In this article, we’ll look at the important steps you need to take in order to make millions from pig farming in Nigeria. Pig farming, also known as piggery, is a very lucrative business, primarily because pigs reproduce quickly: a sow (a female pig) can give birth to as many as 10 piglets with each pregnancy, and they can get pregnant twice a year.
So if you start out with just two pigs (male and female), barring any unforeseen circumstances, you could potentially end the year with over twenty. And considering the fact that a full-grown pig could be sold for as much as ₦30,000, you understand why we’re talking about millions here.
So what are the things you need to make millions from pig farming in Nigeria?
Build the right pen
The pen is the enclosure for the pigs. To be very successful in your pig farming, you need to pay close attention to the pen, because not erecting the proper structure will most likely affect your business negatively.
The first thing you should do is find the right site for your pens. Ideally, this should be land with proper drainage, or at least where you can easily effect proper drainage. Next, you construct your pen. If you can, let your pen be rectangular. That is, let it be twice as long as it is wide. Also, make sure that there is enough room for the pigs to move around. Pigs can huddle together when it’s cold but usually they like their space. Carefully draw a good plan before you begin construction.
You need to construct your pen with an east-west orientation – which means that the longer sides face north and south, away from the sun. Constructing it in this manner allows you to keep direct sunlight away from the pigs. Your pen must be protected from extreme sunlight, rain and wind. Additionally, you should build the pen with half open sides, to enable proper ventilation.
Click here to get extra details on how to build the perfect pen.
Pay attention to the pigs you’re getting
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s actually more nuanced than you think.
First of all, you have to make sure that you get the right type of piglets (young pigs). There are healthy as well as unhealthy breeds, and you don’t want to be getting the latter. Make sure you get the piglets from a trusted or well-known dealer. It saves you from a lot of headaches much later.
Secondly, you must ensure that you keep the pig pen as clean as possible to prevent diseases. Clean out the pen at least once a week, and provide a constant supply of fresh, clean water for drinking and for the pigs to play and bathe themselves in. If you can, fasten their feeding troughs to the ground or to anywhere else because they will overturn it – a lot. Pigs are very playful and you’ll see that. But it will be your job to take care of them.
Feed the pigs
Most of your expenses in your pig farming will go towards feeding the pigs. There is well-prepared, foreign feed for pigs in the market but they don’t come cheap. There is local feed as well, and sometimes you may have to mix something up for them from your own house. You can alternate between the three. However, you need to know what not to feed your pigs because it’s just as important as what to feed them. Make sure you research this properly, because feeding directly affects the health of the pigs, and also their body weight, both of which determine your income at the end of the day. Find out from experts in your local area what you should or shouldn’t feed your pigs. You also need to find out the amount of feed the pigs will need at each stage of their life. Generally, just like with every other living thing, as they grow you’ll increase the ration. Make sure you take your time to find out what works best.
Pigs need vaccination too
We could have included this with the section on “paying attention to the pigs”, but because of its importance, it deserves a separate section of its own
Pigs are vaccinated to prevent diseases that might occur due to harmful contact with viruses, bacteria and parasites. Properly vaccinating your pigs will protect you from loss that occurs due to illness and perhaps death of the pigs. Find out which vaccines your pigs need and when they should be administered.
If you want to make millions from pig farming in Nigeria—or anywhere—the important thing overall is to make sure you are knowledgeable enough before you get into it. You need training. But in the absence of that, you could perhaps have someone close to you in the same business—someone with enough quality experience to guide you. Having the necessary knowledge will help minimize losses.