Hog raising is a very popular enterprise in Region 8 such that there is a proliferation of backyard producers which dominates the swine industry and a healthy viable commercial sector. Despite the crises facing the swine industry, still many people are venturing in this enterprise.
The total swine inventory for Eastern Visayas as of January 2007 is 984,000. About 56% of the total figure is produced in Leyte, followed by Northern Samar at 13%. Southern Leyte at 12% ranks third in the provinces’ contribution to the swine population in Region 8.
Selection Criteria. When selecting breeder sows on the basis of physical appearance, consider the following:
The gilt should have well-developed udder with a minimum of six pairs of properly spaced functional teats. A sow with poor udder development is likely to have poor milking capacity.
Choose those which do not have inverted teats for such teats are inherited and do not secrete milk. A long body is more desirable in sows because it provides more space for udder development. The body should have uniform width from front to rear. Good development on the ham, loin and shoulder is required of breeding animal. Must have sound and well-spaced feet and legs. Animals with medium short feet and short upright pasterns are preferable. Make it a point to select the biggest animals within a litter.
Female breeders should come from a litter of eight or more good-sized Piglets with high survivability. Do not keep gilts that come from sows in which agalactia (failure to secrete milk) have been observed.
Select vigorous and hardy Pigs from a healthy litter in a herd raised under good swine sanitation. Do not keep gilts or boars nor breed from litters that have physical abnormalities. These may be inherited.
Masculinity, both in appearance and action, should predominate in the make-up of any boar. The primary sex organs should be clearly visible and be well-developed. Select only those boars whose testicles are equal size. Generally, boars should be four to six months old at the time of selection. However, the best is to select a boar which has been proven and tested for fertility. Select boars with traits that can overcome the defects of the herd. Minor defects in the boar may be ignored provided that they are not present among the sows.
Housing. In whatever systems of operation, hog houses must be constructed properly to insure maximum performance of the pigs. A good house may not improve the health condition of the animals but a poor one will certainly increase disease problems easily.
For a small or backyard operations, cheap and locally available materials maybe used such as bamboo and nipa. Hog house should be constructed on a slightly sloping and well-drained area so that it will not become too muddy and inconvenient to work in. Permanent hog houses should have concrete floors for easy cleaning and to minimize the occurrence of parasites and diseases. Concrete floors must not be too rough to cause foot and leg problems nor too smooth to be slippery when wet.
Facilities and Equipment. Provide the pig house with the proper equipment such as feeders and drinking troughs. Feeders and water troughs are best made of concrete although other materials may be used. Some people use discarded automobile or truck tires cut in halves. In bigger operations, farrowing stalls are important to reduce piglet mortality due to crushing of piglets. Heat lamps or electric brooders are needed for survival of new born pigs. In places where the use of heat lamps is not possible, a box lined with old sacks or thickly bedded straw, rice hull or saw dust can keep the pigs warm and comfortable.
Breeding Management. Most gilts of the improved breed reach the age of puberty at about six to eight months of age but they should not be bred until they are eight months of age or are weighing about 90 to 100 kg.
Care and Management of the Sow. Regulate the feed intake of gilts or sows immediately after breeding to prevent them from becoming too fat. Obesity of pregnant sows may result to a fewer number of pigs farrowed. Also, they suffer from farrowing complications.
Keep the pregnant sow in an environment ideal for better conception. Sprinkle water on the sows when the weather is too hot or whenever necessary. To avoid constipation, provide a healthy but laxative ration. Provide plenty of water and newly harvested green feeds such as camote vines, kangkong, para grass and water lily.
Deworm sows and gilts against internal parasites and treat external parasites 14 days before expected date of farrowing.
On the average, a sow will farrow in 114 days after a successful mating. The usual range is 109-119 days . Watch out for the following signs:
- the abdomen swells
- the sow becomes restless and nervous
- the vulva is swollen with possible mucus discharge
- milk is present in the teats if pressed
Attend to the sow during birth because this is the most crucial time in the life of the newborn piglets. Full-feed the sow or gilt with a high energy ration for about two weeks before mating to insure maximum ovulation rate. Observe proper time of mating to insure maximum litter size.
A sow is in heat if she exhibits one more of the following symptoms;
- swelling and reddening of the vulva
- mucus discharge from the vulva
- restlessness and grunts frequently
- mounting other pigs
- frequent urination
- cocks her ears frequently
Mate each gilt or sow twice to the same boar in one heat period with an interval of 1 to 25 hours. A boar-to-sow ratio of 1:25-30 is generally recommended.
Care of the Boar. In commercial operations a new boar should always be checked for fertility and diseases associated with abortion and birth of dead pigs. Regulate the
breeding load of a boar.
Recommended Breeding load of a Boar
No. of Services
7 or less
18 and over
Care and Management of Piglets at Farrowing Time. Prepare farrowing materials and equipment before farrowing dates.
Using a clean dry cloth, wipe the mucus membrane and other birth material from the mouth and nose of newborn pigs. Assist the piglets’ breathing by swinging its head down or slapping it for a few seconds. Tie a string around umbilical cord two inches from the base and cut with a sharp pair of surgical scissors. Do not pull the cord away from the body while cutting so as not to cause hernia. Dip injured tip of cord into bottle of tincture of iodine.
Place piglets in piglet box underneath a heater. Whenever necessary, a 100-watt bulb is enough to provide the desired temperature. This can be changed to a 50-watt bulb after 14 days of brooding.
Cut the needle teeth. This is done by holding the pig firmly by one hand with three fingers supporting the jaw and the thumb pressing against the back of the neck. Insert the forefinger to one side of the mouth just behind the needle teeth reaching for the tip of the tongue. With a side-cutting nipper or ordinary nail cutter cut close to the gum level. Do not make a slanted cut or leave jagged edges for these are likely to cause injuries to the gums and tongue of the piglet and teats of the mother. Clean and disinfect nipper before working with another piglet.
Let the piglet suck the first milk (colostrums). Colostrums contains antibodies needed by the baby pigs to fight against diseases during the early life. Iron reserves in the body of a newborn piglet is consumed in a week’s time. Injection of commercial iron dextran is necessary to prevent piglet from newborn anemia. Repeat administration 14 days after birth or as soon as symptoms are detected. Wean piglets at four to six weeks of age. When weaning is done earlier than 56 days, a sow can farrow from four to five times in two years since sows usually come in heat from three to seven days after weaning. The proper procedure in weaning is to remove the sow, leaving the piglets in familiar surroundings. It is also important that all other routinary management practices like deworming, castration and ear notching or tattoing are carried out before weaning.
Care and Management of Growing-Finishing Pigs. Management requirements are less demanding, nevertheless they must be provided with ample protection against pests and diseases and fed in accordance with their requirements. Deworm pigs one or two weeks after weaning.
Vaccinate pigs one or two weeks after weaning or one week after deworming.
Feeding Management. If the milk supply of the sow is inadequate to feed her piglets, supplement her with a good creep ration. Use a milk replacer. Choose many available brands. Begin feeding a commercial good pre-starter ration when the pigs are about one week of age. The ration of the pigs should be changed at different stages of growth but the shift from one ration to another should be done gradually in order not to upset the normal feeding behavior of the pigs. Always allow a transition period of at least one week before making changes.
A starter ration is feed to pigs from weaning until two months of age and weighing about 15 to 25 kg. The grower ration is next given to pigs when they are two months old until they are about 15 to 20 weeks old. When pigs reach 60 kg. or about 20 weeks old, a finisher ration is given.
In formulating a simplified ration, keep in mind that it should always contain sufficient energy, protein as well as adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. Cassava, camote, corn and corn-by products and discards from slaughterhouses, which are abundant in some parts of the region may be used provided they are properly cooked and dried. Dry feeding is practiced in commercial operations for reasons of economy in labor and in feeding equipment. Wet feeding is mostly practiced by backyard producers. Provide clean drinking water at all times.
Health Management. Keep buildings, run-ways, pens and equipment clean always. Sanitize and disinfect them regularly. Quarantine or isolate stocks recently bought from other sources. When buying breeding stock for replacement, make certain that the animals have been immunized against prevalent disease in the area such as hog cholera and swine plague. Always seek the advice/services of the nearest veterinarian and/or
government technicians or the office of the Bureau of Animal Industry.
Marketing. Marketing is the last job done on growing finishing pigs. Hogs are marketed when they reach at least 80 kg. Marketable hogs may be sold to middlemen who usually act as buying or selling agents, direct to meat processors without the intervention of the middlemen, or in auction markets where animals are sold to the buyer who offers the highest acceptable price per kilo liveweight or per head. When large number of hogs are to be marketed, the producer observe proper shipment and transport handling to minimize losses due to shrinkage, bruises, injuries and possible deaths.
Here are some tips:
- When transporting hogs, separate the large animals from small pigs by a partition.
-Provide loading facilities for easier and proper loading of pigs. If necessary provide beddings of sand or saw dust. When the weather is hot, wet down the beddings before loading to keep the pigs cool and comfortable.
- Estimated Cost & Return for Swine Production ( 1 cycle, 1 sow level)
1. Piglets are weaned at 35-45 days old at 10 kilogram live weight.
2. Average litter size per farrowing is 10.
3. Service fee for boar services is P500.00/service.
4. Ready to breed gilt was used in this assumption.
5. Labor cost was included as expenses for production.
6. Housing is an equity of the farmer.
7. Piglets are priced at P1,800 each at weaning age.
8. Empty sacks are sold at P5.00 each.
9. Estimated amount and prices of feeds and other production inputs are as follows:
Brood sow pellets – 180 kgs
Lactating pellets – 150 kgs
Baby pig booster crumbles – 3 kgs
Starter crumbles – 50 kgs
Vaccines (P 150/10 dose vial)
Dewormers (18 tabs Latigo 50)
Value of Piglets (10 x P1,800)
Empty sacks ( 7 x P5.00)
Total Cash Expenses
Non Cash Expenses:
Operation/ Labor & Mgt.
Return Above Cash Cost
Return Above All Costs
Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division
Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Unit No. 8
2nd Floor, Soils Laboratory Building
Magsaysay Boulevard, Tacloban City
Tel. No. 325-5363
Ginintuang Masaganang Ani– Livestock Program (GMA Operations Division Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Unit No. 8 Kanhuraw Hill, Tacloban City
Tel. No. 325-9854
Source: Philagribiz.com, Photo: bicol.da.gov.ph