By Christopher Mulindwa
It is difficult for me to project the amount of money you needed to acquire grandparent stock (GP).. Acquiring GP stock can either be cheap or expensive depending on the:
Breeding company you choose as source. This determines prices for such pigs.
Geographical location of the breeding company. This determines costs of transportation and therefore final cost of buying such pigs.
Loyalty agreements. Usually, no breeder will allow you complete ownership of their genetics brand. Genetics development and improvement is a progressive activity, they need to ensure that all distributors sale up to date genetics. Ofcourse, they are paid for that through loyalties. Therefore once these breeds are acquired, there is need for upgrade depending on the breeding company’s new achievements. Loyalty costs largely influence your pricing and marketing strategies.
There is no need to worry about market both within and outside the country. Demand for improved genetics is growing day by day and the market is getting bigger. Therefore keep working on how to access grandparent stock and find your entry point into the market later when you are ready. If ready now, I am sure you are good to go because the market is big and competition still very limited! You only need to be smart and also commit to meeting the needs of your customers.
2. GRANDING UP LOCALLY AVAILABLE PIGS
This involves the use of semen from a desired purebred boar to inseminate indigenous sows from one generation to another until purebred offspring of that particular breed is attained. The Fifth generation is almost a purebred. There is need to compare characteristics of the 5th generation offspring with that of the desired purebred and if there is need, a 6th cross can be carried out.
This method is cheaper than importation, it gives you chance to use purebred semen of a particular breed from different breeders globally therefore capturing a wider-range of genetic improvements in the final offspring, the offspring is easily adoptable to local environment (Feeds, housing, diseases, parasites etc). If the approach is good, you will be free from paying loyalties to breeding companies and therefore register your own brand of pigs.
The process will start with selecting gilts 6 months old, preferably hybrids with 50% genetic composition of your desired breed. Then grow them until about eight month in order to inseminate. You will need about 5 months through gestation and lactation. It is better to eliminate males at birth in order to reduce expenses and also reducing competition with the females. For better results, select gilts for production of the next generation of crosses at about 5 or 6 months. The sows used for production of a current generation are not required in the future so it is better to cull them to reduce your expenses.
We will later in the publications analyze the amount of resources required for this process and when someone can make money.
When planning a breeding business, it is important to note the following:
a. Your main product is hybrid gilts. Males/Boars may either be euthanized at birth before spending on them and reducing competition for sow’s milk with the females or fattened for slaughter. The decision to grow these males for slaughter must depend on availability of resources and your ability to make a profit. Where the budget is limited euthanizing them is better.
b. Price must be realistic. I understand that acquiring, managing, selection and improvement of parent stock sows as well as managing grandparent stock is expensive but this shouldn’t be an excuse for charging amounts that makes it difficult for your customers to make a profit. You will lose as competition increases.
c. Understand and work towards meeting your customer’s needs, sometimes it isn’t a matter of importing a given line of pigs from America, United Kingdom etc. You need to find breadlines that meet local tastes and preferences, easily adoptable to our climatic conditions, manageable and able to survive in our average environmental conditions (Food, Shelter, etc). Many breeders develop breeds depending on the needs of their country or regional markets; therefore you shouldn’t just copy paste because the market may end up rejecting your products.
Quality nutrition is very important for the success of every pig farming business, making feeds on your farm using Nuscience’s nutritional solutions will help you cut feeding costs while availing quality feeds to your pigs.
My book Farming Pigs For Money can be bought from Aristoc or Uganda Bookshop. For delivery WhatsApp: +256 773 422 445.