Pig farming has taken off over the recent past and now commercial pig farming for meat production is a profitable business. There are several meat producing pig breeds suitable for commercial meat production suited to the weather of India. Pigs grow faster than most animals and have higher feed conversion efficiency. They can convert all types of inedible feeds, forages, grains by-products, damaged feeds, meat byproducts, garbage etc. into valuable, nutritious and delicious meat. Pigs mature faster than other animals.
Setting up pig farming business is easy and it requires low capital for building houses and buying equipment. The ratio of total consumable meat and total body weight is higher in pigs. We can get around 60 – 80% consumable meat from a live pig. Pig meat is also one of the most nutritious and tasty meat. It is higher in fat and energy and lower in water. Pig manure is a great and widely used fertilizer. Pig fat has a huge demand in poultry feed, paints, soap and chemical industries. Other than pig meat, pig skin, hair pork and bones are useful too. There are a lot of training centers providing adequate information and training on starting your own pig farming business. Raise only commercial pig breeds as their weight is around 85 – 100 kg which is a lot higher than other types.
Pig farming is a great business opportunity for small and landless farmers, unemployed educated or uneducated young people and for the rural women. Selecting a suitable land is very important and first step for starting pig farming in India. While selecting land ensure availability of sufficient amount of clean and fresh water. Select calm and noise free area preferably in rural areas. There must be a suitable market near the farm as well as provision for necessary commodities, vaccines, medications and good transportation system with a veterinary doctor nearby.
Choose the right breed before beginning the process. Some popular commercial breeds are White Yorkshire, Hampshire, Landrace, Duroc, Indigenous, Ghangaru, Knight Houses, Light White Yorkshire and so on. The White Yorkshire is a large sized and exotic pig breed in India. Their body is solid white colored with erect ears, dished face and snout of medium lengths with dark spots on their body parts. The male weigh 300 – 400 kg and female 200 – 325 kg. Landrace is another highly meat productive pig breed. The male weigh 250 – 350 kg and females 200 – 300 kg. They have long sized body with long snout and large dropping ears. To raise about 20 pigs with all the facilities including a shed and so on, you would require a minimum area of 1000 square feet for commercial pig farming.
Light White Yorkshire is used by the farmers in some areas of India. Hampshire is a medium size breed and black colored and is considered the best commercial breed. The males weigh 320 kg and females weigh 250 kg. Ghangaru species have high maturing power, excellent growth rate, less effort in maintenance, convert all waste into high quality meat, and have excellent reproductive power.
Adequate housing and equipment is very important for successful pig farming business. Housing provides shelter and keeps them safe from inclement weather, parasites and diseases. The shelter must be well ventilated and facility for keeping the farrowing, weaner, boar and dry sow separate. Pigs need a happy atmosphere free from pollution. Pigs need to be kept warm in winter months. A steel type shed costs about Rs 150 and a Prefab type shed costs about Rs 180 per square feet.
Feeding is the most important part of commercial pig farming in India. Select economical ingredients such as oat, grains, maize, wheat, rice, sorghum and other millets. You can add some protein supplements like oil cakes, fishmeal and meat meal. Pigs also require mineral supplement, vitamins, antibiotic supplements and legumes. Water is another basic requirement for pigs and ensure it is clean and always replenished. Feed the pigs based on their body weight and age. For example, a 25 kg pig will require 2.5 kg food daily, a 50 kg pig will require 3.5 kg and so on. Procure a feeding chart from your local existing pig farmers. Fodder management is critical in pig farming to ensure fast growth. Pigs drink about 10 – 15 liters water daily.
Male and female pigs become suitable for breeding when they are 8 months old. The females are in heat for 2 – 3 days. First day during the heat period of gilts is the best time to breed and second day is best for sow. A sow becomes suitable for breeding again after 2 to 10 days of weaning. The gestation period of pigs is not more than 115 days. A sow can give birth to piglets twice a year at about 8 – 12 piglets each time. Additional care must be taken of the sow at the time of lactation. The newborn also require adequate care and nourishment. Ensure there is an available veterinary doctor around to ease this process.
The animals must be well cared for and kept healthy and disease free. Vaccinate the piglets to prevent swine fever at their 2 to 4 weeks of age. Pigs are susceptible to pig diseases such as gastrointestinal, integumentary system, musculoskeletal system, nervous system, respiratory system, and urinary system. Pig meat has a good domestic demand. You can easily sell your products in your local market or nearest big markets. You can also target the global market.