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.


Due to the evolving situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) and following the latest Government advice, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel physical events until further notice.

We are however running a number of digital events via webinars, have a browse and register to join us. Recordings of online events are available in our Online events and webinar archive.


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, weaning, finishing, growing and farrowing process in pig production.

If you'd like further information, click here to view our Principles of pig production FAQs.

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