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Profitable pig farming in Kenya

Rearing pigs in Kenya has over time become a lucrative business. But what are the requirements of starting a profitable business and how much capital is required? Well we will try our best to show you the minimum requirements and how you can become a pig farmer in Kenya. As a pig farmer, one has to decide on the specialized path to follow, for example one can rear pigs for piglets or for selling pork, for sausage as well as bacon and other options. Well, let us assume you have Ksh 100,000 and you are willing to start pig farming and you are rearing pigs targeting farmers choice.

Let us assume for example you have 100,000 Kenya Shillings to invest in pig farming. We will look at the timeline of ROI (Return on Investment) which runs from the pen building and piglet acquisition to selling.

Requirements for pig farming in Kenya

At the start, the initial investment is geared towards housing, breeds and feeds. Feeding accounts for 60 to 70 per cent of the total cost, so expenditure is going to be high that first year.

Before investing one should draw out a typical agribusiness plan that should cover all the necessary cash flow projections for the first year at least. Understanding the local market factors of supply and demand will be key to the pig farmer. It is recommended that one should buy a two-month-old piglet initially; these should be bought from trustworthy farmers. Proper selection is partly ensured by counting the number of teats on a sow this is an indicator of the number of piglets it can deliver. It is also important how one transports the pigs or piglets since they can die due to stress. Pig rearing can be a stressful venture so one should go in knowing what to expect and not readily cut corners.

Important breeds for successful pig farming in Kenya

There are several breeds but the most common in Kenya include;

  • the DanBred Landrace,
  • the DanBred Yorkshire and
  • The DanBred Duroc.

With this three-breed cross, there is full use of hybrid vigor/heterosis as well as optimum production results, a high lean meat percentage and good meat quality.

The Danbred Landrace (LL) is a strong pig with a long back, long nose, good legs, good milking and mothering ability. It has characteristic drooping ears. The breed is known for the good quality of its meat.

The landrace is used in crossbreeding programs to produce Landrace/Yorkshire crosses for commercial farms for production of slaughter baconers.

The DanBred Yorkshire/Large White (YY) is also a strong pig with good daily weight gain, low feed conversion ratio, a high lean meat percentage, good longevity and good mothering capabilities. It is muscular and has characteristic upright ears. Like the Landrace it is used as pure breeds (YY) or 2 way crosses (LY) as mother breeds to produce crosses for commercial farms.

Note: Landrace/Yorkshire sows have very high fertility, good teats, high life expectancy and are very friendly.

The Duroc (D) is used as a terminal sire i.e. it is crossed with the landrace/Yorkshire crosses to produce pigs only for slaughter. It is a strong pig with good feed conversion rates and a high lean meat percentage.

Feeding habits

A pig’s nutritional needs will vary with age, weight, and stage of production. Three types of feeds are available with differing protein content. On average, a pig eats two or three kilos a day. The feeds should include all the pig’s nutritional requirements. Diet should include maize bran, cassava, fish meal, cotton seed cake, vitamins as well as water.

A farmer should keep in mind that digestibility of feeds is a factor. Therefore, a farmer should either cook or chop it up to ensure its digestible. For things like grass, leaves like potato vines and peels, and other leafy foods, it is best to sundry for a day to get rid of toxins before they are fed to the pigs.

Read: Get Over Ksh 700,000 from an acre of Hybrid onions in Kenya

Housing

The housing unit should take into account drainage and separate feeding and watering areas. Methods of housing include structures with a concrete slanting floor or applying Indigenous Micro-Organism (IMO). Using IMO would require digging about a meter deep in the floor area and fill it with saw dust, coffee husks or rice husks. Compared to concrete floors, IMO is cleaner, cheaper and environment friendly. When planning for housing, consider setting aside pens (enclosures) for weaned piglets, pregnant sows nearing delivery, sows that have delivered, sick pigs and boars.

Read: Profitable cabbage farming in Kenya

Common Diseases

African Swine Fever (ASF)-This is one of the most dangerous diseases. This is because the disease has no vaccine or cure and can wipe out a complete stock. ASF is an acute contagious viral disease affects both domestic and wild pigs. The virus is spread via blood, feces, saliva, urine and vomit of sick animals, which then can contaminate food, farm equipment, vehicles and other objects in the environment. Pigs can also pick up the virus when they eat infected food. It is spread from pig to pig by direct or indirect contact via contaminated items. Contaminated items can include vehicles used to transport infected animals, farm tools, feeding troughs, boots and veterinary equipment. It is thus very advisable for pig farmers to limit pig interaction with the outside world, using clothing and boots especially for feeding pens and troughs should be used only in the pig houses alone and removed when moving in and out of the pens.

Further still, to avoid infections such as these, some framers do not bring in any pork or bacon from anywhere else unless it is from their farm. The virus is present in the meat, bones, blood, skin and all other body parts of infected pigs with the highest concentration in the blood.

Therefore, meat and other body parts can transmit the disease. It is for this reason that farmers should avoid careless disposal after slaughtering sick pigs.

Insufficient knowledge, low health-management skills and poor husbandry practices were identified as the principal factors contributing to the problem of pig stock infestation. It is important to give the pig vaccinations to ensure they will be disease resistant.

Marketing

If you buy a piglet when its 2 months old, it will be ready for sale within six months. Profits per a grown pig will range from Ksh 20,000 to Ksh, 30,000. In order for farmers to increase their chances of making more profits, it is advisable for them to get into groups and sell in bulk.

Farming in groups gives farmers strong bargaining power. For instance, 50 farmers with three pigs each to sell will have a total of 150 pigs which increases their bargaining power than one selling three pigs to a buyer that wants 150 pigs.

Big companies such as Farmers choice helps farmers with transportation costs by getting pigs from a central but local location which cuts down on those and other costs.  Farmers can also attain a lot through groups by starting savings and loans schemes, which enable farmers to access funds easily and repay the money with interest.

We can break down the 100,000 as follows;

  1. 2 months piglet at Ksh 2000 each
  2. Housing at Ksh 25,000
  3. Pig Feeds at Ksh 50,000
  4. Vaccines and other costs at Ksh 10,000

Read: Cost and returns of establishing successful dairy farm

A pig farmer can also do his/her own processing after inspection by a district Veterinary officer and then slaughter the pig or sell it.

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What you require while establishing successful pig farming

Pig farming in Kenya is another lucrative venture. However, it is not a walk in the park when it comes to farming. It requires a lot of time and money to make a profitable pig farm. To have a successful pig farm, a farmer requires some of the methods below.

Barn or Hut

Pig farming in a barn is generally easy. Farmers should use concrete to make a barn for pig farming. It is very necessary to keep the pigs inside the farm. Farmers should make the floor slope so that the water can be used to clean the barn easily. Farmers should separate the feeding area to the rest area for cleaning it easily. At least 10 feet deep and 10 feet wide area is perfect for every two pigs. The rest area should be half the size of the feeding area with a pool where they can bath and the pool should be at least 5 feet.

How to take care of pigs in a barn

  • Depending on number of pigs farmers should clean pens naturally twice in a week.
  • It is very important to keep feeder full.
  • Mud hole filled with water in outside pen.
  • A lot of bedding is necessary in corner but not entire pen.

Selecting Pig Breeds

There are numerous pig breeds available throughout the world. You can choose the local breeds first which are easily available in your area. Some common and popular pig breeds are; Yorkshire, Spotted, Poland China, Landrace, Hampshire, Duroc, Chester White and Berkshire.

Feeding

Pig should be fed 18% crude protein. Farmers should not feed pig table scraps and garbage. For this farmer may befall in danger. To farming, the pig should give the lettuce and other vegetables, but meat products are not appropriate. If the farmers give meat products the pig will put on too much fat and it will decrease the profit. Pig should feed 20-30 kgs of feed a day.

Read: The work of Agricultural Engineer in Kenya

Housing

To consider proper environment situation is very important to farming pig successfully. To farm pig farmers should make a pollution free environment. The pig industry needs a particular location. Without careful management of waste products, it may be very dangerous problem for child pig. It is a great and profitable process to make manure from the disposal of the pigs. It is very useful for agriculture. The environment of the outside and inside should protect all times because it is very essential to farming pigs. Inside environment is important for their health. The farming area should be made clean and dry. During the cold month, a heat lamp must be put and kept out of the north wind and south winds. Farmers should use straw as bedding during the winter. During summer season, it is very need that the pig has a place to lay in mud in the pen. If the pigs sweat or stay in a dry environment pigs will lose 10-20 Kgs a day. So, always farmers should conscious about the pig’s health and always try not to sweat them.

Read: A starter guide on having a successful small poultry production unit

Health and Diseases

Farmers should conscious about pigs’ health. So medical attention is essential.

  • Farmers should be aware about the symptoms of diseases. Like no interest in food, diarrhea, eye discharge, excessive coughing, hernia, dry skin and irregular spots on skin, excessively long hair, back bone showing etc.
  • If the pig has diarrhea, farmers should call veterinarian and treat it carefully. Without proper treat pigs can be dehydrated and lost its weights quickly. This situation can also lead to death.
  • If the pigs are coughing it is very essential to contact with veterinarian as soon as possible.
  • Pigs should not give antibiotics 21-45 days before slaughter date.
  • Pigs must be wormed with safe guard swine wormier monthly to kill whip.

Pig farming is very attractive and profitable business. To do pig farming in Kenya, one needs training. As pigs meet up the farmers economic need, it is becoming an enjoyable business day by day. To farm pigs effectively farmers should make perfect shelter for pigs. They should give proper food and proper medical protection. Without rearing pigs properly, it is not possible to earn good profits. So, to earn money farmers should always be careful about their pigs. If any farmer follows the above instruction, then he will be surely success.

 

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Making millions through pig farming

Throughout the years, pig farming in Kenya has slowly ascended to be one of the best agribusiness ventures. Pork represents 38% of the world’s meat generation, making it extremely well-known meat. Domesticated pigs are called swine. Swine reproduce two times per year, their growth period being just 114 days, that is 3 months, three weeks and three days. Farmers raising pigs for sale can get a great deal of benefit, depending upon the quantity of pigs they raise in their homestead. Farmers in Kenya can buy their pigs from trusted sources like the Agricultural Development farm in Nakuru. Much the same as some other business, a man hoping to go into pig farming ought to do research to decide if the business will realize the benefit or not. Absence of research and planning may cause disappointments when looked with the difficulties that accompany pig farming in Kenya. Here are factors to consider  before venturing in pig farming.

Measure your business

The best guidance for somebody who is not involved in pig farming is to start small. Should misfortune happen, it ought to be one that does not totally set you back. Look at the land available; few pigs will occupy less land than a big number of pigs. Keeping a big number of pigs in a small area will add to speedier spreading of maladies and higher death rates.

Swine are kept in piggeries. The span of a piggery built will rely upon the quantity of pigs to be kept by the farmer; an extensive, open pen is suitable for many pigs and the other way around. For good benefit, a farmer should keep at least 10 pigs.

It would take around 14 months to acknowledge returns of profitability on pig farming in Kenya, which likewise relies upon the quantity of pigs raised.

Read: What to consider when starting a dairy farm

Identify your market

A good number of entrepreneurs focus on production first and then look for a market later. This shows a lack of preparation. You must look for a market around you. Ask yourself what kind of meat people in your area prefer; is it beef or pork? Are you located near a butchery or butcheries? This may be an added advantage. Also, what are the religious beliefs of people the people around? A place populated by Muslims for example would be a bad idea to rear pigs as they have negative beliefs towards them and do not consume pork.

Select appropriate breed

Yorkshire Pig on Grass

Famous breeds in Kenya are substantial white, landrace, Yorkshire duroc and Hampshire. Select a breed that is incredible for furrowing; it should bring forth solid piglets.

Landrace are long, huge, farrow increasingly and are great moms. Then again, Large White are huge and solid while Duroc develops quick, puts on weight quick and are overwhelming.

Farrowing ought to be no less than two times every year. Ensure that the sows are legitimately sustained and kept healthy to guarantee they come to warm not long after in the wake of farrowing. Similarly, it is essential that boars ought to be very well fed and be healthy for appropriate serving and avert spreading of maladies.

Read: 11 Ways to Succeed In Agri-Business Even After Failing Several Times In The Past

Construct proper housing

Construct a sizable piggery with enough space for your pigs as they like to stay together. The pen should be divided into four parts; the feeding area, sleeping area, waste area and an extra area for moving around. Pigs can be messy, so concrete piggeries are better than mud piggeries for hygiene purposes. The pen should be warm as pigs have small lungs compared to their body size hence susceptible to pneumonia attacks. Set aside a quarantine area for when one or more falls sick so that they do not infect the rest.

The piggery should be kept clean always especially during rainy days to avoid spreading of infections.