SYSTEMS OF REARING PIGS
There are three systems of rearing pigs. These are Extensive, Semi-intensive and Intensive systems.
(1) Extensive system: In this system, pigs are allowed to roam about and fend themselves. This system has little or no capital investment and the cost of production is low. However disease incidence of worm infestations are very high. The animals are exposed to adverse weather conditions.
2) Semi-intensive system: In this system, housing is provided for the animals and they are allowed to move out to feed on natural vegetation. Paddocks are provided around the house which is fenced. Wallows and shades are also provided. The animals are allowed to move about, thereby exercising themselves to prevent fat built-up in the body. The system needs less capital investment but the labour requirement, disease incidence and parasite infestations are slightly high. Concentrate feeds are also provided.
(3) Intensive system: All the pigs are confined within a building and are not allowed to move out. The pigs are raised inside the pens on either concrete or iron slated floor.
Feeds, water and medications are supplied daily in adequate quantity and good sanitation is maintained. The system saves labour, provides conditions for good management standards and easy control of internal parasites. There is also protection from extremes of climate, predators and thieves. The feed efficiency is high, thus the growth rate is also very high. The system requires high capital investment in terms of building and feeding.
(i) Pig houses are sheds which provide shelter against harsh weather as well as provide proper hygiene conditions required to maintain healthy growth of the animals.
(ii) Pig house should be constructed along the direction of the wind but should be far from residential areas.
(iii) Pig house should have low walls made with bricks, stones or concrete cement with low walls to allow free flow of air.
(iv) The floor should be hard, impervious to water but easy to clean. It should be cement concrete, iron on concrete slabs.
(v) The floor should slope towards the drains with a gradient of 1:40, to ease cleaning. The surface of the floor should be slightly rough to prevent pigs from slipping.
(vi) The roof should be made from either asbestos, galvanized iron or aluminum sheets
(vii) All pens, except farrowing pens, are constructed the same way, with the provision of feeders and drinkers.
(viii) Farrowing pens in addition to the feeders and drinkers should have rail guards so as to prevent the sow from lying over the piglets.
(ix) The farrowing pens should also have creep area where the food of the piglets are kept. Such partition prevents the sow from eating up the nutritious food for the piglets.
(i) Feed cost represents 70-80% of total cost of producing swine.
(ii) Feeds given to all categories of pigs should be balanced in nutrients, i.e. it should contain all nutrients required for growth and production.
(iii) Breeder’s mash (15% protein) should be fed to breeders to prevent body fat deposition but keep them thrifty.
(iv) Flushing of the breeder should be done 7 to 10 days before breeding and maintained until the animals are bred. Flushing is the process by which the feed intake of the gilt or sow is increased so that it can produce more eggs or ova and consequently more number of fertilized eggs or ova and large litters or piglets.
(v) Pregnant or in-sows should not be overfed during gestation period to prevent fat deposition which leads to small litter sixe and difficulty in parturition
(vi) Laxatic diet, rich in high fibres (grasses) should be given to in-sows to aid easy parturition and lactation
(vii) The young piglets should be given creep feed (22%) protein as from two weeks of age to promote rapid growth of the piglets.
(viii) As soon as the piglets are weaned, they should be given weaners’ mash which contains about 18% protein for about 14weeks at an average rate of 1kg for a pig per day
(ix) The pigs are also fed on fattener’s mash (14% protein) during the fattening stage when pigs do not require high proteinous feed. The pigs are fed at an average rate of 2kg per pig in a day till they reach market weight of 6- 90kg at seven months of age
(x) Pigs being omnivorous animals can feed on kitchen wastes, grasses, remains of hotel food and other by-products of brewery and dry wastes.
Common sanitary measures to be adopted in pig farm include:
(i) Clean pig pens regularly by scrubbing the floors
(ii) Disinfect the pig house at regular intervals to make it germ-free
(iii) Clean the feeders and watering troughs to prevent contamination
(iv) Isolate any sick animal for treatment
(v) Remove and bury dead animals
(vi) Deworm the pigs with drugs and vaccinate them against diseases