What Does It Cost to Raise A Pig?

Mike Yacentiuk, P.Ag., Manitoba Agriculture and Food, Carman

The table below has been prepared to serve as a guide for calculating total production costs. To more accurately reflect the true cost of your swine operation, values specific to that operation should be substituted for those provided. All swine production units should attempt to calculate their production costs and subsequently their breakeven price. The breakeven price can be used to assist with risk reduction decisions such as forward pricing of pigs.

Buildings are valued at new cost and feed is commercially prepared.


Farrow/Finish (113 kg)

Farrow/Wean (5 kg)

Nursery (5-23 kg)

Grow/Finish (23-113 kg)


89.65 (61.2%)

12.20 (31.7%)

15.96 (26.2%)

59.91 (40.3%)


24.42 (16.7%)

10.30 (26.8%)

3.52 (5.8%)

14.37 (9.7%)

Feeder Pig



37.50 (61.4%)

62.29 (41.9%)


18.32 (12.5%)

7.13 (18.6%)

2.51 (4.1%)

8.38 (5.6%)


14.07 (9.6%)

8.80 (22.9%)

1.53 (2.5%)

3.57 (2.5%)

Total (Per pig sold)





Feed accounts for the largest portion of total production costs comprising 61.2% and 31.7% of the farrow/finish and farrow/wean units respectively. In the nursery and grow/finish units the feeder pig is the greatest single cost with feed accounting for the next largest cost.

The first and short-term approach to reducing production costs is a complete review of feed costs, as this component constitutes a significant portion of variable costs. Controlling feed cost (ration cost and feed efficiency) is the only way to substantially influence variable cost. Improving animal genetics and health, reducing feed wastage, phase feeding, split-sex feeding and cooperative purchasing are some factors that should be employed in a swine operation to reduce feed costs.

The second and long-term approach to improving profitability is to increase the throughput of the operation. Realistic goals must be set and realized in order to remain competitive.

Other factors to consider are:

  • Are you getting the best price for your pigs: are the pigs in the appropriate weight range; are you reducing risk by using forward pricing strategies?
  • Have all of your input costs been reviewed for their cost effectiveness?
  • Are you willing to become part of a network; either purchasing or production? Is contract rearing of pigs an option you should be considering?
  • Do you keep accurate production and financial records that are used in management decisions? If required could you itemize your costs on a per unit basis (i.e. per pig, per kg saleable pork, etc.)?
  • Is your farm attaining the highest levels of productivity and efficiency? Is training or upgrading for you or your staff in order?
  • Do you use an advisor to discuss with and evaluate all the various aspects of your farming operation?

For more information on these and other topics contact your nearest Manitoba Agriculture and Food swine specialist.