Pig Production – Class Notes 1


Pig Production – Class Notes 1

As promised my notes from my pig production class. Please bear in mind that this is not comprehensive. Maybe it will inspire you to do further research or ask me questions… :-).IntroductionPigs are omnivores (can eat anything edible), non-ruminant and monogastric (one stomach compartment). Pigs are kept primarily for :

  1. The production of pork;
  2. For soft leather, bristles of brushes;
  3. Lard (fat) for cooking;
  4. Hormones for medicinal purposes;
  5. Manure for soil and fish ponds. Also pig manure is used in some countries e.g China & Taiwan to produce methane gas for cooking and other purposed;
  6. Good experimental animal for medicinal and nutritional research.


  1. Boar:-  a mature male pig
  2. Sow:- a mature female pig
  3. Growers:- young pig of either sex from 10-20 weeks
  4. Gilt:- young female pig ready for mating >20 weeks
  5. Weaner:- young pig of either sex just separated from the sow (mother) from 5-8 weeks
  6. Piglet:- the baby or young pig of either sex.
  7. Farrowing:- art of giving birth or parturition
  8. Fatteners:- old pigs reared for the market
  9. Hog/Barrow:- castrated male pig
  10. In-sow:- pregnant sow
  11. Dry-sow:- non-pregnant sow
  12. Swine:- american term for pigs
  13. Pork:- meat of pigs
  14. Lard:- pigs fat
  15. Bacon:- salted pig meat
  16. Litter size:- number of piglets in a litter
  17. Litter:- piglets in a single farrowing
  18. Gestation: another word for pregnancy period. 114 days (3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days)
  19. Weaning:- separation of sow
  20. Castration:- removal of testicles of the male pigs. Better done before weaning.
  21. Conformation:- physical form, shape and overall appearance of an animal.
  22. Creep feeding:- feeding of piglets with special feed high in protein.
  23. Breeding:- art of mating
  24. Mortality:- death
  25. Pen:- housing for pigs

Parts of the pigswine_body_parts_labeledCharacteristics of a pig

  1. Pigs have fast growth rate, reach sexual maturity within 6 to 8 months and market weight of 60 –  90 kg in 6 – 10 months.
  2. Pigs are prolific animals with a gestation period of 114 days that is 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days. They usually farrow a minimum of 6 piglets.
  3. Pigs are polyestrous animals i.e pigs can be bred at anytime of the year.
  4. Pigs farrow an average of 6 – 12 piglets per litter and can produce 2 litters in 1 year or 5 litters in 2 years.
  5. Pigs are good converters of feed into meat (pork). They can easily convert compounded waste (waste from feedmill) into pork more cheaply and rapidly than most domestic animals.
  6. Pigs have an excellent dressing percentage or yield (65% – 80%) i.e proportion of flesh to bone is high.
  7. The swine enterprise requires a small investment compared to other livestock enterprises. Return comes very quickly when compared to others except poultry and fishing.
  8. The salvage value of pigs is high i.e the price at which an old pig can be sold off.
  9. Pork is very nutritious, good source of protein, high in energy and tender. The energy value of pork is much higher than that of beef (cattle), mutton (sheep), chivon (goat)

Hope you find it useful. Lesson 2 notes coming soon….Thanks for stopping by :-)http://www.thepigsite.com/


  • Safe
    July 23, 2013

    Very interesting and reminded of the time I supervised a piggery & poultry farm. Looking forward to the next lesson. About how much does it cost to establish the smallest piggery now? Just wondering!!

    • Kofo Durosinmi-Etti
      July 24, 2013

      Look forward to sharing as well. I imagine smallest piggery will be starting out by buying 1 pig. So this is my best guess. As the class progresses I might update this. I will also ask my lecturer at the next lesson and update. But here goes…I can’t provide you with an amount but will provide a list of items that you should consider purchasing to start a piggeryFirst 4-6 monthsSow (female pig) – costTake to mate with a Boar – could be free or could cost a small feeHousing – minimal cost if you decide to use your backyard initial, you may still have to make some changes to your backyard to make it suitable for the pigsFeeding – they consume almost anything so you can control this cost.6-12 monthsBy this time we expect that she would have given birth to a minimum of 6 pigletsHousing – adjustments to accommodate piglets – incremental costFeeding – till the piglets get weaned the Sow will be responsible for feeding the piglet, so the Sow will definitely consume more. Once they are weaned you will take responsibility for feeding the piglets, it is critical that this is managed properly. Their diet will be influenced by what purposed they are reared for. This will influence the cost of feed.Marketing: now with 6 or more pigs you are in business. You have to consider marketing related costs e.g. transportation, advertising etc.Miscellaneous expenses: it’s good to have a small amount set aside for unforseen expenses e.g. medicationI am assuming that you will be responsible for the whole operation and therefore not recruit. My lecturer mentioned that in Lagos, it takes 6 pigs from weaning to market rate to pay for the cost of 1 attendant. 1 attendant can take care of 50-150 pigs depending on the facilities at the piggery.Hope this helps…

      • chris raph
        September 29, 2013

        its quite an amazing article …..as a young medium scale pig farmer ….ur write up is self explanatory for people who want to invest in pig farming…

      • chris raph
        September 29, 2013

        its quite an amazing article …..as a young medium scale pig farmer that I am ….ur write up is self explanatory for people who want to invest in pig farming…

        • Kofo Durosinmi-Etti
          September 29, 2013

          Thanks Chris. Would you like to share your experience on being a medium scale pig farmer. Look forward to hearing from you.

  • Yunusa
    July 24, 2013

    Kofo,Thanks for sharing yournote with us. This is insightful, useful and educative. I found it interesting. Just keep it up. Well done

    • Kofo Durosinmi-Etti
      July 24, 2013

      Many thanks for your encouraging words. I’m glad you found it useful. 🙂

  • gkwifu
    July 24, 2013

    you forgot to mention that their bladders and skin are used to make soccer balls (football)http://www.football-bible.com/soccer-info/who-invented-the-soccer-ball.html …..nice piece

    July 29, 2013

    Waooo, am very happy to come acros this post,very useful for me.thank you,lookin forward to see more of it.

    • Kofo Durosinmi-Etti
      July 30, 2013

      Hi Ademola, stay tuned will be posting part 2 in a few days. I’m glad you find it useful.

  • Tope Olu Alabi
    May 8, 2018

    A green-horn. I hear a lot about production , but am skeptical about marketing


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