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    Wednesday, October 11, 2017

    Pig Farming For Beginners: Raising Pigs For Profit(The A-Z Of Pig Farming In Nigeria)


    The  words  pig,  hog  and  swine  are  all  generic  terms  without  regard  to  gender,  size  or  breed.  Pigs originated from Eurasian Wild boars. A pig is any of the animals in the  genus  Sus, within the
    Suidae family of  even-toed ungulates. Pigs include the  domestic pig, its ancestor the  wild boar, and several other wild relatives. The domestic pig (Sus scrofa domesticus) is usually given the  scientific name Sus scrofa,  although  some  authors  call  it  S.  domesticus,  reserving  S.  scrofa for  the  wild  boar.  It  was domesticated approximately 5,000 to 7,000 years ago. Their coats are coarse and bristly. Theirhead and body length ranges from 0.9 to 1.8 m and they can weigh between 50 and 350 kg.

    Classification of Pig

    Kingdom:  Animalia
    Phylum:  Chordata
    Class:  Mammalia
    Subclass:  Theria
    Infraclass:  Eutheria
    Order:  Artiodactyla
    Family:  Suidae
    Subfamily:  Suinae
    Genus:  Sus

    A typical pig has a large head with a long snout which is strengthened by a special prenasal bone and by a disk of  cartilageat the tip. The snout is used to dig into the soilto find food and is a very acute
    sense organ. There are four  hoofedtoes on each foot, with the two larger central toes bearing most of the weight, but the outer two also being used in soft ground. Pigs are omnivoreswhich means that theyconsume  both  plants  and  animals.  In  the  wild,  they  are  foraging  animals,  primarily  eating  leaves, grasses, roots, fruits and flowers. In confinement pigs are fed mostly concentrate diets which consist of different feed ingredients combined to provide rations.

    Pig farming business is growing fast because of the opportunities that stems from it; we now have a lot of pig farmers across the in Nigeria and the rest of the world earniing millions and creating job opportunities through this medium.

    Because the business is continuous;as pigs are highly prolific.Research has shown that there is more demand for food production in the world due to high population density, one of the things is so much
    appreciate about  Agriculture(production of  crops or animals forpersonal use or commercial usde) is the fact that people will continue to need it because human population keep increasing at a geometric rate,therefore creating greater need for people to survive and all great and intelligent farmer understand this and thus, can use it to our advantage and create wealth in our business endeavors.


    • 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 not anti-social infact they are very social animals. They form close bondswith 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 alitter 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 torelieve 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. Thelayer 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.
    • 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 commonlyraised as livestock by farmers for meat (generally  called pork,  hams,  gammonor bacon), as well as for leather. Their bristly hairsare 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.

    Five Awesome Potentials Of The Pig

    The capacity of the pig to transform concentrate feeds and other waste products into edible human food has been responsible for its prominence in many parts of the world.

    1. Pigs produce meat without contributing to the deterioration of the natural grazing lands and are
    2. less affected by seasonal changes.
    3. They are fast growing. They convert concentrate feed to meat twice as efficiently as ruminants.
    4. They have high fecundity and prolificacy and short generation interval. Their output in terms of yield of meat per tonne of live-weight of breeding  female per year is in the region of six times that of cattle.
    5. They have a quicker turn-over rate on investment as compared to cattle.
    6. Their relatively small size, when compared with cattle, provides for more flexibility in marketing
    7. and consumption.


    • AI - artificial insemination.
    • Barrow- male pig castrated before reaching sexual maturity.
    • Boar- male hog or pig with intact testicles.
    • Castrate- remove testicles by surgery.
    • Colostrum-  first milk produced by the sow; it provides immunity to the baby pigs for the first few weeks.
    • Creep  feeder-  area  accessible  to  small  pigs  but  not  their  dams,  in  which  a  high  protein supplement is provided.
    •  Cull sow- full-grown female sold for slaughter.
    •  Dressing percent- percentage of the carcass usable, compared to liveweight.
    •  Farrow- to give birth to pigs.
    •  Flush feed- increase feed to stimulate ovulation in females.
    •  Full-(self)-feed-  animals are allowed to eat as much as they will clean up; feed is available at all times.
    •  Gestation period- pregnancy, lasting about 114 days in swine.
    •  Gilt- young female that has not yet produced a litter.
    •  Growing-finishing  pig-  animal  weighing  between  40  and  220  lbs.  that  is  being  fed  for
    • slaughter.
    •  Runt- small or weak pig in a litter.
    •  Shrink- weight loss, usually temporary.
    •  Sow- female which has farrowed at least once.
    •  Wallow-  water-filled depression or container large enough for pigs to lay in to cool off during warm weather.
    • Weaning- removing young from their mother.
    •  Yield- percentage of the carcass in the four lean cuts: ham, loin, picnic, and Boston butt.


    In  starting  a  pig  production  business,you must first  determine  the  type  of  purposeful endeavour  to go into considering and following either short term plans or the long range plans(usually recommended) for swine enterprise.

    Long Term Plans for Swine Enterprise

    A. Consider:
    i.Your Current resources
    ii.Your Current liabilities, and
    iii.Your Management ability including marketing skills.
    After following part  A
    B. Then decide on:
    i.  What to produce (i.e., feeder pigs, feed purchased feeder pigs, or produce and finish own pigs),
    ii. How many pigs to produce?
    iv.How often and when (No. of litters & farrowing schedule or groups of feeder pigs)?, and
    v. What  type  of  housing  system  (portable  units  on  the  pasture,  drylot,  partial  confinement,  or  total confinement system)?

    Then  develop  a  management  style  to  fit  specific  characteristics  of  your  operation.  (Note  –  For  a beginner pig farmer, it is in your best interest minimize investment in overhead so as to minimize chances of failure, start small, and grow slowly to reduce risk).


    1. Sow Herd Enterprises
    a. Feeder pig production operations
    b. Farrow to finish operations
    2. Feeder Pig Finishing Operations


    1. Feeder Pig Production
    This produces pigs for the finishing operation. A typical market weight has been 18 to 30kg, but there has been some changes in recent years. This system fits best on the farm where there is not much of
    concentrate feed to finish pigs, but where adequate labour and facilities for sow herd management areavailable.
    a. A part-time farmer.
    c. Step-up for a new enterprise.

    Advantages of the Feeder Pig Production System
    i. Requires relatively small capital inputs.
    ii. Possible to generate a relatively consistent income.
    iii. Requires less feed and involves less manure-handling.

    Disadvantages of the Feeder Pig Production System
    i. Relatively higher levels of diseases and management problems such as the conception rate, embryonic survival, pre and post-weaning survival rates, sow’s feed intake, milk production, etc.
    ii. Requires greater management skills and labor tohandle potential problems.
    iii. Variations in the price of feeder pigs, i.e. year to year, season to season, producer to
    producer, and sale to sale.

    2. Feeder Pig Finishing Operation
    This purchases young pigs (about 20kg or above) and feed them to the market weight. It requires large sums of operating capital, thus facing a considerable financial risk. Fits best on the farm where
    there is shortage of labor and skills for a sow-herd management and where there is availability of concentrate feed for finishing pigs. In this type of system the operator:
    a) Must be skilled in buying and selling.
    b) Must be willing to spend enough time to keep up with the market.
    c) Can withstand periods of financial losses, or beable to prevent such losses, i.e. has an adequate
    capital and(or) ability to use various marketing techniques

    Advantages Of Feeder Pig Finishing Operation
    i. Capital turnover is relatively fast.
    ii. Requires less labor and management skills.
    iii. Can market grains through pigs, and swine wastes can be used as a fertilizer.
    iv. Has a flexibility to shut-down with modest penalties.

    Disadvantages Of Feeder Pig Finishing Operation
    1). Significant expenses for buying feeder pigs:
    a) About 40% of total production costs.
    b) Price/kg is usually 2 times of the for market pigs
    2) May face lack of genetic uniformity and also unknown health status, thus variations in growth
    performance and carcass merit, and may increase medication costs & mortality rate.
    3) The market price is highly variable for both theraw material (feeder pigs) and the end product
    (market pigs). Therefore increase and decrease in the market prices can directly & greatly influence the profits/losses.

    3. Farrow to Finish Operation
    This combines both operations mentioned above. The farmer produces own feeder pigs and raise them to market weight. Returns from the Farrow to FinishSystem will be more than for the Finishing System which will in turn give higher returns than the Feeder Pig System. Feeder pig producers have less products to sell.
    Finishing enterprises: For example
    - Pay additional costs of transferring pigs such astransportation costs, commission, marketing costs,
    - May increase medication costs and mortality rate because of stress, exposure to new
    microorganisms, changes in environment, etc.
    - May experience slow or no progress in improving growth performance and carcass traits.
    - There may inefficiencies in the use of various facilities because all facilities may not be occupiedall the time. Thus, farrow-to-finish operations can take advantages of both and/or minimize disadvantages.


    1. Possible Problems with Intensified Confinement Production?

    •   Higher investments for permanent buildings, equipment, etc.
    •   Have to use housings/equipments continuously to pay for the fixed cost.
    •   Have to work in a clockwise precision to be profitable.
    •   Intensified disease problems, thus controlling diseases is more vital.
    •   Diets must be adequate because of no access to other sources of nutrients.
    •   Problems with manure disposal, odors, flies, etc., & no easy solution.
    •   Environmental regulations such as air & water pollution.
    •   Animal welfare and(or) rights concerns.

    Because of three major problems/concerns
    [1) high investments & production costs,
    2) waste & potential pollution problems, and
    3) animal welfareconcerns], there are some trends toward moving away from the confinement pig production.

    2. Outdoor Pig Production
    A. Attractive features:
    1) Capital outlay is low.
    2) No slurry problem.
    3) Strong healthy pigs are produced(?).
    4) Labor costs are lower(?).
    5) Comparable profitability to the indoor herd.

    B. Drawbacks:
    1) Productivity tends to be low.
    2) Hard to manage individual animals - Controlling pigs, and also recognition of unproductive sows and
    3) Confining pigs - Extensive fencing requirements.
    4) Checking pigs on outlying land may be difficult.
    5) Predators & young pigs, and birds/vermin & feed.
    6) Weather & movement of stock.


    In establishing locate pig farm sites in non – residential areas and ensure that your neighbors will not
    be bothered by odours.
    Environmental Requirements for Establishing a Pig Farm
    1) Climate/rainfall – A mild climate with no excessof rain is conducive for pig rearing.
    2) Soil type - Gravel and sandy soils over clay.
    3) Topography - Level or gentle slope.  Well drained soil
    4) Land - An acre can accommodate 5 to 8 sows on range. In confinement larger number of animals can be accommodated (up to 5 times more) in backyard management while over 10 times more in largeautomated commercial farms.

    1.  Backyard Operation
    A.  Investment
    i.  A livable house with concrete floor
    ii.  Seed Stock/ Foundation animals
    B.  Operating Expenses
    i.  Feeds
    ii.  Veterinary medicines, vaccines, feed additives etc.
    iii.  Health Insurance (optional)
    2.  Commercial/Large Scale Operations
    A.  Investment
    i.  Pig houses

    • Farrowing house
    • Gilt/Dry/Gestating house
    • Boar house (may not be necessary if AI is used)
    • Weanling house
    • Growing/Fatenining house
    • Isolation house

    ii.  Equipment

    • Water Pump
    • Electrical connections
    • Hammer Mill
    • Feed Mixer
    • Feed storage and distribution equipment (Automatic Feeding System)
    • Automatic Watering System
    • Pig and feed scales
    • Other farm tools- spade and spading fork, wheel barrow, rake etc

    B.  Purchase of Stock

    • Gilts/Sows
    • Boars

    C.  Operating Expenses

    • Feeds
    • Veterinary medicines, vaccines, feed additives etc.
    • Health Insurance
    • Labour
    • Repair and maintenance of buildings
    • Maintenance of machinery and equipment

    Are you feeling tired? Grab a coffee before you continue


    Pig  houses  must  be  well  constructed  for  maximum  performance  of  the  animals.  For  backyard operations  houses  can  be  constructed  using  locally  available  material  such  as  bamboo,  planks
    etc. Movable  houses  are  constructed  for  pigs  on  range.  For  permanent  pig  houses  the  flooring  must  be concrete  (neither  too  rough  nor  too  smooth)  to  allow  for  easy  cleaning  and  minimize occurrence  of parasites  and  diseases.  Pig  houses  should  be  provided  with  concrete  feeders  and  water  troughs though other materials such as automobile or truck tires cut in halves may be improvised as drinkers.

    The boar and boar pen
    One boar is required for every 10 to 20 sows. The minimum floor area will depend on whether the pen is to be used for servicing purposes. The floor should be non-slippery and equipped with bedding. If the pen  is  used  for  servicing,  the  floor  should be  free of slats  and other obstructions.  Each  boar  needs about 10 to 15 liters of drinking water per day. Because pigs are in the habit of defeacating where they drink water, their water has to be placed in the dunging area. The feeding trough has to be placed as far away as possible from the dunging area and the  drinking nipple. The boar pen has to be cool,wellventilated and free of draughts, with temperature not higher than room temperature for long periods. The sow and sow penIn an intensive pig production system, provision ismade for five single sow pens per boar, because the sow has to stay there for five weeks and a sow/boarratio of 1:20 has to be maintained. To manage enough  contact  between  boar  and  sows,  partitions  are  placed  over  the  slatted area  between  the adjoining boar and sow pens, because pigs tend to defecate while communicating with pigs in adjoining pens. Alternatively, the sow may be placed in a pendirectly next to the boar rightafter she weaned her litter. For individual feeding, the sows are placedin pens of about 1.8 m² adjacent to the boar pen. 

    As the sows are kept in the same building as the boar,the same temperatures of between 9 and 22°C are acceptable,  with  an  optimum  of  16°C.  Slatted  floors keep  the  sows  relatively  dry  and  clean  and  a drinking  nipple  is  placed  at  an  angle  of  45°  degrees  above  the slatted  floor.  The  estimated  water requirements of a non-pregnant sow is five litre per day.

    The dry sow and dry sow housing
    For a period of about one month after weaning her litter, and for about two weeks before she farrows, the housing, feeding and management of the dry sow go through a critical phase. Dry or pregnant sows may be housed in crates, in groups or in tethers. The pregnant sowsare housed in crates. Close the crate at the top with steel rods to prevent the sow from turning around and jumping out. If gilts are kept in crates, they should not be put next to oldersows, but rather next to boars. No-fines concrete floors are recommended for insulation against cold, there  should  be  no  draughts  and  the  optimum temperature is  between  15  and  16°C.  Water  can  be supplied by means of a flushing system in a continuous feeding trough or by means of drinking nipples.Pregnant sowsshould be housed in groups of four to five.

    The sows should be fed individually with partitions for each sow. The floor area includes a  sleeping area, a dunging passage and an individual eating space. Group housing can also be done semi intensivelyby merely placing a roof over the pens and keeping the sides open. This layout requires less material and construction costs, but problems regarding temperature and ventilation may occur. The movementsof the  pregnant sows in tethersare restricted by means of a belt around her body,fastened to the floor with a short chain. Handling and accessibility are easier with a tether, because the crate is open at theback. It also simplifies testing for pregnancy in large intensive units. But the  tether should not interfere with the freedom of the sow toget up or lie down.

    Farrowing pens
    The most important considerations regarding housingduring farrowing and the first seven to ten days thereafter, are to supply optimum temperatures to the sow and her litter and to limit deaths among the
    piglets through trampling or overlying. Sows shouldbe placed in disinfected farrowing pens one week before farrowing to allow time for adjustment to the new surroundings. The sow or gilt is washed and
    treated for scabby skin, not less than two days before she farrows. The farrowing crateis made of steel pipes or round steel rods and should be designed in such a way to allow enough free space behind her
    for easy farrowing and to prevent piglets from being overlaid. Enough walking space for the piglets should also beallowed. A  creeping  pen with  bedding  of  wood  shavings  must  be  provided  for the piglets. 

    A  roof  over  the creeping pen is essential to prevent draughts and to keep the heat inside and the optimum temperature is 27 to 32°C for at least the first five days after birth. Electricity of around 300to 500 W is required for every creeping pen, and a heating method which is increasingly becoming popular, is the use of heated rubber mats in the creeping area. For water supply, a drinking nipple with anangle of 45° is placed  above or next to the feeding trough. The lactating sow needs about 18 to 23 litre of water per day and the piglets in the region of 0,7 to 1,0 litre per day. It is preferable to equip the litter with a creep feeder for food supply. A small, simple self-feeder should be filled twice or three times a day to prevent thefeed from becoming stale and mouldy. The feeder can also be equipped with hooks and hooked over the dividing wall between adjoining pens to prevent the piglets from shoving it around. Milk powder strewn on the floor will encourage the piglets to eat.

    Weaners and weaner housing

    For many years it was customary in South Africa to wean pigs at the age of 35 days, although there is the tendency to wean pigs at an earlier stage. This section focuses on housing for pigs weaned at 35
    days, with two litters grouped together, all-in-all-out pens, housing for early weaned pigs and flat deck housing. A total of about 14 weaner pens are required for a  100-sow unit, taking into account thateachsow weans on average 2,3 litters per year, and that each litter contains an average of 10 piglets.

    To supply the piglets with about one to three litre of drinking water per day, two kind of nipple can be
    placed  at certain angles. For the supply of feed, a moveable self-feeder can be used to adjust the size of the pen as  the  piglets  grow  bigger.  To  keep  ;the  cost of  materials  as  low  as  possible  and  to create  cleaner conditions, the two rows of pens could be placed back-to-back. The walking and feeding passages are then combined with the outer walls of the building,with two manure channels against each other in themiddle of the building. The  all-in-all-out pensare designed to accommodate all the litters of thesows that give birth in the same week in an enclosed section of the building when they are being weaned. Afterwards they are transferred to a grower unit - all during the same  week. All piglets are moved to the grower pens at five weeks.

    Early weaning means that the piglets are weaned at the age of 21days, and here the regulation of temperature and ventilation should be between 25 and 29°C The all-in-all-out system should be applied and there has to be enough pens to allow a cleaningperiod of seven days. In larger units where piglets remain in the same pen system until they are nine to ten weeks old,  flat deck  housing is  preferable.

    These  pens  are  also  often  used  for  piglets  that  are  weaned  at  three weeks. The floor should be covered with high quality plastic, woven mesh or perforated steel plate. The pen  is  installed  over  a
    flushing  channel  to  help  with  cleaning  and  the  removal  of  manure.  Roof insulation is essential and roof and side ventilation must be kept regulated at a temperature between 17 and 25°C. The mixing of different litters may causestress, which could lead to a drop of as much as 13% in the growth rate.

    Grower and finishing pens

    Pigs are normally moved from the weaner to the grower pens. The piglet should weigh about 30 kg at this stage and should have temperature requirementsranging between 12 and 18°C. Ad lib feeding is
    commonly used for grower purposes, which is the only difference between the grower and the finishing houses. In the latter kind, feed intake is limited.Two thirds of the waste generated by the production unit  will  come  from  these  two  buildings,  therefore  slatted  floors  over  a  manure  channel  is recommended. The groups of the piglets are transferred to the grower pen in its entirety. After the gilts have been taken out of the group, the remaining eight or ten pigs go to the finishing pens where they are kept until they are marketed. The handling of waste in grower and finishing houses is the same.

    Two methods are basically used, namely the clean flushing system and dry manure handling system.

    Table 1: Space Requirement for Different Classes ofPig
    Type of house  Boar  Sow
    Sow with Litter  Growing - Finishing pigs (Kg)
    Young  Mature  10-20  20-40  40-70  70-100
    Farrowing House
    Pen size (min) m
    1.858 1.858 1.580 4.460 5.948 - -  - -
    Stall size (total) m
    - -  3.903 3.903  - - -  -
    Stall Width cm -  - 50.8  60.96 - -  - -
    Growing-Finishing House
    Solid Floor (total) m
    .46-.56 .56-.74 .74-.84 .84-1.11
    Pigs/watering cup (hole) 1  10 12 4  4 20-25 20-25 20-25 20-25
    Pigs/Feeder hole 1  2 3 1  1 4 3  3 3

    Modern Feeding System
    Automatic Feeding System  Automatic Watering System
    PVC Confinement  Feed Storage
    Feed Delivery System


    Feed is any material, which after ingestion by the  animal is capable of being digested, absorbed and utilized to satisfy metabolic needs i.e. being transformed into body elements of the animal. Importance of Feeds and Feeding in pig production can not be over-emphasized as it accounts for about 60-70% cost of production. Thus, much attention should be  given to this aspect and the ability to judiciouslymanipulate feed ingredients to maximize productivity is therefore central to the maintenance of a stable pig production enterprise, for the enterprise to meet its set objective of profit maximization.

    Nutrition- What is it?
    Nutrition can be defined as the science involving various chemical and physiological activities which transform feed elements (nutrients) into body elements and activities. It can also be defined as the sum of  the  processes  whereby  an  organism  provides  itself  or  it  is  provided  with  the  materials  (nutrients) necessary  for  energy  release,  growth,  repair,  various  secretions,  storage,  transport, maintenance  of internal osmotic and pH environment. It involves the ingestion, digestion, transportation, absorption and assimilation  of  the  various  nutrients  and  their  transportation  to  all  body  cells  and the  removal  of unusable  elements/by-products  and  waste  products  of metabolism.  Nutrition  is  one  of  the  major
    constraints to survival and satisfactory productivity of livestock in this country.


    There are essentially two types of nutrition and these are:
    (i) Autotrophic nutrition
    (ii) Heterotrophic nutrition
    (i) Autotrophic nutrition – occurs in organisms that are capable of synthesizing organic molecules from simple, inorganic materials such as carbon IV oxide(CO2) and water e.g. photosynthesis
    (ii)  Heterotrophic  nutrition  –  is  the  nutrition  that  involves  dependence  upon  preformed  organic molecules such as fairly complex, energy-rich organic molecules secured directly or indirectly from the environment e.g. pig nutrition.


    There are six groups of nutrients. Nutrient is the  name given to the different components of feed thatare useful to the body. Most feeds contain several  kinds of nutrients but no one food has all that thebody needs. Nutrients are any food constituents or  groups of food constituents of the same general chemical composition that aid in the support of life. This implies that nutrients in feed are responsible for preserving life. They are:
    (1) Water– constitutes:
      65-70% - of body weight of animal at birth
      40-50% - of body weight at slaughter
    Swine – requires 5.68 - 11.36 litres of water/head/day and the quality and type of feed determines the
    water content of feeds.
    (2)  Carbohydrates –  sources  of  calories  or  energy  e.g.  Yam,  maize,  sorghum,  wheat,  breadfruit,
    cassava, sugar, plants, body building.
    (3) Proteins– used for protection, growth, tissue maintenance and repair. May also be used to provide
    energy e.g. meat, insects, soyabean meal, eggs, fish meal, groundnut cake, cowpea, milk.
    (4)Fats– a source of energy and protection e.g. palm oil,coconut oil, groundnut oil, melon seeds, fish
    oil, butter, margarine.
    (5)  Minerals– regulates body processes, can be used for growthand replacement of tissue e.g. fruits
    and salt, leaf vegetable.
    (6)  Vitamins –  regulate  body  processes,  used as  co-factors e.g. tropical  leaf  vegetables,  fruits,  root vegetables, carrot.

    Classification of feeding stuffs

    Feed or feeding stuffs can be broadly categorized into 5 as follows:
    1. Energy sources, e.g maize, sorghum cassava etc
    2. Protein sources, e.g ground nut cake, soyabean meal, fis meal etc
    3. Mineral Supplements, e.g bone meal, oyster shelletc
    4. Vitamin supplements
    5. Feed additives or non - nutritive additives, e.ganti-biotics, egg yolk colourant etc
    Processes involved in feed production
    I Feed formulation
    II Measuring of quantitative values
    III Crushing
    IV Mixing
    V Bagging


    For  a  given  no  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 ratherthan for cattle and sheep. Pig is Monogastric (i.e single stomach) animal.


    Dietary Switches
    Pigs (swine) are usually fed in phases. Feeding management of pigs may be divided into the following:
    1   Creep  Feeding-  At  about  10 day  of  farrowing  and  when  piglets  weigh  about  10kg live  weight, piglets are fed Creep feed containing 24% crude protein(C.P)
    2. Weaner’s  Diet -  Immediately  pigs  are  weaned  and  weigh  10-25kg  live  weight,  Weaner’s  diet containing 22% C.P is introduced.
    3. Grower’s Diet- When pigs are 25-60% live weight, they are fed Grower’s diet with 18% C.P.
    4.  Finisher/ Fattener Diet- When pigs are between 60-80kg body weight, they are given finisher or Fattener diet containing 14-15% C.P
    5. 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 sowafter 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 highenergy 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.


    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.


    (1) Nutrition – the science involving various chemical and physiological activities, which transform feed elements (nutrients) into body elements.
    (2) Feed – is a material, which after ingestion by the animal is capable of being digested, absorbed and utilized.
    (3) Feedstuff/Feed ingredients – a feeding stuff isany product, whether of natural origin or artificially prepared that when properly used has nutritional value in the diet. It includes natural feeds of animal
    origin, synthetic and other pure nutrients.
    (4) Nutrients – a nutrient is defined as any feed constituent or group of feed constituents of the same general chemical composition or a pure chemical compound that aids in the support of animal life. The constituents of a feed that are capable of being transformed into body elements are known as nutrients.
    (5)  Ration  or  Diet  –  is  a  24-hour  allowance  of  feed or  of  mixture  of  the  feedstuffs/feed  ingredients making up the diet.
    (6)  Feeding  –  is  a  practical  application  of  nutrition,  i.e.  consideration  of  management,  formulation, palatability, economics, etc.
    (7) Formulation – is the process of constructing a feed or diet formula.
    (8)  Balanced  diet  –  the  food  or  feed  that  supplies  all  the  essential  nutrients  in  the  proper  amounts required for optimum performance of the animal.
    (9)  Complete  feed  –  a  balanced  ration  for  the  animal  in  a  single  form.  It  provides  all  the  nutritionalrequirements (except water) needed to maintain normal health or to promote production.
    (10) Basal (Energy) Feeds – nutritionally, basal feeds are mainly concentrated sources
    of  energy  being  especially  rich  in  starches  and  sugars.  They  are  grains  and  grain  by-products  that contain not more than 16% protein and 18% crude fibre.
    (11) Supplement – is a feed or a feed mixture use with another feed to improve the nutritive balance ofthe total ration or diet.
    (12)  Concentrate  –  is  usually  described  as  feed  or  feed  mixture  which  supplies  primary  nutrients (protein,  carbohydrates  and  fat).  It  is  a  commercially  prepared  supplement  which  refers  to  a concentration  of  protein,  minerals  or  of  vitamins  in  excess  of  those  found  in  basal  feeds.  Have digestibility.
    (13) Forage or roughage – any material substance for feeding livestock, which contains more than 18% crude fibre, materials making up the fodder.
    (14) Anorexia – loss of appetite in disease condition.
    (15) Appetite – is a desire or inclination for food. It is a conditioned reflex. It is related to taste, smell and appearance of food. Well developed in man than in farm animals.
    (16) Additive – a substance (or mixture of substances) added to the feed to meet a specific purpose. An additive may enhance the nutritive value, sensory value or shelf life of the feed. Additive is involved in the production, processing, packaging and/or storage of the feed without being a major ingredient.
    (17) GIT – gastro intestinal tract, responsible forthe digestion, absorption and assimilation of feedand nutrients.
    (18) Ration Formulation – this is the act of combination and re-combination in specific ratios of feed ingredients/feedstuffs to obtain feed for the nutrient requirement of farm animals.
    (19)  Feed-mill  –  is  an  establishment/place  where  feeds/commercial  feeds  are  provided  using specialized equipment according to the feed formulation.
    (20) Proximate Analysis – this refers to the analysis of chemical constituents of feed, feed ingredients using established standard methodologies/proceduresAOAC (1995).
    (21) Nutrient Requirements – this refers to specific requirements for nutrients by farm animals and this can be affected by a number of factors.
    (22) Anti-nutritional factors – these refers to chemical compounds/metabolites which interfere with the normal process of digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients from feedstuffs/feeds.
    (23)  Feed  Microscopy  –  this  is  the  science  of  identification,  evaluation  of  feeds/feedstuffs  by  visualappraisal using a microscope, hand lenses. Essentially it involves physical and textural examinations.
    (24) Nutrition evaluation – refers to the assessment of feed/feedstuff for its nutritional adequacy. This can be physical, chemical, biological or microbiological in nature.


    Large White (Yorkshire)

    This breed is originated from Britain. Yorkshires  are the  most  recorded  breed  in  the  United  States  and  Canada.  They  are  white  with  erect  hears  and  of appreciable body length. The pig thrives well underconfinement conditions. It is best known for its large litter size and mothering ability. It is a docile tractable breed. Being one of the largest breeds, the gain are somewhat slower compared with other breeds. Thecarcasses are of excellent qualities.

    Chester White

    The  Chester  White  breed  is  known  for  its  mothering ability, durability,  and  structural  soundness.  For  many  years,  Chester  Whites  have  been  popular  with  pork producers because of their extreme longevity. Packers prefer Chester Whites because of their white colored skin is easily removed during the harvesting process.


    The  Berkshire  breed  has  long  been  known  for  its efficiency  in  gaining  weight.  The  meat  quality  of  the  Berkshire  is  unique  because  it  has  a  greater proportion  of  lean  meat  intermixed  with  streaks  of  fat.  This  intramuscular  fat  gives  more  marbling  in comparison to other breeds. Like all the swine breeds that end in ‘shire’, Berkshires have erect ears. In fact, the word ’shire’ means erect. The Berkshire breed standard requires a pig to have a color pattern consisting of only black and white hairs. The white points must appear on the nose, feet, and tail.

    These white points can be missing and any additional white points may appear on the body of the


    The Hereford breed originated in the 1900.s when aswine breeder crossed a Duroc, Chester White, and Poland.The Hereford breed was developed for its type, color, conformation, and superior feeding
    qualities. The Hereford breed standard requires a white face, and no less than two thirds of the pig’s body to bered, exclusive of the face, ears, and at least two white feet. The white hair above the white feet must be extended at least one inch above the hoof. Hereford  hogs  are  known  for  having  a  long  neck,  moderate  jowl,  medium  sized  floppy  ears,  and  a medium length face.


    The Pietrain breed originated from Belgium in the  1950.s and was  later  exported  to  other  countries.  Pietrains  are  moderate  in  size,  have  black  spots  with  white pigmented hair around the black spots, and have moderately erect ears. Pietrains have shorter legs than most breeds, are low fronted, stockier in build, and are extremely heavy muscled. This breed’s popularity  has  been  up  and  down depending  on  market trends.  Pietrains  are  known  for  having extremely high lean to fat ratios, with percent lean calculations in the high sixty percent range. Pietrains possess doubled muscled or bulging ham shape. They  have poorer mothering ability and lower milk production than other breeds.


    Spots  are  known  for  being  fast  growers,  with  good  feed efficiency, and high quality carcasses. Spots are popular among commercial hog farmers for producing fast growing crossbred offspring.


    They are white and possess large floppy ears and longest body compared with any other breed. They have largelitter size and very good mothering ability. The flesh is excellent for making bacon.

     They  are  sound  and  vigorous,  very  fast  growing  andprofitable in production under varying production practices. The pigs are red and have short dropping ears and arched back. They are considered to be very good meat hogs.


    They are medium size, black pig with a distinct white belt around the shoulders including the forelegs. They have high prolificacy and high survival rate of the piglets.

    Indigenous Breed

    They are small in size with a long snout. The pig has back swept ears and a straight tails. The most common  colours are  brown  with  black patches, brown, black, and  black  with gray  or  white patches.They are characterized by stunted growth, poor reproductive performance of average of about three piglets. They are very hardy and have sharp feet.

    Large Black

    The large black breed is a British breed. The pig has long well proportional with a good reputation for ham and bacon production. It is a long, black pigs with lop ears and  is  considered  a  good  grazer  and mothers.  Growth rate  tends  to  be  slow  and  carcasses  are relatively fat.


     Tamworth  hogs  originated  in  England  and  are known for being a bacon type hog. Tamworths are thrifty, rugged, and deep sided hogs with a long neck, long legs, and a long nose. Tamworth females
    make good mothers in spite of the fact that they lack  body  depth.  Tamworth  hogs  typically  walk  and  stand  with  an  arch  in  their  back  and  they  have medium sized erect ears. This breed should be golden red to dark red in colour, with straight hair.

    Selecting Your Breeding Stock

    The selection of the correct health status appropriate to your herd and location is vital before a breeding stock  is  purchased.  The  primary  reason  for  purchase is  to  genetically  upgrade  your  herd.  Major requirements will be that they are available when you want them, in the numbers that are needed and at a price you can afford. But an overriding requirement is that they will not cause disease in your herd and lower your overall health status. At the onset  therefore, consult with your veterinarian and ask him to determine at a veterinary level the information available about the proposed herd. The  investigations should  include  the  disease  history  since  its  inception  and  those  of  any  daughter herds that have been established from it. Also the  health status and disease history of other herds it supplies. All veterinary reports should be requested and examined together with the results of tests for specific diseases and the frequency of such tests. The breeding history on the farm should be checked together with any evidence of infectious reproductive disease. A detailed study of records of production parameters, growth and food conversion rates may behelpful. The biosecurity of the breeding pyramid should be checked along with details of the health  programme. The bio-security of the herd itself mustbe assessed including the methods by which pigs or genetic materials are brought into the herd. Finally a  written  veterinary  statement  should  be  obtained  indicating  that  on  both  clinical  and  pathological grounds those selected diseases that you wish to keep out of your herd have not been diagnosed in the donor herd.

    Buying breeding herd - The ground rules

    Step 1- Select the source based on:
    •  Availability.
    •  Genetics (including fecundity).
    •  Health.
    •  Market acceptability.
    •  Quality control.
    Step  2-  Determine  with  your  veterinary  advisor  the  health  status  of  your  own  herd.
    Step  3-  Request  veterinary  liaison  with  the  suppliers'  veterinarian and  get  clarification  of  the  health
    status of the donor herd.
    Step 4- Assess the compatibility of health status.
    Step 5 - Determine the isolation requirements for incomingstock.
    Step 6 - Decide on vaccination and acclimatisation procedures.

    The donor herd
    The  suppliers  may  want  to  know  the  health  status  you  require  and  offer  you  a  choice  of  sources.
    Always purchase from a DHHS herd or equivalent if available.
    What are the methods and risks of pig movement since incoming  pigs  are  probably  the  greatest potential source of infection to your herd, the methods by which they are introduced or other methods
    by which you improve the genetic potential of your herd are vitally important.
    Five methods suffice:
    1.  By introducing live pigs.
    2.  By segregated early weaning SEW.
    3.  By hysterectomy.
    4.  By embryo transplants.
    5.  By artificial insemination (AI)

    Live pigs
    a) Mature gilts and boars
    Live pigs can be brought into your herd from a source herd of matching health status, or through SEW or hysterectomy and fostering if the source herd isof known but lower health status (depending on the disease to be eliminated). If live pigs are brought into your herd with or without SEW it is advisable to hold them in isolation  for a period  before  integrating  them  into  your  herd  to  check  whether  they develop  disease  and  whether disease breaks out in the source herd. If the isolation premises are in a different site to your herd  and not of the same biosecurity standards as your recipient herd, there could be a greater risk in holdingthem there rather than integrating them directly into your herd. The dangers of integrating them directly into your herd are obvious, namely, that if they are incubating an infectious disease sub-clinically then ultimately your herd will become infected. Perfect  separate quarantine facilities are rarely availableto commercial herds, particularly smaller enterprises  but isolation that falls short of complete quarantine (e.g.  on  the  same  site)  can  be  surprisingly  effective.  The  incoming  stock  could  be  moved  into  a separate building  on  the  same  site  preferably over  50  metres distant and this  should  be  reasonably effective,  provided  separate  boots  and  coveralls  are  used  to  tend  the  animals  and  provided  the drainage  from  the  building  does  not  flow  into  your  other  pig  buildings.If  a  separate  building  is  not possible then a separate room sealed off from the main body of the herd is better than direct integration into the herd. How  long  should  the  incubation  period  be?  Here  the importance  of  veterinarian  liaison  to  match respective health status has already been highlighted. If your herd is believed to be enzootic pneumonia (EP) free then it is advisable to place the incominganimals in isolation for a period of eight weeks. At the same time sentinel pigs (i.e. pigs from your  herd due for slaughter) should be moved in and blood tested and / or slaughtered prior to the entry of thenew pigs and their lungs examined for EP freedom. If your herd is not free of EP, the length of isolation is debatable. Some veterinarians would advise six weeks but four is more practicable. Should enteric or respiratory disease appear during the four week period either in the pigs in isolation or  in  the  source  herd  the  chances  of  preventing  further  damage  by  immediate  slaughter  would  be reasonable.

    b) Breeder weaners
    Instead of buying in mature replacement gilts and boars you could buy in so-called breeder- weaners, say, 30kg live weight. This has the advantage of allowing them a long period of acclimatisation to yourherd before you breed them. It also enables you to  rear them yourself in the way you think best for future breeding gilts and allows you to carry out your own selection at slaughter weight. A disadvantageis that boars cannot be performance tested and therefore it is not feasible. Also, if you sell your pigs at 25-30kg or at weaning, you probably do not have thefacilities to rear such pigs. The advantages of buyingin breeding stock at a commercial level, compared to the selection of the home produced gilt are its low cost, the availability of gilts when they are required, the genetic potential is  constantly  improved  and  if done  carefully  presents  few  problems.  Some  farms  however  prefer  to breed their own breeding females and thereby only introduce into the herd, a small proportion of grandparent females and boars.This policy often fails because of the difficulty of rearing the future female replacements within a commercial operation, the poorer reproductive performance and the fact that the gilts reared on the farm are often not available when required. This system is also a high cost one and often results in lower numbers of pigs reared. Extensive experiences have shown that provided there isgood health liaison and sensible practical procedures then the herd health status can be maintained with the purchase of breeding stock.

    Segregated  early  weaning  (SEW)  -  Modified  Medicated Early  Weaning  (MMEW)
    The second method of bringing in live pigs from another herd is through a modification of the medicated early weaning (MEW) technique called by many segregated early weaning (SEW) and by one breeding company  Isowean.  This  is  based  on  the  principle  outlined  earlier  under  "How  infectious  agents  are spread". By the time females reach their first farrowing they have developed a strong immunity to the more serious enzootic pathogens in the herd and have eliminated most of them. Furthermore they pass such a strong maternal immunity to their offspring  that the piglets are resistant to infection by most of these pathogens for varying periods depending on the pathogen. Thus if they are weaned immediately from the sow and moved to isolated premises at the  appropriate age they will be free of the pathogensyou wish to eliminate. Thus if you wished to obtain future breeding stock  from a particular herd but your veterinarian thought that the general health of that herd was below thatof your own you could obtain higher health status pigs  free  from  the  unwanted  pathogen.  If  the  pathogen  you  wished  to  avoid  was Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae,(enzootic pneumonia), you could vaccinate the damsin the donor herd ahead of time to boost their immunity, put the sows and newborn piglets on an anti-mycoplasma medicine such as tylosin  or  tiamulin  and  wean  the  pigs  at  ten  days  to  the  isolation  facility on  your  farm.  Isolation  isnecessary because if an unknown pathogen enters thedonor herd it could go through the SEW system during the incubation period.

    Hysterectomy and fostering
    The fourth method of introduction of live pigs is through hysterectomy and fostering the piglets onto  a newly farrowed sow in the recipient herd. This operation is carried out on day 113 of pregnancy when the sow is slaughtered. The womb containing the piglets is either removed 50 meters away to a pigpathogen-free environment where the piglets are removed or it is passed through disinfectant trap into a sealed room. The litter is then immediately takeninto the recipient herd and suckled onto a newly farrowed  sow.  If  done  properly  the  mortality  rate  is  as  low  similar  to  that  of  your  naturally  farrowedpiglets.

    The whole operation is synchronised using prostaglandins so that newly farrowed sows are available to act  as  foster  mothers.  Ideally  the  sow  selected  for the  operation  should  be  moved  into  isolationapproximately eight weeks prior to the due date andmonitored for evidence of disease. At the same time  it  should  be  blood  sampled  and  tested  for  aujeszky's  disease  (AD)  (pseudorabies),  swineinfluenza,  PRRS  and other  relevant  diseases that  could  pass  through  the  placental  barrier  including leptospirosis and brucellosis. The reason for bloodtesting for these diseases is that they are capable of passing from a recently infected mother to her piglets in the womb. This is most unlikely to happen with aujeszky's  virus  and  PRRS  if  they  are  obviously  immune,  but  it  could  happen  with Leptospira bratislavaand possibly L.  pomona. If  a  sow  is  serologically  positive  for  leptospira  the  risk  can  be diminished by treating her with either streptomycinor amoxycillin antibiotics prior to hysterectomy.  If a sow  is  sero-positive  for  brucellosis  it  is  better  to  discard  her.  It  would  appear  also  that  porcine coronavirus does not cross the placenta and hysterectomy pigs from positive herds can be introduced into negative herds safely. Hysterectomy is a safe procedure and in many hundreds of operations known to the authors there has been no evidence of transfer of disease.

    Embryo transfer
    Embryo transfer has been used successfully in several countries for the introduction of new genes but it has not been widely adopted probably because it requires two skilled teams, one to flush the fertilised eggs from the donor sow and one to insert them in the recipient sow. It has not been performed on anything like as big a scale as hysterectomy and fostering and therefore there is not the volume of field evidence to underline its safety, but in theory andon the limited evidence it is safe.
    Its drawbacks are:
    (1) It needs two skilled teams,
    (2) It requires immaculate synchronisation and timing,
    (3) The embryos cannot be kept viable for more thana few hours and
    (4) Unless done expertly, it results in a high failure rate and small litters.
    Note: For practical purposes, SEW, hysterectomy and AI are much simpler.

    Artificial insemination
    The sixth method of introducing genes is by artificial insemination (AI). It is known that viruses of  swine fever,  aujeszky's  disease,  PRRS,  parvovirus,  and  leptospira  bacteria  and Brucella  suiscould  be introduced  through  AI  mainly  during  the  early  stages  of  infection  of  the  boar.  If  the  boars  first  go thorough a true quarantine procedure and are screened for these infections then housed in an isolated AI  stud  (i.e.  one  in  a  secure  location),  with  high  standards  of  biosecurity  and  hygiene  during  the production of semen, then field experience indicates that the risks are very small. The advent of frozen semen,  which  hitherto  has  been  largely  unsatisfactory  but  which  is  now  looking  more  promising, renders the use of AI much safer since the semen can be stored for a month or two, time enough to be sure that no new infection was incubating in the AIstud. AI does however, have the disadvantage that only half the genes are introduced into the herd.


    One of the most important aspects of pig productionis getting young piglets off to a good start. For  this reason it is essential that the management and stockmanship of a farm is maintained at the highest possible standards. The pictures below illustrate some of the critical operations required to achieve this. The young piglets shortly after birth need to be kept at a temperature close to 30 degrees centigrade and are kept warm under an infra red lamp. Bedding  also helps to keep them warm and create their own microenvironment. Notice how the piglets huddletogether, this is a natural form of behaviour.

    Feeding time
    The crate that the mother pig (sow) lives in for the first few weeks of the piglets' life prevents the sow rollingover and crushing the young piglets to death. For the first two or three days piglets are vulnerable as they weigh just over a kilo compared with the sow after the first two days of life, piglets have their own teatlet that they suckle from. A good sow will have 14  functional  teats.  Milk  yield  tends  to  be  higher  at  the  front  of  the  udder  compared  with  the back. Piglets are normally weaned at around 4 weeks of age which is an optimum time for both the welfare of the sow and the piglets.  After  weaning  the  sow  dries  off.  Sows  normally  come  on heat (exhibit oestrous) within a week. They are then mated either naturally with a boar or with artificial insemination (AI) or with a combination of both. At  feeding  time  sows  can  either  collect  feed  automatically from  a  feeder  or  they  can  be  fed  on  an individual basis as in the picture. The individual  feeder allows the sow to eat without interference and stress from her pen mates and provides the farmer with a good opportunity to check her health. The farmer may also check whether the sows are pregnant using the ultrasonic microphone as illustrated.

    Five Easy Steps on How to Correctly and Properly Breed

    Why  are  pigs  one  of  the  most  ideal  animals  to  breed?  Why  do  farmers  include  pigs  in  their  list  of animals to breed for money and business? This is because breeding pigs doesn't take up to much time and  pigs  are  capable  of  producing  large  litters.  They would only require a few boars or male pigs to matewith many sows or female pigs. If you're interested in breeding pigs for business and would like to care for pigs correctly and properly breed pigs:
    1.  Remember  that  you don't  have  to buy  too  many boars  to  breed.  You  can  just ideally a year in age, and have him breed with about 30 to 50 sows that are either housed in stalls orina large pasture.
    2. Always begin your breeding business with research. You need to know who to go to in order to buy the best boars for breeding plus the best and most fertile sows that can produce large litters that are not only healthy but that have the best qualities. You can either browse through the yellow pages for names of  pig  breeders  or  visit  and  get  referrals  from  well-known  stores  that  sell  pigs  and  pig  feeds.
    3. When breeding pigs, select sows that are at least 9 to 10 months old as this is the ideal age for breeding. For the boars, you can either buy them when they're at least 8 months old if you have a small number of sows then breed them with a larger numberas they grow older. Again, the older the boars are, the larger the number they can mate with.
    4.  Sows  need  to  undergo  physical  check-ups  to  make  sure  that  they  have  no  infections  or  health problems that could produce problematic litters. You should also perform these check-ups to see if the sows are ready to mate. For instance, to check if the sow is ready, look at the vulva and see if it is swelling as this indicates the start of its fertility period. Young sows can be bred on their first day of fertility while older ones can begin on the next day after checking.
    5. In breeding pigs, gestation lasts for about 113 days, so breed the  pigs during their fertility periods until pregnancy has been successfully achieved.


    Good stockmanship is a basic requirement for successful livestock production. The animals must be given adequate care before the farmer can expect his animals to produce to optimum capacity
    1.  Daily Routine
    a.  Supply of water: Involves removing the left-overwater of the other day, cleaning the trough and
    supplying fresh clean water. This should be on a daily basis. It is advisable not to add medications to
    pig's  water  in  the  watering  trough.  If  medications  is  to  be  given  in  water,  it  should  be  in  separate
    b.  Feeding. Feeding should be done immediately,  after supply of water. Dry feeding is preferred
    for convenience and health. If wet feed is supplied, it should be done only for between 30minutes to 1
    hour. This is because wet ferment quickly and become breeding ground for flies and micro-organisms
    which may result in disease condition. Feeding can  be done one or twice daily. Medications can be
    added to pig feed.
    c.  Cleaning: This is done after feeding and allowing the pigs some time to defaecate. With this,
    the pen is more cleaner and easy to handle.
    d.  Observation: The best time to observe the animalis when they are not feeding. Animal can be
    observed for any sign of discomfort through which animals with injury, animals on heat and those with disease conditions can be detected.
    2.  Management of Pregnant sows;
    Once the gilt/sow has been successfully served, conception will occur. The gestation period is 114 days (3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days). Frequent checking of sows should be carried out to detect any that has returned to estrous. Pigs should be kept in small groups to ensure that they all have access to adequate feed. Well fortified feed should be offered in order to supply need of  both  the  mother  and  her foetus.  Green  leaves  and vegetable  is  particularly  important. Pregnant  sows  should  be shield  be  shielded   from  extreme  of  heat  through the  provision of shades and wallows.
    3.  Farrowing and care of new born Piglets:
    The  pregnant  animals  should  be  dewormed  2-3  weeks  prior  to  farrowing  to  reduce  the possibility of the dam passing worms to the new born piglets. Also the sow should be in the farrowing  unit  4  to 5  days  prior  to  expected  farrowing  time  to  allow  for  adjustment  to  the environment.  Constipation  in  the  sow  must  be  avoided  at  all  cost  as  this  interferes  with farrowing process.

    Supplementations of bran and green stuff during the last week of pregnancy are recommended.
    Sign of Farrowing:
    1.  increased restlessness
    2.  making of nest by arranging her bedding

    Management  is  critical  at  this  time  since  piglet  losses  are  occur  during  the  first  72hours  after  birth. Farrowing should be supervised by a trained stockman, in case any farrowing problem such as delayed farrowing  and  still-births.  With  special  care  and  attention  to  dam  and  her  litter,  up  to  95  survival  of piglets to 8 weeks of age can be realised. Many losses of newborn piglets are caused by stressdue to chilling. The  stockman  must  be  ready  to prevent this by providing extra source of heat.  Also  piglets  must be  encouraged  to  obtain  their  first successful suckle of colostrum within 45minutes after birth. Colostrums is the most important  food a piglet takes in during the first few hours of itslife, because it is a source of both essential energy and antibodies. Failure to obtain colostrum  will invariably result in susceptibility to disease and deathof the newborn piglet. With 24 hours of birth, the individual piglet should be marked for identification and record purposes.Ear-notching is the most reliable system. It is also desirable to clip the needle teeth to prevent potential injury from fighting each other and damages to udder of the dam. Tie off the navel cord and immerse in dilute solution of iodine, this reduces the possibility of navel infections.

     A  Earnotched pig
    Since   sow  milk  is  very  low  in  iron,  oral  or  injectable  iron  preparations  are  administered  to  the piglets in confinement to reduce the development ofiron deficiency anaemia. In the absence of ironpreparation. A shovel of red (iron rich) soil thrown into the pen has been known to be source of iron for piglets under Nigerian conditions, but this maynot be adequate for growth. Injections are made prior  to  5 days  of  age,  while  oral  preparations  to  the  pilgets  are  usually  given  continuously  in soluble form. Male piglets not retained for breeding should be castrated after one month of age. The piglets can gradually be introduced to creep feed after two weeks.

    Dam suckling piglets

    Weaning is the practice of separating the young pigs from their mother. It usually exerts stress on the young. Weaning is normally accomplished when pigs are from 6-9 weeks of age, when they
    should be capable of subsisting on solid feeds and feeding for themselves. Body weight and health condition are better criteria than age per se. Exotic breeds should be weaned at weight of 5-6kg. It
    must be emphasized that superior management, rigid environment control and continuous attention to minute details are essential for success in thisphase of growth. Other changes should be gradually
    effected at weaning. Do not abruptly change the ration, but for a  few  days,  continue  feeding  creep  feed  mixed  with  weaner  ration  and  the  finally  eliminate  the creep feed completely at about two
    weeks after weaning.

    Early weaning
    Recent developments in the commercial industry are in favour of early weaning at about 4 weeks.
    The advantages are:
    a.  losses in piglets due to overlying and starving are significantly reduced.
    b.  pigs can be adequately fed, and lack of uniformity in a litter can be overcome.
    c.  cost in sow feed can be slashed
    d.  the sow looses less weight during nursing
    e.  the dam can be re-bred sooner to produce more litters
    f.  better producing sows can be retained for longerperiod.
    g.  early weaning allows for streamlining of the production and market supply; both weaners and market hogs can be sold. A  very  high  level  of  management  is  required  for  early  weaning  and  therefore it  is  not  a  general practice. However, a technique of 'split' weaning can be beneficial, whereby the large piglets are weaned first and the small ones are left with the dam and weaned later.

    Weaners and Growers
    The 3 week period immediately after weaning is a critical one for the young pigs because a number of stresses  may  be  encountered.  After  pigs  have  overcome  the  stress  of  weaning  and  are  feeding properly, deworm them for the first time. Group thepigs according to age and size. Large litters should be grouped together. This provides an opportunity to record their feed consumption up to the time of selection (at 5 months of age) and enhances the determination of feed efficiency. Sick pigs should be separated for treatment. If there is need, some weaner pigs can be sold at two months of age. Other (not for sale) can be raised on self-fed rations until the finisher stage. At the age of five months, the live weight of a fully grown pig should be 64-80kg. This means the pig is expected to gain 0.55 to 0.68kg per day over a period of three months. By then ahealthy  pig  should  be  sexually  matured.  Separate  gilts  and  boars  because  the  boars  usually  start ranting. This is the time to select which pigs should be kept as replacements in the breeding herd andwhich should be finished for market.

    Record Keeping
    The keeping of accurate record is absolutely essential for the success of any pig enterprise. It givesa clear picture of the type of operations, so that the exact degree of success can be measured. Therefore,a good record of the number of pigs in herd, feed consumption, mortality, medications and sales,  should  be  kept.  Also  on  reproduction,  details  of;  boar  performance  sow productivity,  weaners growth and grower/finisher efficiency should be recorded.

    Health Management
    A disease outbreak in a piggery can have disastrousconsequence. The management practices already described, if carefully followed, will minimize occurrence of disease. That prevention is better than cure is very relevant in the pig industry. A clean, sanitary environment provides the best prevention for internal and external parasite which can be serious problems. Confinement prevents pigs fromcontaminated fields and dirty lots. Antihelminticsand  other  drugs,  when  properly  used,  aid  in  elimination  of  parasites.  Antibiotics  also  protect  pigs against  disease  proliferations  and  reduce  disease  outbreaks.They  can  also  promote  growth  in  pigs when  given  at  recommended  levels.  For  diseases  that can  be  prevented  through  vaccination,  a Veterinarian should be contacted to provide such servicesroutinely. A  basic  knowledge  of  the  main  disease  which  may  affect  a  pig  is  necessary  so  that  producer  can identify and put in place control measures as quickly as possible. Some of the diseases and parasites that affect pigs are:
    1.  Parasites: These are organisms that live on (external parasites) or in(internal parasites) an host (another organism) in order to obtain food. External parasites mainly cause irritation to the skin surface,often leading to wounds and increase susceptibilityto other infections. Common ones are flies, ticks,lice, mange mites, etc. The internal parasites are  more common to pigs on free-range. Example is theround worm (Ascaris Lumbricoides) which causes lotsof damage to pig herds. They can grow up to 300mm  long  and  6mm  thick  in  the  small  intestines.  Heavy  infestation  leads  to  inherent  pigletsweakness and loss of weight. Others harmful worms are tapeworms, e.g taenia solium, which has the pig as its intermediate host, while the adult worm lives in man. Pig become infected by picking up eggs from human faeces and larvae then encyst in the pig's muscle. To prevent worm infestation in pig herd,avoid contaminated water and feeds. Clean and remove faeces always, deworm with broad spectrum antihelminthics as recommended by your veterinarian.
    2.  Hog Cholera: this is a highly contagious and acute  viral disease of pigs and frequently fatal. The spread is by animal contact, contaminated urineand faeces or other body secretions.
    Symptoms are:
    I.  Loss of appetite in affected animals.
    Ii  Inflammation of the eye
    iii  High body temperature
    iV  Severe diarrhea
    V  Discharge in the eye causing eyelids to stick together
    vi  Trembling and incoordination
    vii  Death often result after 7-8 days.
    Control: There is no effective treatment except vaccination programme to be instituted if there
    is danger of hog cholera infection. Avoid contact with infected animals.
    3.  African swine Fever: this is also a very contagiousviral disease which in acute form can cause up to 100% mortality.
    I. Pig are found huddling together
    ii. Loss of appetite
    iii. Small purplish blotches found on the skin
    iv. Incoordination and laboured breathing. Haemorrhages at the trotters which can lead to lameness. It is spread by bush pigs and warthog which carry the virus, though they are immune to the disease.
    Contact with other sick pigs and consumption of contaminated feed and water. Control: Infected pigs should be destroyed and properly disposed off. There in no effective vaccine asat now.
    4.  Swine Influenza: A highly contagious respiratory disease cause by the influenza virus. Stress due  to  rapid  changes  in  temperature  trigger  off  the disease.  Mortality  is  normally  low,  but  it
    result in stunting and reduced live weight gain.
    Symptoms:  Jerky  breathing,  cough,  high  temperature, loss  of  appetite  and  rough  hair  coat appearance. Secondary infection with bacteria complicates the condition.
    Control:  No  treatment  or  prevention  vaccine  available,  but  good  management  and  avoidance  of stress can limit outbreak.
    5.  Enteric Colibacillosis: This is the most common cause of death in baby pigs, especially within the first  ten  days.  The bacterium  Escherichia  Coli  (E.  Coli)  commonly  found  in  the  intestinal tract causes the disease. Toxins are produced whichstimulate a massive fluid loss in to the small intestine leading to scours and dehydration.
    I. Scouring.
    ii. Dehydration
    iii. High mortality rate
    iv. Staggering movement
    i. Avoid stressful condition.
    Ii. Give oral administration of antibiotic immediately.
    Iii. Ensure good farm management
    iv. Proper feeding of balanced ration
    v. Piglets must be given colostrum.
    6.  Salmonellosis: It is a disease of the intestinal tract causes by salmonella spp. of bacteria. Pig of about two months are most affected. Heavy worm infection triggers it off.
    i. Foul smelling diarrhoea.
    ii. Pigs become gaunt.
    Iii. High temperature in affected pigs
    iv. some death usually occur in a group
    i. Ensure good management
    ii Practice high level of sanitation
    iii Feeding of antibiotics and sulpha drugs.
    7.  Erysipelas: This is caused by a bacterium agent which lives in the soil pigs can pick up the agent  from  soil  or  by  animal  contact  and  even  humans.  In  the  acute  form,  sudden  death  is
    i Sick pigs show marked constipation
    ii high temperature (41-42oC )
    iii Reddish-purple discoloration of the ear, abdomen and legs
    iv Chronic stage leads to arthritis swollen joints,stiffness and heart damage.
    Control: Routine vaccination programme is recommended and once the disease is diagnosed treat
    immediately with antibiotic.

    Processing and Marketing

    The ability of pig industry to market large quantity of pork is a necessary condition for commercial growth  of  the  industry.  Processing  outfits  are  capapble  of  buying  many  animals  at  a  time, process them  into  different  products  and  distribute these  products  to  any  part  of  the  world. Processing starts with the slaughtering process.
    1. Slaughtering:
    The standard slaughtering procedure involves:
    I.  Stunning- Mechanical with a captive bolt pistol or  electric which involves electric current for
    one second through the brain of the animal.
    II.  Breeding – the stunned animal is hanged on its hindleg on a hoist. The neck is cut in such a
    way as to severe all veins. Blood can then be collected in a clean vessel.
    III.  Scalding – immerse in hot water at 65-750C. Once the air is loosed, it is cramped with a knife.
    Excess hair is singed off with a flame.
    IV.  Evisceration- To remove the gut, a long cut is madebelow the belly of the animal. The entire length of the gut should be removed intact to avoidcontaminating the rest of the carcass. The gut is eviscerated away from the carcass.
    2. Meat Hygiene:
    It is important that slaughtering facilities maintain high sanitary conditions because the productsof  slaughtered  animals  provide  and  ideal  breeding  ground  for  bacteria.  The  carcass  should  be
    chilled immediately after slaughter. Refrigeration  trucks  in  good  working  conditions  should  be  used  in  transporting  meat  over  long distances. It is necessary to provide for meat inspection in slaughter houses in order to ensure that only healthy meat is approved for sale to the public. Meat slaughtered on the farm should also be wholesome and measure taken that no disease is circulated from the dead to the living.
    3. Carcass Evaluation and meat quality:
    The commercial pork industry has standards for carcass which may vary from country to country. However, the basic criteria involve the following considerations:
    I  Conformation:  this  is  the  shape  of  the  carcass.  It  is  desirable  to  have  carcass  that  is  well developed in the more valuable meat area such as the ham and the loin.
    Ii  Lean Content – the amount of lean meat is avery important quality factor
    iii  Fattinees  –  to  much  fat  in  pork  is  generally  not  valued.  Fat  thickness  can  be  measured  in selecting animals for breeding
    iv  Colour and Texture – very pale watery meat  is undesirable. This can occur and is associated with a condition known as pale soft exudate (PSE) which can result from a genetic cause or poor preslaughter handling.
    v.  Flavour and Odour – off-flavour and odours can arise from feeding high fishmeal diets or rancidfats. Boar taint can also occur in the meat of entire males. Further processing, makes it possible to harness all the by-products and converts to other uses as:
      Bristles – for use in shaving and paint brushes
      intestines – for use as sausage casings
      blood – can be processed into human food or animal feed.
      Hoofs  –  used  for  gelatin  and  glue  products.  All  these  are  usually  wasted  under  the prevailing pig marketing and slaughtering conditions in the tropics.

    Pig meat products
    In most tropical countries, all the parts are valuable meat, including the head and trotters. However,the more meaty portions usually fetch higher prices. The meat can be further processed into the following:
    •   Cured meat – e.g the bacons and hams which are curein brine. Further flavouring is enhanced  by  smoking.  These  processes  increase  the  shelf-life  of  the  product  and therefore should be promoted in the tropics where refrigeration facilities are often nonexistence in the rural areas.
    •   Sausages  and  Pies  –  these  are  derived  mainly  from  trimming  and  offal  that  are  left after cutting up whole parts.
    •   Pig skin – can be processed into leather or surgical strings.

     The  ability  to  market  pigs  at  the  right  time  is  a  major  determining  factor  to  the  success  of commercial  pig  production.  A  recent  international  conference  on  pig  production  in  Nigeria
    identified  marketing  as  the  number  one  constraint  to  increased  commercial  pig  production. Small holder farm have not problems as per marketing, but the commercial farmer have to put marketing a major issue determining their success.  Pig can be marketed using the following market outlets;
    a.  Private  Sales:  these  involve  selling  of  one  or  more  pigs  to  the  local  consumer,  other  pig producers, butchers or middlemen. The pigs are soldlive and prices are normally subjected to
    bargaining.  This  method  is  most  common  among  rural  small-scale  producers.  It  has  the advantage  of  being  the  simplest.  To  ensure  adequate prices  for  pig  farmers,  marketing
    cooperatives are recommended.
    b.  Public  Sales:  in  these  methods,  pigs  are  taken  to  a  central  place,  where  they  are  sold  by auction on live basis to the highest bidder.
    c.  Direct Sales to Butcher: the pigs are sold to the butcher directly by producer without middle men. The method is more applicable to the large scale producers. Fluctuations in prices can be serious problem in this system of pig marketing.
    d.  Contract Sales: Under this system, contract is entered into with an abattoir to supply a certain number of pigs over a period of time at a set price. This condition allows the producer to plan this
    production strategy over a fairly long period of time. Fluctuation in input prices however, can be a problem in this system.

    Care must be taken while transporting pig to the market or slaughter house. Excessive stress on the pig can lead to mortality in transit.
    a.  Pigs to be transported should not be fed 12hoursbefore loading
    b.  Provide a loading ram if many pigs are to be transported at once to the market. The loading
    ram should be properly designed to be at the same height with the cart, truck or trailer.
    c.  Handle pigs with uttermost care
    d.  Spray with cold water before loading, if possible. Load and Travel in the cooler part of the day.
    In the early in the morning for short journeys and in the night for long journeys.
    e.  the truck to be used should be covered but with provision for adequate ventilation and bedding
    on the floor.
    f.  Avoid mixing pigs of different sizes, ages and herds. Similar considerations should also apply
    at the lairage (i.e. where pigs are held prior to slaughter). The pigs should be handled and driven
    with care.


    1 comment:

    1. in these techniques, pigs are assumed to a focal position, where they are sold by sell off on live premise to the most astounding bidder. EssayMall


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    HowToFarmGuide is a platform for the practicing and potential farmers, where relevant and useful agricultural information are shared for the benefit of the farming populace. Also , this platform offers marketing services where farmers are allowed to advertise their products to meet potential buyers. It also shares relevant health issues and benefits that can be derived from the consumption of agricultural products.