Small-scale pig keeping

The pig industry is made up of a variety of systems, with herds ranging from a handful of sows to thousands. On this page, you will find information and guidance aimed specifically at small-scale pig production.


We can't wait to start welcoming visitors back to live events, but we must make sure they are as safe as possible. Please see our guidance so you are fully prepared and can get the most out of them. 

You can browse our full events calendar here, or keep an eye on this page for events specifically aimed at small-scale producers. 

Recordings of online events are available via our Online events and webinar page.


Principles of pig production

If you’re new to pig keeping, or are a small-scale producer, our Principles of pig production webinars are perfect for you. Catch-up on our four-part series with Adrian Cox and Christina Huelsmann-Diamond from Farm Vets, focusing on the different stages of pork production. It’s designed to refresh or provide new entrants with an overview of the breeding, farrowing, weaning, growing and finishing stages of pig production.

View FAQs from the series

Farrowing management 

Breeding management

Weaning management

Finishing and growing management

Small-scale pig keeping

Keeping pigs is a satisfying experience but, before making the decision to become a keeper, you need to know the basics of:

  • Pig husbandry
  • Pig health and welfare
  • Pig identification (ear tags, ear tattoos, etc.)
  • Pig movement licensing
  • Biosecurity
  • Legislation

You also need to:

  • Decide whether you want to keep pigs for meat production, breeding or as a pet
  • Do your research to ensure you buy from a reputable source
  • Register with a local farm vet and keep the number to hand
  • Contact a local knackerman or the National Fallen Stock Company (NFSCo) to remove dead stock, if necessary
  • Ensure you have access to the following two documents: The Casualty Pig and The code of practice for the welfare of pigs