Pig farming is one of the best agricultural enterprises you can engage in as a farmer; the record has it that they are very prolific reproductively and rugged, but this also depends on the breed you are stocking on your farm.
A good management system in your pig farm will ensure good returns and profitability. Good management practices are dependent on some factors and we will deal with some of them in this article.
Pig Foundation Stock
Selection of good pig foundation stock is dependent on the following criteria: the source of the pigs, the breeds, health status
Source: The farm where you are buying from is very important. Getting your pigs from a good piggery will save you from a lot of issues which can range from health to reproductive efficiency. Below are things you should consider in picking your pig source
- The farm reputation
- The farm history
- Health status of their animals
- Testimony from buyers if available
A possible consequence of sourcing from a wrong source
- Poor reproduction efficiency
- Prevailing health issues
- Transmission of diseases to your farm
- Stunted growth resulting in higher cost of production
- Inaccurate records
Where to source your pigs
- Established and reputable farms
- Government institutes/agricultural establishments
Getting good breeds to stock should be the ultimate goal of any intending farmer as stocking a poor-performing breed can be your undoing for your pig farm business. Below is a list of good breeds you can consider while seeking breeds good pig breed to stock: Hereford pig, American Berkshire pig, Hampshire Landrace, Tamworth pig, Duroc, Yorkshire, Mulefoot pig, etc
Things to look out for before picking any breed
- Good appetite and good food-to-meat conversion ratio
- Good temperament or less aggressive pigs
- Pigs with a record of good reproductive efficiency
- Bright eyes
- Shinny coats
Good housing goes a long way to ensure the success of a pig farm. Poor housing especially that lacks enough space for proper sanitation can result in many health issues and this in turn bring about a lot of complication which range from illnesses and the loss of pigs.
Below are the Results of Poor Housing
- Stunted growth
- Parasitic infections
- Poor meat production output
- Bad effect on human
- Environmental hazard/plague
Pigs eat a lot of different things ranging from fruits to vegetables. There are farmers who feed their pigs on waste or restaurant leftovers, but in order to get the best of one’s investment then there is a need to feed the pigs on quality feeds.
There are composed feeds for pigs which are composed to serve the pigs their nutritional requirement. But with the prevailing economical situation, the costs of these formulated feeds are on the high side which makes them less attractive and unaffordable to these farmers.
In the bid to get quality feeds to their pigs, farmers have resulted into composing their feeds themselves picking some specific ingredients which include grains, rice bran, broiler premix, vitamins, and other needed ingredients.
Also, there are also complaints about the increasing cost of the ingredients farmers employ in making their pig feeds so they have come up with alternatives to solve these prevailing issues which as the use of PKC “Palm Kernel Cake”.
According to research, PKC has been tested to be a perfect replacement for the use of maize and soybeans in the making of pig feeds. The reason is simply because it has been found to be cheaper than maize and soybeans.
The health of your pigs is dependent firstly on the quality of the pigs you stock on your farm. If the pigs are of low quality or have a history of sickness then there is no way you can escape such a situation on your own farm if you stock from the same origin.
Another thing that can really mess up the health of your pigs is poor hygiene. There is a farm located close to my fish farm. These set of farms lose pigs on a regular there are two things I have come to observe or might be the cause of such casualty and one is poor hygiene.
The pigs pens are really messy, another thing noticed is the pen are poorly constructed. Rain gets into the pen and some of them don’t even roof entirely. I see this as wickedness.
The waste of the pigs litters the floor and is hardly washed because there is running water inside the pens. This alone is enough to cause disease infestation which can wipe out the whole flock.
Another issue I will really love to touch is the feeding of the pigs. I have seen pigs go hungry for days without food. And even when they are served food, it is always inadequate and this does not encourage quality growth of the animals.
Reproduction in Pig
Pig farming is a good business if you understand the peculiarity of the business and observe a good management system. It’s good to know that pigs are prolific animals, meaning they can birth a lot of piglets at once.
There are reports of pigs that have birthed about 15piglets at once even more. In the selection of your pig stock, it’s good you consider pigs with good reproductive history. If their generation has a history of reproducing a lot of piglets then it’s going to be an addition to your farm.