Is pig farming really profitable for beginners?

When you hear about the revenue a pig farmer earns from selling pigs, it might seem like a lucrative business.

Stories of farmers making Ksh 30-40k from a single sale can be tempting.

However, the reality is that pig farming is not as profitable as it appears, especially for beginners and even for seasoned farmers.

The Reality of Pig Farming Profits

Honest farmers often share that they frequently incur losses.

Savvy farmers sometimes become brokers, purchasing pigs at low prices from others and selling them at higher prices.

In this article, we will analyze the costs associated with pig farming to demonstrate why it is not a profitable venture.

Initial Investment and Options for Beginners

Most beginners start with a single piglet. The cheapest two-month-old weaned piglet costs around Ksh 4000.

From here, a farmer has two options: raise the pig to a market weight of 60 kgs or keep it for reproduction. Let’s focus on raising the pig for market sale.

Feeding Costs with Concentrates

For a pig to reach the desired weight, proper feeding is essential. Farmers can choose high-quality concentrates or a mix of kitchen waste and sow and weaner feeds.

is pig farming profitable for beginners
Pig feeding

Costs of Raising Pigs with Concentrates Alone:

A pig on a diet of high-quality concentrates, such as sow and weaner feed, consumes about 5 kgs per day.

Over four months, this totals 600 kgs of feed. At Ksh 40 per kilo, the feed costs amount to Ksh 24000. Additionally, water and treatment costs can add another Ksh 3000.

Combining these with the initial piglet cost, the total comes to Ksh 31000. This calculation excludes the cost of constructing a pig house, which should be amortized over multiple sales.

While concentrates help pigs develop muscle without excess fat, the feeds must be of high quality.

Costs of Raising Pigs with Kitchen Waste and Concentrates

Is pig farming profitable?
Kitchen waste

Many see kitchen waste as a cost-effective feeding method. Kitchen waste, rich in fats and carbohydrates, can fatten pigs quickly.

A pig can consume 10-20 kgs of kitchen waste daily, supplemented by 2 kgs of concentrates.

The cost of kitchen waste is Ksh 30 per kilo. Over two months, feeding costs can reach Ksh 31800 (60 days * 15 kgs/day * Ksh 30 + 2 kgs/day * 60 days * Ksh 40). Including treatment and initial costs, the total rises to Ksh 38800.

Profit and Loss Analysis

Raising Pigs with Concentrates:

If a farmer sells an 80 kg pig at Ksh 350 per kilo, the revenue is Ksh 28000. With an investment of Ksh 31000, this results in a loss of Ksh 3000 (Ksh 28000 – Ksh 31000). The loss increases when construction costs are factored in.

Raising Pigs with Kitchen Waste:

Pigs fed on kitchen waste produce 10-20 kgs of fat. Assuming 10 kgs of fat, the remaining 70 kgs sold at Ksh 350 per kilo yield Ksh 24500. This method results in a significant loss of Ksh 14300 (Ksh 24500 – Ksh 38800).

From this analysis, it’s clear that pig farming is not profitable for beginners or seasoned farmers.

Alternatives for Profitability

To improve profitability, farmers might consider producing their own high-quality concentrates. However, pig farming also faces risks such as disease outbreaks, which can lead to total loss of investment.


Pig farming, despite its potential for substantial revenue, often results in losses due to high feeding and management costs.

Beginners and experienced farmers alike struggle to turn a profit in this challenging industry.

Exploring alternative strategies or supplemental income sources may be necessary for those committed to pig farming.

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