Pigs are one of the most controversial animals in these parts of the world. This animal has been associated with a lot negative ideologies around. It is even written in the bible that God send evil spirits to the pigs. It is said to be dirty, vicious and greedy animals. Well, all this are just ideologies. To start we will touch on pig production from different topics as follows:
- Pig anatomy:
Pigs do not have sweat glands, this means they do not produce any sweat to cool their bodies when it is very hot. So they tend to wallow in mud so that it cools off, then it is advisable that you find means of cooling them off during hot weathers. You can either spray them with tap water, provide fans or even make a mud puddle so that they can cool off in it and from there you can wash the mud off with clean water before they go into their pans.
Pigs are very big animals so they have to eat a lot to accommodate for the energy intake they need to support their growth. Feeding can be controlled so that even its weight can be maintained for good growth and for the requirements by the market.
Pigs have a rooting instinct, this means they dig in search of roots, tubers, fruits and other natural stuff for feeding, and hence this activity comes with becoming muddy or dirty. But this can be overcome by spraying or washing them with water before they enter their pans.
- Management of diseases:
Pigs are disease sensitive animals and hygiene is one of the highest practices that a farmer should practice when venturing into the production. They are associated with diseases like swine flu and some of the diseases are transmitted in faeces, tonsils and if no precautions are taken then they can end up having a serious infection of the disease.
- Systems for pig production:
The best system for keeping pigs is the all in all out system, where you keep the same age of the pigs and they all come in at the same time and they are all slaughtered/ taken out at the same time. This then means the breeding herd should be separated from the other herd.
- Breeding pigs:
The first step toward rearing healthy piglets is making sure the intended mother is mated! A gilt (a young female hog) should reach sexual maturity at five or six months of age. You can be sure that a sow’s in estrus (heat) if the female has a swollen vulva, slight mucus-like or bloody vaginal discharge, act restless, urinate frequently, twitch her tail, hold her ground when you press down on her hindquarters, or try to “ride” other sows.You should mate gilts on their first day of heat and older sows on the second day. (Both young and old sows should receive a second mating 24 hours after their first.) As for the male partners an 8- to 12-month-old boar can usually service 12 females in pasture or be “handmated” (matched individually in a barn) with 24 gilts or sows. A yearling (or older) boar can service 50 sows in stalls or 35 to 40 pasturing females.
- Products from pigs:
Meat from pigs is called pork and there are other products that can be made from pork being; bacon, ham and sausage. Fact: there is no part of the pork that is not edible. Every part of the pig is eaten and the method of preparation will depend on the cook. Pork is considered to be very succulent and tasty and can be used in place for beef.
The skin of the pig is used to make soft leather which is used to make hand bags, purses and wallets.
7.Breeds of pigs
There are different breeds of pigs and the distinction is made between the coloured and white breeds of pigs. Coloured breeds are considered to have better economic traits and faster growth while the white breeds are known for doing well in their mothering abilities hence they milk better than coloured breeds. Other breeds are tswana, large white, landrace to mention a few.