Proper Management of Pig Breeding Stocks, Piglets, Weaners, Growing, and Finishing Pigs

Good management of pigs on the farm is essential for the profitability of the herd. The farmer must work hard to ensure that the well-being and productivity of his animals are realized.

Considering the huge investment involve a high degree of attention all aspect of management must be followed to ensure success.

Management of Pigs Considerations

1. Stockman ship

This refers to the relationship between the farmer and his pigs. The farmer should be friendly to his pigs and vigilant for any irregularities arising from them.

He should be able to pick any abnormality and act promptly to intervene as appropriately as possible. Where there is a need for veterinary assistance he should consult a veterinarian for help or advice.

2. Handling and restraint

The necessity of restraint arises because, unfortunately, all the animals do not reciprocate your love for them. The handling of animals is a major concern to the livestock industry, especially handling domesticated animals like pigs for routine management activities.

Large domesticated animals have to be handled with respect to their size, and this applies particularly when they are sick. Such animals may attack from a sense of frustration.

Pigs should be handled by the ears or by the hind legs above the hock. A twitch may be applied over the upper jaw behind the tusk and twisted for the purpose of restraint.

A pig-catcher has a loop, the size of which can be altered by means of a ratchet made wide and slipped over the snout, large pigs can also be handled by use of a piglet. Small pigs can be caught by the hind leg seized above the neck or by the ears.

Read Also: Nutrient Requirement of Pigs and Swine Feeding Methods

Proper Management of Pig Breeding Stocks, Piglets, Weaners, Growing, and Finishing Pigs
Proper Management of Pig Breeding Stocks, Piglets, Weaners, Growing, and Finishing Pigs
Securing veterinary treatment
Proper Management of Pig Breeding Stocks, Piglets, Weaners, Growing, and Finishing Pigs
Proper Management of Pig Breeding Stocks, Piglets, Weaners, Growing, and Finishing Pigs
Tethering

3. Hygiene

This is one of the important aspects of pig farming to prevent infection and ensure success and profitability.

Animals should be fed properly and an adequate amount of clean water given. Prevent food and water from being contaminated by animal feces. Isolate sick animals to prevent the spread of infection.

Maintain a safe environment by preventing pollution, and keep animals in dry clean places through periodic emptying and resting of each house. For the farrowing house, this should consist of a week’s rest in between each batch of farrowing sows.

For fattening pens, a five-day break after each group of fatteners is adequate. Immediately after it is empty, each pen should be thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned, washed and soaked in disinfectant, and allowed to remain dry for the remainder of the period that is empty.

Avoid stressing pigs through unnecessary handling and movements. Animals get infections and suffer more from diseases when they are stressed.

Read Also: Principles of Feeding Pigs and Feed Resources

Management of Breeding Stock

1. Selecting boar for service

Boars are selected following performance testing to ensure the efficient performance of their offspring. This include:

  • Faster growth rate than average
  • Has less back fat than average
  • Has eaten less food than average
  • It has utilized its feed more efficiently as a result of producing less fat.
  • Must have two equally sized and firmly suspended testicles and with good sexual libido
  • Has good conformation, strong straight feet, and a good temperament.
  • Young boars that are newly brought to the herd must be given the care to be able to adapt to their new environment.
  • They should be dewormed, sprayed/dipped against ectoparasites, and exercised daily to allow him to get used to his stockman as well as the sights and smells of the piggery. The boar should be fed to provide for continued growth, but should not be allowed to become fat and sluggish.

2. Mating conditions

Recent studies have indicated that where boars mating in their own pens displayed lower levels of sexual behavior than boars mating in the service pen.

This resulted in a lower percentage of gilts being mated in the boar pen. This has necessitated the use of a specifically designed service pen.

Frequency of use and boar-to-sow ratio;

  • A boar should not start serving until he is over eight months of age; and during the first two months of service, only twice per week. Subsequently, he can be used for up to six services per week.
  • Overworking a boar will reduce the quality of the sperm produced, leading to small litters and an increased number of sows returning to service.
  • The standard recommendation is one boar to 20 sows and gilts. The first service after a rest period should not be counted as the semen may not be fertile.
  • Considerable exercise is necessary to prevent the development of leg weakness. It may be necessary to trim the boar’s feet regularly.

Management of Gilts/Sows

The major objective of gilt- management should be to induce all replacement gilts to reach puberty as soon as possible after selection. This will allow the following objectives to be achieved:

  • Disposing of gilts that are not showing any breeding activity at an early stage.
  • Access to a pool of young, sexually-active gilts;
  • Gilts will be in their second heat or more at first mating thereby increasing the first litter –size.
  • Gilts and sows will tend to get too fat if they are not allowed enough exercise. A fat sow takes longer to come on heat and is more likely to crush her young piglets.
  • Sexual maturity occurs as early as 4 or 5 months, but the first service should not be until 8 months when the weight should be 10-130 kg. A sow has a productive life of four to five years.

Read Also: Different Systems of Pig Production for Optimum Performance

In conclusion, proper management of each class of pigs on the farm is essential for the profitability of the herd. The farmer must make every effort to ensure that the well-being and productivity of his animals are achieved.

Consideration for management of pigs includes a) stockman ship which refers to the relationship between the farmer and his pigs. b) Handling and restraint: The necessity of restraint arises because, unfortunately, all the animals do not reciprocate your love for them. c) Hygiene:

This is one of the important aspects of pig farming to prevent infection and ensure success and profitability.

Boars are selected following performance testing to ensure the efficient performance of their offspring. This include, a faster growth rate than average with less back fat than average, It has utilized its feed more efficiently as a result of producing less fat, must have two equally sized and firmly suspended testicles, and good sexual libido also good conformation, strong straight feet, and good temperament.

A boar should not start serving until he is over eight months of age; and during the first two months of service, only twice per week. Subsequently, he can be used for up to six services per week.

Overworking a boar will reduce the quality f the sperm produced, leading to small litters and an increased number of sows returning to service. The standard recommendation is one boar to 20 sows and gilts.

Piglets should be provided with warmth in the form of beddings made up of wood shavings or hay. In humid areas, they should be put in a well-ventilated pen. Farmers should make sure their piglets have taken colostrums ‘the first milk’ which is rich in various nutrients and antibodies except for iron and copper.

Young piglets from 10 days onwards should have a high protein diet available to them. This has to be fed in a small creep (creep feeding) or area where the mother cannot eat the feed.

Weaning is the separation of a young piglet from its mother with the aim of stopping them from suckling milk. This could take place between 4 to 6 weeks of their life. At this age, the piglets will eat feed and fend for themselves.

By the 8-9 weeks of age, the growing pig is over the stress of weaning, and its digestive system will be competent to deal with a range of protein and energy sources some 80% of the food used in a pig unit is consumed by the growing and finishing pigs, therefore the efficiency of food utilization during this phase is a crucial factor affecting profitability.

Read Also: Complete Piglets Management Tips and Care Guide

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Benadine Nonye

An Agric. Consultant & a Writer (With over 12 years of professional experience in the agricultural industry) - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education... Visit My Websites On: Agric4profits.com - It's All About Agriculture, The Way Forward! Agric4profit.com - The Most Reliable Global Agricultural Forum! Agric4profit.com.ng - The Most Reliable Nigeria's Agricultural Job Board! TheAgriPedia.com - For Everything Premium Agriculture! WealthinWastes.com - For Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices. Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4ProfitsTV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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