We look at pig keeping as an enterprise. As a venture. The industry appears very promising and we pay tribute to high multiplication rate of the pigs. However, there still exists this gap to bridge: the cultural hindrances that the industry has seen since time in memorial. It is clear that some cultures and religions like the Christianity and Islamic don’t welcome this kind of farming due to their strong doctrines pertaining the animal.
The door is open to people who may wish to see their growth as pigs’ farmers. We advocate that there should be provisions to ensure that most small scale farmers are properly trained on this kind of farming. What we give in this article is merely an outline on how to start a venture, what on needs, essential material required and an overview of the management practices entailed. You are free to consult us via short message service, website or our email attached
- They are distinguished by their erect ears
- Slightly dished faces
- They are long bodied with excellent hams
- Fine white hair.
- Very prolific
- late maturing with good mothering ability
- Can be used for pork and bacon production.
- Fairly hardy animal.
- Large white are found practically in all crossbreeding and rotational breeding programmes.
- Sows have an enviable reputation as dams and form the foundation of the classic F1 hybrid gilt.
- They are the favorite breed in the country and the world over.
- It is a very versatile breed performing well under good management.
- They are white in color
- Have dropping ears and a dished snout.
- Sows produce and rear large litters of piglets with very good daily gain ( ADG)
- High lean meat content ideal for either pork or bacon production.
- Many consider them the mother of all pigs.
- This breed has set the standard for large litter sizes
- good milking ability
- Strong mothering instincts at birth and through weaning.
- They consistently have high yielding carcasses.
- It has erect ears
- They have a long, big frame and are white with straight snout.
- Durocs are golden brown to black in colour with a thick auburn coat and hard skin.
- They have small, slightly drooping ears.
- Traditionally, Durocs have been used as terminal sires.
- Traits associated with it are quick growth, deep body, broad ham and shoulder.
- Its tenacity in looking after its young, combined with its docility between times, makes it an ideal candidate for an outdoor pig either as a sire or as a dam.
- Its succulent carcass and heavy muscling makes it a very suitable pig for anything from light pork to heavy hog production.
- Reddish in color with droopy ears.
- Have the best tasting pork.
- It is also considered one of the hardiest breeds and they do well outside with simple housing.
- Fast growth and good feed efficiency, are a reddish color with droopy ears.
- On the average, this breed needs less feed to make a pound of muscle than the other breeds.
- It is now one of the world’s most important breeds
- It is used extensively as the sire of cross bred pigs for pork and bacon production.
- The Hampshire is very prolific.
- It produces an abundance of lean meat and has more meat than the large white or landrace.
- The ears are erect
Marketing of pigs in Kenya
The following companies buy pigs
- Farmers Choice Ltd processing well over 70% of the pork produced in the country.
- Chefs’ Choice
- Hurling ham Butcheries
- Oscar foods (Kikuyu) doing value addition to pig meat
- Many local pork butcheries in urban centres across the country.
Pig’s meat can be converted into:
- bacon, ham, Pies, Rolls, Sausages, pork cuts, Tallow& lard.
- Pig manure is used on farms as fertilizer or biogas.
How to Start a Successful Pig Farming Business
- Pigs can be raised in controlled or free environment, as a small- or large-scale business.
- But in whatever size, a prospective farmer would need inputs as to how to raise pigs efficiently and in a more productive manner.
- Raising pigs can be pursued as a small-scale operation as source of family meat and supplement income or it can be made into a large-scale operation.
- Pigs may be raised in highly controlled environments (hog lots) indoor, in open spaces
Choosing Piglets to Raise
- Pig feeders can be obtained from stock breeders, and producers, in auctions and classified ads.
- Pigs are of different breeds some of them are well suited for specific environments, indoor or outdoor.
- Crossbred pigs tend to grow faster, consume feed more efficiently and are vigorous.
- When buying a feeder, choose the large and healthy looking ones, at least 11kg.
- If you are choosing a male, which is observed to grow slightly faster than females, get one that is already castrated.
- Male or female, they are preferably immunized.
- Ask the breeder for health information and stock of the breeder.
Intensive Pig Farming
- Replacement gilts and boars.
- From the age of 3 months: Vaccination against Erysipelas.
- Revaccinate 3 weeks later.
- From the age of 6 months, vaccination against Porein Parvo.
- Revaccinate 3 weeks later.
- Gilts: 6 weeks before farrowing. Vaccination against E- coli and Clostridium, revaccinate 3 weeks later.
- Sows and Boars: Yearly revaccination against Erysipelas and Parvo.
- Concerning sows, it will be appropriate to do Parvo and Erysipelas- revaccinate in connection to weaning once a year.
- Productive Sows: Parity 1:- Vaccination against E-coli and Clostridium about 6 and 3 weeks before farrowing. If any risk for Rhinitis use simoul Taneously BP.
- Parity 2 and more- Revaccinate every 3 weeks before farrowing
What to consider when selecting a sow for breeding
- The sow must be white (Combination; Landrace and Yorkshire)
- The current litter must be uniform, well fed and at least 10 (white)
- The Sow must have provided10 weaners at least 3 times
- The Sow must have a healthy udder and at least 14 healthy productive teats
- The Sow must have a long, strong back with well-shaped hams
- The sow must have 4 strong legs, healthy uniform trotters and no lameness
- The Sow must have a long straight nose (preventing Rhinitis and Pheumonia)
- Preferably the Sow should be in parity three times or more
- Unfortunately, good mothers can be aggressive, but should have a limit
- No pain reaction by moving
Management of the furrowing pen
- To have success in farrowing, prepare the furrowing pen early before furrowing.
- Do body conditioning and if there are sows in poor condition, they should be removed and properly fed to prepare them for farrowing.
- Arriving to farrowing pens should be 5-6 days before delivery to help them acclimatize and get used to lactating and feeding.
- The pen should be well prepared, white washed and disinfected. Ensure the white wash is totally dry to avoid skin-burns and licking.
- The movement of the high pregnant sows from dry sow houses should be done carefully. Most appropriate use guiding- boards and preferably done by staff from farrowing houses.
- About 3 weeks before furrowing for sows and 3-6 weeks before delivery for gilts (parity 1). E- Coli and Clostridium. In case of threatening Atr. Rhinitis use BPE.
- Deworm against endemic Ascaris infestation. It is advisable to deworm 1-2 weeks before delivery.
- Before arriving to the cleaned pen, sows can get appropriately washed in temperature water to clean the body to remove worm eggs and other parasites.
- Usually the appetite is reduced before delivery. Don’t overfeed, but be aware the sows need energy to give birth.
- The delivery should be observed but not disturbed. Observe from a distance and only intervene when it is necessary. All approaches to a sow in labour should be done very carefully and only by well trained staff.
- Take time to approach the sow, give some very soft massage on the udder, it stimulates contractions in the uterus and works better than Oxytocin.
- Clean your hands and the external organ of the sow
- Use a lot of lubrication and insert your arm in the birth- canal as you gently help the expulsion of the piglets.
- After birth assistance, direct the piglets to the udder and stimulate by massage to stimulate milk let-down further uterus contractions that help expel the afterbirth.
- Most important after farrowing is to observe the piglets. If they are hungry, restless and look freezy, then the sow may have problems related to the udder (Mastitis).
- Take caution to avoid crashing of the piglets by the sow.
|Call your veterinarians and get the sow properly examined. If the piglets have already developed dehydration, then immediately put provisions for raising the temperature (electric bulb, jiko etc..)
Because the piglets are born with very little iron- deposit, it is necessary to inject 150-200mg iron on the 2nd or 3rd day (providing the red- corpuscles for oxygen transportation) if the piglets look pale.
Because of ambiguous prevalence of coccidiosis oocysts (causing diarrhea), it is advisable to treat the piglets with Baycox orally on the 3rd day after birth.
The most appropriate time for weaning should take place on 35th day of age. The sow can then be reunited with other dry sows in the service pen. Weaners are then introduced to weaners’ pens
There are Reasons that may necessitate culling sows instead of transfer to dry pen:
1. Small litter size
2. Persistent mastitis and loss of productive teats
3. Lameness because of bad trotters and arthritis
4. High parity
Creep feeding suckling piglets to weaning
- Piglets should be offered special creep feed, ad lib, from a few days after birth. This will encourage them to eat dry feed to help them to grow, and take pressure off the sow’s milk supply so she doesn’t get too thin before her next pregnancy.
- The most important qualities of a creep feed are palatability and digestibility. It must be attractive to get the piglets eating.
- Creep feeds are made in pellets or crumbs to be more attractive.
- They must be rich in energy and protein to supplement the sow’s milk.
- Piglets will eat about 0.45 – 0.68kg/head/day, and a total of 1.8-2.26kg/pig with 5-6 week weaning.
- Piglets should not be weaned under 5.5kg weight or 4 weeks of age.
- There should be provisions to take good care of the piglets should their mother die immediately after furrowing or when the litter is too large to be accommodated by the sow
- Where sows farrow in batches, you can adjust litter size by moving piglets from one litter to another.
- Rub any added piglets with the sow’s afterbirth to make them more acceptable.
- The rule is always that the time difference between the date of furrowing for foster and donor sow should never exceed 3 days
- Make sure any orphans get colostrum from their own mother or another sow.
- Offer the piglet’s starter meal from 3 days of age.
- By a week old they should be taking early weaning starter feed.
- After a week, feed them starter meal ad lib.
- When feeding orphan piglets check with your vet clinic for the latest recommendations.
- Orphan piglets need to be kept warm, (27-32C), in a draught-free and clean area. Keep all feeding equipment clean to avoid infections.
Sows normally produce 6-8 litres of milk/day with an average litter of 8 piglets.
- Milk yield peaks is at 10-12 litres/day in the third week of lactation.
- Milk production also rises with the sow’s age, up to 5-6 litters if she lasts that long.
- Feed sows as much as they can eat when feeding their litter to avoid poor health.
- An old rule of thumb was to feed the sow 2kg/head for herself and 450g/piglet to a maximum of 6kg/day.
- Generally milking sows will eat about 4.5-5.4kg/day of balanced lactation ration with 5-6 week weaning, and 2.7-3.6kg/day with 3 week or earlier weaning.
- To get them to eat these large amounts, feed them twice daily. Tempt a sow with her favorite tidbits now and again.
- Lactating sows must have access to clean water at all times.
- Feed troughs must be kept clean to help prevent feed spoilage and contamination
Dry sows and gilts
- The aim is to build the sow’s good nutrition during pregnancy, but not let her get too fat.
- Pregnant gilts must never be allowed to get too fat to avoid dystocia.
- Controlled rather than ad lib feeding is best, based on the sow’s condition.
- Feed intakes of dry sows range from 1.8 – 2.3kg/day of balanced ration.
- Daily feed intake should be around 2.3 – 3.1 kg/day of a balanced diet.
- Mature animals with a high work schedule will eat at the top end of this range.
- Again avoid obesity and provide exercise opportunities to keep the male fit
Ideal Housing for Pigs
- Pigs need housing to keep them warm during cold temperatures and to shelter them from excessive heat.
- Pigs are sensitive to heat and could die from heat stress.
- When housed indoors, temperature conditions must be well regulated.
- Controlled temperature conditions can help maximize growth.
- Cooling mechanisms for pigs can come in the form of drip water system or a wallow (for a hog pen).
- Pigs can be housed indoors in individual stalls, pens (in groups or batch) or in barns.
- Even if the pigs are raised outdoors they would need a shelter during cold and hot weathers.
- The housing should have a space for feeding and bedding.
Pig Farm Sanitation
- Sanitation is important to keep the pigs disease-free.
- A mechanism for easy cleaning and removal of waste is necessary for any type of pig housing.
- Some use slotted pen floors to make waste collection easy.
- Hosing a barn and removal of manure daily are recommended. So is keeping the floor dry to reduce odour.
- After five to seven months, pigs are likely to reach ideal market weight of more than 90kgs.
- They could be sold at livestock auctions or slaughtered for meat.
Just like in other dairy animals like cattle and goats, mastitis is also a common problem with pigs. Apart from the secondary inflammation that can result from udder congestion, primary Mastitis can occur in 2 forms: –
- Whole udder effect
Usually resulting from bacterial infection ascending teats and spreading through the udder via the lymphatic system, the condition is often acute (sudden in onset) and may be rapidly fatal. The udder will be hard, hot and painful. It is more common on systems using sawdust bedding. E.coli and Klebsiella are the most common agents involved. Appropriate antibiotic and anti-inflammatory treatments may save the sow but rapid action is needed for the piglets if they are not to starve.
Each individual paired gland can become infected and lose productivity. Actinomycosis of the udder in a specific condition which will destroy the gland completely and can cause abs cessation and subsequent fibrosis. It is most commonly seen as the udder dries off after weaning. It most commonly affects the hind gland and then the loss of milk production capacity is limited to the poorer producing tissues.
Erysipelas is an infectious disease mostly of growing or adult swine. Actually caused by a streptococcal infection.
- enlarged joints
- Rhomboid skin (diamond-skin) lesions are an inconsistent feature only associated with acute cases.
- Occur in animals approaching market weight.
- Acute outbreaks often begin with the sudden and unexpected death of one or a few pigs.
- Sick pigs have very high temperatures (104-108°F). Usually without respiratory signs or diarrhea.
- Sick pigs often have reddened or cyanotic skin, especially around the ears, snout, jowls, throat and ventral abdomen.
- On a few of the animals there may be discrete, raised, and red to purple areas of skin. These often have a rhomboid or diamond shape and are more obvious on white pigs.
- On dark skinned pigs, the lesions may be visible or palpable as slightly raised patches of hair.
- Leg joints are painful but may or may not be swollen.
- Affected pigs resist getting on their feet but are alert. When forced to rise, they often have to be assisted, squeal with pain, stand with their feet close together and soon lie down again.
- Pregnant sows may abort.
- Controlled by administering penicillin and/or erysipelas antiserum to affected pigs along with antimicrobials added to the drinking water until no sick pigs have been observed for at least three days.
- Vaccination in the face of an outbreak is warranted.
- Booster vaccination at least 1-2 times per year is recommended for breeding stock.
A combination of regular vaccination, good sanitation, the elimination of carriers with skin and joint lesions, and appropriate quarantine measures for purchased stock usually will aid control of the disease.