It's interesting, fun and a learning experience to raise a few pigs. Raising a few pigs may also provide some income on a small scale for families who live on a bigger lot.
Pigs grow fast. They grow from about three pounds at birth to market weight (225 pounds) in about 6 months. It takes some 10 months from the time the sow conceives until her pigs reach market weight.
They can be sold alive at a livestock market or perhaps processed into pork for home use at a local livestock slaughtering facility. The most important products from hogs are hams, roasts or lechon, chops, bacon, and sausage.
Raising pigs is a very popular enterprise in the Philippines because there is a proliferation of backyard producers which dominate the swine industry and a healthy viable commercial sector. Despite the crises facing the swine industry (such as the spread of foot-and-mouth disease), still many people are venturing in this enterprise.
Swine or Pig Breeds
Due to many imported breeds in the country today, determining the best breed suitable to our conditions is difficult. Here is a guide to help in selecting the breed to raise depending on the purpose, money, and experience.
1. Large White
Large white breeds are entirely white with medium, erect ears. These sows are excellent milkers, wean large litters, have superior mothering ability, and farrow. They adapt well to confinement but not to rugged conditions.
This breed is white, short-legged, and has medium to large drooping ears. Sows have excellent mothering ability and litter size. They are heavy milkers thus they produce pigs with superior growth rate and feed utilization efficiency. When crossed with other breeds, they produce pigs of highly acceptable carcass quality. However, they can't adapt to rugged conditions because of their weak feet and legs. Such defects should be corrected by proper selection and breeding.
The Duroc color is of varying shades of red. The sows are prolific and are good mothers. They produce pigs that are superior in growth rate and in feed conversion, and their performance under rugged conditions is better than any of the white breeds.
They are black with a white belt around the shoulder; short-legged; lack body thickness. The sows are noted for weaning a high percentage of the pigs farrowed and are adaptable to very rugged conditions. The growth rate, however, has generally been average or below.
These are black with four white feet. Some have white in the face and tail. Ears are erect and inclined forward as the animal grows older. This breed is meaty and adaptable to rugged conditions. The length, depth and balance of their body are good but they lack good growth and are not efficient in converting feed to gain weight. The sows are not as prolific as the other breeds.
This is a meaty type of pig with black and white spots on its body. The hams, shoulders and loins are well-shaped. The ears are erect. Its carcass has a high lean meat percentage, but poor body constitution. Its efficiency in converting feed to gain weight is not good and it is something of a slow grower. Pietrain is only worthwhile in crosses but not as a pure breed because it is highly susceptible to stress.
Breed Selection Guide
Here are some guidelines for selecting breeder sows on the basis of physical appearance:
- Young female swine should have a minimum of six pairs of well-developed and properly spaced functioning teats. If not, they are likely to have poor milking capacity.
- Teats that are inverted do not secrete milk, so choose pigs whose teats are not inverted.
- Long-bodied sows are desirable because of the more space created for udder development.
- Body width should be uniform from front to rear.
- When selecting a breeding animal, see to it that it has a well-developed ham, loin and shoulder.
- The feet and legs should be well placed. Medium-short feet and short upright pasterns are preferable.
- Select the biggest among the litter.
- Having a litter of 8 or more good-sized piglets with high survivability indicates a good female breeder.
- Do not select young female swine that fail to secrete milk.
- Select vigorous pigs from a healthy litter in a herd raised under good swine sanitation. Do not keep gilts or boars nor breed from litters that have physical abnormalities for these may be inherited.
- In selecting a gilt or sow, these pointers should be considered: clearly visible and well-developed primary sex organs, equal-sized testicles, pigs that have been proven and tested with traits that can overcome the defects of the herd. Ignore any minor defects present in the pigs, provided that they are not present among the sows.
Housing of Swine or Pigs
Generally, pigs should be four to six months old at the time of selection. To ensure maximum performance of the pigs, pig houses must be constructed properly. A poorly-built pig house may create problems such as disease.
- Use cheap and locally available materials—bamboo and nipa—for a small operation or backyard operation.
- Construct pig houses on a slightly sloping, well-drained area so that it will not become too muddy and inconvenient to work in.
For more details about everything on how to raise pigs, you might want to purchase this book: Storey's Guide to Raising Pigs, 4th Edition: Care, Facilities, Management, Breeds
- Supplement the sow's milk with a good creep (pre-weaning) ration If the milk supply is inadequate to feed her piglets. There are many available brands to choose from.
- When the pigs are about 1 week of age, start feeding them with a good pre-starter ration.
- Different rations are given at different stages of growth but a shift in ration should be done gradually so as not to upset the pigs' normal feeding behavior. Always allow a transition period of at least 1 week before making changes.
- A starter ration is given to pigs from weaning until two months of age and weighing about 10 to 25 kilograms.
- The grower ration is next given to pigs when they are 30 to 35 kg or two months old until they are about 15 to 20 weeks old.
- A finisher ration is given when pigs reach 60 kg or are about 20 weeks old.
- When formulating a simplified ration, always remember that it should always contain sufficient protein, and adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals.
- Discards from slaughterhouses, as well as cassava, sweet potato, corn, and corn by-products, which are abundant in some parts of the Philippines, may be used, provided they are properly cooked and dried.
- Commercial operations practice dry feeding because of the economy in labor and in feeding equipment. Backyard producers can practice wet feeding.
- Clean drinking water must be provided at all times.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2009 Beth Arch
Abner on February 04, 2020:
What is your true
george on August 06, 2011:
Actually sometimes things like that happens.But you choose the wrong type of breed for your sow. I suggest you choose large white they are known as good motherhood and have large quantity of milk. if large white are not available in your place try Landrace they are good as large white in terms of motherhood and milk quantity.
Hope this helps.
pusitNpalaka on May 27, 2011:
my partner is into raising pigs.. the pig breed that are she have are pietrains.. we help one of it in giving birth last may 08... it was supposed to give birth may 07.. the 1st piglet go out about 4pm.. then the 2nd and the 3rd follows in a 30 minute interval... the 4th one got out more than an hour, it was dead... and already very soft.. the 5th one then follows.. after that the pig ceased giving birth... more than an hour elapsed... the mother pig is still in pain and is continually having contractions... i've asked my partner to fetch the veterinarian but the veterinarian refused to come, he told my partner that there is nothing that he could do about it... we were so worried because the mother pig is getting so weak... it was starting to get febrile... it's eyes were so red... left on our own,we opted to manually extract the piglets.. i was able to extract to 2 piglets, both alive... after the 3rd attempt, i can't feel any piglets anymore... we thought there are no more piglets... but the mother pig tummy is still so pig... so we have the mother pig walk... then we try to extract again... i was able to get a dead pig... it seems that it just died.. then i tried again... i was able to get one again... after which i can no longer feel any piglet again... we have the mother pig walk again... we tried again.. i was able to feel the piglets again... there a re more than 2... i can't get them out.. we decided to let the mother pig rest for a some time... then i have my partner manually extract the pigs, she was able to get 2 pigs alive... then again it seems that there are no more piglets again... we cleaned up... and went home... when we went back the next day.. the pigs' caretaker told us that it give birth to a dead piglet around 4am (may 09).. then the placenta follows right away... we have the mother pig given an antibiotic.. but we noticed that the mother pig is still having contractions... we called another veterinarian to check on it... he even stick something inside the pig's uterus... he said that there are no more piglets... but we are still so doubtful.. the mother pig still refuse to eat.. it is still having contractions... so we asked the veterinarian if he could give something to aid in its contractions.. he give it a shot and another shot of antibiotic... it give birth to a dead pig on may 11... it started to eat little by little then with gusto... however, on may 14 it give birth to another dead pig... we called the veterinarian and have it given another shot of antibiotic... after wards, we noticed that the mother pig is defecating normally.... after the experience... it makes me wonder if there is a big chance for a mother pig dying when it give birth...
lupon on April 18, 2011:
very very informative site. thanks!
emerson dagpa on April 09, 2011:
Iam only starting to pig or swine business I would like to ask for what breed do I have to buy for the start.
kristina on March 29, 2011:
where can i buy a good breed of pigs
iwanttobe on March 10, 2011:
hi everyone, i just want to ask if there's a technique for my sows to produce more piglets because they are producing only 7 to 11 piglets in every birth and i wanted to make it higher up to at least 14 or above..
AndreasCabanatuan on March 02, 2011:
Are You having that kind of production Yourself?
May I ask where You are located in the Philippines?
And do You know where the people You kindly passed over the phone numbers to me, where they are located?
The reason I ask is I am in Denmark now and will hopefully be back in Philippines june/july. And at that time we are planning to go out to see baboy farms like You are talking about to get some inspiration.
Thanks again, Chester
AndreasCabanatuan on March 01, 2011:
Thanks a lot for Your input.
I was already aware that I could use darak and npw I know more about what to add on that.
Thanks a lot for that. I will try that out for sure!
Beth Arch (author) from Pearl of the Orient Seas on February 28, 2011:
Trisha - Please see the list of Amazon Book links included in this hub.
Thanks for reading. Best wishes to you!
Trisha on February 26, 2011:
Been struggling with my pigs.. had the business for a year, Im out the country but will soon be back in the Philippines to pursue the business, I am just wondering if you know any good book as a guidline to rearing the pigs.
Thanks and the hub is very helpful.. please email me the answer
Chester on February 20, 2011:
To Andreas Cabanatuan,
Go to Natural Farming Philippines website. Look for the button for forums. Scroll down and click Feeds. You would see “alternative feeds for commercial feeds” & “fermented liquid feed”. The beauty of using the Natural Farming system is that it can substantially cut your feed cost. Not only that, you are raising a much healthier livestock (as feeds don't contain chemicals). You can also call Joji Gamboa Lim (wife of THE Andry Lim) @ 0917 626 1955 ; or SENTRO in Greater Fairview @ 428 55 07 (look for Ma'am Linda). They are practitioners of Natural Farming, thus they have lowered cost of feeds.
Chester on February 19, 2011:
To Andreas Cabanatuan,
If you want to minimize cost of feeds, follow what Andry Lim is doing. They are making their own feeds out of darak, cracked corn, soya meal, copra meal (or sapal ng niyog). They also add fermented plants, fruits, oriental herbs, etc. And to really cut cost, they feed pigs with leguminous shrubs like Rensonni, Tricantera, Flamengia, Mani-Mani, etc. These shrubs are rich in protein. Proteins are the ones making the feeds costly. You can grow your own.
Try searching the internet for "Andry Lim", "Korean Natural Farming", "Organic Pigs", etc
AndreasCabanatuan on January 19, 2011:
In august 2010 I started a pig farm in the Philippines. And few days ago, we started up the 2nd "generation"
I think, however the feed prices are very high. I have send emails to 4 producers of feed but got no reply yet.
May I ask, do You have any experience in finding a supplier/producer of feed in lower price?
In august I started out with 52 piglets. The goal is to produce at least 1500 pigs 75 - 90 kg. each a year and also procuce our own piglets needed for the above production.
In case You might have any input on that matter or other good ideas, I would be more than glad to hear from You.
oemor777 on January 18, 2011:
thanks U for this information it helps a lot.
but please go vegetarian...
Don't KILL PIGS!
AndreasCabanatuan on January 09, 2011:
Hello there :-)
I have already raised 52 pigs and sold them app. 4 month old before X-mas 2009 here in the Philippines.
I have 2 questions:
1) anyone out there who have experience with selling after 4 month and others after 6 month? I mean the extra 2 month time and extra food expenses, is that good business?
2) We have bought food from a local dealer in Cabanatuan. Too expensive I would say. I want to get in touch directly with producers of food to negosiate better prises. Anyone have a link?
victor on November 27, 2010:
very informative site,thanks for the hints..id like to ask whether pigs raised freely in the backyard w/o like a cage ot those w/ cage,which of these will have more growth?if u can email me on email@example.com ill be more glad coz il soon have more questions to ask..thanks
firstname.lastname@example.org on November 24, 2010:
Sir,can you give me some information on how many kls of starter feeds should one piglet will consume with in the age of one month pls. thanks email@example.com
Beth Arch (author) from Pearl of the Orient Seas on November 20, 2010:
CERFRA Farm - Click this link: http://www.thepigsite.com/diseaseinfo/
That site has listed a quite number of swine diseases.
Thanks for dropping by and leaving comment.
CERFRA Farm on November 15, 2010:
what are the different kinds of deseases in swine and it's treatment???thanks! Godbless and More Power!
Beth Arch (author) from Pearl of the Orient Seas on October 28, 2010:
alphie - Thanks, you found this info useful.
Rock - Prices vary depending on the kinds of feeds. Ask from your nearest agrivet store.
Rock on October 28, 2010:
I m really interested in piggery business,i wish to get 15pigs how much is their sag of food and how long does it last
alphie on October 06, 2010:
i'm a small backyard pig raiser, and i found this article very useful to my business.
LEIERG on September 23, 2010:
ANY ONE HAS FEASIBILITY STUDY OF HOG PRODUCTION PLS INFORM ME COZ I MPLANNING TO START MY BUSINESS SOON. THANK U
Beth Arch (author) from Pearl of the Orient Seas on July 14, 2010:
Araceli - If it's difficult for you to inject your sows, get some help. Thanks for reading.
Albosjamin - Please refer to my Breed Selection Guide in this hub to get you an idea. For more tips you could ask from your friends who are successful in pig raising or you could search in the net.
Goodluck to pig farming!
Thanks for reading.
Albosjasmin from San Carlos, Phils. on July 13, 2010:
I will soon start a small Pig farm.
Can I have some tips how it will be done successful?
I need some help choosing a good breed, and the right food to give.
Would be glad to hear from you.
Araceli A. Darroca on July 08, 2010:
Is there other alternative other than injection to sow ready for birth and while having their babies (litter) when infection occur? Because it is very difficult to inject my sows. I maintain 2 sows in my backyard and hope to maintain till able. Thanks
Beth Arch (author) from Pearl of the Orient Seas on July 04, 2010:
Rose - It's a good business. It depends on you on how you venture into that kind of business.
rose on July 04, 2010:
i want to start raising pigs.. but i dont know if it will be a good business!!!
Beth Arch (author) from Pearl of the Orient Seas on June 16, 2010:
Thanks for visiting kep_naked. I shall say Goodluck to raising pigs.
Beth Arch (author) from Pearl of the Orient Seas on June 16, 2010:
Thanks for visiting kep_naked. I shall say Goodluck to raising pigs.
kep_naked on June 16, 2010:
I am planning to raise pigs in our home hope i can have some tips in this site,,
Beth Arch (author) from Pearl of the Orient Seas on June 07, 2010:
Mar - You could search in the internet for further reading on raising pigs or ask those small scale pig raisers you know for further information.
I have a friend who works in a piggery in Manitoba, Canada. I will ask him and email you if I can when I got some information from him.
Thanks for reading. Wish you success in your small scale pig raising business.
Mar on June 06, 2010:
Any idea where i could delve and study further regarding raising pigs? I was planning to work abroad raising pigs but i also have my own small scale backyard raising pigs. Can you kindly email me the details @ firstname.lastname@example.org thanks and more power to your site!
Beth Arch (author) from Pearl of the Orient Seas on May 23, 2010:
Patrick, it depends on where you live.
Junnah, ask those breeders you know what works for them.
JUNNAH on May 21, 2010:
Hi, i am interested in breeding pigs but don't know what high quality of food product to feed them...any suggestions?
patrick on May 08, 2010:
hi there...i wanted to start with hog raising...any company that would help me realize that business? thanks
Beth Arch (author) from Pearl of the Orient Seas on April 26, 2010:
This is only possible to some parts here in the country, esp. provinces where they are abound with crops like these. If you like you can and do it alternately and observe if there is improvement in the weight or the over-all health of your pigs.
Thanks for dropping by, nike.
nike on April 26, 2010:
thx... if i will be feeding the pigs with sweet potato will that be okay? i mean feeding them with sweet potato alone as a replacement for grower and finisher feeds? email@example.com
Beth Arch (author) from Pearl of the Orient Seas on March 17, 2010:
I'll try to provide you in your email about breeding. If can't email you, please try researching in the net or look for books about it.
Thanks for reading. I appreciate it.
aladin legaspi on March 15, 2010:
I been a hog raiser for 4 years now, i like to try how to breed them. Can you guide me how to breed. my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Beth Arch (author) from Pearl of the Orient Seas on March 07, 2010:
@ gail - Thanks for reading. I will try to send you one. Hope that would help.
gail on March 06, 2010:
we are ask to do a feasibility study in swine production. does anyone has a copy on how to start a feasibility study? please email me the format. email@example.com .. thanks in advamce
Beth Arch (author) from Pearl of the Orient Seas on February 26, 2010:
Thanks for reading, qyutie2000. Glad to hear that one of the commenters (you) here owns a piggery. Goodluck in your feasibility study. Hope this hub helps you a lot.
qyutie2000 on February 25, 2010:
i need to study all about hog raising because we have big piggery farm.. and it is also my example business in feasibility study even though im not vet med.. it helps me a lot.. thanks
Beth Arch (author) from Pearl of the Orient Seas on January 10, 2010:
Thanks for your comment, Lord.
lord on January 10, 2010:
nice for those who are researching....
Beth Arch (author) from Pearl of the Orient Seas on December 30, 2009:
Thank you for dropping by, Hiroki. Sorry, I can't provide you the cost of pig feed. Inquire from the nearest agrivet store in your area or from your farmer friends.
Hiroki on December 29, 2009:
Thank you, Beth, for the great information. Would you also provide the cost of pig feed for a small or backyard farmer?
Beth Arch (author) from Pearl of the Orient Seas on December 12, 2009:
It depends on you, arn. Thanks for reading and asking.
arn on December 12, 2009:
how much amount of feeds grower should be eat by 1 pig per day?
Beth Arch (author) from Pearl of the Orient Seas on December 06, 2009:
Hi, john! Thanks for reading and commenting.
I think this site will answer your queries...
john on December 06, 2009:
i work for feed company as sales and technical rep.
i would like to update my knowledge in swine particularly in animal health specifically diseases and possible remedy..
any info bout this?
Beth Arch (author) from Pearl of the Orient Seas on November 28, 2009:
lol! I dn't know how to play Farmville in FB.
Thanks for dropping by.
Alta5656 from Davao City, Philippines on November 27, 2009:
I will start to raise pigs in my FBook Farmville, ugh! I love to have them as pets..really.