Starting a Piggery in the Philippines – Piggery Advice.

There has been a lot of interest in the piggery business and the truth is it can work but its not easy work. Firstly the price of meat is very low which keeps the profit to a minimum. Very little room to expand into a larger scale business and the feeds aren’t controlled properly so even with a 4 – 5 month fattening plan you can literally see your profit disappear as the feed prices go up yet the meat prices stay the same.. So how can you make it work?

1. Cut out the middle man sell direct to your neighbours.
2. Process the meat, a pig = small profit but sausages and bacon?
3. Mix in your own feeds creating 30% of the feeds yourself by growing crops on unused land will be an extra 30% capital staying in your pocket.
4. Don’t employ people. Simply its too expensive and the bigger the piggery the more people are required, if your looking large scale find your market for sales first.
5. Do your homework. Don’t leave things to chance things aren’t guaranteed anywhere else in the world so why leave things to chance here? Talk to people already buying where do they get they’re pigs from?
6. Breed the pigs, I first looked at the figures that I had and the yield was good over a year and maybe still so but your looking at around P2,500 for a good quality piglet. Don’t buy cheap pigs, cheap breeding makes pigs low in weight and at the end of the day your in the weight business.
7. Don’t expect instant success. Its a business that you will find a lot of trial and error over time. Aswell as finding the best feeds to give the highest weights with the lowest cost.
8. Look long-term. The investment in the pigs should be at least a 2 – 3 year investment and you will find in the first year very little profit if any. Why? Because technology is needed, pig pens, stocks.. One major investment in this business is getting the air right for the pen aswell as an electric pump for water. Get the pump connected to a hose to create good water flow for washing the pigs down not just for hygiene but to keep them cool. Sick pigs are expensive pigs.
9. What is the best design for a piggery? This depends where you are to be honest. If i was more into the provinces I would likely go all native for several reasons. The main ones being the fact the Nipa and bamboo are cooler for the pigs during the day aswell as the fact they are a lot cheaper to build.
10. Think of your neighbours, Filipinos don’t generally bother each other unless there is a reason for an issue. The smell of strong pig urine is one of those reasons that could cause a falling out with a neighbour. Best way to deal with this is to invite them over for a few beers and a chat. Talking about it will get rid of the problem.

Well that a quick run down on a piggery. To be honest i will keep investing in pigs because we already have invested in the pens and the first batches. But the money could have been a better investment somewhere else. But then again I’m about to start turning pork into more saleable meats. Aswell as having some new ideas on how to get the best money out of the porkers..

18 comments for “Starting a Piggery in the Philippines – Piggery Advice.

  1. Phetrone
    August 18, 2010 at 8:45 am

    it’s amazing i llearned a lot thanks…cool…

  2. Ian
    July 4, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Thanks very much for the info Matt.so how’s the meat business going on now? Cheers!

    • Profile photo of OLDARTICLES
      July 5, 2011 at 12:48 am

      Haven’t produced pigs for a while now Ian the building is now constructed into apartments. We have however started doing hams,bacon and sausages ourselves though from meat from the market. Saves a small fortune and a lot better quality. If it expands out would love to do the pigs ourselves again in the future as you can notice the quality if the pigs are fed properly.

  3. Jake
    September 25, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Hi Matt,
    I really like your blog. I have been reading it for some time now. However, I wish I would have read this post before getting into this business.
    I am starting a piggery there and am wondering about the reasons as to why you no longer are producing pigs. Did you need more capitol than previously thought? Did the prices fluctuate too much? Were there not enough buyers? I have heard so many good things about this business, yet am wondering why everyone is not doing it. I have already committed $4k on the construction and am wondering if I should just cut my losses as I now became aware that fatty pigs are not so profitable, but 6 months of the year. Could you tell me what you did and how big yours was? I am sure you and the family are busy these days, but if you have a chance please, any incite or recommendations would be greatly appreciated as I am fearful that this business is not what I was told it was.
    Thank you,
    Jake

    • Profile photo of OLDARTICLES
      September 25, 2011 at 11:01 am

      Hi Jake,
      Piggeries are a risky business to be in myself I seen huge differences in weights because the breeds aren’t monitored to weed out bad stock. At the same time animal feed prices can fluctuate. The real money in a piggey is the butcher and processing. We got rid of ours because we built apartments on it. Made money but not a great amount, would have pigs again in the future but mainly for personal consumption. Our pigs were low in fat due to a good diet at the same time the feeds cut into the profit rapidly.have a chat with this guy :- he does organics as well as pig and other animal production. Also here drop these guys emails I am sure they can steer you in the right direction :-

  4. Jake
    September 27, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Thanks, Matt I really appreciate it. It does seem to me that there is a profit, yet like you say somewhat small.
    Can I ask how many sows and fatty pigs you were working with at the time?

  5. Profile photo of OLDARTICLES
    September 27, 2011 at 2:31 am

    We were fattening 30 piglets. Between batch one and two there was a huge difference in size yet the consumption of feeds were the same. Time of year is important as many people mass produce for specific things like Christmas and fiesta’s but time it right you will find there are meat shortages at specific times of the year due to gaps in the market.

    At the same time would also say if you can produce your own ham

  6. Jake
    September 28, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Great, Thanks Matt. Talked to the Jhon and Jhon farm. Too bad they are not in Cebu, it sounds like they have the answer to what was a problem you were facing with not being able to weed out the bad genetics. Maybe there is a way to get something going in Cebu. I really appreciate your advice and really respect your entrepreneurial spirit.

  7. September 29, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Hi Jake,
    did they offer you some people in Cebu? There are people around as well as I would say drop into the government agricultural organisations here. They want to improve the livestock and I am aware of some “free” animals that have been given away on other islands for that reason. Cheap pigs are easy to come by but good class breeds take a bit of finding and the other issue is having people that know the difference when selling them for slaughter.

    Typical example is goats as we have had a local goat for as little as P500 but a good Nubian could be P25,000

  8. Jake
    October 3, 2011 at 1:36 am

    Hi Matt, We didn’t get anyone in Cebu from them,But we are going to call them again. I cam across this small piggery: http://rexwoo.multiply.com/

    They seem to have some good pigs. The guy paid P50K a boar and has 3 of them and 16 sows. Pretty pricey, but this is a special breed from the UK. I am going to look into this some more.

    He says he does not fatten the pigs. “because he wants a quicker return on his investment” We have talked to many piggeries who do the same. But it leads me to the question:
    If there are more profits to be made in fattening, why don’t they do that? I know it costs more for feeds, but in the long run it doesn’t make sense.
    I guess I am a bit confused as to the reality, if there are profits to be made fattening them. Any incite on this?

  9. Profile photo of OLDARTICLES
    October 3, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Hi Jake,
    Fattening pigs is down to the end market which is why you will find a lot of people avoiding it. The profit margins are minimal in relation for example breeding because of the excess amounts put on the cost of feeds.

    For me it doesn’t make any sense but if you ask someone locally about the differences between types of pig and meat generally they wouldn’t know and that is where the problem lies. Because nobody is thinking health,quality or the well being of the animal its Lechon Baboy and that’s about all that most people are thinking. This in turn creates another problem because of imported pig meat costs as Pigs are produced cheaper in other countries, another mad thing for me with an “inward economy” as obviously its capable of producing its own meat as a nation but like the rice chooses not too for whatever reason.

    At the same time would say the money is in the meat but really needs all the processes and direct marketing done afterwards. Going “organic” etc. may pay off if you can find enough interest depending on the size of your stock. I haven’t had the resources to do much more with it in the last year but I am sure there is a profit in it but mainly from birth to sausage. Rather than piglet or wholesale meat, when I sold mine the butcher added P40 per kg which meant he made more profit than me for 3 months of fattening for one days work.

    At the same time people are waking up to quality here and it may pay to approach restaurants over localised places as you can adapt the meat to the restuarants needs. For example people liked my pigs because of their low fat content. With your investment I would just trial and error with that for now and contact other pig farms to discuss things with them and advice. Especially long standing ones. Big issue for many is they are “hobby farms” which are more a show of having money than actually for producing. So worth asking what else they do as you may find they only produce things for themselves aswell rather than a commercial operation.

  10. Denby
    December 26, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Hello Jake and Matt i was reading your replies in i was wondering did you ever considered to contact companies that offers contract growers i think it’s much easier specially when your just starting…

    • Profile photo of OLDARTICLES
      December 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      Hi Denby,
      personally it was for smalls scale here and hunting around you will find the profit margins are pretty thin at best regardless of how you look at it. Even talking to people who were previously dealers of the pig feeds and growing on found it to “not to be worth the hassle”. For myself 30 pigs at a time is plenty as its just a bit of pot money for us here as well as being able to kill and freeze our own meats as well as create leaner pork. All in all its a difficult business like many in the Philippines to make a large profit and the more you upscale the more risk your adding for minimum profit. All in all best option is to develop your own feeds and have for general consumption and localised selling over large scale developments as good old San Mig like everything else takes the lions share.

  11. lyndon
    January 5, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Hi Guys
    I am looking to get into the piggery business and would like to know how much you spend on a pig from a piglet to selling it at 80kg to 90kg coz that will give me a fair idea if this business is a viable one or if i should spend my hard earned money into some other sort of business here in philippines and as you know there are not much business here that is very profitable as you always get ripped off by every pinoy with half a brain cos they think its their right to rip you off coz you a foreigner. I would appreciate any insight from anyone.

  12. Denby
    January 8, 2012 at 12:33 am

    Hi Matt,

    Good Day.

    I agree with you in that matter that its best to develop your own feeds because sometimes the cost of the commercial feeds its so high that it will eat up a certain margin of your income..30 pigs that’s good enough to start with that will give you a 40t net income in 141 days of fattening the good thing about contract growing is that you only have to invest on the pig fins and a little of man power but its best to be hands on and the best thing is you don’t need to worry about how to market it.. its nice to read all of your post it had given me few ideas.. actually i have started my own piggery as a contract grower…

    • Profile photo of OLDARTICLES
      January 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

      Marketing directly though has the higher yield of profits, In the same way taking it to processed meats will give the best return. Birth to sausage will always be better than having middle men along the way.

  13. Denby
    January 8, 2012 at 12:39 am

    by the way Matt have you heard about palm oil plantation actually its a very good investment..

    • Profile photo of OLDARTICLES
      January 8, 2012 at 11:18 am

      The issue with palm oil is farming the plantation the oil itself is only a small part of the processing. Although was looking into it myself a couple of years back as there is machinery that will do 6 part processing to improve the profitability of it. Worth contacting the local Department of Agriculture.