If you’ve decided to raise pigs, you won’t be disappointed as it’s a very rewarding experience. Pigs won’t only make your bank account smile but they grow faster, and are usually both healthier and happier than other farm animals. Furthermore, there are not too many large scale pig farmers in Zambia. Thus, you’re on the right track. Also, there are over 50 different types of breeds but most farmers rear landrace and large whites.
So, whether you want to rear an exotic herd or just a couple of hogs, these four tips will help you keep your pigs healthy and happy.
How many piglets you should buy
This is a very important consideration when contemplating how to raise a pig. If this is your first try, I would not buy more than two. You can buy more if you’re up for the challenge. Whatever the number of animals you buy, you need to have a plan on how you’ll deal with the waste. Pigs can eat. They aren’t choosy animals as they can feed even on household scraps. This is why you should take offense if you’re called a pig. Manure could be an extra income your hogs bring you but practice on a few first before you go all out.
The kind of shelter you should provide
Pigs need shelter from the sun and relief from the heat. A shady place to get out of the sun and a dry place to get out of the rain is more than enough. You can construct basic shelter from wooden pallets to livestock panel hoops and tarps. However, it’s better for piglets to its better for them to be in a cattle panel, hog panel or pallet pen.
Don’t use electric fencing until after 15 weeks. Usually by this age, you can train them to the electric and are large enough not to not go through it. If you use electric fencing, remember to to have an exit way or gate that is not electric. Pigs appreciate bedding materials to make their sleeping quarters a little more comfortable. So, add some straw.
Feed them right
Pigs love to eat. They’re not called hogs for nothing. But not every bag of pig feed is perfect for your swine.
There are lots of possible ways to feed your pig. The easiest is to buy a commercial hog grower. Pigs grow fastest on this type of ration. But because it is GMO and contains alot of medications, the best option is to make your own feed. You can make it from a grain and protein source or find a natural pre-made feed in your area. The basic food for swines is grain. Furthermore, you can grow crops specifically for your pigs like pumpkin and beetroot.
The greatest option is to go to at least two diets: One for young pigs and lactating sows, and one for older pigs and gestating sows.
Note: Do not feed your pigs bakery scraps and the like and expect a healthy pig with great tasting meat.
Pigs love to step in buckets and troughs, with the mud and manure on their hooves soiling the water. But this doesn’t mean they should drink it. They need lots of clean, fresh water. Some people use nipple waterers which can get expensive but reduce on your labour and frustration in the long run.
Medicines and de-worming
Chemical de-wormers are not so great because of the mutations and resistances they create. The best dewormer you can try is garlc. It’s actually said to be a much more effective de-wormer. You add approximately 500grams of garlic granules to one ton of feed. In addition, oregano oil is also superb at fighting parasites and infection. Finally, you can keep geranium essential oil handy for bleeding and tea tree oil for cuts and scrapes.
Keep your pig healthy and it will be happy and fatten very well.
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