The largest economy in Uganda enjoys pork on a daily basis in the different parts of the country and this has made piggery a more lucrative venture and many people are earning big from it. The increasing number of people in the country has seen a kilogram of pork ranging between 8000 to 20,000 shillings and this entirely depends on where you buy it.
Pig production is like any other business – without clear objectives and production targets, it lacks purpose and can end up being less profitable than it might have been. To manage a piggery effectively, you must consider the piggery’s production and performance, identify ways to improve your herd, provide your herd with suitable housing, manage your herd’s feeding and monitor environmental issues.
Pig management is the control of a number of factors such as housing, feeding, breeding health and records, to allow pigs perform to the maximum of their genetic potential at a cheap cost.
Principles of Piggery
Control of parasites and diseases
Proper selection of animals
Proper care of replacement stock
Efficient record keeping
Proper environment management
Why you should undertake Pig Production
Pigs are well adopted to both specialized and diversified farming
They have quick return
The investment in swine breeding stock and in equipment may be relatively small and it is possible to get in and out of a business in a short time
Feeding swine on maize and other grains is usually a profitable method of marketing these grains that are bought at very low prices in the season when the harvest is very big
Pig production is an efficient way of producing meat
Swine can be raised on a small or large farm and in small or large numbers
Pigs can be raised on pasture where they will not require expensive housing equipment
Breeding stock and feeding stock are readily available
Almost every village has a pig slaughter place that makes the sale of pork easy. In addition, the slaughter weight is ideal such that there is no risk of pork remaining unbought after slaughter
The labor requirements in pig production are low as one person can manage a large swine-breeding herd
With good selection of the breeding stock, pigs carry a big advantage over the other livestock due to the multiple fetuses they carry and therefore giving a big number of offspring. This makes multiplication of pigs easy
Pigs suffer less from metabolic and nutritional diseases because they can feed on things ranging from grass to meat hence balancing all nutritional requirements
The breed of pigs
When purchasing pigs, you need to get a male which is about four months and females which are about two months. A good breed has to be longer, taller and larger in size.
It’s also advisable to get the male and female pigs which are from different parents to improve on the breed and when purchasing, one should get a breed that is from a trusted and right source and it should be a fast growing breed.
A good breed should range between5 to 10 kilograms at one month and 60 t0 120 kilograms at six months and this should be the weight before they are slaughtered. And a good breed piglet ranges from 150,000 to 300,000 shillings and the pricing depends on the type of breed.
Common Pig Breeds to Acquire
This breed is black in color with a white belt around the shoulder forequarters. It is a medium size breed that originated from Southern England. It has a straight face, erect ears, good nursing ability and produces and excellent lean carcass.
Large White Breed
This breed is white in color, has erect ears and a ditched face. It originated from Yorkshire, England. Although it is not quick in maturing, it is a good feed converter.
This breed is white in color with a long and big body that has deep sides. It has a straight snout and loped ears which cover most of the face. This breed originated from Denmark and has been widely used for cross breeding especially with the large white to produce prolific breeding sows. The breed is mainly used in bacon.
This breed is mahogany to red in color. It has good motherly ability. It is resistant to stress and is adaptable to various environmental conditions and is very useful in crossbreeding programs.
Crossbreeding is practiced because it combines the desirable traits in the parent breeds into one animal. The major traits that a pig produce should target to improve in a crossbreeding program include, fast growth rate, good feed efficiency, resistant to diseases and good litter size and mothering ability.
Most of the local pigs that are kept in villages have arisen as a result of improper management of the exotic or crossbred pigs. It is only those that can survive the poor management practice that stay. The biggest advantage of these pigs is that they are able to survive on low quality feeds and are resistant to some diseases. However such pigs have low growth rate.
The Selection Process
Do not get pigs that are too dirty and those that huddle together.
Check the legs of the pig to ensure more flexible movement of the pig.
Look for a lot of wax in the ears, lice while examining the skin to determine whether the infestations are treatable or not.
Examine the stout and the head in order to avoid swollen and twisted stouts.
The selection process also involves how to select the female and male pigs and to know which one is of good quality:
The male pig known as the boar should have a weight of over 110 kilos before slaughter and it should be chosen from a sow that has more than 10 piglets and with a least 8 of them during the weaning process.
The female pig also known as the sow should not be very normal with a good posture and not lame. And the sow should already have developed the teats and they are approximately 12- 14 in number.
It should be noted that most farmers replace their sold stock through reproduction and breeding on their own farms which is a good venture if they try to follow the following
The farmer should have a lot of young breed both male and female for easy selection when it comes to replacing the stock.
In order to avoid death of the pigs, sterility of the Boers the farmer should ensure that there is good management in form of feeding, vaccination and checking on the pigs from time to time.
To avoid retarded growth during puberty of the pigs, the farmer should ensure a balanced diet feeding.
The pig house or sty
The pig sty has to be 6 and half feet in height and 10ft*8ft on the ground and it should be well fenced to avoid wild animals like snakes from accessing the pigs, it should also have a footbath with disinfectant mixed with water at the entrance to avoid spread of diseases.
A good house unit can house 7 pigs that is a pregnant sow, pigs of 2 to 5 months and one month but it should be noted that the bore will need more space.
It should not be slippery, should be leak proof and there should be easy disposal of the wastes from the pigs and this should be done far away from the sty to reduce spread of diseases.
The pig sty should also be easy to clean and it should be done at least in the morning and evening.
Feeding the pigs
This is the easiest to do since most pigs reared in Uganda eat everything given to them as long as its edible and you should note that it is also the most important thing when it comes to rearing pigs.
The food gives to the pigs include maize bran, vegetables and left over food. They should be fed on foods rich in vitamins, proteins, minerals and it should also have plenty of clean water provided to them.
Pigs are meant to feed at different intervals and according to their age and below is a list of the feeding formula on how best to feed the pigs.
Pigs between 2 weeks and 2 months should always have unlimited feeding throughout the night and if possible each time they are awake to get a good breed when they grow up
They should start feeding on one kilogram from 2 to 3 months.
At 3 to 4 months, the amount of food should be increased to 1.5 kilograms and at 4 to 5 months to 2 kilograms per day.
When they make 5 to 7 months, they should be fed with 2.5 kilograms and above 7 months, the pigs should be fed with 3 kilograms.
A pregnant sow also eats according to the months that is at two and half, they eat 3 to 3.5 kilograms, at three months the quantity increases to 4 kilograms and after deliver, each piglet can be given a quarter while the sow 3 kilograms.
It should also be noted that a sow is pregnant for only 115 days and pigs a lot so in order to avoid over eating, you should learn how to limit the amount of food given to the pigs.
Should also be noted that a sow is pregnant for only 115 days and pigs a lot so in order to avoid over eating, you should learn how to limit the amount of food given to the pigs.
The market and profits from pig rearing
Most people make a mistake and try to sell the piglets but they have zero profits so if you want to earn more on this venture, wait till they make six months because then they will weigh 50 to 60 kilograms for the local breed, 90 kilos for the exotic breed and 60 to 80 kilos for the crossbreed.
On average from the time you purchase the piglets until six months, you can spend 300, 000 per pig in the sty and make more profits at the end of the day. So, we advise you learn hoe to make own feeds. Contact us for more knowledge on Feed Formulation.
You should also make sure that you spray the pigs against infestation from flies, lice and ticks and deworm them at least every two months. This will ensure healthy pigs at the end of the day.
For more and specific matters. Case by Case, you can contact Vet and Extension officers within your reach.
Once you learn what is needed to start pig rearing, the next step is to know what you can get from the pigs and you should ask yourself a question, what will I gain from rearing pigs and how long will it take for me to get these products from the pigs and this question is answered in the next lines.
When you start rearing pigs, expect to reap big from the meat since it is on high demand on the market currently. One can start earning from the meat from 5 to 6 months as long as they are fed well and if the feeding is poor it can take up to 12 months.
The wastes got from the pigs can be used as manure or the plants irrelevant of whether they are in liquid or solid form. Manure from the pigs can be got as early as four months and you can use the manure in your own farm or sell it to get some money.
The Labor from the Pigs
Traditionally pigs were used to till the soil and clear a land filled with trees and they can still be used to provide that labor though you should note that on it is those that are 5 to 6 months can provide the labor.
The Weaned Piglets
When most people start rearing pigs, they mostly borrow from someone and gain from the piglets that are produced. This is the most important product gained from piggery because you get your own piglets and can expand your farm mostly from the weaned piglets.
A Crop Production Technician with a huge interest in Agribusiness. Worked as an Agricultural Extension Worker/Officer or simply as a Change Agent.
I am glad to have this opportunity of sharing and learning through this platform set up by Smart Agriculture Universe.
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