June 4, 2023

Starting a pig farm business in Nigeria can be a lucrative venture for those who are passionate about agriculture and animal husbandry.

Pig farming is a type of animal husbandry that involves breeding, rearing, and keeping domestic pigs for either personal or commercial purposes.

However, like any other business, pig farming requires careful planning, adequate resources, and a solid understanding of the industry. In this article, we will discuss the key steps to start a pig farm business professionally and profitably.

Things To Consider Before Starting A Pig Farm

  1. Conduct Market Research: Before starting a pig farm business, a prospective pig farmer needs to conduct market research to determine the demand for pork in her target market. This involves analyzing the existing pig farms in your area, identifying potential buyers, and understanding their preferences.

You should also evaluate the competition, pricing, and distribution channels to develop a competitive advantage.

Prospective pig farmers might consider some basic marketing steps like; i) Getting an off-takers agreement with meat suppliers around your location, ii) Selling directly to pig meat sellers, iii) Selling to local butcheries, iv) Direct sales using word of mouth or social media as marketing tools.

2. Get a Business Plan: Once you have identified your target market, the next step is to develop a comprehensive business plan. This should outline the objectives, strategies, financial projections, and operational requirements for the pig farm business. In the plan, you should also include a SWOT analysis, risk management strategies, and contingency plans to address any potential challenges.

The best advice is to start small and increase as you learn more about the pigs along the way. As a result, you will be able to develop and learn the ropes while minimizing your risk in case anything goes wrong during the initial stage.

3. Obtain Necessary Licenses and Permits: Starting a pig farm business requires obtaining licenses and permits from relevant authorities in your area. This includes registering the business, obtaining permits for land use, and complying with environmental regulations. Prospective pig farmers should also ensure that they meet the required health and safety standards for both animals and workers.

4. Raise Capital And Build A Standard Pen House: To start a pig farm business, you need to acquire the necessary resources, including land, pig housing, feed, and equipment. The farm should have an adequate water supply and a reliable source of electricity. You will also need to hire skilled workers who have experience in pig farming.

A standard pen house is important if you don’t want your pigs to hurt themselves in a small space. A spacious pen is very key to keeping the pigs healthy, and free from diseases and contamination as a result of overcrowding.

5. Decide On a Breeding Program: A breeding program is crucial in ensuring the sustainability and profitability of your pig farm business. You should select high-quality pig breeds suitable for your target market and breed them selectively to produce high-quality piglets.

You can choose to become a breeder where you only breed and sell piglets (known as weaners).

The method is to sell your piglets at four weeks or around 18kg to 21kg while other farmers will choose to either grow or sell them as adult pigs later.

Or you can choose to grow and sell, you will buy weaners at 21kg then feed them to grow them to between 90kg to 105kg to sell as adult pigs.

Pig Species

The best species of pigs in Nigeria are:

Local breeds: They came in different colors: white, black, and brown.
Foreign breeds include:
Duroc: They are red in color and are muscular. Also, their growth rate is faster than the other breeds.
Hampshire: They are black in color with a white band around their body. They are also muscular.
Landrace: The pigs are white in color and they have long bodies.
Yorkshire: This breed is white in color and also has long bodies.

See Also: How To A Poultry Farm Business

Benefits Of Pig Farming

One just needs to ensure that their pens are neat and they can access clean water. Therefore, it is safe to say that it is easier to raise pigs compared to poultry.

  1. Pigs multiply fast: One of the reasons pig farming is very lucrative compared to other livestock farming is simply due to its prolific nature. For example, 5 female pigs are all that is required to give birth to roughly 60 piglets, and they can give birth twice a year.
    • This means that a farmer with five highly productive sows can expect to have 120 piglets per year. As a result, this will contribute to the financial stability of the farmers.
  2. Pigs are versatile and simple to raise: Pigs have about 15,000 taste buds, compared to humans’ 9,000, according to studies. This allows them to consume almost everything humans eat as well as food that other animals eat; such as grass, forage, and concentrated feed. The ability of pigs to consume a variety of foods boosts the chances of commercial growth as a business. Especially in light of the high and steadily growing cost of the grains and concentrates needed to produce animal and livestock feeds.
    • Pigs assist farmers significantly in reducing feeding costs and waste because they can recycle the majority of the materials.
  3. Pigs yield more meat: Unlike cattle, sheep, and goats, pigs can yield up to 70% edible meat. They have a smaller portion of bones than meat compared to other livestock animals that produce between 50&60 percent meat.
  4. Pigs have a low mortality rate. The risk is minimal as you are sure to make money at every stage. Pigs also have a high resistance to diseases meaning they hardly fall sick and can easily adapt to most environments (hot or cold). This makes it possible for pigs to be raised on both a small and large scale. Due to this adaptability, pigs make great candidates for intensified or diversified agriculture that fits a wide range of budgets
  5. Source of income and employment: Running a successful pig farm will require you to employ 4 – 5 persons. If your pigs are up to 100 or If you are starting on a smaller scale, you may employ a lesser number of workers (1 – 2) who will be assisting in the cleaning of the pigs and the pens, feeding the pigs, and making sure they are well-behaved, and other things necessary for the farm.

Housing System For Pigs

Pigs can either be reared in a free-range system or an intensive system.

Free Range: Pigs are allowed to wander and graze in a fenced-in area under the free-range housing arrangement. Under this approach, there is a reduced risk of disease transmission because the animals have enough room to roam freely.

To protect the pigs from sunburns shade must be given in the free-range system.

Intensive System: In an intensive system, the pigs are maintained in a secure environment, and their movements are typically restricted. The animals may from time to time be permitted to graze on the fenced property before being brought back.

To avoid overpopulation, there must be enough room in the facility to accommodate the animals.

How To Build a Pen House

  1. The site should be at an elevated place that cannot be flooded by the rain.

2. The site should be protected from the sun (shade from trees) and have ample fresh air.

3. Should be away from the residential area (around 8-10 meters away).

4. In the case of a large-scale pig farm, the site selected needs also to be. Well connected to roads throughout the year, suitable for manure disposal, and connected to reliable water and electricity sources.
5. The pig building needs to be divided into different pens for each phase of the production cycle. The number and the size of the pens depend on the expected number of pigs to be housed in each production phase.

Terminologies In Pig Farming

Boar – An uncastrated male pig of more than six months of age.

Barrow/Hog – Castrated male

Baconer – A pig reared to produce bacon. This is normally around 80-100kg and reached between eight and ten months of age.

Gestation – The length of a pregnancy.

Farrow – Process of giving birth

Gilt – Young female pig who has not yet had a litter

Hogging – Female pig in season/on heat

Litter – Produce of the farrowing (group of piglets)

Live weight – Given the total weight of a pig alive

Piglet – Young pig still suckling from the sow

Pig Concentrates – A balanced dry feed in the form of pellets

Runt – Smallet piglet in the litter

Service – Mating/s within the same oestrus period.

Service date – Date of first mating during any one oestrus period (counted as day 0).

Sow – A female pig who has given birth to its first litter.

Weaner – Piglets separated from the sow at eight weeks and no longer feeding from the sow

PKC – (Palm Kernel Cake). It’s a common type of pig feed in Nigeria. It’s a byproduct of palm kernel oil processing.

Purebreed – This refers to a pig derived from parents of the same breed without crossing from outside its lineage.


In conclusion, starting a pig farm business requires careful planning, adequate resources, and a solid understanding of the industry. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can start a successful pig farm business and contribute to the growing demand for pork products.

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