The Red Dane Piggery

Pigs are wonderful intelligent creatures and we at Red Dane Piggery celebrate their creation. Endeavouring to keep them happy and healthy by making sure we fulfil the 5 commitments of Webster to animal welfare, which are;

  1. Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition- by ready access to a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
  2. Freedom from thermal and physical discomfort.
  3. Freedom from pain, injury and disease.
  4. Freedom from fear and distress.
  5. Freedom to express normal behaviour.

In other words, a life worth living with a decent quality of life. At the end of their life we also believe in a dignified stress free humane death following the recommendations and guidelines given by the Humane Slaughter Association. These are aspects of production that are important to the management of Red Dane Piggery.

About The Red Dane Piggery

The name Red Dane is usually thought of in the arena of milk and dairy cows of which it plays a leading role. Little is known about the Red Dane Piggery. The first 30 sow Red Dane Piggery was established by Ajs Kirk in 1997 on Zengea Farm. Added to this was an abattoir and small processing unit. The original sows were derived from Jim Sinclair at Serui Source Farm in Norton and added to later from Doug and Lyn beans Giltedge Pigs in Shamva and more recently from Art and Pig Industry Board[PIB]. In 2019 the herd was increased to a 63 sow unit with the addition of a modern dry sow gestating unit. The extra growers were reared and finished in moving MARS pens [Mobile Animal Rearing Systems].This was a novel concept to the Zimbabwean pig industry and has shown to be an acceptable way to house and rear growing pigs while improving soil health. This area of the piggery has been rejuvenated and planted to star grass pastures.

Expansion to ART Farm

In 2021 an opportunity arose to manage the piggery at ART farm on Calgary close off Alpes Road. This offered an opportunity to expand as well as develop the supply of hybrid breeding replacement gilts and boars for small pig units and start-up piggeries around Zimbabwe. The breeding is now done at ART and the growing of excess animals, not required as breeding replacements, and is carried out at the Zengea Unit. Art is a 120 sows unit managed as a 3 week batch system which is an ideal system for small units of less than 200 sows.

The herd comprises Large White sows crossed to Landrace boars to give hybrid breeding animals for sale. These hybrid sows give large litters of healthy vigorous piglets and provide plenty of milk to wean healthy weaners. Terminal line Large White boars are sold for crossing with these hybrid gilts to produce top quality, rapidly growing porkers and baconers. These animals grow rapidly with high Average Daily Gains [AGD] of up to 1000g/day and are also efficient growers with Feed Conversion Efficiencies{FCE] as low as 2,4kg.This means that for each 2.4kg of feed consumed the animal gains 1kg of live weight gain. The carcass quality is also good with juicy tasty meat with lean backfat. With some pigs there is a tendency to gain excessive amounts of fat over the back and belly.

Sow Performance and production plus health and biosecurity are monitored monthly by an experienced veterinary adviser. All feed fed is formulated by a dedicated pig nutritionist and the nine different feed rations are manufactured and supplied under contract by Icefeeds. Icefeeds is also in the Red Dane stable of Companies and manufactures a wide range of ruminant as well as pig feeds.

Red Dane Piggery offers the following animals for sale:

  1. breeding gilts [hybrid Large White x Landrace] at 17 to 19 weeks of age.
  2. breeding boars [terminal cross Large White boars] at 20 weeks of age.
  3. excess to requirement pregnant sows [these are scanned pregnant before sale by a veterinarian].
  4. 12-week old start up breeding pack of 4 gilts and one boar.
  5. 9 week old growers for rearing. These are available for farmers who have a pig pen and feed; wish to rear for either sell pork or use for home consumption.


Pig production requires dedicated management, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, as pig performance is entirely dependent on people and their skills. For this reason, knowledge and training is essential. Art farm offers “show and tell” day visits and information booklets on pig production for those customers buying pigs.

The Piggery is registered under the African Swine Fever Regulations of 1995 and has strict Biosecurity Rules to maintain the health status of the pigs. This involves all staff showering into the unit and wearing dedicated piggery uniforms. No pork or pork products are allowed into the piggery.

All visitation is by appointment only and 72 hours pig and cloven hoofed animal contact freedom is mandatory. This is for Foot and Mouth Disease [FMD] and African Swine Fever [ASF] control purposes. Entry into the unit requires showering in for workers and wearing dedicated uniforms and boots so planning is required. Pigs however can be put into the dedicated display pens for viewing and selection for purchase.

 The Unit is managed by a dedicated team of staff and headed up by James Bruce and Ali Kome. Pig viewing and selection by customers is on Wednesday mornings at 10am and pig collections are always on Friday mornings from 9am to noon.

If anyone would like any further information on pigs or to book their gilt and boar requirements, speak to James Bruce on 0772 307909.

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