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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.

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



Due to the evolving situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19) and following the latest Government advice we have taken the difficult decision to cancel events up to and including June 30.

  • Devon: Tuesday 10 March (nutrition focus)
  • Yorkshire: POSTPONED (artificial insemination focus)
  • Berkshire: POSTPONED (artificial insemination focus)
  • Surrey: POSTPONED (nutrition focus)
  • Lancashire: POSTPONED (farrowing focus)

The events are an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded people as well as finding out more about our work. You will also hear from the British Pig Association, who will be talking about conservation breeding, as they have recently launched a conservation breeding plan.