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Good feed is necessary for growth, body maintenance and the production of meat and milk. You can use locally available feeds that are less expensive but can be nutritionally complete when properly prepared.
Generally, pigs eat both grains and meat. You can also feed your pigs with cooked table scraps, rice and vegetables. Among all the food elements, corn is the most common food for pigs. Soybeans or cooked meat can be a great source of protein for the pigs. Pigs will grow faster, if you can necessary nutrition elements, vitamins and other supplements.
To ensure piglets get enough milk from suckling during the early stages of growth, farmers should give the sows adequate and balanced feed to ensure they produce adequate milk for the piglets.
At three weeks after farrowing (birth), the farmer should castrate all male piglets and start to train them to eat solid feeds. Suckling piglets should also have their sharp teeth clipped, three days after farrowing to prevent them from causing injury to their mother during suckling.
At 6 weeks, each piglet should be getting 200g of feed per week. If they finish the feed, keep on adding an extra 50g per piglet daily.
At 14 weeks, the pigs will require additional feed; the farmer can give 1.4kg of extra feed per pig per day. In addition, the farmer should continue giving the 50g of feed as they were doing before.
HEALTH AND MAINTENANCE
Pigs are among the most difficult farm animals to care for because their breeding predisposes them to a slew of ailments. They are often prone to worm infections, especially if they are not rotated through different pastures.
Many worm species leave eggs or larvae in the host animals’ faeces, and rotating to a new pasture helps to disrupt the worms’ life cycles.
Providing your pigs the vaccines recommended for your local area by a veterinarian, and limiting the pigs’ contact with other animals, will go a long way toward preventing disease. It is also crucial to keep their housing area clean and free of moisture and manure.
As a pig farmer, you must ensure the following on your piggery every day.
- All pigs must be able to lie down, rest and stand up without difficulty.
- All pigs must have a clean area to rest. All pigs must be able to see other pigs.
- Boars must be able to turn around. They must be able to see, smell and hear other pigs.
- Their pen must provide them with at least 6m unobstructed floor area, including a clean resting area. If the pen is used for natural service it must be larger.
- Sows and gilts must be treated for internal and external parasites and be clean before moving to the farrowing area. Sufficient space must be provided behind the sow or gilt to allow natural or assisted farrowing.
- Piglets must be provided with a source of heat. The lying area must be solid and comfortable and allow all the piglets to rest at the same time. Piglets must be protected from over-lying by the sow.
- Suckling access to the sow must be unhindered. Tail and tooth clipping may only be performed where either of two situations arises i.e.