Pig Farming around the world is very lucrative, as proven fact as indicated that Nearly half the world’s pig production is in Asia with a further 30% in Europe and in the USSR. Pigs can be reared almost anywhere given suitable housing and management. Domesticated pigs are commonly raised as livestock by farmers for meat (generally called Pork, hams, gammon or bacon), as well as for leather. Their bristly hairs are also used for brushes. Some breeds of pig, such as the Asian pot-bellied pig, are kept as pets. Pigs have some major potential advantages which make them suitable for use in providing quick and cheap supply of animal protein. With the Economy situation in the country, Agriculture is a way the Federal Government are investing hugely in, obviously the Pig Farming is not be a Bad Business.
Feeding Of Pigs With Adequate Diet
For a given number of animal species, the G I T very largely determines the types of food that will be nutritionally adequate. The relationship of the length of body to the digestive tract for wide range of animal usually provides a useful guide in the dietary formulation. Such a relationship length to length is about 1:4 for cat and chicken, 1:6 for dogs 1:27 for sheep and goat and 1:14 for swine.
It follows therefore that the type of food most useful for chicken closely resembles those for cat and dog rather than for cattle and sheep. Pig is Monogastric (i.e single stomach) animal.
Pigs (swine) are usually fed in phases. Feeding management of pigs may be divided into the following:
1. Creep Feeding– At about 10th day of farrowing and when piglets weigh about 10kg live weight, piglets are fed Creep feed containing 24% crude protein(C.P)
- Weaner’s Diet – Immediately pigs are weaned and weigh 10-25kg live weight, Weaner’s diet containing 22% C.P is introduced.
- Grower’s Diet– When pigs are 25-60% live weight, they are fed Grower’s diet with 18% C.P.
- Finisher/ Fattener Diet– When pigs are between 60-80kg body weight, they are given finisher or Fattener diet containing 14-15% C.P
- Breeder Stocks are given the following diets:
(a) At about 70kg and above live weight, pigs intended for breeding are given Breeder diet containing 15% C.P.
(b) Lactation diet with 15-16 C.P is fed to gilt or sow after farrowing until the piglets are weaned.
(c) Period between Weaning and Re-breeding- Usually, gilts and sow and occasionally boars are Flushed. Flushing is the provision of high energy and protein diet to breeding pigs to enhance the capacity of their ovaries to produce more ova or eggs during oestrous and the boar to produce virile and adequate volume of sperm.
(d) Before Farrowing- A week before farrowing, both the quantity and quality of feed
given to the pregnant pigs are increased. This provides the animals with food
reserves necessary to cope with the stress that comes with farrowing. This practice is termed Steaming –up.
Alternative Feeding Arrangement For Pigs
In Nigeria pigs are fed alternative or un-usual feed materials such as : cassava peels, kitchen waste (swill), brewery waste, palm kernel slurry, fish gills, cooked blood etc. This type of feeding encourages the production of pork with lots of fat though at reduced production cost. The kind of Feeds given to Pigs actually determines how profitable will be eventually.
SOME FACTS ABOUT PIGS
_ Pigs are very intelligent and learn quickly. They pick up tricks faster than dogs. Pigs rank number 4 in animal intelligence behind chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants. Piglets learn their names by two to three weeks of age and respond when called.
_ Pigs are very social animals. They form close bonds with each other and other species. Pigs enjoy close contact and will lie close together when resting. Pigs use their grunts to communicate with each other.
_ Pigs are highly prolific. A sow can give birth to a litter containing 7 to 18 piglets, about 2 – 3 times a year. The gestation period of a sow is 114 – 115 days (3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days).
_ A piglet (baby pig), weighs about 1.5 kilograms at birth and will double its weight in just 7 days.
_ Weaning occurs at two months of age or less.
_ Pigs are very clean animals. They keep their toilets far from their living or eating area. Even piglets only a few hours old will leave the nest to relieve themselves.
_ Domestic pigs are rarely aggressive. The only exceptions are sows with a young litter and boars if provoked.
_ Pigs are much more tolerant of cold than heat. Pigs have no sweat glands, so they can’t sweat.
They roll around in the mud to cool their skin. The layer of dried mud protects their skin from the sun. If available, pigs, who are great swimmers, prefer water to mud.
_ Some pigs have straight while some have curly tails.
_ Pigs have a great sense of smell. Their powerful but sensitive snout is a highly developed sense organ.
_ Pigs also have a great field of vision, because their eyes are on the sides of their heads.
_ Pigs have four toes on each hoof, but only walk on two toes per foot.
_ A mature pig has 44 teeth.
_ A pig can run a 7 minute mile.
Breeds Of Pigs
- Large White (Yorkshire)
- Chester White
- Large Black
- Large Black