Guinea pig farming is the new way to go as far as farming is concerned in Nigeria. It is a very lucrative and rewarding business.
It is becoming a very popular source of income for people in Nigeria. Hence, the reason I want you to know how to start a guinea pig farming business.
If you are interested in starting a guinea pig farm or you would love to know how to raise guinea pigs for sale, then this article is for you.
Do you get me? If yes then let’s get to it.
Guinea Pig Farming In Nigeria
Guinea pig farming as earlier stated is becoming very popular in Nigeria. I’m sure you’re wondering if this another type of pig farming business?
Guinea pigs belong to the rabbit family and they are also called cavy.
Guinea pig farming is very easy to start and so people are starting to take interest as it is a good source of income.
Guinea pigs are small animals and they resemble rabbits and squirrels in both size and shape.
These small creatures have large bodies, small legs, small feet, no tails, and with different colors.
They only eat vegetables like rabbits which makes guinea pig farming very easy and less expensive to start.
Guinea pigs are easily tamed, they are very healthy and hardy. They have clean habits, not noisy and have no offensive odor.
Guinea pigs easily adapt to Conditions and they do easily well wherever they find themselves.
Guinea pig farming is the easiest farming there is in the world because these animals are the easiest and the most stress-free animals you will ever encounter.
It is safe to say guinea pig farming is a very pleasant and profitable business because of the many uses of guinea pigs and their stress-free nature.
Uses of Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs have different uses but in all, there are three main uses of guinea pigs, I will be discussing each use below.
The demand for guinea pigs as pets is very large because of its nature, they are harmless and do not bite or scratch.
That’s the major reason they are suitable as pets. They are so interesting and cool that even children can play with them safely.
They are not as common as other pets because they are more of novelty and attracts more attention, so they are sold at a higher price compared to when sold for food purpose.
Breeding guinea pigs as a pet is interesting and instructive as there are so many things to experiments while raising them.
Guinea pigs are timid explorers and most times do not try to escape from their cages even when they get the chance to do so, they are curious when allowed to walk freely in a safe and familiar place.
Also after getting familiar with their owners, they whistle at their owner’s whenever they are coming, and that is how cool they can be.
For Food Purposes
Using guinea pigs for food purpose is admirable although not many people eat it in this country presently due to culture or religious restrictions.
Even though there is no reason why it should not be eaten like other meats as articles have been written about how good its meat is, just like that of rabbits or squirrel.
Guinea pig meat can be used to make soups, stews, roasted or broiled, fried, baked, etc. just like any other meat.
Guinea pig meat is high in protein, low in fat and cholesterol. It is said to be similar to that of a rabbit or dark meat of chicken.
For Scientific Uses
Guinea pigs are also used for scientific purposes, they adapt so well and to a great extent, suitable for scientific experiments.
They are used in testing serums, antitoxins and other experiments so many hospitals and laboratories demand highly for guinea pigs.q
They are used in testing serums, antitoxins and other experiments so many hospitals and laboratories demand highly for guinea pigs.
How to Start A Guinea Pig Farming Business In Nigeria
If you are interested in starting a guinea pig farm in Nigeria there are certain things you need to know.
Follow these steps for running a successful guinea pig farming business in Nigeria.
This is the first thing to arrange as far as guinea pig farming is concerned let the house be readily available before bringing in the animals. There are two types of housing system for guinea pigs you can use anyone suitable for you
- Hutch system: The hutch system of raising guinea pigs requires less space, it is easier to handle and also it makes it easy to keep the animal warm during the cold.
A hutch simply means a cage that is used to keep animals if you’re wondering what a hutch is.
Make the hutch in such a way that it can accommodate 4 to 5 guinea pigs at once i.e 1 male and 4 female guinea pigs.
The door of the hutch should be made with wire netting so that there will be proper ventilation for the animals.
- Pen system: This is the second system used as guinea pig house, this system gives the guinea pigs more space to play around and you don’t have to clean the house often like the hutch system.
The pen is an open space with a fence to prevent them from predators and the floor will be filled with sawdust.
This can occupy 20 to 30 guinea pigs at once. If you have enough space I will recommend this system for your guinea pig farming.
Purchase of The Pigs
After your guinea pig house is set the next step is to buy guinea pigs. Make sure you buy healthy and good quality guinea pigs for your guinea pig farm.
There are different varieties of guinea pigs, buy the one that suits the purpose you want to breed them for.
But if you are raising them for domestic use the English or the smooth hair ones are the most commonly raised variety, it can also be used for commercial purposes also.
This is the next step to take after getting your guinea pigs. Provide food for them so that they can grow and reproduce.
Guinea pig food is a very easy one, they are naturally vegetarian, in other words, they eat grass.
They benefits from eating fresh grass hay, but in addition to grass they also eat green clover, spinach, green corn stalk, lettuce, lawn clippings etc.
Always make sure that they are fed grass at least once daily for good and healthy growth.
Some stores sell already made guinea pig feeds, these can also be given to your guinea pigs.
The next step for your guinea pig farming business is breeding. Breeding simply means the mating and production of offspring by animals.
For this to happen a male guinea pig called a boar and a female guinea pig called a sow is needed.
A female guinea pig can start breeding as early as 5 weeks but the recommended time for breeding is 3 months some breeders even wait till they are a little older than that.
The heat period of a sow lasts for 16 days and the female guinea pig has to mate with the boar for about 8 hours in these 16 days.
The average gestation period of guinea pigs is about 65 to 70 days and they produce up to 5 litters averagely per year with an average of 2 to 4 piglets per litter.
There is no specific breeding period for guinea pigs, they can breed all year round.
Take Care of The Animals
For a successful guinea pig farming you must always take good care of your animals, give them food and water at the right time also do not forget to keep them warm when it is cold.
Guinea pig care should also involve keeping them safe from predators that can kill or harm them.
This part can not be over emphasized when it comes to running a successful guinea pig farm in Nigeria.
Finding market for your guinea pigs could be an issue if the demand for it is not so much in your area.
For you to sell your guinea pigs you have to look for people that need them in a high quantity such as hospitals, laboratories, agricultural schools, veterinary schools, pet stores, medical colleges, etc.
These group of people would always demand guinea pigs for one use or another.
Guinea Pig Farming (Summary)
This brings us to the end of starting a guinea pig farming business in Nigeria, I hope you find this helpful in your endeavor to own a guinea pig farm.
Follow these steps and you are on your way to becoming a successful guinea pig farmer in Nigeria.
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