Farming with Pigs – Planning and Marketing

The most common form of pig farming in South Africa is intensive farming. As a rule pig farmers start small and grow their pig business too fast. The disadvantage is that many farmers do not plan properly for a big scale pig business and often don’t include marketing strategies and feeding cost, but build a piggery on hopes and dreams. The results are devastating and most farmers fail to succeed in the pig farming industry. Farming with Pigs Planning and Marketing

Small scale pig farming

Sow’s can produce 28 piglets per year. Having two or three sows as a small scale pig farmer is very manageable and profitable. Feeding 3 sows and growing 84 piglets throughout a year is a small farmers dream. You can sell 7 pigs per month and make a decent profit. Feeds are easy to get and selling small amounts to abattoirs or directly to the public is doable if you take in consideration that you can transport pigs with a small truck and trailer.

Buying feed at your local stores or from manufacturing companies in South Africa is extremely expensive. You need to have a strategy in place to keep your food cost down, especially when farming with pigs. Farming South Africa has methods on this website to keep feeding cost low. If you have land use it, read this article to see how we keep our feeding cost low We will publish a homemade recipe for pig feed soon so subscribe to stay updated.

Farming with Pigs Planning and Marketing

To increase profit, small scale farmers slaughter pigs at an abattoir and sell meat to neighbours and friends at reasonable prices. Keep in mind that you your pigs need ear tags or tattoo marks when you take them to an abattoir. When you transfer live pigs to an abattoir or to a buyer, you will need a transfer permit. The South African law around permits is not that strict and you can create your own.

Permit to Transport livestock in South Africa

Livestock included pigs, cattle and sheep

  • Name of farm and town where the pigs are being collected
  • Name of abattoir or buyers address where pigs will be dropped off
  • Driver name, number and I.D.
  • Owner name, number and I.D
  • Contact details of both the driver and the owner
  • Vehicle Registration and Trailer Registration
  • Identification of ear tag or tattoo must be noted on the transfer permit

There are some laws around selling and supplying meat in South Africa and to be safe follow these simple rules.

  • Get your pigs slaughtered at a accredited abattoir
  • Transfer the carcasses in a truck with a refrigerated cooler box
  • When transferring meat wear protective clothing, gloves and hair nets.
  • Processed meat needs to be in approved meat trays when you transfer it to butcheries.
  • Make sure that you have your paper work in order.

Planning for Large Scale Pig Farming in South Africa

When it’s time to upgrade or diving straight into large scale pig farming South Africa you need to carefully plan the following.


Large companies will collect your pigs on your farm. They negotiate prices or give you market related prices. When you are supplying franchise companies with pork, you should understand that you are selling bulk and will yield a low profit margin.

The upside is that you will always have a sales market and if planned correctly you can still turn your business into a large enterprise.

You can build your own abattoir that complies with the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries laws of South Africa and we strongly suggest that you visit an Provincial Executive Officer to discuss your planning around setting up an abattoir.

Feeding for a Large Scale Pig Farming Business

The startup of a large scale pig farming business should be planned 100% correctly. Feed is the key and if not planned correctly your business can collapse in a matter of months. You need to negotiate with feed suppliers to make sure you get the best possible deal, and see more than one supplier. Pig feed suppliers in SA often allow farmers to buy pig food on account and although this is a relief for starter farmers you need to monitor your piggery to make sure there is no feed waste. Make sure you store your feed in a dry store and use pesticide to keep kalanders and rodents away.

Farming with Pigs - Planning and Marketing

Free Range Pig Farming South Africa

Free range pig farming in SA is cheaper than intense pig farming but many people starting out free range farming for the first time do not include a feeding plan. Pigs need more than just minerals and low protein fodder. You need to boost their system with calories and protein. Corn is a great source of calories and barley is super feed for pigs with protein as high as 18% to 22%

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Farming with Pigs – Planning and Marketing

One more important fact to keep in mind is that free range pigs take much longer to grow and you can expect weaners to be ready for slaughter in about 8 to 9 months.

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