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Pig Farming: Useful Tips
#1
I'm not a pig farmer, but I will be one someday. Here are some useful info I got  around the net.

The Pig Farmers Arena Whatsup Group: https://chat.whatsapp.com/IK2ErWI2xIeBzCOPggZVs2

Lesson 115

PIGS SALES SCAM ALERT!!!

Hello great minds, I discovered a new scam ongoing in the piggery sales sector and I want to alert potential  sales of pigs to this new system. It involves the use of this so called 300kg or 500kg hanging scales

Some agents of pigs go about with this type of scales and when they get to your farm while scaling with it, they expertly manipulate the scales with a little rubber tied to the back of the scale in such a way that pigs that is supposed to weigh 62kg can weigh 48 kg now.

They are even very wicked removing as much 25kg from pigs weighing over 150kgs


They know approximately what kgs they are pulling out and after they ask the buyer to do kill and divide with them.

So if you are selling maybe 4000kgs now ,you might end up collecting cash for 3450kg ,the remaining 550kgs will be shared by the buyer and the agents.

I think this is very wicked and despicable.

How would the farmer recover his expenses? How can the agent even have more pigs to sell later self.?

As soon as the agent told me about this on my trip to purchase, I tactically told the farmers to go and get thier scales and not to allow any agent near it.


Even if they are using your own, they know how to manipulate the scale to give a smaller readings.


So don't allow the buyer or agent get near your hanging scales if you want to sell and don't have a walk in scale.

Always be extra vigilant especially while dealing with ogun state and Lagos and Ibadan axis agents.

Get your scales and your scaling boys yourself.

Just thought this will be worth sharing since my conscience won't allow me to keep quiet in this midst of this day light robbery.
Thank you and pls share if you know other ways farmers are being scammed of thier money.
Reply
#2
Breeding the most important aspect of livestock farming..... important because is signifies multiplication and continuity of the farmer's herd


Once a farmer can get breeding right, every other thing falls into place. Infact, breeding practices, to a very great extent, determine the quality and vitality of the next generation of a farmers herd

Its quite unfortunate that a lot of 'breeders' dont usually have standard practices for breeding..... infact most farms don't have a standard practice for anything.

This is very worrisome, especially if we are to take pig farming seriously and transform it from being a hobby to being a business that is profitable and sustainable.

 What can a farmer do ensure breeding is done the right way?

: Here are the best things to do if you consider following the breeding route:

: ▪︎If you are raising breeders from weaners (either bought or born on your farm), select females that are bigger, healthier, more shapely and have more teats than the others. These characteristics will ensure that their offspring follow after them. Fine animals born fine animals.... ugly animals do the same??‍♂️

Don't use any weaner that has had defects from birth or weaning as a breeder.... including runts, hernia, weakness, frequent illness or any abnormalities.

Select weaners from sows that give birth to larger litters..... I advise 10 and above as the standard. This affects generations of sows; offspring tend to farrow like their mothers. Sows that farrow large litters have female children that do same.

Please stop that nonsense talk about 6 piglets being a good thing.... it is not, it is rubbish. Any sow that gives all those small numbers is useless to you and should be culled after the second attempt. I won't discuss this today..... we will talk about this whenever we are discussing finances and Profitability for pig farming

When selecting boars from your weaners, select bigger boars and fine ones like you select females. More importantly, select the males that always try to mount other animals.... they are very sharp and will likely cross gilts/ sows immediately they are placed together

Their testicles should be balanced and complete, they should have good gait and good body...... beautiful and well muscled is the apt term that comes to my mind

Note that Males are very key in the breeding process...... very key.

It is always funny when I see farmers overpricing gilts and relegating boars???when in reality, its boars that do a lot of heavy pulling

One of these days we will have a genetics company hold a meeting with us so we can understand the dynamics of breeding to a large extent

These criteria listed should also be used when purchasing animals from other farms.... don't just buy anything anyone throws at you.... check the quality of the animal. I always cringe when I see ugly animals being put up for sale or bought by people, and I am like, wetin be diswan??. Worse still is when they tag such animals as pure or related to pure ????wahala

When breeding, don't ever breed animals that are related in anyway, whether by father, mother, son, daughter or whatever...... males and females must always be of different stock to avoid inbreeding and the horrible stories that follow it.
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#3
Now that we have covered the basics of what to do in selection, we move to prebreeding rules.

In Nigeria, we have all manner of animals due to the crazy crossings our animals have undergone over the years.??? so, since many types of animals have passed thru us, and after tinkering for years, we have come hp with a standard rule to help breeding..... this is *The PFA Rule*?

1. All gilts come on heat at 6 months for the first time. Avoid crossing at first heat and wait till 3rd heat, by which time she will be approximately 8 months, for sanity sake (make I no confuse us small)

This means that even if you bought weaners or growers, and u don't know know age, as most farmers can sabi lie about animal ages, check heat...... the first time ur gilt comes on heat, it is 6 months old, simple!

2. Cross animals at 55kg. Don't cross animals under that weight, even if they are 10months..... this means that no matter what you do as a farmer, by 8 months old, ur animals should have attained a weight of 55kg. This should not be a problem if you know what you are doing feedwise. Infact, if you are raising ur breeders as a generation of your animals, u should hit around 70kg plus by this age

 Why cross animals at that weight?? The bigger the animal, the more piglets it can carry and the bigger the piglets it will carry..... imagine an animal of 40kg carrying 10 piglets. With a standard expected birth weight of 1kg for our breed of animals, can u expect the gilt to carry 10kg pregnancy?? Doesn't make sense right?? That's like ¼ of her body weight, which is impossible

For better quality piglets and for our to be able to wean animals of standard weight in a short while (more of that in another class), u need a birth weight of 1kg minimum ergo mothers must have weight to carry the piglets

: 3. Boars should be the same weight as the gilts and should be of the same size with the gilts

Now, this brings us to that talk people bring about boars being bigger or smaller than sows and its an annoying topic..... all boars and sows of a group should be of same age and size...... when clearing the sows, clear out boars and get replacement boars and sows..... that's how it should be done

Carrying boars to cross all age and size ranges is not good management. If a boar is too big or small, dispose of it and get another suitable one..... please

Now, ur animals are healthy, beautiful, cute, 8 months old, in their third heat, at 55kg weight and ready to cross....

What next now??
Reply
#4
Inject boars and sows with dewormer prior to mating *(Levamisol is the dewormer of choice for endoparasites, not Ivermectin, but use both)*. This kills worms and helps induce heat in females. Sometimes we use sugar (50-100g for 3 days) to make heat in gilts strong but recently, we changed our policy to use *Estrumate or Estradiol.*

Estrumate/ Estradiol helps synchronise heat of ur animals, makes them more fertile and helps them produce more eggs. Once injected, all gilts/sows will come on heat within 2 days and together, so u can plan ur crossing as u wish

After deworming, place boars and sows for breeding in pens close to each other..... don't place them inside same pens please, for precision sake.

Now there is a difference between coming on heat and coming on standing heat?

When gilts come on heat, they begin to show the usual signs of heat...... restlessness, tendency to mount other females, swollen vulva..... However, gilts don't enter standing heat till five days after they first started showing heat

So, as a farmer, sometimes u get shocked that ur gilt is on heat but when placed with the boar, babe no gree for guy..... don't overthink. She isn't on standing heat. So wait till after five days, but so as not to miss it, keep moving the gilt everyday into the boar room till she stands

Sows on the other hand enter standing heat once they come on heat.... sharply, they get crossed

 Rule: Move gilts/ sows into boar rooms, not the other way round..... pigs are territorial and boars should be where they feel the most comfortable

Immediately after crossing, move females out to their place and mark the date. Using the chart, mark the expected date of farrow. Wait for another 21 days to confirm if they come back on heat. If they don't, they are pregnant and after another 2 weeks, u can see them taking shape

2 weeks before farrow, ensure that all sows are placed in individual rooms so they can be comfortable. During pregnancy, if u place sows together, ensure u check them and separate trouble makers who might stress others

Days before farrow, ensure that the room is always dry and warm.

What medication do you give to pregnant pigs??

▪︎Iron every 2 weeks till farrow
▪︎Bcomplex everytime you discover sow feeding drops or if sow is stressed. Bcomplex contains B9, folate, which helps fetal development.

On the farrow day, pigs usually farrow late evenings and through the night..... I can't say I have experienced a full bright daylight birth. So it is usual for u to come the next day and see the tiny ones all out (they almost always don't have birthing complications)

Medications to give newly farrowed sows

▪︎2ml oxytocin 
▪︎5ml iron
▪︎5ml multivite 
▪︎5ml bcomplex on day 2

 Medications to give piglets at birth (pls orally)

▪︎1ml iron
▪︎1ml LA oxytetracycline 
▪︎1ml multivite

It's not advisable to inject piglets under 7 days old
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#5
For external deworming..... Use Levamisol for internal

If you have an injured Pig? use LA, bcomplex, multivite and iron to treat such cases immediately they occur


Give LA, multivite and iron first day
Second day give just bcomplex
48 hrs later give LA and multivite 
Next day give bcomplex 
Next 48hrs give LA and multivite 
Next day give bcomplex 

Discontinue use of other drugs. Whenever a pig has an injury, the first injections of choice should always be *LA and multivite* because sepsis from bacterial infection is the major killer of pigs that get injured esp in fights.

Must Haves in Your Arsenal if You Must Run A Productive Farm*

*DRUGS*

▪︎LA Oxytetracycline (I only recommend Tridox Brand)
▪︎Multivitamin
▪︎Iron (if Dextran, better)
▪︎Levamisol Dewormer. (Immunosol is preferred)
▪︎Ivermectin Dewormer (I only recommend Kepromec)
▪︎Oxytocin (if you are a breeder)
▪︎Dexamethasone (as a steroid not for weight gain)
▪︎Bcomplex 
▪︎Procaine Penicillin 
▪︎Streptomycin powder
_(If you can get penstrep suspension, it works to replace Procaine Penicillin and Streptomycin powder as it is a mix of both)_
▪︎Tetracycline capsules (packs)
▪︎Flagyl tablets (packs)
▪︎Estradiol/Estrumate (If you are intentional about synchronised breeding for efficiency)
▪︎Tylosan 

*SUPPLEMENTS*

▪︎Lysine
▪︎Methionine 
▪︎Premix
▪︎Toxin Binder 
▪︎Salt

*TOOLS*

▪︎5ml and 10ml syringes
▪︎Small needles (green head) for Small pigs, Big needles (pink/ yellow head) for big animals 
▪︎Teeth clipper for piglets teeth (very key)
▪︎Weighing scale (hanging, table, floor, walk-in, whatever)

*SURFACTANTS

▪︎Diesel (very important weapon for combating and fixing skin related issues)
▪︎Bleach (Hypo, Jik)
▪︎Detergent or Liquid Soap
▪︎Formaldehyde (In moments of disease outbreak)
▪︎Caustic Soda (In moments of disease outbreak)
Reply
#6
Care for piglets

Deworming before crossing, giving iron injections to the pregnant sow every two weeks and bcomplex every other day ensures that piglets grow fine and healthy and that every one born is born alive.


For our environment, we have decided that the best birth weight of piglets should be a minimum of 900grams..... 1kg to 1.1kg birthweight is excellent; and yes, you should weigh ur animals at birth so that u are sure that you are doing it right

To get weight of piglets up while in pregnancy, try feeding the sow richer and more feed during the third month of pregnancy. Instead of 2.5kg feed, you can give 3kg daily for the entire third month and the quality of feed should be that of fattening as against maintenance. Then three weeks before farrow, drop feed back to the usual.

 Also note that, like we observed on the last class, bigger sows tend to be able to carry heavier piglets. So ensure you hit the 55kg benchmark before crossing to maximise the expected birthweight

 Once piglets are born, they must be given same day:

1ml LA Oxytetracycline to guard against scours
1ml iron to guard against anaemia 
1ml multivitamin to boost their appetite 

All must be administered orally

We clip their teeth at day 3 and administer another 1ml iron.

Teeth must be clipped to prevent them wounding their faces when they are playing, cos pigs are very aggressive players. Injuries can turn septic and kill affected piglets.

 Watch out for scours (diarrhoea). If you aren't observant, u may not notice they are stooling because some sows diligently clean up after their piglets and by the time you know, it might be too late

Diarrhoea is the biggest killer of piglets..... so the need to vigilantes and vigorously guard against it is very necessary
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#7
Note the following about ur piglets from day 1:

▪︎Activity: They should always be active and playful. Whenever they finish sucking,they should sleep off, not keep crying as if they are hungry

▪︎Size: They must gain weight and look bigger daily, not lose weight. The moment u discover they start losing weight, find out the problem immediately.... is it poor lactation?? Diarrhoea?? Illness??

▪︎Skin tone: Their skin should always be smooth, clear and fine. Once the skin starts becoming leathery like an old man's and is wrinkled unnecessarily,  dehydration has set in from a complication.... death is around the corner.

Pig farming, I always say, is 60% observation. Watch and vigorously attack immediately

Where lactation is a problem, act on the issue...... do you distribute piglets to other lactating sows?? Treat the sow affected while giving the piglets milk replacers till she takes over again??

Where scours (diarrhoea) is the issue, immediately attack with Tetracycline and Flagyl mixed in water (~1cap,1tab,1ml per piglet) for three days till the scours end

Avoid bathing them directly for the first week (if you can), especially in cold weather. If u can, get a corner for them and put wood shavings so they can always go and keep warm. 

In all, keep their room tidy and dry. The cleaner the environment, the more difficult it will be for unnecessary infection to affect them

By the end of day 7, exactly, piglets start picking. U can go the creep feed way. We don't do creep feed; the energy to expend in creating space for them and compounding a different feed type, has proven to be unnecessarily cumbersome for us, so the trick for us is to just ensure that the sow's feed is as rich as fatteners diet; then they pick and grow appropriately

 If u can feed your sow well, ensure that your piglets are healthy and pick rich feed, they should add around 1.5 to 2kg weekly and by the end of week 5, they should have a attained an average weight of 7kg

Maximum, that weight should be attained in week 6, no later

Wean at 7kg. But the best part is if u can get 7kg in 5 or 6 weeks. Piglets at that weight convert better and reach market weight faster.

In Nigeria, the average weaning weight is 4kg at 8 weeks..... so poor and it creates weaners that have a hard time adjusting to life, especially if they have to travel across state lines to new farms.

 So note tonight that u don't wean by age, you should wean by weight. Knowing that u have to wean by weight will push u to shorten the wait time to get the weight. At the beginning of our quest, we were doing it in 8 weeks. We shortened to 6 weeks, we are doing 5 weeks and I am looking for ways to push it down to 4 weeks.

Weigh ur piglets every week till u wean so u can make adjustments as necessary to their feed and lifestyle. And keep weighing weekly till the weaners hit 25kg. That is u weigh even after weaning to ensure that growth is upward, not stagnant or reversing

Wean before afternoon..... the earlier, the better so u can watch them for a better part of the day. Upon weaning, immediately give 

1ml LA Oxytetracycline 
1ml iron 
1ml multivite

All as injection, not oral anymore

Next day, give 0.5ml Levamisol dewormer in the morning before feeding them..... deworm the sows same time to prepare them for recrossing in a few days.

 Third day, give the weaners 0.5ml Ivermectin subcutaneous in the morning and a few hours later give 1ml multivite injection

 Your weaners are ready for life and optimum conversion.

If you will castrate, u can castrate anytime from birth till a week after weaning. Though there isn't an age limit where castration becomes impossible to perform
Reply
#8
What do u feed ur weaners????

This is one serious topic of debate..... this is also a very crucial one, because what they eat in the first 2 weeks post weaning has a lot to determine in how well they will develop upwards and the speed at which they also grow

: Weaners need heavy aminos and proteins especially to grow rapidly. At this stage they are adding flesh/ muscle quickly so 22% protein is their dietary requirement..... some of it will be gotten from lysine and Methionine. So it's essential that their feed has the complete amino and vitamins added. No playing around

Note that if u want to determine the quality of ur herd, don't look at growers and adults..... just look at piglets and weaners..... if ur weaners are looking sickly and hairy, sorry, u aren't doing a good job

Their energy needs are also around 3 300 to 3 400kcal since they are also very agile and full of energy themselves

 Feeding them diet rich in bloodmeal and full fat soya helps them gain weight faster. They both contain proteins in high amounts and the oil in full fat soya, gotten from extrusion is so beneficial to their growth and development that it is literally a cheat to success

I highly discourage chicken feed of any kind.... broiler starter, finisher, whatever. 

Argue whatever u like, chicken feed is formulated to feed chicken not pigs. The energy content is lower than pigs need, the aminos and vitamins content is over 80% lower than pigs require so why spend so much for so little??‍♂️. If we are arguing that both are monogastrics, then just take fish feed and feed ur pigs as they are same

 If u won't or can't compound feed because u don't know how to, buy feed formulated for pigs..... Piggito, Terratiga and recently someone advertised one in this group. Do the right thing and stop following the multitude to do wrong

Always observe your weaners...... sure signs of illness in ur weaner stock are 

1. Bloated stomach
2. Hairy face and body 
3. Animals hunching as if they are cold
4. Sluggishness
5. Hernia (growth in the navel)
6. Rough or sickly skin.
7. Diarrhoea 

The drug of choice for curing any of the maladies is LA Oxytetracycline given in 3 doses over a six day period. Add multivite with it

With these, offering a clean environment, good feed, clean water and ensuring they are well observed, u should have weaners growing and doing very well with an almost zero mortality

And I almost forgot to add..... always sort ur animals..... keep animals of the same size and weight together..... smaller animals won't be allowed to eat and will be bullied..... this makes them withdraw, fall sick and eventually die off (if the others don't kill them first)

Feed formulation for piglets..... 

Energy portion should be 60% minimum. Make this up with whatever u have where you are..... cassava (not peels pls), bread waste, corn, any sugary waste byproducts esp ones that have flour in them

Protein should be 20% of which I prefer 10% bloodmeal and 10% full fat soya 

PKC will form 20% for oil and to bring costs down.

Aminos will help increase protein to the required 22%

If u can access BSG ( brewery spent grain), u have a banger cos it will help them effectively digest the feed mix. If u mix the one I outlined above, then use 50% of BSG to 50% of the compound formula
Reply
#9
What do u feed ur weaners????

This is one serious topic of debate..... this is also a very crucial one, because what they eat in the first 2 weeks post weaning has a lot to determine in how well they will develop upwards and the speed at which they also grow

: Weaners need heavy aminos and proteins especially to grow rapidly. At this stage they are adding flesh/ muscle quickly so 22% protein is their dietary requirement..... some of it will be gotten from lysine and Methionine. So it's essential that their feed has the complete amino and vitamins added. No playing around

Note that if u want to determine the quality of ur herd, don't look at growers and adults..... just look at piglets and weaners..... if ur weaners are looking sickly and hairy, sorry, u aren't doing a good job

Their energy needs are also around 3 300 to 3 400kcal since they are also very agile and full of energy themselves

 Feeding them diet rich in bloodmeal and full fat soya helps them gain weight faster. They both contain proteins in high amounts and the oil in full fat soya, gotten from extrusion is so beneficial to their growth and development that it is literally a cheat to success

I highly discourage chicken feed of any kind.... broiler starter, finisher, whatever. 

Argue whatever u like, chicken feed is formulated to feed chicken not pigs. The energy content is lower than pigs need, the aminos and vitamins content is over 80% lower than pigs require so why spend so much for so little??‍♂️. If we are arguing that both are monogastrics, then just take fish feed and feed ur pigs as they are same

 If u won't or can't compound feed because u don't know how to, buy feed formulated for pigs..... Piggito, Terratiga and recently someone advertised one in this group. Do the right thing and stop following the multitude to do wrong

Always observe your weaners...... sure signs of illness in ur weaner stock are 

1. Bloated stomach
2. Hairy face and body 
3. Animals hunching as if they are cold
4. Sluggishness
5. Hernia (growth in the navel)
6. Rough or sickly skin.
7. Diarrhoea 

The drug of choice for curing any of the maladies is LA Oxytetracycline given in 3 doses over a six day period. Add multivite with it

With these, offering a clean environment, good feed, clean water and ensuring they are well observed, u should have weaners growing and doing very well with an almost zero mortality

And I almost forgot to add..... always sort ur animals..... keep animals of the same size and weight together..... smaller animals won't be allowed to eat and will be bullied..... this makes them withdraw, fall sick and eventually die off (if the others don't kill them first)

Feed formulation for piglets..... 

Energy portion should be 60% minimum. Make this up with whatever u have where you are..... cassava (not peels pls), bread waste, corn, any sugary waste byproducts esp ones that have flour in them

Protein should be 20% of which I prefer 10% bloodmeal and 10% full fat soya 

PKC will form 20% for oil and to bring costs down.

Aminos will help increase protein to the required 22%

If u can access BSG ( brewery spent grain), u have a banger cos it will help them effectively digest the feed mix. If u mix the one I outlined above, then use 50% of BSG to 50% of the compound formula
Reply


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