Pork is one of the most widely eaten foods throughout the world. It is no surprise then that raising pigs is one of the most profitable business ventures.
While pig farming is not particularly difficult, it is time consuming and takes a lot of energy. If you are considering adding pigs to your farming operation, or are contemplating raising pigs exclusively, it is important that you know exactly what is involved in raising pigs.
There are two ways to raise pigs: pasturing pigs or raising them in a barn. Pasturing pigs is a viable option as long as you have enough land and that land is soil and grass rich. It also will be necessary to fence in your pigs to prevent them from wandering too far afield. Young pigs need to be fenced in even smaller areas because they need to remain close to food and water.
While pigs rarely set out to destroy fencing, adult pigs are very strong and can do damage without trying very hard. When building a fence for your pigs, make sure that you use strong wood or other fencing material and that you dig the poles deep into the ground since pigs like to dig. As a general rule, every pig should have about one-tenth of an acre of pasture.
Raising pigs in a barn has its advantages. Cleaning up after pigs raised in a barn is relatively simple; you can better control what the pigs consume; and a barn provides much-needed shade for pigs.
Your pig barn should be divided into two areas. As a general rule the feeding area should be about 10 feet by 10 feet for every two pigs and the resting area should be about half that size, or five feet by five feet. The best pig barns are concrete and have a sloped floor so that when you use a hose to clean the barn the water will drain away easily.
If you are committed to raising pigs, experienced pig farmers list the following helpful hints to help make sure that your endeavor is both profitable and enjoyable:
- Bigger and meatier pigs bring in the most money. Make sure your pigs get the correct amount of nutrients but try to avoid supplements. If you are grazing your pigs, make sure there is plenty of pasture grass available.
- Never feed your pigs potatoes or raw meat – both can be toxic to these animals. While pigs will eat almost anything, that doesn’t mean that they should.
- Control the amount of food your pigs consume. If your pigs are trough-fed, it is important that there is no food left in the trough after 30 minutes. If there is, you are overfeeding. This is not only bad for your pigs, you will waste money in food costs.
- Plenty of fresh water is essential to healthy pigs. Keep in mind that pigs like to clean themselves in water so make sure you clean their water troughs regularly.