The pigs are growing up fast! The question is will we have enough capital to grow them to market preferred weights? Also, if they do, will we recoup our invested amount?
Here are some updates and learnings.
We started raising 8 piglets on May17. Just like all forecasts (as previously done), it will not be exact and certain things / events will pop out along the way that were not budgeted. All we can do is be ready for them and learn from them. Or allot in the forecast some amount as buffer for uncertainty and error.
By August 17, they will turn 3 months in our care (or technically 5 months old in total).
Forecast vs Actual
Less than 3 months in the venture and we have already invested PHP7K per pig: PHP3.5K for the piglets and PHP3.5K for the feeds (both Starter and Grower feeds). Based on discussions with the caretakers, we are looking at mid-August to see if the pigs are market-ready. Otherwise, the longest will be mid-September, or exactly 4 months from when we started. We are spending at a faster rate than expected.
The forecasted cash out per pig is PHP7.7K and there is a big chance that actual will be slightly higher than this amount. Pigs are eating higher volume of feeds than expected, wasted feeds on the floor will have to be managed, and some unexpected expenses need to be financed. We have just started giving them Grower feeds (which are less costly than Starters), and eventually we will shift them to Finishers during the homestretch.
Just like humans, pigs can also get sick and they will need medication (such as vaccine) in order to get well and be healthy once more. Along the way, some pigs get colds or cough, which means we will need to spend some money for the medication. Admittedly, this is not in the original forecast.
Feeds prices, just like other commodities, also fluctuate. Though luckily, the forecast was conservative in that regard since the actual price per sack is lower (and gets lower) compared to estimated. But as for the volume of feeds, that’s where we are off target.
Other Business Risks
Aside from the animals getting sick, another risk is the destruction brought by typhoons and other forces of nature. Good thing, the pigs and their shelter were not affected by Glenda’s wrath. I have yet to receive updates though for Cowie post-Glenda. This is a reality we have to be ready for, have the fortitude and determination to start anew amid the losses. After Glenda, I went to Batangas and I’ve seen hundreds of mango and banana trees destroyed. It took years to raise these trees and generate income from their fruits, but in a matter of days majority were wiped out. Residents said it will take years to raise them again to fruit bearing levels, barring another typhoon to uproot them. For those who want to engage in agricultural businesses (fruits, rootcrops, etc), make sure you include risk reduction from natural calamities in your preparations.
Time to Sell
Our target weight is 90kg but based on rough estimates, they are just at 60kg levels. Will one month of Grower and Finisher feeds be enough to jack up their weight to 90kg? Or we will need 2 months to reach that, and in the process breach our budgeted amount per pig. And also, by then, will we be able to sell at PHP120 per kilo, or lower? I’m hoping it will be higher as -ber months come in.
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