Pig farming is the raising and breeding of domestic pigs as livestock. Pigs that are used as breeders are bought at 6-7 months of age and mated. Gestation period is for 114(+-) 3 days,
Piglets are weaned at 8 weeks weighing between 6-15kg and Pigs that are sold as
fatteners/market hogs in Nigeria are between 6months and 2 years and can weigh between 45kg-85kg(for fatteners) and 100- 400kg(culled animals) depending on the farm owner and breed.
Pigs are primarily fed with by products of Corn, Groundnut and Brewery waste making feed conversion ratio to be as high as 6:1(6kg of feed to 1kg of flesh). Pigs that are fed with a concentrate formulation that consists all the classes of feed needed for their growth have a high conversion ratio between 2.5kg/3kg of feed to 1kg of flesh.
Large White is the most common breed of pig, with newer farms using breeds like Duroc, Pietrain, Landrace and their crosses thus increasing piglet viability, weaning weight and better feed conversion ratio.
Farmers that have imported breeds for production average between 18-26 piglets/sow in a year while Farmers with local breeds average between 8-20 piglets/sow in a year.
Breeders are culled after 4-6 years with 4-8 cycles of breeding. 2 cycles can be done within a year.
• Pork industry is projected to increase by 222% in Nigeria by 2050(FAO 2012)
• In South Africa, pork has overtaken lamb/mutton as the more favorite meat
following a 59 percent rise in pig production. While South Africa is Africa’s biggest
pork producer – with over 245,000 metric tons per year – it, like many countries on
the continent, still imports pork from Europe and North America. Other top
producers of pork on the continent are Angola, the Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda and several others.
• The value of trade in pig products around the world runs into billions of dollars every
year and Africa enjoys less than 5 percent of this action. China, with a fifth of the world’s population, is both the largest producer and net importer of pig products on the planet!(UN 2017)
• The drivers of the demand for animal source foods are anticipated to dramatically
change in the coming decades in Nigeria between 2012 and 2050, it is projected to
increase by nearly 230 million and reach 398 million people by 2050 (UN, 2017).
• Projections indicate that, by 2050, 69.9 percent of the population will live in urban
areas, or about 279 million people vis-a-vis 76 million in 2012 (UN, 2018).
Lagos is projected to be the sixth largest city in the World, growing from 10.5 million in 2010 to 32.6 million people in 2050 (Hoornweg and Pope, 2014).
• GDP per capita, a proxy of consumer purchasing power, is estimated to increase from about USD 2 751 per capita per year to almost USD 7 132, representing a more than
two-fold increase between 2012 and 2050 (SSP, 2016).
Livestock production constitutes a very important component of agriculture in developing countries like Nigeria.
• Nigeria is one of the largest consumers of pork in Sub Saharan Africa. In 1943 Nigeria
had the largest pig farm in the world (No longer existing).
• The Lagos State Government Currently has three pig farm estates – The Oke Aro Pig
Farm Estate, The Gberigbe Pig Farm Estate and Ikorodu Pig Farm Estate across 120
hectares of land and a proposed new Pig Farm in Badagry for 2017 sitting on 30
hectares of land with a combined total of 5000 Pig Famers
• Over years now the Oke–Aro Pig farm has arguably been regarded as the biggest Pig
Farm in all of Africa (Most Nigerian pig farmers have less than 100 herds of pig)and
has been the source of livelihood for over 3000 pig farmers struggling to meet the
demand of 50 million consumers.
• The Warri merchant, the highest buyers of Live pig in Nigeria buys over 20tonnes
weekly, 80 tonnes monthly just for the South-South market alone. This figures
excludes Benue, Kogi, Lagos, Ondo and Ogun State who are the highest consumers of pork respectively.
• In Nigeria, intensive farming is just emerging with few farmers having a production herd of 10-sow unit and the highest is the 500-sow units. These farms make use of automated feeders, nipple system, farrowing crates and gestational crates but not yet operating at full potential
• It has been noticed that farmers using intensive systems are able to manage piglet
mortality up to 0.5% and reach market weight of 75kg at 5.5 months.
ADVANTAGES OF PIG FARMING
- They have the potential to be highly prolific, because they are cable of producing large litters after a relatively short gestation period.
2. Their productivity in terms of yield of meat per tonne of live weight of breeding females per year is in the region of six times that of cattle.
3. Pork is suitable for processing and some of the processed products have a longer
shelf life than fresh meat and can thus be distributed to a wider section of the
4. Pigs are efficient feed converters to meat; twice as efficiently as ruminants (i.e. they
have high feed efficiency)
5. Pig production provides quick turn over on investment compared with cattle.
Pig meat (Pork) is marketed in the form of;
• Fresh Meat: this is the most important product in the tropics in general, as processing
facilities are limited. Pig destined for the fresh meat trade are usually slaughtered at
younger ages and lower weights (porkers) than those used for processing.
• Offal: these are all edible and the liver in particular is a delicacy
• Lard (pig fat): this is sold as a separate product for human feed, animal feed or soap
• Bristles: these can be used for brushes and are in special demand for shaving and
• Blood: this is collected separately and processed into sausages and other delicacies
for those who consume it.
• Pig Skin: pig skin can be made into valuable leather.
• By-products: bones, blood and inedible meat tissue is converted into animal feeds
• Hoofs: these are used for gelatine and glue products.
KEY FACTORS TO CONSIDER IN STARTING UP A PIG FARM IN NIGERIA
There are certain key things that need to be considered in order to be successful; these
The common pig breeds for commercial pig production are the Large white, Landrace,
Duroc, Pietrain and their crosses. These breeds produce lean meat combined with
efficient feed conversion (2.5-3kg of good feed is needed to produce 1kg of pork). We
will be using Camborough gilts (crosses between Landrace and Largewhite), 1 Duroc
boar and a Pietrain boar for this project.
2. Start-up: The cost major expenditure of pig farming in Nigeria is in the construction of their pens (housing) and buying the pigs (weaners). A pig pen is an enclosure that houses pigs. It is
also called or known as a Sty. On this project, we will have a 30-room Pen with 5
gestational crates. The rooms will be divided into Sow rooms, boar room, weaners room
and finishers room.
- Bio security Measure:
Good bio security measures are non-negotiable so farm location will be sited in such a way that it is not too close to other pig farmers. Also good drainage systems that are well covered are used and proper waste system will be put in place.
- Feeding regimes:
Our animals will be fed dry feed of the required rations with the use of automated feeders.
Rations will be checked per category of animals weekly so as to correspond with changes in weight gain. Feed formulation will be reviewed monthly to make sure we are on target.
- Piglet and animal care:
The weakest link on the farms is our piglets. Special attention will be paid towards that area by using passionate and experienced staff only. Lactating diet will not be compromised and piglets will be introduced to a creep feed of milk, potatoes or beans porridge at 2 weeks.
Adequate care of our animals will not be compromised by regular cleaning of pens. Wetting of animals and routine medication.
- Farm Activities:
Farm environment clearing, spraying of insecticides, cleaning of drainage systems will be carried out every other day, weekly or monthly. Weighing of animals will be carried out every week for piglets and every other week for growers and fatteners.
The major activities involved in running pig farming in Nigeria are;
• Mating: This is the process of crossing the Boars with the gilts.
• Regular cleaning: The pigs and pen should be cleaned every day with a disinfectant solution to kill all germs and bacteria in the pen. This will reduce the rate of disease outbreaks on the farm. It is advisable to minimize as much as possible the contact between the older pigs and the younger pigs. The older pigs have a better immune system than the younger pigs.
• Bio-security: This is ensured by keeping the foot dips filled with disinfectant water.
• Piglet care: Piglets are administered 2ml of Iron Injection on the 2nd day of life. Male piglets are castrated at 3 weeks to remove the boar taint and their tooth is clipped at 3 days. Also newly born piglets must be kept warm by insulating the farrow pens
• Feeding: Newly farrowed piglets need a diet which is very rich in colostrums and they get this from their mother’s milk. At 2 weeks piglets will be introduced to a creep feed which they take for 4 weeks while still suckling to keep the sows in good condition and also increase the weight of weaned piglets. They switch to eating a grower ration once they are 20kg until they are matured. To ease the cost of feeding growers and finishers, producing your own feed is advise from various experiences in starting up pig farms in Nigeria.
• Gestational sows are fed a strict ration so as to ensure piglets are not too big when farrowed. Boars are fed a maintenance ration while piglets and lactating sows are fed richer rations.
• Weaning: Piglets are batched weaned at 5-7 weeks and medicated.
•Weighing: Animals are weighed periodically to determine feed conversion ratio, to know when to increase feeds and make sure they hit the market goal.
•Medication: It is administered when the pigs are manifesting systems of poor health
(constant tiredness, not eating, stooling etc.), However, growers should be treated for worm infestation every other month. For instance, at the piglet stage of development, they must be given iron supplement to boost blood production within them.
In conclusion pig farming is a very lucrative business as it does not only create income for the farm owners and shareholders but it also create employment, promotes Local industries and also promotes economy growth and development.
It also serve as a Long lasting business for generations when properly planned.
By: IFE’S INDULGENCE for AGL