Pigs also known as swine/hog are domestic animals within the family suidae considered a taboo to the Muslims. Pigs also known as swine are scientifically referred to as Sus domesticus. The male ones are referred to as boar and female ones saw. The life span of a pig is 9 years. They are simple stomached animals and they can be kept indoor or out.
Pork contains very important food values to all ages including children, adults and olds. As a result, it is a recommended part of the meal to all. Pork contains six essential vitamins including, vitamins B1, 2, 3 and 6, four important minerals, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and zinc, protein and energy.
They are three major types of pigs reared in Uganda. While preparing to rear pigs, choose the type depending on the size and the number of piglets it can bear.
• Large white: This breed is white in colour, has erect ears and a ditched face. Although it is not quick in maturing, it is a good feed converter. Land race: This breed is white in colour 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 is mainly used for bacon.
• Crossbreed: Cross breeding is practiced because it combines the desirable traits in the parent breeds into one animal. The major traits to consider are fast growth rate, good feed efficiency, resistant diseases and good litter size and mothering ability.
• Hampshire breed: This is black in colour with a white belt around the shoulder fore quarters. It is medium size breed with a straight face, erect ears, good nursing ability and produces an excellent lean carcass
• Duroc breed: This breed mahogany to red in colour. It is has good mothering ability. It is resistant to stress and adaptable to various environmental conditions and is very useful in crossbreeding programs.
A good site for pig rearing should have the following in place:
The house must be constructed at a well drained clean ground on a gentle slope 30m away from the main house where culture accommodates the presence of pigs. This is because if the house is not well cleaned, they may emit a smell. Also because they are considered as a taboo to some people.
The place must be accessible for the people working on the farm and must be in an area where it is easy to deliver incoming feeds and other farm inputs Because pigs need enough water for drinking, the house should be constructed near a permanent source of water. They should also be constructed near enough roughage and closer to the market Drainage from the piggery must not be allowed to enter a running stream. This is to control water pollution.
Pigs require worm dry housing free from dust as they easily get pneumonia. The floor should be well drained and concreted and not too close to dwelling houses.
To shelter pigs several building styles can be used as indicated below.
Build a temporary house using timber cut offs to fence the shelter house. Ensure enough ventilation and the floor should be strong, concrete and drenched outside to allow drainage of urine, feces and easy cleaning. Construct a house using bricks, cement, sand, and timber and iron sheets to make a compartment of 4x6 depending on the number of pigs. It should be above the ground level from 21/2 to 31/2 ft above the ground this helps the pig to be cleaned. If the land is flat, use 21/2 if sloping 21/2 3-4 on lower side and 2 on upper sides with enough space for feeding and drinking.
Build a semi permanent structure using timber poles, grass, banana fibers or iron sheets to cover it and then make a hard floor. Ensure that the roof is high enough in case of hot environments to allow air circulation
Breeding and mating is one of the activities that a farmer will carry out on almost a day to day basis. Farmers must check on the pigs in the breeding herd to ensure that they know the gilt or sow on heat and give them the male.
Breeding is of two types.
Pen breeding where a boar is left with a group of sows as opposed to keeping the boar in a pen to which sows on heat are brought for service. Hand breeding, this where the pig on heat is taken to the boar for service. A female and male pig matures at 8 - 11 months depending on the care given.
If poorly fed, pigs remain undersized and will delay to mature.
A boar should not start mating until it is more than 8 months of age and during the first 2 months of mating it should mate only twice a week. A healthy saw is able to breed for 3 to 4 years. After that, it becomes less productive as it grows.
While selecting animals to mate:
- Count the number of breasts, the more the breasts the more the piglets borne.Select good gilts with 12 tits
- Select a boar of sound fit
- Avoid diseased boars •
- Take note of the mother pig of the boar (male pig) •
- Ensure it is a big sized type •
- Check the testacles as small ones are a sign of poor quality off springs
- • Ensure the female is fully on heat.
SIGNS OF HEAT:
- Mounting crops
- Loss of appetite
- Backs and behaves cruel
- White mucus from the vulva Issues to note
- Let the sow sleep with the male at least for a night to allow proper fertilization.
- While transporting saws to be fertilized, avoid rough environment as this scares the animals.
- Avoid over feeding as when too fat it may fail to conceive. Also over feeding after mating can cause much warmth in the body which affects the eggs in the womb causing abortion during the gestation period give extra 1/2 kg of food to the 3 kg given every day.
- Pigs of the same breed must not mate as this leads to poor quality off springs.
- Immediately after mating, don’t give the pig much food as it may have a burning effect on the eggs in side because it will then be too warm. Gestation The gestation period of a pig is 112 to 115 days. (Add 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days from the day the saw conceives) This allows the sow to reproduce 2 to 3 times a year. Make proper records from the start of pig rearing.
- SIGNS OF GESTATION:
- The sow becomes very weak esteem
- Bulging of the belly Signs of heat
- Raised tail and shaking of the tail especially when you touch it on the loin.
- Becomes hostile or restless, moaning and jumping on other pigs.
- Provocative urination in presence of a male.
- Slightly red and swollen vulva.
- Loss of appetite.
- Add some dry rubbish/litter two weeks before birth for soft landing of piglets.
- Remove piglets as they are born and allow breast feeding.
- Provide oxygen to the piglet immediately.
- Don’t remove the piglets as it may fail to recognize them and lead to rejection by the mother.
- After birth, remove the rubbish and add fresh ones for the piglets to sleep on.
- Ensure a clean environment.
- Remove the piglets from the mother every night so as the mother pig is not over strained.
- Weaning off the piglets should be gradual.
- Complete weaning off is recommended at 2 months as these are more resistant to diseases and mature faster than those which have not got enough breast feeding.
- Feed piglets 3 times a day.
NB: Saws can get pregnant again after 1 month.
- To feed pigs, provide them with a variety of feeds such as food leftovers, potato veins, supplementary feeds millers wastes, maize bran wheat bran and enough clean water for drinking.
- Give pregnant saws well balanced food. This may contain maize bran or any cooked food, small fish or bones, anthill soil and ash. Give 3 kg of food in the morning, lunch and the same for supper
- Feed the animal 3 times a day, with lots of water
- Avoid over cooking the food and add a little salt for an extra taste
- The food should be a little warm
- Clean, cool, good quality water needs to be available at all times
- Each pig requires adequate access to feeds. Poor access to feed will produce uneven growth. Where troughs are used, space required per pig ranges from 0.15 m a pig at eight weeks, to 0.25 m for grower pigs and 0.3 m for finishers. Breeding stock require 0.45 m/pig.
- Growers and finishers should have one drinker per 10-15 pigs on average. A trough of 1 1/2 m wide to 2m and 1 1/2 ft deep is recommended. Provide more drinkers in hot environments. A minimum of two drinkers per enclosure is recommended
- What a pig eats within 10 minutes is just enough for it ever
- Feed gestation pigs 2 cups (1kg) of food per day until one week before furrowing. Give other adult pigs one and a half cups per day. It is advisable that for abreast feeding saw ¼ per piglet of what it used to eat before birth is added.
- In addition to the recommended diet, add a variety of fresh vegetables (leaves) to make up about 25% of the pig's diet.
- Avoid food with excess salt to prevent salt poisoning
- Avoid food that contains pork products and bones to prevent spread of diseases.
- If the pig’s ribs, hip bones and/or backbone are seen, the food given is not enough, add more
The following are important tips to note in order to raise healthy pest and disease free pigs
- De-worm boars - every 6 months, sows -2 weeks before furrowing to avoid giving birth to piglets with worms. De -worm again after weaning. piglets 1 week after weaning then fattening stock at 4 moths.
- Control external parasites by spraying lice, ticks and fleas because these may spread diseases. This can be done by smearing animals with tephrosia powder mixed with water at a ratio of 1/2kg to 2litres of water at 2 weeks interval
- Always disinfect the pen using a mixture of omo and water before new pigs are introduced to prevent contamination.
- Repair the floor where ever necessary to avoid very rough surface which may lead to foot rot and wounds.
- Ensure good hygiene in the house.
- Wean piglets at 2 months. This should be done gradually so as piglets can get used to the food.
- Transfer expecting pigs to a furrow pen at 7 days before giving birth.
- Give iron injection to piglets at 1st week to prevent anemia infection.
- Provide scratching poles as pig’s body irritates or use a brush to groom it, this removes some parasites.
- Keep record of the pigs for treatment and other services.
- Always avoid bringing /buying affected meat especially by swine fever.
- Don’t allow visitors at the site anyhow to avoid contamination.
COMMON DISEASES: PREVENTION & MANAGEMENT
DISEASE 1: SWINE FEVER
- Swine dysentery affects all ages but most severe in young pigs;
- Yellowish Diarrhoea stained with blood and mucous in it.
- Animals may show signs of fever
- Loss of appetite and failure to eat
- Increase in body temperature.
- Diarrhea with blue greenish color.
- Blood oozes at the back of the ears.
- Excess thirst.
- Death in severe cases
• Avoid human visitors to the animal sties to avoid spread of the disease.
• prevention keep hygiene in the house
• Avoid giving pigs leftover bones and blood to feed on. Especially from pigs
• Avoid mixing sick animals with the healthy ones.
• Avoid rearing animals on a free range system. This will help to avoid contact with wild animals that may spread the disease
• Keep the pigs indoors to avoid contamination
• Dig a hole under a shade of a tree and always keep it wet
• Don’t throw bones any how because this may lead to pigs eating them
• Good feeding to boost immunity.
- Isolate the sick animals
- Destruction of affected stock
- Separate different ages of pigs
- Give the rest medicine and allow proper rest.
- Don't mix infected pigs with healthy ones.
- Burn and bury the carcasses of dead pigs.
- Newly purchased pigs should be quarantined for 2-3 weeks
- Diseased animals should not be eaten.
- Crush a handful of cinchona weed leaves + 1 liter of water. Give the pigs 1 cup to drink twice a day for 7 days.
DISEASE 2: HOG CHOLERA
- Unable to move.
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Avoid moving sick animals.
- Avoid giving pigs leftover bones and blood to feed on.This helps to avoid contamination.
- Avoid human visitors to the animal sties.
- Provide human urine
DISEASE 3: TETENUS
- Biting jaws.
- Avoid poor castration.
- Avoid rust materials.
- Improved hygiene.
Consult the nearest agriculture extension worker as soon as it is recognized or suspected.
DISEASE 7: FOOTROT
Foot rot is a disease that attacks animals staying or grazing in wet or muddy areas causing damage to the hooves. Foot rot is caused by bacteria of the fusiformis group and is more common during wet periods especially when animals graze in stagnant mud and water.
- Hooves + animal skin weaken making it easy for bacteria to penetrate due to injury.
- Swelling of the feet.
- Reluctant to walk.
- Mild fever
- Unclean smell
- Sores in the hooves.
- Lameness mild to severe.
- Emits a strong bad smell.
- Animals are reluctant to walk.
• Ensure dry animal kraals / pens.
• Proper manure disposal.
• Routine trimming off and examination of feet.
• Provide pigs with foot bath every week. This is done by providing water mixed with a disinfectant like omo.
• Clean hooves with a brush and clean water
• Remove the affected part if rotten
• Isolate the animal
• Squeeze a handful of endod leaves and rub the affected area.
DISEASE 7: SWINE ERYSIPELAS (DIAMOND SKIN)
This is an infectious disease affecting mainly young pigs.
- Sudden death.
- Loss of appetite
- Skin lesions
- lameness due to swollen joints may occur
Consult the nearest veterinary worker.
- Dirty places.
- Overcrowding of stock.
- Exposure to wet conditions.
- Swollen head.
- Loss of appetite.
- Incumbency (okutundama)
- Routine management of house.
- Management of feed and water troughs.
- Don’t feed on wet grass.
- Provide enough space.
- House should be well ventilated.
- Keep piglets adequately.
- Worm and clean housing.
- Provide litter in the house.
This is highly an infectious virus disease which may be confused with foot and mouth disease. The infection is mostly raw garbage containing infected pork .Its more severe in young pigs.
- Blisters on the feet snout, lips, gums, and tongue.
- Pigs may show fever
- Loss of appetite
- Breeding and abortion of near time sows
- Avoid feeding pigs with pork scrap
- Maintain hygiene
- Cook garbage before feeding to the pigs
Isolate affected animals, quarantine
HYPOGLYCEMA (BABY PIG DISEASE/ 3 DAYS DISEASE)
This is a bacteria disease which occurs in the first few days of a pig’s life.
- Erection of the hair
- crying Weakness
- Fall in temperature
- Uncoordinated eye balls
- Twisted neck
- Death with in 24 to 28 hours
- Feed pigs affected with glucose and provide warmth.
- Provide warmth for pigs furrowed in cooler season.
Visit the nearest health work.
This is a pig disease that causes a severe swelling of the large intestine with a bloody mucous diarrhea. It survives out side the pig for 7 days.
- Diarrhea with blood and mucous.
- Keep hygiene in the pens.
- Quarantine animals from moving.
- Isolate sick animals.
Use of antibiotics will reduce death losses.
GENERAL CONTROL OF DISEASES
- Isolate infected animals.
- Never make sudden feed changes.
- Avoid overcrowding and poor sanitation in intensive production systems which often lead to disease..
- Control movement of animals.
- Water, feed troughs and beddings should be always clean.
- Practice maximum hygiene.
- Provide the animals with enough food and drinks.
COMMON PESTS: PREVENTION & MANAGEMENT
PEST 1: TICKS
A ticks is a small, round, parasitic pest that stick to an area of the host, insert its head under the skin sucking out blood. They are of different types e.g. the blue tick, brown ear tick, ambylomma, red legged tick.
- Cause itching and irritation, blood loss
- May spread east coast fever, heart water and red water diseases.
- Death especially with hybrids.
PREVENTION & CONTROL
- Maintain sanitation in animal houses
- Clear bushes surrounding the grazing areas
- Avoid mixing animals from different areas
- Avoid mixing infected animals with normal ones as this may lead to infection of others
Crush 500 grams of young, dried tephrosia leaves in 10 litres of water and, mix in 200g bar soap to make a spray against them. These help to break the life cycle of the ticks there by preventing more spread.
Dip or spray the animals at least once a week.
PEST 2: LICE
Lice are small, insect like soft bodied parasites that live mainly on the skin or hair of animals and humans sucking out blood. They may be black or white.
- Body itching and irritation.
- Skin rash.
PREVENTION & CONTROL
Keep the house clean all the time with no dust. Dirt acts as a breeding ground for lice.
Get tephrosia and add water 1-2 parts of water to 1kg pounded leaves into 2liters of water and smear on the infected animal.
Fleas are small 1.5 to 3.3 mm long, dark coloured wingless insects with tube-like mouthparts which feed on blood of their hosts. They attack livestock and cause irritation, itching and anemia.
- Standing hair
Keep the pigs’ house clean all the time especially with no dust.
Get dry ash and smear on the body after cleaning it at least once a week.
PEST 3: WORMS
A worm is an elongated soft-bodied invertebrate animal that attack animals
- Poor hygiene like Dirty (Contaminated) places, water and food.
- Contaminated grass with larvae.
- Failure to de-worm animals on time.
- Swelling of the stomach.
- Loss of appetite.
- Larvae found in feaces
- Animals may refuse to eat.
- Rough coat
- • Standing hair
• Coughing incase of lungworms
PREVENTION & CONTROL
- De-worm at least every after 3 months after weaning.
- Decongest (reduce numbers) to allow proper spacing for better hygiene.
- Animals should eat at the right time to avoid eating un wanted feeds.
- Avoid feeding them on wet grass because these may have larvae
- Keep pigs in doors to avoid eating contaminated dirty food.
- Use boiled food.
- Get leaves of marijuana and cook, then give solution to the pigs to de-worm.
- Get pawpaw seeds or peel un ripe paw paws dry, grind and mix 2 table spoons with food. Give twice a day in the morning and evening for 7 days.
- Boil emolokony (cow’s legs) and give the animals to drink the soup.
- Get a handful of fresh moringa leaves and mix with pig feeds.
- Get aloe Vera, add water, cook and give as drinking water.
- Get 2 handfuls of asthma weed, add 2 liters of water and boil for 30 minutes. Leave it to cool then give the animal 1/2 a mug 2 times i.e. morning and evening for 7 days.
Jiggers are small insects which result from fleas. They enter the body of the animal and suck out blood causing anemia and irritation.
- Rotting of the feet.
Keep hygiene in the house and remove all the dust to destroy the breeding grounds.
Get 1kg of ripe endod (olwoko), crush to a paste then smear on the areas affected with jiggers atleast once a week until the animal heals.
URINE AND DUNG
Get 2 cups of pig urine; mix with a handful of crushed neem tree leaves and spray on crops to repel pests.
- Keep records of activities carried out on the farm.
- Don’t sale animals which are not in good health.
- Inspection should be done before slaughter.
NEVER EAT dead animals.
post harvest handling
Pork is obtained and can be fried or roasted on fire