The Fine Print of Pig Farming and its Profit Margins
Pig farming is one of the most underrated business ventures yet extremely lucrative. The demand of pig products makes it abundantly profitable compared to other livestock products.
This has seen the uptake of pork eateries in urban areas recording a sale increase of 7.8% of pigs slaughtered in 2019 from 360,100 in 2017 according to ILRI.
Any aspiring farmer with approximately Ksh 200,000 as capital, can rear at least two pigs to start with. This amount can cater for a constructed pigsty measuring at least 50 by 55 meters, iron sheets, saw dust, timber, cement and ballast.
It is recommended that a farmer buys a gilt or a sow as compared to weaning piglets, in spite of the minimal cost implications on feeds. This is because the first 30-55 days are spent on suckling the mother’s milk, which fulfills a lot of nutritional value to the piglets.
A new farm experience is said to likely stress and delay the growth of the piglets leading them to mature at eight months instead of six months. This in the long run hurts the prospected profits of a farmer as the pig is not able to reproduce bi annually.
Commercially inclined farmers sell off weaning piglets after two months of birth at Ksh 3,500-4,000 each, as compensation to cover the pregnancy period of the mother and suckling period of the piglets. Piglets sold right after birth are cheaper and may retail at Ksh 2,500-3,000.
From weaning weight to market weight, a pig can weigh between 55kgs to 150kgs depending on their feeding habits in a period of 16-20 weeks. If a pig’s market weight is on average 55kgs, it can retail at around Ksh 40,000 each. Since pigs produce at least 10-15 piglets, a farmer may be looking at Ksh 400,000 – Ksh 600,000 of sales.
Additionally, due to their fast growing nature, a well breed pig can gain 0.5kgs in every 1.5kgs of feeds it consumes in a day. This therefore means that some of the breeds can weigh on average 150kgs making that one pig retail at Ksh 80,000 – Ksh 120,000.
Here are some of the things to consider in pig farming;
Start small but dream big
Small startups allow exposure to minimal risks and even failure. Investing capital in small chunks enables one to learn the tricks of what works for them and that which does not. In the long run, being able to track growth and profits through record keeping can elevate a small scale farmer to a multi-million suppliers. Record keeping Article.
Health history and reproduction information
Whether it’s a local breed or hybrid, asking the history of the sow or piglet is important when making your first purchase. Always look out for pigs with glossy skin, bright eyes and responsive to their environment. Hampshire, Large Whites, Landrace and Duroc are considered among the most profitable pig breeds in the country. They go for around Ksh 40,000-55,000 on market weight.
Growth and reproduction capabilities of pigs are determined by the quality of food provided. It is cost effective when the farmer is able to make their own feeds and feed in rations. A pig that weights between 10-50kgs can have an intake of at least 1.5-3kgs of feeds per day while a 50-150kg can consume at least 3.5-5kgs of feeds in a day. Moreover, ensuring nutritious ingredients in the meals and ample water intake between 25-30 liters daily is key for their development.
Accessibility to Markets
Hygienic shelters and farm locations that are closer to market places make it convenient for buyers to access your products. Farmers with a stable production of market weight pigs are likely to get more clients and referrals which may result to an increase in demand and reflect on the profit margins.