Hog raising is one of the most lucrative home businesses that you can easily start with, especially if you are living in a home with a wide backyard. Hogs can be used for various purposes: they can be sold in as pork meat in the market, or processed into cold cuts, or traded live for those who are into the roasting business.
Starting a hog business at home doesn’t require a big capital, compared to other forms of entrepreneurial ventures. All you need are a few things, such as patience and perseverance, and the passion for raising animals, as eventually you can integrate other farming ideas with your already existing hog business.
When raising hogs, you need to start with piglets. You cannot take adult hogs under your wing anymore because they already have bigger needs in terms of feeding and maintenance, so you’d have to start with the young ones.
There are basically two generic breeds of hogs that you can raise, the foreign and native ones. Foreign hogs are those with light pink with black patches and high hooves, while the native breeds are those with black complexion. Native hogs grow bigger but have tough meat, thus they ideal for breeding with other variants instead of being sold for their carcass. However, if you are raising hogs for meat produce, you can go with the foreign breeds instead.
One-month old piglets are usually the ones sold for raising. They cost somewhere between Php 2,000 to
Php 3,000 per head, depending on the breed, age and gender.
If you have a big space to raise hogs, such as a small farm, then you can go and start with 10-20 heads; however, if you are a newbie in the hog business, then you can start with one to two hogs first until you learn how to take care of them efficiently.
Constructing the den
Before buying hogs to raise, you should prepare their place of stay first. You will have to construct a custom den or corral in the backyard so that your hogs won’t go astray.
Hog dens should have a roof and drainage, and as well as a steady supply of water. This is because hogs by nature tend to get dirty throughout the day, and yet they have to be kept clean at all times in order to prevent diseases and infestations.
It is very important to keep the den clean because hog waste can give off a foul smell; the odor may reach neighbors’ houses and you may receive complaints from them later on. You may as well build a septic tank in the den, so that you can easily clean up the waste and urine without the fuss.
Hogs like to sniff and dig onto the ground to get insects to eat. You may want to provide them with an area to sniff on, such as a sandbox filled with rice hull, sand or soil so they can keep up with their natural behavior.
Constructing a den may take somewhere between Php 5,000 and Php 10,000, including materials and labor. If you want to make things more convenient once you’ve started your business, you may want to install a water system in the den for cleaning and feeding the hogs.
Stocking the feeds
Before you enter this business, you must do a thorough research first about hog raising. Like other animal pets, hogs have to be properly fed and groomed. And you cannot just feed them mere leftovers, contrary to common practice.
Hogs of different ages have different nutritional needs. Yes, you can feed them leftovers, but these have to be properly supplemented with the necessary vitamins and minerals to keep them robust and cherubic. You may be feeding them in large consumptions, but when these foods do not contain their required dietary needs, they may still end up weak and sickly.
Young hogs may be fed with a mix of starter feeds and leftover food. As they grow older, you may have to increase the amount of feeds to give them. But among anything else, you have to maintain a balance among nutrients. While most vitamins and minerals can be found in supplements, you can get the carbohydrates and fat from leftover food, and the fiber from foliage.
Adult hogs on the other hand have other needs, depending on how you want them to develop. If you intend to raise hogs for fresh meat produce, then you can go for fattening supplements so that they would grow bigger and form marbled meat. Meanwhile, if you have female hogs that you wish to use for raising piglets, then you can prepare them for motherhood by feeding them with grower and lactating feeds.
Perhaps the biggest investment that you may have to shell out on when raising hogs is the feeds. For one, they cost a lot. And yes, you have to stock feeds beforehand until such time that they are going to be used on the hogs.
What you can do here is to come up with a diet plan for your hogs, so that you can save money on supplements and utilize natural feeds, such as leftover food and green leaves and vegetables. This kind of diet helps you and your hogs in many ways-on your side you won’t have to rely on supplements alone for daily sustenance; your hogs also get to enjoy food variety as they grow.
A few good tips
Hog raising may require a big capital, but you can actually augment your spending by planning ahead. If you really intend to start this kind of business, then you can spend on den construction first, followed by the feeds that will be immediately consumed once the hogs are in. You may also want to scout for hog sellers so that you can purchase healthy piglets at reasonable prices.
Hogs start to mature at 7 months. Female hogs become fertile at around 9 months, while male hogs can be used for insemination as they turn a year old. Returns of investment will be felt after 3 years, particularly when you have already established your end goals in hog raising (i.e. you are already supplying young hogs to other farmers, lechon dealers, and meat vendors).
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