Swine raising is common and practical among farm families. This is because of the many advantages it gives the raiser which allows them to lessen the costs they spend while farming. For example, pigs convert feedstuffs and waste materials not used by man into pork, swine also has shorter development period which can add to the income of the raiser. The farmer/raiser can also use hog manure to fertilize his farm. Also, pork is the most common source of protein.
If you want your swine business to succeed, choose the right breed to raise. Below are the characteristics of breeds that grow well specially in Region 2.
Duroc – It is a heavy breed with color that ranges from light to very dark red, almost like the color mahogany. Durocs are productive, good mothers and milkers. It has good quality meat with very high dressing recovery percentage. It is excellent for cross-breeding.
Landrace – This is a light breed. It is white although you would commonly see black spots. It has a long body, square meat, short legs, ans medium to large drooping ears. They are good mothers, heavy milkers, and produce large litters from 14-18 piglets with very good growth rate and good food use. The thickness of the body and weak hind legs can be improved by crossbreeding with Large White or Duroc.
Yorkshire or Large White – It is heavy and is all white. The face is slightly couping and its ears are erect. They grow fast and give you high quality meat. They have string legs, are excellent mothers, have good character and wean from 10-12 piglets to a liter. It fine for them to be confined, have very good growth rate, and high feed conversion ratio.
Hypor – This is a hybrid. It was developed from four synthetic lines from carefully selected breeds. They are white with fairly long body. Ears are medium sized and drooping. They are good mothers, produce an average of 9 piglets to a liter. Have well muscled backs, well developed hams, and superb carcass quality.
Seigher – This fellow is from Belgium. It is entirely white with occasional black spots. Although they have weak feet, and they can’t adapt well to rugged conditions, they have well-developed body, well- muscled back, medium to large drooping ears, very good mothers, good milkers and meat quality. They also have high growth rate and feed conversion ratio.
Selection of Breed
These are the things you have to observe so you’ll know you have chosen to raise an animal with a good breed. This will help in the success of your production.
The genes of the animal helps a lot in the success or failure of your swine business. The environment, though, contributes, or otherwise, to the performance of you pigs. To improve your production through breeding, select the desired characteristics. Below is a summary of heritability estimates of characteristics of swine:
Trait and Heritability
- Length of body – High
- Length of legs – High
- Number of vertebrates – High
- Number of teats – High
- Conformation – High
- Carcass length – High
- Loin eye are – High
- Backfat thickness – High
- Percent lean cuts of liveweight – High
- Ham-loin index – High
- Weight of pig approximately 6 months – Moderate
- Rate of growth – Moderate
- Feed efficiency – Moderate
- Litter size of birth – High
- Litter size of weaning – High
- Weight of pig at birth – High
Choose a boar that has well-developed testicles. The size of the testicles is related to its ability to produce sperm. So do not allow boars that have defects in this area to reproduce, because this is highly hereditary.
A well-arched or straight back is good because it means the animal can move around well for mother pigs, a long body is good, along with even-distanced teats.
Your animal should also have good reproductive characteristics. If it gives birth to NOT less than 8 piglets/birth, it means it has high ovulation rate, low embryo deaths, can produce large quantities of milk, and is a good mother.
Good feed efficiency is also a good trait. This means, it is a trait of a good breed if there needs a lesser amount of feeds to have gain weight. This is trait can be inherited.
Housing and Facilities
Selection of Farm Site
Select a site that is well- ventilated and has good drainage. Damp and unhealthy environment makes the pigs prone to diseases.
Water is also important. The pigs needs lots of water for better performance, and water is also needed to maintain cleanliness and sanitation, as well as to keep the animals cool during warm weather. Put up your hog house in a place where not many visitor/ people go. And for good drainage, a slightly sloping area.
If yours is a backyard operations, you can use locally available materials for roofing, like bamboo, nipa, or anahaw. Use lumber or bamboo for sidings, and a concrete floor. Don’t use preservatives on the lumber as this may cause irritation to the animals. Put together in one pen the gestating, farrowing, and nursery pigs. Put together in another pen the growing and finishing animals.
For semi-commercial operations, make a piggery using more permanent materials such as concrete floors and walls, and galvanized iron sheets for the roof. In this pig house, make compartments a) where the pregnant animals stay until farrowing time, b) as a farrowing unit, c) as nursery unit where sows an piglets are kept until weaning, d) as growing unit where pigs are raised form weaning until they reach about 45 kgs. and e) as finishing unit where pigs are kept until they are ready to be marketed.
Plant trees around the area as windbreakers.
Age/Weight : 6-10 weeks(weaning to 35 kg)
Floor space (sq m): 0.5
Height of ceiling (cm): 75
Feeder/ WatererSpace (m): 0.2
Age/Weight : 10-15 weeks(36-60 kg)
Floor space (sq m): 0.7
Height of ceiling (cm): 85
Feeder/ WatererSpace (m): 0.3
Age/Weight : 15-20 weeks(61-90 kg)
Floor space (sq m): 1.0
Height of ceiling (cm): 100
Feeder/ WatererSpace (m): 0.4
The floor of your pen must be concrete, and should be slightly sloped to allow good drainage thus keeping the pen dry and free of organisms that might cause sickness to your animals. Don’t make you floor too rough as this may cause sores on the animals, and not too smooth because it will be slippery when wet and is dangerous for pregnant sows.
A farrowing stall reduces crushing of piglets. Put up a farrow stall by placing rails around the pen 20-25 cm from the walls and the floor. Waterers and feeders should be installed 30-40 cm high from the floor for breeders and growing finishing pigs, and 20 cm high for weanlings. Make sure that waterers and feeders hold at least the daily amount of water and feeds by needed by the animals.
Newly born pigs are not able to control their body temperatures until they are 2-3 days. Give the piglets heat by lighting them especially during cold days. Hang the lamp 40-70 cm above the floor, and adjust the height of the bulb upward as the piglets grow larger.
Marketing is the last activity you do in raising pigs for business. You should get up to date information of market prices of pork, or where it is needed and how much is needed (supply and demand information).
Hogs are usually sold to middlemen who in turn will act as buyers and sellers for big meat processors. But you can sell direct to these meat processors where you can bargain for a higher price for your produce. But here are tips in marketing your pigs:
a.sell your hogs when they reach 80-90 kilos. If they are heavier than the said weight, they may contain more fats.
b. Allow your mother pig to recover from the stress of milking before selling.
c. You can choose not to sell to middlemen. They are experts in the trade and usually, the producers are in the losing end because the prices are always underestimated.
d. Sell the hogs in weight basis and not in per head basis.