Pig Farming In Kenya
Pig farming is one of the rapidly growing agricultural sectors due to increased demand for pork and pig products. Farmers around the country are reaping enormous benefits from the industry by rearing pigs using a variety of methods. Pig farming requires adequate planning and research to be successful. Since pigs are heavy consumers, a farmer needs to know his market well and the prices to determine the success of thebusiness.
Which are some of the methods of pig rearing used in Kenya?
Pig breeders may decide to use one of the following systems of pig farming
- Scavenger or free-range pig farming system: here pigs are kept on a smaller scale and not as a major business
- Semi-intensive pig rearing: this method is an improvement to the scavenger system. In this system, farmers pay more attention to their pigs though not as much as in intensive pig keeping.
- Intensive pig farming system involves heavy investment into the care and maintenance of pigs with the aim of accruing profit. In this system, the farmer invests in disease control, feeding, equipment, and marketing.
As a pig farmer, one has to decide on the suitable productionsystem for their pigs.
There are three production systems to choose from;
- Farrow to wean: in the system, the farmer breeds parents who later produce piglets. The piglets are then sold off.
- Farrow to finish: in this system, the farmer has both parents and piglets in one unit. The piglets are weaned, grown and fattened before being sold off.
- Fattening: in this system, the farmer purchases piglets and fattens them for the market.
Like cattle, pigs come in a variety of breeds. Here are some of the topquality breeds of pigs in Kenya
- Danbred Landrace: the breed is strong with good mothering and milking ability as well as good quality meat.
- Danbred Yorkshire: also called large white, the sows of this breed are very fertile with good teats and a high life expectancy.
- Duroc: the breed has fast growth rates and is mainly used as a terminal sire
After deciding on the appropriate breed, a farmer has to learn about the feeding and housing of pigs. Pigs are heavy consumers. In Kenya, pigs are fed with grains and forage. Farmers are warned against feeding their pigs with household refuse. Pigs require well-ventilated and clean stys at all times to prevent diseases and increase yield. Like poultry, pigs are sensitive to viral diseases especially African swine fever which may wipe out the whole herd.
Pigs have a ready market in Kenya. However, to reap benefits from the enterprise, farmers have to do their research beforehand. Some of the places a farmer may sell their pigs include Farmers’ Choice, Ndumboini Farm Slaughter House, Lyntano Slaughter House, Kabati Slaughter House, restaurants, supermarkets, and butcheries.