folder_openAnimal Health, Breeding, Livestock

Raising pigs – a pig farming guide for beginners

Estimated reading time: 9 minute(s)


Farming pigs is more challenging than farming other forms of livestock such as, cattle or goats owing to the fact that they are more sensitive to the environment climate and require more attention. But on the other hand, if they are properly taken care a single sow can give birth up to 12 piglets in a gestation period of 130 days, and they are ready for the market far sooner than most of the other livestock animals.


There are a multitude of pig species available throughout the world. For setting up it is better to use local breeds because they are already adapt to the climate and are easily available within the area.

For breeding them it is better to start with piglets: grow and sell them, since you will be able to gain experience during the process in addition to being able to develop management protocols. Your management expertise should be sound since breeding is far more complicated than rearing pigs.

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Usually pigs are farmed on a barn/hut (intensive) or on pasture (free-range).

  1. Barn/hut (intensive): to be able to farm pigs on an intensive way, the barn or hut should be made of a humidity and heat resistant material such as concrete, the feed area and the rest area should be separated for easy cleaning. A feeding area of at least 3 meters wide is perfect for every two pigs. The rest area should be about half the size of the feeding area and should have a small pool for them to bath. Thus if we consider these precautions we will be able to easily farm pigs.
  2. Pasture (free-range): to farm pigs on a free-range, first we need to have a large area with plenty of grass and soil, and the area needs to be fenced for the pigs not to roam too far off and be secure. Farmers should be careful about the structure of the fence, because adult pigs can damage the fence and escape.


Pigs are sturdy animals but they are easily affected by stress coming, for instance, lack of food or water. It will decrease their productivity and can lead to losses.

Inadequate management can lead to diseases within your pig farm. Pigs are susceptible to several diseases such as diarrhoea, particularly in intensive farming systems where crowding may be a problem.

Make sure that you vaccinate and feed them properly until they are ready for the market


Pick out a good feed for your pigs!

Pigs should fed of around 18% of crude protein. Table scraps and wastes are not suitable to feed the pigs, although they are omnivores, it is not a wise path to follow if we want to have healthy pigs.

Pigs should be fed on plant materials such as lettuce, corn and other vegetables, meat is not appropriate to feed them with, since it will increase their body fat and can decrease their growth moreover their profit.

Pigs must consume 6 to 10 kg of feed per day to be able to grow healthy. Moreover farmers also feed them eggs for protein content.

Provide your pigs with enough water!

Water is important and many times a forgotten nutrient. A large clean water supply will be needed to maintain the pigs necessities, for instance, a growing young pig can drink to approximately 10 litres of freshwater per day while an adult pig can drink 25 to 50 litres per day.

Pigs are susceptible to sunburn!

Other factors to consider include providing enough shade in a free-range set-up, access to straw or sawdust for bedding and a reliable market for the pigs.



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36 Comments. Leave new

  • I will like to raise a Pig of my own

    • Vera Arrizza
      6 November 2019 15:05

      Good idea! We have tools that can help you if you are planning to get in to the farming business 😉

  • Stephen Lagi
    2 December 2019 2:49

    I wish to Start a piggery project. But I am not sure of the type of building plan of a durable permanent pen that I am going to have, which can accommodate 30 to 40 pigs. Also other requirements such as water supply, sewerage and other necessities are to be included. I need assistance.

    • Vera Arrizza
      4 December 2019 14:56

      Hi Stephen,
      we have tools to help you improve your farming production and for livestock management and data collection. Our solutions don’t include building plan assistance, but we are definitely keeping that as a suggestion for a future topic discussion on our blog 🙂

  • Hi , I need to start my own pig farming in western cape area , I need some help and information ,regarding the sizes of building for about +/- 80 pigs and food .
    If there is some one that is willing to help setting me up it will be highly appreciated. Thanks

  • I am looking to soon start a pig farming but don’t really know how to go about it.

    • Vera Arrizza
      22 January 2020 11:21

      Hi George, thank you for your feedback! Let us know if you have a particular topic in mind and we could focus on it on one of our next articles 😉

  • Abraham Odeng
    20 February 2020 10:05

    Hi which type of room do i need to start for about 10 piglets and the capital it may requere for complete start including feeds,shelter and in what period of time thks

    • Nellia felicity
      24 February 2020 17:31

      thank you for the question, well for piglets you will still need infrared lights as a source of warmth. Since they are small they can be in a pen together, rather square or rectangular setup depending on availability of land. Ventilation is key too. Create a conducive environment for your piglets. Depending on you location and availability of resources, take not starting up something will certainly require capital.

  • Isaac Bawa
    20 March 2020 5:08

    Comment *
    I want to start pig farming here in Ghana. Any help?

    • Awesome that is good to note, well you may start with erecting a structure to house your pigs. Then purchase your feed prior to bringing in your pigs. For any specific questions please do not hesitate to inquire from Farm4trade

  • Sethunya Mafika
    23 May 2020 22:21

    I want to start pig farm Iam need of feeding tips ,diseases control and prevention.

  • Otokpa Obande
    24 May 2020 16:00

    I feel so glad to find this site. Pls, I am about starting a pig farm soon and need all the necessary advice I can get. Is two female and a male good enough to start? Thank. Obande.

  • Hello I’m Leonard,age 24 planning on going into pig farming.I need more personal details and duide.Thanks.

  • Ogale Titus Ogale Ogale
    3 July 2020 23:57

    I am planning on starting a pig rearing business, but i am not quite sure how to go about it. I think i could really use a helping hand. Thanks

  • Ntokozo Mgomezulu
    11 July 2020 2:25

    I have Large White pigs and plans to turn into pigger farming , i would like to assistance regarding the requirements,tools and equipments. And how do we obtain a land for farming? How much the land cost?

  • Funmilayo
    30 July 2020 16:20

    Hello, I have already started rearing of pig, please I need more information on feeding and healthy tips

  • Christy essoen
    30 July 2020 20:01

    I want to start pig farming but don’t know what it will cost and requirements for a start. Please I really need help.

  • Chisomo dawa
    8 August 2020 17:35

    Am interested in pig farming

  • I’m interested to go into pig farming, which I have make site of a place. But my challenges now is on how to raise the fund to start up. Right now the guard line gotten now from this pretty article is a great volume added to my dream business. Many thanks guys much appreciated from me John udoh Sunday

  • Nice article. Hi, can you share to your thoughts about the pros and cons in Pig Fattening vs Piglet Farming?

    • Hi Marcusa,
      Thank you for your feedback! We can definitely elaborate more on the topic, I will forward your request to our experts. Keep following our blog for more articles!

  • I like this, and need more teaching

  • I already have a farm on pig rear, but am facing challenges on how to rear them to consumption stage, also what could be the cause of death to a sower after farrowing? Thanks.

    • Nellia Felicity
      17 September 2020 12:56

      Thank you for the question…It is good to approach any veterinarian within your vicinity to help on the cause of death of the sow. With regards to feed, we can help guide.

    16 September 2020 4:04

    Hi l want to start small pig farming, where can l go for short training?

  • Jocelyn Jones
    16 September 2020 7:21

    I just bought 2 sows from a neighboring farm. I’m so excited to have new livestock on the farm!! This information is so helpful. Thank you. Betsy and Lulu are going to be free range, once I finish setting up their pen. We have to fix fence but they will have 625 sq ft to roam. For now the girls are inside, being house trained that way we can bring them in if the weather gets bad. They have been playing with our cats and giving our parrot rides.

  • jabisi DANIEL
    16 September 2020 12:11

    please what kind of grass is good for feeding pigs intensively’

  • Nellia Felicity
    17 September 2020 12:51

    Thank you for your question. In response to Jabisi Daniel ”please what kind of grass is good for feeding pigs intensively”
    Pigs are monogastric therefore they cannot consume grass entirely. Some farmers let their pigs graze on lucerne.
    Kunekune pigs of New Zealand are the only true grazing pig, as they can be maintained with mostly grass with little supplementary feeding

  • Nellia Felicity
    17 September 2020 13:02

    Thank you for the good questions.
    Firstly, i must say constant consultation with local veterinarians or animal health experts is vital. With regards to feed, pigs are monogastric (meaning they have one stomach), therefore, they cannot be fed fibrous material, as they are unable to digest them. Bear in mind all nutritional requirements needed in order to have a healthy pig.
    Some keep their pigs intensively, whilst others semi-intensively. Why i say so its because, intensively kept pigs sorely depend on the farmer from feed to water. Whilst those moving within a specified area, are able to nibble on the surrounding and still being fed.
    Pigs are friendly and easy to rear.

  • Please how much can cost me to start the pig farming with 20 piglet.

  • John kiambi
    10 October 2020 10:59

    Which size of a shade can i build to accommodate 20 pigs


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