under this system, little investment of your time and resources are required. Most farmers in Nigeria who practice this method keep these pigs for times when they would need to exchange them for money to take care of a pressing need.

b) Semi-Intensive Method

Under this system of pig farming, a restriction of movement is placed. This is the most preferred system of livestock farming for medium and some smaller scale farmers. Here, the pigs are better taken care of, better fed, and given better medication when compared to the free-range system. In return, better growth, increased productivity and better health is obtained.

Although it will cost you money, the returns are rewarding when done properly. If you have no means of taking care of these livestock, then you are better off adopting the first system of pig farming.

c) The Intensive System

This system of pig farming is strictly commercial in nature. It is used by major or big-time farmers. This method of pig farming is capital intensive and rears pigs mainly to meet the demands of the market. These operate at a much bigger scale and are likely to have an established distribution chain.

Having explained these, it behoves on you to choose your most preferred farming method based on available resources (mainly financial) as well as your preferences which may depend on multiple factors.

Pig Farming Profitability in Nigeria

An exact figure cannot be placed on profitability in piggery. Also, starting the business is no guarantee of success.

However, an important ingredient needed for profitability is approaching the business with the right mindset. You need focus and determination coupled with good farm management to become profitable.

The fact remains that the market for pork is huge in Nigeria. Do it well and you will reap the financial rewards.

  • How Much is Needed to Start a Piggery in Nigeria?

A lot of people ask this question with hopes of getting definite answers. In reality, this is a difficult question to answer. Obtaining an off-the-cuff answer will be misleading.

Why? Because people may read an article several years after it had been written. If figures were given then, the realities between the different periods may differ significantly. In other words, the value of the Naira is never constant.

Whichever method of pig farming you want to adopt, it is better to seek advice from successful pig farmers around you.

If you want to start on a large scale, be on the lookout for a big piggery that matches or corresponds to what you plan on starting. Your questions on start-up costs should be directed at the owner. The same applies to other systems of pig farming.

  • Conducting a Market Research

This is important for starting a piggery. A research is necessary to help you understand the forces of supply and demand. It is unwise to jump into the business before learning about how it works. That will be a sure recipe for disaster. Instead, you need to find out who your customers (demand) are. Is there real and sustained demand for pork? Can you meet or supply these demands? What is the current pig price in Nigeria?

These and more are important questions that require clear-cut answers. The more accurate data you obtain, the higher your chances at succeeding in the business.

  • Building your Pen

Having selected your most preferred system, it is necessary to provide appropriate housing. When building a pig pen, it should be divided into four main sections. These sections are areas for sleeping, eating, roaming and passing out waste. Square pens give greater management flexibility compared to rectangular pens.

Other factors to consider include;

1) Building with an End in View

What does this mean? It simply means that you are building a pen big enough for a large or matured pig. This eliminates problems resulting from pigs out-growing available space. Under such circumstances, it will be difficult to expand the pens when they are grown.

2) What Floor Type will be most preferable?

When building your pig pen, your choice of the most appropriate floor type is important. Area having clay soils pose challenges. This is because they drain poorly when it rains. This becomes messy during the rainy season and can become the perfect condition for diseases to thrive. It also leads to food wastage.

During the harmattan or dry season however this can be tolerable.

Concrete flooring solves the problems associated with poorly drained soils like clay. However, it poses its own problems. These can become unbearably hot during the dry season. Also, injuries may result as well.

To avoid both situations, it will be best to build your pen on soils having good drainage capacity. This helps avoid both extremes.

  • Vaccinations

To operate a successful piggery, proper vaccination is required. There are lots of veterinary doctors as well as hospitals and clinics. Wherever you live in Nigeria, there is a veterinary facility not too far away. All necessary inquiries should be made before purchasing your piglets.

This allows you to be adequately prepared and to administer the right vaccines as at when due. This significantly reduces mortality.

  • Where Should you Locate your Pig Farm?

This is a sensitive issue in Nigeria. Why? Pigs and pork meat are seen as a taboo in some parts of the country, especially the north due to religious and cultural beliefs. With this reality in view, establishing a pig farm in some parts of the north will not only be unwise, but may put you in harms way.

However places in the north-central and southern states of Nigeria are ideal for locating or establishing a piggery.

  • Pig Breeds

Pigs consist of a variety of breeds. Different breeds are well suited to certain geographical regions or locations. Some of the most popular breeds include the Aksai Black Pied, Duroc, Hampshire, Cumbrough, Landrace, Beijing Black, Bangur and Bisaro among others.

Certain breeds are well adapted to particular climatic conditions. To establish a pig farm in Nigeria, it is best to source your breeds locally.

  • What to Consider when Selecting your Pig Breed

Your choice of a pig breed is very vital to the success of your business. Therefore to select the best breed, it is necessary to consider the history of the parents. Yes! This is highly important! If the parents are highly productive and have an impressive growth history, then you may want to consider picking from such stock.

The pig owners know about the history of all their breeds. On the other hand, parents who are sickly will pass down this characteristic to their young piglets. You should avoid such as you are likely to encounter multiple problems such as slow or stunted growth as well as sickness.

  • Be on the Lookout for Unusual Behaviour

Pigs get sick too. Some forms of illness can be fatal and can result in heavy losses due to death. By being observant, you are able to get wind of the problem in its earliest stage. When establishing a piggery, it is important to obtain the advice of a veterinary doctor.

Common symptoms as well as how to spot them early enough are revealed. Whenever these are noticed, basic treatment (based on what the health expert recommends) should be administered, and the vet doctor informed immediately.

  • Feeding

This takes up a greater percentage of your total running costs. Pigs like humans are omnivores. As a result, feeding constitutes a variety of things.

However, there are standard feeds that need to be bought. You need to have adequate funding in order to operate a smooth business. Anything short of this is unacceptable and will affect your business.

  • Planning

Before the commencement of your piggery, proper planning is strongly recommended. Your pig farming business plan charts out or lays down the basic procedure to follow. It guards against running the business haphazardly. It is a basic requirement if you seek funding from investors.

SEE: Sample Pig Farming Business Plan

You should give it your entire attention and should seek advice or help from skilled experts when writing. These include legal experts and agro business consultants.

Pig farming in Nigeria is big business! You can easily tap into this line of business if you have a genuine interest.

The fact that you read this article to this point demonstrates your desire to engage in the business. While adequate funding is important for running a successful business, knowledge, determination and hard work are equally important to attaining your goals.

Go ahead, build the largest pig farm in Nigeria.