2 things to consider before starting a piggery business

Like every other business, there are certain important factors you must consider to succeed in pig farming. These are patterns I noticed in the successes of some of the pig farmers we discussed above and will surely work for you too.

Like I mentioned in our very popular article about finding business ideas, there’s no point reinventing success when you can legally copy it! Here we go…

#1 – Start small but dream big…

Starting small and dreaming big is the motto I live by, and one of the pledges under the Smallstarter Manifesto.

Did you notice that all the successful pig farmers we looked at earlier in this article started with a small number of pigs?

Starting small allows you to expose only a small amount of your capital to the risk of failure – and yes, not all businesses will succeed. With small capital invested, it will not be the end of your world if something goes wrong.

Again, you shouldn’t ever underestimate the power of learning on a small scale. You will discover patterns, tricks, things that work and won’t work. Based on your growing experience of the business, what customers are asking for, and your small successes and failures, you can gradually increase the size of your pig farm.

Anything between three to five breeders is great for starters. Don’t worry, all of the details are covered in the manuals at the end of this article.

It’s also important that you never lose sight of your big dreams.

Nobody would have ever believed that Anna Phosa, the South African celebrity farmer, could rise from a small-scale pig farmer to become a supplier to a major retailer under a multi-million dollar contract.

That’s the power that big dreams give you. No matter how small you start, you can become as big as your dreams. You can do it too!

#2 – Starting with the right breed is the key to success!

There are different local and exotic pig breeds, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

No matter how much capital you invest, or how good you are at pig farming, the profit potential of this business will be limited by the breed of pigs you start with.

As you will learn from the training manuals in the next section, selective breeding makes it possible to reduce the time it takes for a pig to reach market size and can increase its meat production at the same time.

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Should I save or invest my money? What you need to know!

Wondering whether you should save or invest? The answer depends on your goals and your financial situation. This guide will help you work out how to go about building up your savings and the best way to invest money. It also covers the basics of planning out your finances for short term savings and long term investment.

What’s the difference between saving and investing?

  • Saving – is putting money aside, bit by bit. You usually save up to pay for something specific, like a holiday, a deposit on a home, or to cover any emergencies that might crop up, like a broken boiler. Saving usually means putting your money into cash products, such as a savings account in a bank or building society.
  • Investing – is taking some of your money and trying to make it grow by buying things you think will increase in value. For example, you might invest in stocks, property, or shares in a fund.

Who should save?

1. Setting up an emergency fund

Everybody should do their best to build up an emergency savings fund.

The general rule is to have three months’ worth of living expenses saved up in an instant access savings account. This should include rent, food, school fees and any other essential outgoings.

When shouldn’t you save?

The only time you shouldn’t save, or invest is if there are more important things you need to do with your money.

For example, getting your debts under control.

Are you ready to invest?

Whether or not it makes sense for you depends on your goals – specifically if they are long, short, or medium term.

  • Short-term goals – are things you plan to do within the next five years.
  • Medium-term goals – are things you plan to do within the next 5-10 years.
  • Longer-term goals – are ones where you’re won’t need the money for ten years or more.

Short-term goals

For your short-term goals, the general rule is to save into cash deposits, like bank accounts.

The stock market might go up or down in the short-term and if you invest for less than five years you might make a loss.

Medium-term goals

For the medium-term, cash deposits might sometimes be the best answer, but it depends on how much risk you’re willing to take with your money to achieve a greater return on your investment.

For example, if you’re planning to buy a property in seven years and you know you’ll need all your savings as a deposit and don’t want to risk your money, it might be safer to put your money into a savings account.

However, bear in mind that your savings will still be at risk from inflation.

This is where the interest you earn on your savings fails to keep up with the rate of inflation so the buying power of your money is reduced.

On the other hand, if your needs are more flexible, you might consider investing your money if you’re prepared to take some risk with your original capital to try and achieve a greater return on your investment than would be possible by saving alone.

For longer-term goals, you may want to consider investing because inflation can seriously affect the value of cash savings over the medium and long-term.

The stock market tends to do better than cash over the long-term providing an opportunity for greater returns on any money invested over time.

Longer-term goals

You can lower the level of risk you take when you invest by spreading your money across different types of investments. This is called diversification.

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4 Reasons you should consider the pig farming business

Just in case you’re not inspired enough by the amazing successes of these pig farmers, I decided to give you four interesting reasons why you need to give this venture a thought.

Some of these reasons may be already known to you while others may be totally new – however, what they all share are the facts.

#1 – Consumption of pork products is already growing across Africa!

Urbanisation and economic growth is leading to the increasing presence of international and local fast food restaurants across our continent.

In addition to the entry of fast food brands like KFC and Dominoes, supermarket and retail giants like Walmart (Massmart in South Africa), Shoprite and SPAR are introducing a range of pork-dominated Western diets to African consumers.

Foreign tourists, workers, investors, and their families are also flocking to our shores for business and pleasure. As a result, more of the hotels and restaurants who have a large customer base of foreigners now want to serve pork delicacies. This surely means that local pig farmers will be needed to maintain a huge and regular stock of pork products to satisfy the growing demand.

In South Africa for example, pork has overtaken mutton/lamb as the more favourite meat following the 59 percent rise in pig production.

Another interesting example is Morocco, an overwhelmingly Muslim country. Moroccan pig production is increasing to cater to the demand of millions of tourists (especially Europeans) who visit the North African nation every year.

According to this article, it’s quite interesting that the major pig farmers in Morocco are Muslims and Jews (who do not consume pork for religious reasons). This interesting trend is sure to continue as Africa’s cities grow to accommodate more foreign tastes.

#2 – Pigs multiply really fast!

One of the reasons why pig farming is very lucrative is that pigs multiply really fast. One sow (mature female pig) can furrow (give birth to) between 8 and 18 piglets at a time.

The gestation (pregnancy) period for pigs is just four months and sows can furrow up to two times a year. This means that one sow, which costs about $400, can produce up to 16 – 36 piglets in a single year. These piglets which reach a market size of 70 kg in six to seven months can sell for up to $300 each!

No other farm animals, except chickensrabbits and ostriches, can multiply this fast!

As you will learn in the detailed manuals at the bottom of this article, pigs grow to market size very fast because of their amazingly high feed-to-meat conversion ratios. This simply means that for every kilogram of food they eat, pigs produce more flesh (meat) than cattle, goats and sheep.

#3 – Pigs are highly adaptable and easy to farm

According to one of our recommended manuals, pigs have over 15,000 taste buds (humans have just about 9,000). This enables them to eat everything humans eat and other stuff like grass, forage and feed eaten by other animals.

In fact, pigs are the best and most efficient animals for converting kitchen wastes, garbage, leftover food and other non-conventional feedstuffs into meat.

Considering the high and rising cost of grains and concentrates used to produce animal and livestock feeds, the ability of pigs to consume a wide variety of foods increases its profit potential as a business.  Since they are able to recycle most materials (which they eat and convert to meat), pigs help farmers to largely reduce feeding costs and waste.

#4- Pigs yield more meat…

Despite their ability to convert more feed into body weight (flesh/meat), pigs also produce more meat when they are slaughtered.

Unlike cattle, sheep and goats which produce between 50 and 55 percent meat from their bodies, pigs can yield up to 70 percent edible meat because they have a much smaller proportion of bones than meat.

In addition to its high meat yields, meat processors and marketers love pig carcasses because they’re easier to handle and package compared to other types of meat.

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