Running a pig farm can be a time-consuming, roller-coaster kind of venture---with many key variables often beyond your control. A small pig farm can supply meat to your own family, while a larger operation can supply restaurants and grocery stores. Operations of all sizes share common first steps.
- Skill level:
Learn everything you can about pig farming. Spend time working on pig farms to get a feel for what the business is really like. Visit many farms and ask a lot of questions.
Write a business plan for your pig farm. This will help if you are seeking financing from a bank or investors. It will also be a guide that will help you pursue your goals.
Apply for a business license and any other permits and certifications you will need from local and state governments to run a pig farm in your area. Work with your insurance agent to obtain the best type of coverage.
Buy piglets. They are available from stock breeders, at auctions, online and in the classified sections of newspapers and other publications. Obtain all relevant health papers and immunisation records at the time of purchase.
Keep your pigs fed properly. Their most common food is corn, but they will also eat soybeans and cooked meat. Keep plenty of clean water on hand, as pigs drink between two and four gallons per day.
Keep your pigs housed in an area where the temperature is regulated carefully. They are very sensitive to heat and need to be kept relatively cool. Even if your pigs will be roaming freely, provide shelter with a feeding area and bedding.
Keep their living quarters sanitary to avoid disease. Keep the floor as dry as possible and remove waste daily.
Tips and warnings
- Your pigs will be ready for market in 5 to 7 months. You can sell them at livestock auctions or slaughter them for meat.
- Factors out of your control may affect your business, including the up and downs of the global livestock markets, disease outbreaks and long periods of drought. Stay updated on these conditions, and take precautions when necessary.
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