Raising pigs can be a major source of enthusiasm, joy and income if done rationally and on a scalable basis.
Pig is indeed a very intelligent animal that needs care as well as a pleasant and clean environment in order to thrive and live healthy.
Pig is also a very social animal that lives in a herd, it is therefore advisable to start “pig raising” journey by purchasing at least 3 piglets.
Housing The Pigs
It is always advisable to start by building the pig establishment well before welcoming the piglets.
In order to raise pigs, there is need to have a shelter area, a grassy area and a mud tip.
The shelter area must be at least 25 square ft. (2,3 square meters) per pig.
Pigs love mud. Pigs have a hard time regulating their temperatures, and when faced with a high heat, a mud wallow looks just like a swimming pool to the piggies. To build a mud wallow, section off one part of the pen.
As it happens in nearly all livestock categories, selecting an animal is not an easy task.
Never buy piglets younger than 6 weeks old, because they still depend on their mother. A good season to buy 7-10 weeks piglets is June-August.
In that case, they will be old enough (4-6 months old) when the first winter frost appears. Generally, cross breeds grow faster and are more efficient than purebreds.
Feeding The Pigs
As you might guess, pigs are really good at eating.
Generally, you should plan to use pre-mixed feeds to ensure that your pigs have a well balanced diet.
A 50-pound piglet should be fed a commercial feed that is 16% protein, while a 125 pound pig would do fine with a 14% protein mix.
A pig should gain 1 lb. (0.45 kg) per day. You can also feed your pigs with fruits and vegetables.
Keep in mind that things that are poisonous to humans are also poisonous to pigs. You should also avoid feeding your pigs raw potatoes and raw meat, as both can be poisonous or carry bad bacteria.
Pigs drink a lot of water. On average, they will consume 2 to 4 gallons (7.6 to 15 l) of water per day. Keep a tub rooted to the ground and fill it with clean water throughout the day.
Keeping The Pigs Healthy
Pigs often suffer from internal parasites and skin diseases. It is good to de-worm pigs every 6 weeks. Contemporary de-worm medication is very safe for pigs and for humans.
The well being of the pigs should be regularly checked. We should get suspicious of our pig’s health if we observe one of the followings:
- The pig is not interested in eating or drinking water for a couple of hours.
- The pig breathes very quickly.
- The pig suffers from diarrhea.
- The pig separates from the herd and keeps itself constantly isolated.
- The pig does not move, but, prefers to sleep most of the time.
For any case, contact a Veterinarian.
Pig Manure Production And Waste Management
Keeping our farm clean is the key to raise healthy and thriving pigs. We must daily remove their waste from the shelters and pigpens, because they attract flies and insects.
Pig manure is an excellent fertilizer for herbs, vegetables and seeds.
Do not underestimate the quantity of wastes a single pig can produce. It is estimated that a medium sized pig of 110 lbs. (50 kg) will produce manure weighing 1600 lbs. (720 kg) in one year.
After cleaning up after the pigs, cover the urine spots with a thin layer of garden lime. This sweetens the area and kills fly eggs. If you can’t find lime, you can use gypsum.
Compiled by Nnate, Florence Nkechi
www.wikifarmer.com/how to raise pigs