Pigs have always populated the forest and other remote areas. These animals didn’t evolve to be confined to a farm, and yet today, they occupy more farmland than natural habitat. Pigs are frumpy, and they have the body of a bulldozer and the appetite of a hippo. Pigs require a higher level of management as compared to most other farm animals because of their sensitive nature. However, they can yield a better financial return when they are farmed properly. Their feed to meat conversion ratio and breeding rate (10 piglets in a suitable litter) is far better than that of other livestock. Besides this, they get market-ready sooner.
Farmers raise pigs in two different ways, i.e., intensive and free-range; however, both the systems have their advantages and disadvantages. In the intense method, the pigs are kept in high-density close housing systems and run in small camps in the other way. They are fed crops such as Lucerne, grass, barley, and oats.
If you are planning to keep 20 pigs, keep in mind that you will have to keep 2500l tank of water too, as a growing pig requires 25-to 50 liter of water a day.
If you plan to grow the cattle for selling them out, prefer to buy weaners, as they do not need their mothers anymore. Keeping a pig as a pet and keeping pigs for breeding and business purpose is something very different. For the breeding purpose, you need to polish your skills and learn to manage and how to look after the pigs to grow their breed. Hire a pig vet, as the pig veterinarian is very different from other animal vets. A monthly checkup should be done of the cattle and other necessary things too.
Look for the excellent breed of pigs, do not go after the price. Poorly bred pigs carry several diseases that may cause other pigs’ ill. A healthy bred pig will have healthy meat, and your supplies in the market will increase.
Before buying pigs, keep in mind your budget and whether you can fulfill their needs, medical facilities, food, and water. Pigs are stronger than other animals but can easily be stressed out by factors such as lack of attention, insufficient food and water, and severe weather if not taken care of.
What to feed the pigs? Leftovers or commercial balanced pig ration, which is expensive but healthy at the same diet. Poor diet makes the growth of the pigs slow and unbalanced.
Unlike other animals, pigs are not used to every kind of weather. They need proper shelter and a place to live and adequate food to eat to grow in a better way. Keep a truck to load the pigs when taking to the market.
Finally, yet importantly, there are little questions you need to ask yourself before doing anything.
- Do you have time to look after them properly?
- Do you have enough time to do their daily routine tasks like feeding, cleaning, and some extra care?
- Do you want to do it for a time pass, or are you serious about a full-time business?
To fulfill these requirements, buy 4 or 5 weaners to check if you can do all of the tasks quickly and afford to keep them. Then lead to a final decision to keep them for a long term purpose.