Fortunately, there are many breeds of pigs to rear as it is in other livestock. Studies show that there are about 25 pig breeds to rear for commercial purposes. And each of these breeds has its distinct characteristics and benefits. However, we would limit the information in this article to 5 pigs breeds to rear in Nigeria. We believe that majority of our audience are Nigerians, and to give value to our audience, we would focus on the best breeds of pigs to rear in Nigeria. So, if you are looking to start piggery farming in Nigeria, this is your go-to guide.
This article aims to help pig farmers understand the different types of pigs in Nigeria, including their nature and demands. Because that’s the first step to increasing productivity on your pig farm, so let’s get started.
Yorkshire is the most widely distributed pig breed across the world. Yorkshire has its origin in England through a crossbreeding act around the 1760s. Today, there’s not one country where Yorkshire has not been commercialized. In some parts of the world, Yorkshire is called Large White, and the name is due to its physical attributes. This breed of pig has a large white body with standing/erect ears.
Yorkshire is a muscular pig type and is considered a good mother. A live Yorkshire sow can weigh up to 200kg. Among other pig breeds, Yorkshires have an excellent reproduction rate. The only downside to rearing Yorkshire is their susceptible skin.
The pig breed does not support a free-range farming system owing to their susceptible skin. So, if you are considering Yorkshire pig farming, you need an intensive pig farm design.The Yorkshire is a lean pig breed, yet active in a pig farm and useful for crossbreds to improve other breeds. Above all, Yorkshire has an extensive life span and can adapt to varying climate conditions. The Yorkshire pig breed has a good reputation for giving quality pork and bacon even under local pig farming methods.
Although the Landrace is of Danish origin, it is one of the best pig Breeds to rear in Nigeria. The Landrace has a body that is similar to the Yorkshire and sometimes could be mistaken for the Yorkshire. The Landrace breed of pig has white skin with shaggy ears, unlike the erect ears in Yorkshire. Also, the Landrace has a long snout and time hairs. They are good heat and disease tolerant.
And just like the Yorkshire, the Landrace makes an excellent mother thanks to their excellent reproductive performance. A live Landrace can weigh up to 700 pounds if well managed.
Another good breed of pig to rear in Nigeria is the Hampshire. The Hampshire is good-tempered, and they perform well as mothers. It is easy to identify the Hampshire with their black skin and a white belt that runs around their body. This breed of pig has a wide forehead, erect ears, and eyes far apart from each other. Other features distinguishing the Hampshire from other pig breeds are their high tail, large feet, and long legs.
If you are interested in rearing pigs for meat, the Hampshire is worth considering because it grows rapidly and produces good carcass.
It will interest you to know that the Duroc is an old domesticated pig breed developed in the U.S. This pig breed is medium size with a slightly dished face and dropping ears. The Duroc body skin varies in between a light golden shade to orange-brown and deep monogamy red. A live mature Duroc sow can weigh up to 295 kg, while the mature bow gets up to 340kg.
Duroc thrives in an extensive management system and can adapt to both warm and cold climates. Although the Duroc breed is hardy, yet they are calm, less aggressive, and good reproducers. The Duroc pig breed is great for commercial farming because they grow fast on a healthy and consistent diet. The trick to maximize production in Duroc pig farming is to have a good feeding management practice. All in all, the Duroc pig breed gives high-quality tender meat in pig
From its name, this breed of pig originated from Berkshire, England. It is one of the oldest pig breeds in history. The Berkshire pig is an early maturing pork producer recognized for producing quality meat. One of the good reasons to rear the Berkshire pig is its high sensitivity and intelligence. Surprisingly enough, the Berkshire pig is emotionally sensitive and has been compared on several occasions to the smartness of a dog. Although the Berkshire pig is not as common as the other pig breeds due to their vulnerability, it is high-quality producing meat with a superior flavour.
The smooth, tender muscles and the long body structure will easily give the Berkshire pig away. Additionally, this breed of pigs has black skin with white patches on their nose, tail, and leg. They also gave small heads with large jaws and erect ears. A live Berkshire sow can weigh up to 220kg, while a live boar can weigh 280 kg. Without mincing words, the Berkshire pig meat is considered the best among other pig breeds, but sadly, the profit margin has made many pig farmers consider other pig breeds over the Berkshire pig.
Fair enough, there are many local and exotic pig breeds to choose from if you want to start pig farming in Nigeria. However, we recommend that you opt for the best pig breeds to rear, which are the 5 exotic breeds mentioned in this article. Remember that your pigs’ quality and nature play a big role in your output and profit margin. Also, consider factors like your management pratices, availability of time, and capability before deciding which pig breed to rear. For example, the Berkshire pig is very calm and requires little energy in handling. So it is down to you to choose a good pig breed for your pig farm. Good luck.