Pig farming in Ghana is considered to be one of the most lucrative business ventures in Ghana. Pig farmers in Ghana have reaped quite attractive profits from pig farming. Pigs can be raised both in small or large scale commercial venture for providing food and nutrition to the family and for the country or for commercial purposes.
Pig Farming in Ghana – Factors to Consider
When setting up commercial pig farming in Ghana, the following factors should be put into consideration:-
Selection of a Suitable Farm Land
Selecting a suitable land is very important for starting pig farming in Ghana. A suitable land with availability of all types of necessary facilities ensure proper growth, good health, proper marketing and maximum profit from pig farming business. Determine the area and size of farm land according to the number of pigs in your farm. While selecting lands for pig farming in Ghana, consider the followings:-
- Select a calm and quiet place far from the residential areas.
- Ensure sufficient supply of fresh water in the farm area. A water source like lake, pond, river etc. will be effective.
- The selected area will be very near from the market. So that you can easily sell your products and buy necessary things from the market.
- Consider availability of veterinary service near your farm land.
- Good transportation system.
- Low cost feeding elements help to reduce food cost. While selecting land consider this.
- Select land in village areas. Because in village areas, you can easily find cheap labor, feeding elements and lands.
Pig Farming in Ghana – Selection of suitable Breeds
Select proper pig breeds according to your production scale. You can select both local and hybrid pigs for commercial pig farming in Ghana. Generally Large White, Landrace, Yorkshires, Duroc, Hampshire etc. are most profitable pig breeds in Ghana.
Duroc Pig –
Originating in America, the Duroc is known to be part of many of the crosses in commercial pork production hogs. Durocs are a pretty reddish brown color and fairly agreeable in temperament. Originally one of the larger breeds of market hogs but now rating in the medium size range. Most of our pigs are Duroc or Duroc Cross and we have found them to be mostly pleasant as Sows, with good mothering tendencies. The piglets wean easily and forage at an early age. The meat is tender, with a great flavor from the vegetable, hay and foraging diet. Many of our pigs have Yorkshire cross in them, adding to the good disposition and foraging ability.
Hampshire Pig –
The Hampshire pig breed is one of the earliest recorded breeds in America, bred in Kentucky. Originally imported from Scotland and England as the Old English Breed. The name was changed to Hampshire along the way. They are black with a white strip of belting around the shoulders and body which can reach down the front legs. A smaller leaner pig, the Hampshire has a large loin and lower back fat amount than other breeds.
Landrace Pig –
The Landrace breed of pig originates from Denmark. They are very long in the body. Landrace pigs are all white and only small black skin marks are permissible to register the pig. The ears are sort of lopped and the head is surrounded by some meaty jowls. In addition to their large size and carcass weight, the breed is known for having large litters.
While choosing proper breeds for your business, consider the following features in the pigs:-
- A pair of bright eyes.
- Glossy coat.
- Alert and responsive to its surrounding environment.
- Good temperament.
- Good appeal to food.
- Easy and normal movement.
- Free from lameness or any other unnatural signs.
- Avoid purchasing aggressive pig.
- While purchasing, ask the producer about their health information, production history and other records.
Pig Farming in Ghana – Housing
Pigs are very strong and they need sturdy living quarters. Air circulation and shade are vital. Pigs are very sensitive to temperature. Generally, adult pigs are very sensitive to hot temperature and the piglets are affected adversely by cold temperature. So, controlled temperature can help to maximize the growth and production. Keeping the piglets with their mother in a separate house is a good idea. Separate the feeding and bedding place and try to keep the house neat and clean always.
Pig Farming in Ghana – Feeding
Feeding is the most important part of pig farming in Ghana. Because, good and nutritious food always ensure good production. Pigs can eat and consume both meat and grains. You can feed your pigs almost everything that includes roughage, kitchen garbage, agricultural waste, stalk from beverage companies etc. You can also feed your pigs cooked table scraps, vegetables etc.
Corn is the main food of pigs. But, having a diet with protein from soybeans or cooked meat will be effective for pigs. Vitamins and other supplements also help to grow faster. Piglets need higher protein contained food than the adult pigs. Along with sufficient nutritious food, always serve them sufficient amount of fresh and clean water according to their daily demands. Sufficient fresh water helps to keep the pig healthy and this directly impact the profit from pig farming in Ghana.
Ration for pigs
|Type of ingredient|
|Class of pig||Maize (kg)||Fish meal (kg)||Soyabean meal (kg)||Wheat bran (kg)|
For all classes- shell grit -1kg
Daily intake (kg) – piglets 0.5; weaners 1.5; growers 2.5; boars& dry sows 3.0; pregnant sows 4.5; lactating sows 5.0
|Energy source||Maize, cassava, guinea corn, maize bran, rice bran, pito mash, yam, cassava and plantain peels, corn cobs, groundnut skin, cocoa pod husk|
|Protein source||Fish meal, groundnut cake, copra cake, cotton seed cake, soyabean meal, ground nuts, brewers spent grain, palm kennel meal, cassava leaf meal|
|Mineral source||Common salt, bone meal, dicalcium phosphate, oyster shell|
|Vitamin source||Commercial vit, supplements fish meal, green forages and yellow maize|
Pig Farming in Ghana – Breeding
Pig breeding is very easy. Pure breeding, cross breeding, out breeding and in breeding is the common types of pig breeding models. Most of the pig breeds has a less gestation period of not more than 115 days. Sow produce piglets twice a year and about 10 piglets each time.
Pig Farming in Ghana – Reproduction
- Gestation period -3 months 3 weeks 3 days (114days)
- Weaning-6 weeks
- Maturity (sexuality) -6 months, gilts should be mated at 8-9 months of age i.e. 2nd or 3rd heat period
- Reproduction rate – 2 times in a year
- Average litter size -8
- Heat period (when female will allow mating) 21 days cycle
- After weaning, the sow comes on the 4th and 14th day
Pig Farming in Ghana – Husbandry Practices
- Observe pigs carefully for ill- health daily
- Clean pig sty with water every morning
- Give adequate clean water morning and afternoon
- Castrate unwanted males between the ages of 1-3 weeks of birth or soon after weaning
- Administer iron dextron to new born piglets within the first 3 days (dosage is 2 cc/piglet)
- 0Clip needle teeth of piglets within first 3 days of birth
- Deworm mature boars 3 time/year, growing pigs 3 time i.e. once during each phase of the life cycle (starting, growing and finishing), pregnant sows 10 days before farrowing date and lactating sows, before or soon after weaning.
Pig Farming in Ghana – Diseases of pigs
Anthrax in pigs is relatively rare and it is present with Sudden death; it can also be present differently based on the location of the infection: pharynx anthrax, intestinal anthrax or systemic anthrax. It is very critical to carry out a necropsy in the field because the environment can get contaminated with the spores. Anthrax is a zoonotic disease.
Alternative names: Bacillus anthracis
It is a rare disease in most parts of the world; pigs are highly resistant to the infection. Special care must be taken when handling sick animals or carcasses of pigs affected because it is a zoonotic disease. There are effective vaccines in some countries for both pigs and humans. There are three forms of clinical manifestation depending on the area of the infection: pharyngeal anthrax, intestinal anthrax, or systemic anthrax.
Lactation, nursery and fattening
- Sudden death without symptoms (or with a discolored and swollen neck).
- Feces with blood.
- Nasal hemorrhage.
- Acute disease.
- Respiratory Anxiety.
- Sudden death.
- Sore throat, lymph nodes in the neck and in abdomen increased in size and hemorrhagic.
- Feces with blood.
- Nasal hemorrhage.
Causes / Contributing Factors
- The source of infection in sows is usually feed contaminated with spores of Bacillus anthracis.
Anthrax should be suspected if a pig is found dead and at post-mortem examination hemorrhagic tissues are found and lymph nodes in neck and abdomen are red and swollen.
Colitis in pigs
- Prevent access to soil or feed contaminated with spores.
- Penicillin is effective.
- It is possible to vaccinate although it is rare in pigs because of their natural resistance to the disease.
Colitis is an infection of the large intestine mainly in pigs from 6 to 14 weeks of age. This is characterized by diarrhea without blood and with few or no mucus.
Alternative names: Spirochaetal colitis, porcine intestinal spirochaetosis, non-dysenteric colitis, Brachyspira pilosicoli
“Colitis” means large intestine inflammation. In some countries it is common in growing pigs and is characterized by diarrhea. It is not frequent in pigs fed with feed prepared in the farm.
The affected pigs are 6 to 14 weeks of age, and the disease can affect 50% of the group. It is not observed in lactating or adult animals. However it can be individually seen in sows. Several organisms are associated with colitis, but Brachyspira pilosicoli, an organism similar to the one causing porcine dysentery, is important.
Sows and lactating piglets
- No symptoms.
Weaners and growers
- Symptoms commonly appear in fast growing pigs, from 6 to 14 weeks of age, with ad libitum feeding and high density diets.
- First symptoms:
- Loose feces that look like cow’s manure, without blood and almost no mucus.
- Pigs with normal behavior.
- When the disease gets more serious:
- Watery diarrhea
- Loss of body condition.
- Poor growth.
Causes / contributing factors
- Diet factors: The disease can be observed with any kind of diet, but is more common in the granulated ones. It is believed that the granulation process may have an effect on the diet fat thus triggering digestive alterations in the large intestine.
- It is more frequent in high energy and protein diets (14,5 MJ DE/kg, 21% protein).
- Some ingredients can also be associated.
- It is frequent in diets where fat is used to keep the granule together.
- Continuous flow of animals predisposes them to the disease.
Based on clinical signs and the elimination of other causes of diarrhea, particularly swine dysentery. It is necessary to perform a feces analysis together with a post mortem examination and laboratory analysis of an untreated pig presenting the typical symptoms. Porcine enteropathy may be involved.
Control / prevention
- Antibiotics administration might not always be successful because it depends on the presence of primary or secondary bacteria, but the following products used in the feed have given positive results in farms that present the problem.
- To treat pigs individually, it might be helpful to inject them in a daily basis with tiamutin, lincomycin, tylosin or oxytetracycline.
- The use of zinc in the diet must be considered, at a dosage of 2 to 3 kg/ton, because two weeks after the withdrawal of zinc used to prevent enteritis produced by E. coli at weaning, colitis may appear.
Pig Farming in Ghana – Tuberculosis
Swine tuberculosis is rare today, being the most common the Mycobacterium avium complex. It causes nodules in the lymph nodes of the neck resulting in the seizure of carcasses at the slaughterhouse.
Alternative names: TB, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycobacterium avium, Mycobacterium bovis
Tuberculosis affects mammals, including humans, and birds. The causative organism, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is subclassified into several types, human, bovine and avian. The avian type is called M. avium (or M. avium complex) which itself affects mainly birds but is also found in the environment. Pigs rarely become infected with the human types (M. tuberculosis) or bovine (M. bovis) but are often infected with M. avium complex.
The complex also causes not progressive sub-clinical illnesses in healthy people. The main concern is that it could cause serious illnesses in inmunodepressed people. In most countries, when in the slaughterhouse are seen lesions in the neck, the head is confiscated and, if lesions are found in the mesenteric lymph nodes that drain into the intestines, viscera are confiscated. If the disease is more widespread in the body, which is rare, the whole carcass will be confiscated. If small lesions are not detected during the inspection, normal cooking in the kitchen destroys the organism.
Pig Farming in Ghana – Symptoms
- It causes small lumps in the lymph nodes of the neck and those that drain into the small intestine.
- In the vast majority of cases the lesions are not progressive, they do not spread through the body, do not cause the pig to get sick and are not excreted.
- There are no clinical signs and no difference in production between infected and uninfected pigs.
Causes / Contributing Factors
- The disease is not transmitted between pigs and it should be considered an environmental infection. It is rarely diagnosed in live pigs.
- Fields that have been treated with chicken manure as a year before (or, in the case of bovine tuberculosis form, fields having infected cattle or badgers).
- The avian tuberculosis, as its name suggests, is found in wild birds. The organism is excreted in large quantities in their excrements and therefore food, cereal, water or bed contaminated by birds, are a potential source of disease.
- Water contaminated with M. avium is a common source of contamination.
- In live pigs the diagnosis is based on the tuberculin skin test, but usually the producer realizes that the disease is present in his farm when he receives the list of the percentage of seizures in the slaughterhouse.
- There is no treatment.
- Eliminate feed and contaminated bed.
- Eliminate access of birds to pigs’ areas.
- Use water chlorination.
Pig Farming in Ghana – Tetanus
Clostridium tetani produces toxins that affect the central nervous system causing hypersensitivity, stiffness in legs and muscles, and opisthotonos.
Alternative names: Clostridium tetani
It is caused by a bacterium called Clostridium tetani, which produces toxins that affect the central nervous system. The organism, capable of forming spores lives in large intestine, is present in feces of many mammals and in some soils. This disease can be a problem for pigs living outdoors. The incubation period is 1 to 10 weeks. In nursing piglets of less than 2 weeks old the disease is uncommon.
- Stiffness of legs and muscles.
- Stiff tail.
- Muscle spasms in ears and face.
- High mortality.
Causes / Contributing Factors
- The bacteria must enter through a dirty wound or cut.
- In lactating piglets the most common source is castration – not hygienic methods.
- It is based on clinical signs.
- There is no effective treatment once clinical signs are present.
- Vaccination of the sow is very effective.
- Using antitoxins during castration.
- Using prophylactic antibiotics, especially penicillin.
Pig Farming in Ghana – Marketing
There is a huge demand of pig products in the market. Pig products such as pork, bacon, sausages etc. are very popular throughout the whole Ghana. So, you don’t need to worry about marketing your products if you want to start pig farming in Ghana. Sell your pigs in your nearest local market when they gain marketing weights.
Commercial pig farming in Ghana is very popular and profitable business and it is one of the worthwhile activity to engage in. The demand is very high and the market is growing rapidly. But the supply is still limited. So, there is a great opportunities of starting commercial pig farming in Ghana.