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Raising pigs – a pig farming guide for beginners

Estimated reading time: 7 minute(s)

INTRODUCTION ON FARMING PIGS

Farming pigs is more challenging than farming other forms of livestock such as, cattle or goats owing to the fact that they are more sensitive to the environment climate and require more attention. But on the other hand, if they are properly taken care a single sow can give birth up to 12 piglets in a gestation period of 130 days, and they are ready for the market far sooner than most of the other livestock animals.

RAISING THE PIGS

There are a multitude of pig species available throughout the world. For setting up it is better to use local breeds because they are already adapt to the climate and are easily available within the area.

For breeding them it is better to start with piglets: grow and sell them, since you will be able to gain experience during the process in addition to being able to develop management protocols. Your management expertise should be sound since breeding is far more complicated than rearing pigs.

WAYS OF FARMING PIGS

Usually pigs are farmed on a barn/hut (intensive) or on pasture (free-range).

  1. Barn/hut (intensive): to be able to farm pigs on an intensive way, the barn or hut should be made of a humidity and heat resistant material such as concrete, the feed area and the rest area should be separated for easy cleaning. A feeding area of at least 3 meters wide is perfect for every two pigs. The rest area should be about half the size of the feeding area and should have a small pool for them to bath. Thus if we consider these precautions we will be able to easily farm pigs.
  2. Pasture (free-range): to farm pigs on a free-range, first we need to have a large area with plenty of grass and soil, and the area needs to be fenced for the pigs not to roam too far off and be secure. Farmers should be careful about the structure of the fence, because adult pigs can damage the fence and escape.

HEALTHY CARE AND DISEASES

Pigs are sturdy animals but they are easily affected by stress coming, for instance, lack of food or water. It will decrease their productivity and can lead to losses.

Inadequate management can lead to diseases within your pig farm. Pigs are susceptible to several diseases such as diarrhoea, particularly in intensive farming systems where crowding may be a problem.

Make sure that you vaccinate and feed them properly until they are ready for the market

FEEDING AND WATERING

Pick out a good feed for your pigs!

Pigs should fed of around 18% of crude protein. Table scraps and wastes are not suitable to feed the pigs, although they are omnivores, it is not a wise path to follow if we want to have healthy pigs.

Pigs should be fed on plant materials such as lettuce, corn and other vegetables, meat is not appropriate to feed them with, since it will increase their body fat and can decrease their growth moreover their profit.

Pigs must consume 6 to 10 kg of feed per day to be able to grow healthy. Moreover farmers also feed them eggs for protein content.

Provide your pigs with enough water!

Water is important and many times a forgotten nutrient. A large clean water supply will be needed to maintain the pigs necessities, for instance, a growing young pig can drink to approximately 10 litres of freshwater per day while an adult pig can drink 25 to 50 litres per day.

SOME GOOD ADVICES

Pigs are susceptible to sunburn!

Other factors to consider include providing enough shade in a free-range set-up, access to straw or sawdust for bedding and a reliable market for the pigs.

REFERENCES:

http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/themes/documents/pigs/Handbook%20on%20Pig%20Production_English%20layout-Vietanm-Draft.pdf

https://www.farmersweekly.co.za/animals/pigs/pig-farming-starting-scratch/

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