By Malachi Motano
Farmers Trend visits Muhoro Mwai in his 25 by 60ft plot where he keeps 140 pigs that include boars, sows and piglets in the atempts to learn how he makes Money from Pig Farming in Kenya.
“I mainly feeds the pigs with rice bran that I source cheaply from Mwea. I buy 70kg of rice bran at Sh450 from Mwea Irrigation Scheme while the same goes for Sh1,600 in Nairobi,” he answers.
Muhoro mixes the rice bran with pollard, maize germ, mineral supplements and molasses and also offers them cabbage waste that he buys from Wakulima market in Nairobi at between Sh100 and Sh150 per bag. “The pigs are fed once a day and supplied with clean water,” he says.
Muhoro, “By the time I sell them to butchery operators at seven months at between Sh15,000 and Sh25,000, the pigs weigh an average of 50kg. I decided to sell the pigs directly to the traders to cut brokers who were offering low prices.”
He sells a three-month piglet at Sh15,000 and an expectant sow at Sh40,000. From the one-room houses he wanted to built, he would get Sh1,000 a month rent from each, which cannot be compared to the money he gets from pigs.
The Farmer bought his first stock of three sows at Sh 100,000. The animals calved down 11 piglets each increasing his brood faster.
The 39 years old also has space for four dairy cows and indigenous chickens. He has constructed storey pens for the pigs ensuring he has enough space for chickens and cows.
He has four dairy cows that are housed in a 25 by 12 feet unit which he notes is adequate as it allows them some room to exercise. He feeds the animals nappier grass, molasses and hay that he buys in Kiambu and Njiru.
“I get 15 litres of milk a day from the two cows. The cows are not a commercial venture. I keep them to provide milk for my family. The same case applies to my over 30 indigenous chickens that provide eggs and meat,” Muhoro.
He has employed two workers and cleans the pigsties and cow pens daily to manage waste. Every morning he passes by the farm to get daily reports on how the animals are faring.
“Pigs are ideal animals for urban farming because they do not require a lot of space,” says Joseph Mwaniki. The boars should be castrated if they are not meant for mating to ensure they do not waste a lot of energy chasing after sows. Farmers should always feed their pigs with quality feeds to avoid parasites and diseases. The animals should also be dewormed after every two months to ensure they are healthy, a veterinary technician based in Nairobi.
According to Mwaniki, this further guarantees the worms are not passed to human beings. Before weaning, piglets should be left to breastfeed exclusively for at least two months.
The veterinary officer explains that offering the pigs sweet potato vines, cabbages and other vegetables helps the them in digestion because green matter is a good source of fibre.
Muhuro, who besides farming runs a beer distribution business who went into the business three years ago after realizing building rental units would not earn him much.