This is a continuation of part 1. See also How to Start a Pig Farm in Ghana 1 of 3.
Feeding your Pigs
Feeding is critical in pig farming because good and nutritious feed facilitates good production.
Good feed is necessary for growth, body maintenance and the production of meat and milk. You can use locally available feed that are less expensive, but can be nutritionally complete if prepared properly.
Pigs can eat and consume both meat and grains. You can feed your pigs with almost everything including roughage (eg grasses, tuber (eg Cassava), agricultural waste, stalk from beverage companies and leaves.
The nutritional needs of pigs can be divided into six categories or classes. These are water, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Don’t feed you pigs with these:
- Any meat products: includes pies, sausage rolls, bacon and cheese rolls, pizza, table scraps without proper cooking and screening.
- Any carcass or part of a carcass of any mammal or bird (raw and uncooked). This includes any meat blood, offal, hide or feathers. Pigs that feed on carcasses are also at risk of contracting diseases that are contagious to humans
- Any fish products and bones.
- Creep Feed is the baby piglets’ first and most important dry food. It contains 20% protein that is highly fortified with milk by-products and is available in small, chewable, highly palatable pellets for easy digestion.
- A combination of protein source, milk replacer, vitamins, amino acids and rich feed ingredients makes this complete feed the ideal start for young healthy piglets.
- Feed ingredients in descending order: corn, soya bean meal, barley, wheat bran, vegetable protein, oilseeds extracts, fatty acids, feed phosphate, pig vitamins, and trace minerals.
- Creep feed (about 20g per piglet per day) or a good home-made mixture with fine rice bran, broken rice and milled maize grains. Clean drinking water must always be available.
Feeds should meet the animal’s needs for maintenance, growth and reproduction. Good pig feed contains sufficient energy, protein, minerals and vitamins. Rice bran, broken rice, maize, soya-beans, cassava, vegetables and distillers’ residues are often used in pig feed.
|Energy source||Maize, cassava, guinea corn, maize bran, rice bran, pito mash, yam, cassava and plantain peels, corn cobs, groundnut skin, cocoa pod husk|
|Protein source||Fish meal, groundnut cake, copra cake, cotton seed cake, soyabean meal, ground nuts, brewers spent grain, palm kennel meal, cassava leaf meal|
|Mineral source||Common salt, bone meal, dicalcium phosphate, oyster shell|
|Vitamin source||Commercial vitamins, supplements fish meal, green forages and yellow maize|
Daily Feed Requirements
- Dry/pregnant Sows and Gilts: Dry sows and gilts require 2.5kg a day of sow and weaner meal. Give an extra 1kg/day one week before serving gilts and sows and one week after service. Give lactating sows 2.5 kg a day of sow and weaner meal for maintenance and 0.25 kg a day extra for each piglet being suckled.
- Boars: Give boars 2.0 kg a day. If the boar is regularly used increase this to 2.5 kg.
- Piglets: Give creep pellets 0.5 – 1.0 kg a day from day 7 up to weaning time (21 days) per piglet. The feed should be mixed with sow and weaner meal the last one week before weaning.
- Feeding of Growing and Finishing pigs: Pigs weaned at 3 – 5 weeks of 11 – 13 kg body weight should continue being fed on the starter diet until they reach 18 kg live weight. Pigs weaned at 7 weeks or older may be switched gradually to sow and weaner diet.
For growing or finishing pigs all ration changes should be made gradually. If this is not possible the feeding level of the new diet should be low until the pigs become accustomed to it. Where post-weaning scours are a major problem, restricted feeding during the first week after weaning may reduce the incidents of scours. For treatment in case of an outbreak of scouring, medication through drinking water is preferable since sick pigs go off feed.
Note that the feeding trough should be firmly anchored to the floor to prevent overturning and wasting of feed.
The feeding trough can also be used to supply water. At large farms automatic drinkers are used (called bowls or nipples).
All pigs need sufficient clean drinking water.
- A pregnant sow requires 10 – 12 litres of water per day.
- A lactating sow requires 20 – 30 litres of water per day.
- A growing pig requires 6 – 8 liters of water per day.
- A boar requires 12 – 15 liters of water per day.
Inadequate water for the pigs will reduce their daily feed intake. Ample clean water must be available for your pigs to drink at all times.
- Gestation period -3 months 3 weeks 3 days (114 days)
- Weaning – 6 weeks
- Maturity (sexuality) -6 months, gilts should be mated at 8-9 months of age i.e. 2nd or 3rd heat period
- Reproduction rate – 2 times in a year
- Average litter size – 8
- Heat period (when female will allow mating) 21 days cycle
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