Pig Farming in South Africa

© National Pork Board and the Pork Checkoff. Des Moines, IA USA
Pig Farming might be on a commercial scale or on a small-scale to boost household income.
The commercial pig industry in South Africa is relatively small with a few modern piggeries with modern facilities, high feeding costs and excellent genetic material. South Africa also has thousands of subsistence and small-scale farmers producing pork meat for families and communal use. These small farmers often deal with rudimentary housing facilities and feed.

SouthAfrica.co.za offers pig farmers in South Africa educational agricultural material in all 11 South African languages, with a range of agricultural articles in an easy-to-read format to farm better quality pork under sustainable and safe conditions.

Artificial Insemination with Pigs

Unlike natural mating where a boar is physically placed with sows to breed, artificial insemination entails the insemination of sows with semen of a boar that may not necessarily be on the farm....more

Biosecurity for Small-herd Pig Farmers

Biosecurity is a set of measures or rules to prevent the introduction of diseases on a farm and the spread of diseases or pathogens within the farm....more

Cold Stress in Pigs

Because of South Africa’s warm climatic conditions, cold stress is not as serious a problem with adult pigs as in some cooler countries. The winters, however, and especially winter nights...more

Digestive Problems of Pigs

Diarrhoea, vomiting, constipation, hard dry dung with mucus, bloody dung, belly pain, pigs not wanting to eat or eating excessively but not gaining weight, are all signs that a pig may be suffering from digestive problems....more

Farrowing Crates

Farrowing crates are one of the best investments a pig farmer can make. Sows are moved to these crates about a week before farrowing and kept there until her piglets are weaned at 21 to 28 days of age....more

Feeding Food Waste to Pigs

Swill feeding is a big no-no in in pork production, because it can make pigs very sick. The greatest threat is that the pigs might contract African Swine Fever, a highly infectious disease that, depending on the virus strain...more

Heat Stress in Pigs

Pigs are highly sensitive to hot and cold climatic conditions. The ideal temperatures at which they should be kept will depend on room temperature, relative humidity, the age of the pig, the breed, the type of flooring and housing....more

Housing Tips for Pigs

Housing should be matched with the type of pig you want to produce. Unimproved breeds are able to cope under much harsher environmental and production conditions than improved breeds...more

How to Mate Pigs

One of the best ways to ensure maximum pig production is to use good genetic material....more

How to Start Pig Farming

When starting pig farming in South Africa you will need a plan. In fact, everything pig farming enterprise needs a plan, from the thousand-sow unit to the two-pig herd in the backyard of a poor-resource owner wanting to increase his family’s income....more

Intestinal Worms in Pigs

Depending on the species, worms may not only have a negative impact on pig health and production, but also result in condemnation of the carcass at an abattoir....more

Labelling of Pork Products

Farmers may allow their pigs to roam freely outside and use no genetically modified feed or antibiotics, but their produce will only qualify for free-range, organic or pasture reared labelling...more

Lameness in Pigs

Lameness is a serious problem in pig production. The pain associated with lameness can make it difficult for pigs to walk to feeding and water troughs, which in turn would have a negative impact on their growth rate...more

Making Money from Pig Production

For a pig farming operation to be financially viable, farmers need to secure a market for their pigs and calculate the cost of production before going into business....more

Management of the Sow and Her Litter

The sow, is the least demanding when pregnant (called a ‘dry sow’ in the industry) but she still has needs. A pregnant sow needs the company of other sows and needs protection against hot sun, cold winds and rain....more

Management of Weaners and Growers

To ensure better production, the first month after weaning piglets is critical and should receive careful attention. The weaning age is not strictly set and there is some benefit in ‘split-weaning’....more

Monitoring Pig Health

The key with pig health management is to identify problems and diseases before they get out of control. To do so, farmers need to distinguish between normal and abnormal behaviour and health symptoms....more

Pig Breeding

The strategic selection of breeding material can help to upgrade a herd by, for example, increasing litter sizes, improving meat quality and output as well as the feed efficiency of animals....more

Pig Diseases

For pig farmers in South Africa to be successful, the health of their pigs is essential. Farmers should be able to recognise the symptoms of diseases in pigs to be able to start treatment with the right medicine as soon as possible....more

Pig Skin Problems

Greasy pig disease and Diamond skin disease are two of the major infectious conditions that may affect the skin of pigs. Both are caused by bacteria and may be prevented through good hygiene practices....more

Pig Welfare

The South African Pig Welfare Code has been drawn up by farmers, vets, transporters, welfare organisations and abattoir operators. It is based on the so-called Five Freedoms principle as adopted by the Farm Animal Welfare Council...more

Poor Growth in Pigs

Pigs that are growing slowly or not putting on weight will have a negative impact on farm profitability, with every extra day needed to feed them eating into farm profits....more

The Pig Industry in South Africa

The world's climate is getting warmer and drier and agriculture is under more pressure to produce nutritious and cheap food for Earth's growing population. The pig industry in South Africa has three main sectors....more

The Versatility of Pork Meat

The South African pork industry’s focus on the production of leaner meat has resulted in South African pork having lower fat than pork from many other countries....more

Transportation of Pigs

Various regulations and codes of practices need to be followed when transporting pigs. In summary, their aim is to prevent the spreading of diseases and to reduce animal stress during transportation....more

Waste Management in Pig Production

While pig slurry is one of the biggest pollution threats on a pig farm, it can also be used to enhance farm profitability by using it as fertiliser, compost or to generate energy....more

Water Requirements of Pigs

Water is often a neglected topic when it comes to pig production, but it is actually one of the most important factors because of its role in the physiological functions of the body....more

What is Listeria?

Listeria monocytogenes - although it sounds mysterious and threatening - is an ordinary bacterium that is frequently carried in the animal or human intestine without causing any symptoms....more