Raising pigs is a fun and very profitable at the same time. You must need to know more about raising pigs, whether you are planning for selling the meat or willing to keep the pig as pets. Pigs are actually very popular mainly for their meat. They are valuable animals for both of their meat and manure.
Today, most of the consumers are more aware of where their food comes from. And most of the consumers prefer buying their food from small scale or local producers rather than the large scale commercial farms. This is happening today mainly because of the rise of the organic eating movement.
However, if you are willing to start pig farming business in small scale initially, you must know more about raising and caring pigs. Because proper care and management can ensure maximum production.
Guide for Raising Pigs
Raising pigs is very easy and simple. But it involves with some common tasks. Here we are describing more about raising pigs.
First of all, you have to make a pigpen for your pigs. A dry and secure place will be very good for your pigs to live (that will protect the animals from the weather and will provide enough space to move around). Pigs actually require less space as compared to other farm animals. Some pig producer claim that, a fully grown pig only require about 20 square feet of space. But we recommend slightly more space for raising pigs in healthy conditions.
40-50 square feet space per fully grown pig will be enough for healthy growth. When planning for building your pigpen, remember that it is best if the pen is twice as long as it is wide. Your pigs will feel comfortable if you do so.
Fencing Around Pigpen
Build/install a sturdy wire fence around the pen for keeping your pigs safe inside. You can use a woven fence that is strong enough, with a board on the bottom to discourage digging. Before installing the fence, map out the area you will house your pigs in and then build a sturdy wooden fence around the area.
You can attach 4X2 welded wire when your fence is built (to the inside of the fence). This will ensure, your pigs will not go anywhere if the pigs push on it. Movable electric fence is also a good option for keeping your pigs inside. You can use the movable electric fence to the other parts of a farm or land (and will be herded in and out of the pen).
Consider a Mud Wallow
Consider providing your pigs with a mud wallow, because pigs love mud. A mud wallow looks just like a swimming pool for your pigs and it helps reducing their body temperature. Mud also helps the pigs to reduce the risk of getting lice, which ultimately helps for keeping their skin in good condition.
After setting everything up, you can buy the piglets. Pigs actually grow best during warmer weather. You can start your pig farming project in early spring or in late summer (when the piglets grow their best). During this period a piglet weighting only 50 lbs can grow up to 250 lbs. They grow to the marketing weight in approximately 100 days.
You must have to select and purchase a good quality and healthy pig from a good breeder, whether you are raising pigs for meat or as pets. Try to avoid those animals which are coughing or scratching.
Bring the Pigs Home
After selecting and purchasing pigs, bring them home and take some basic care immediately. Provide them with enough water just after bringing them home, because pigs generally drink a lot of water daily. On an average, a pig will drink between 7 and 15 liter of water depending on their size.
Feeding the Pigs
Pigs love to eat and they eat lots of food daily. You can use pre-mixed (commercial) pig feeds for ensuring your pigs have a well balanced diet. Feeds of the growing pigs should contain 16 percent protein, and it can be reduced as they grow. A growing pig can gain about 0.45 kg body weight daily under good and balanced feeding conditions.
You can also feed your pigs with some leftovers. Along with their regular feeding, you can give them scraps as a side dish. You can also give them vegetables, meat scraps, fruits, garden clippings and even spoiled eggs. Just ensure that ‘you are not feeding your pigs with only scraps’.
Monitor your pig’s health on a regular basis. You should always guard your pigs against internal parasites. Please contact a vet in your area for better recommendations. You also need to de-worm your pigs after every 4-6 weeks.
If you are raising pigs for making money, then you can sell your pigs after reaching slaughtering age. You can sell your pigs when they reach between 90 and 115 kg live body weight (200 and 250 lbs). The pigs are actually prized in the market based on their size and health conditions.
Some Tips & Cautions for Raising Pigs
- Pigs can be dangerous sometimes, so be aware of this before starting pig farming business.
- Keep the mud wallow separated, and don’t let the piglets into the adult wallow (because the mature pigs generally do not pay attention and even can injure or kill small pigs).
- Never feed your pigs with raw meat.
- Make a strong fence around the pen.
- Never buy too young piglets, and the piglets should reach at least 6 weeks of age.
- Use only approved pesticides for controlling lice and mites.