Monday, March 4, 2024
Home Farming Tips Farmers Advised To Combine Good Feeds With Quality Pig Breeds

Farmers Advised To Combine Good Feeds With Quality Pig Breeds

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Herbert Musoke

Feeds take about 70% of the farm expenditure. Therefore, farmers have been cautioned to take keen concern about the quality of the feeds and the feeding practices.

This was during a pig farming master class organised by Koudjis Nutrition BV at Uganda Manufacturers Association showgrounds, Lugogo last Saturday.

Francis Baguma, the country director of Kafiika Feeds, the local agents of Koudijs BV, says this is part of the master classes organised to give farmers best practices that will enhance production, productivity and profitability of their livestock farms.

“The training was for both poultry and piggery farmers. We have had experts from the Netherlands and our own who have trained farmers from genetics/breed selection, feeds and proper feeding, vaccination and disease management among others,” he says.

Genetics/breed

Dr Geoffrey Mukama, a veterinary with Kafiika Feeds, says genetics is key in livestock farming.

He says with poor genetics, you cannot get the best results despite the best feeds and practices.

Farmers take notes during the master class. Photos by Herbert Musoke

“Genetics will bring about the best feed conversion ratios where your animal or bird will give you the best weight per kilogramme of feed eaten. For example, in piggery, with good genetics, when fed on quality feed mixed with concentrates, will give you a kilogramme of pork per 2kg of feed. This is a good conversion ratio such that by six months, a pig is over 100kg and can be sold for pork or be served for breeding,” he says.

Breeds can be improved by using artificial insemination which has come in handy to provide answers to farmers looking for best quality pig breeds.

“For instance, at National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank sites where there are over 4,000 pigs at Entebbe; Lusenke and Kasolwe farmers can get semen at sh100,000. However, it would cost a farmer about sh10m on purchasing a live animal,” Mukama says.

“We, however, need to differentiate commercial breeds that will give the farmer money. The best include large white, Camborough and Landrace,” he says.

In the same way, with chicken, good breeds will bring about less mortality, good weight such that for broilers, a farmer will be selling off his birds by four weeks and for layers, they will start early to lay and take long to lay off.

Quality feeds

Michael Buwembo, a nutritionist with Kafiika Feeds, advises farmers to mix their own feed because they will be sure of the qualities and quantities of the raw materials they use according to what they want to attain from their farms.

“It all starts at sourcing and the quality of raw materials such as maize, soya, premix/ vitamins or concentrates. For quality feed, you should buy from a trusted trader because if the quality of raw materials is bad, you are going to get bad quality feed”, he says.

Buwembo says even with maize, you must be sure of the quality because if you buy maize with less starch and fibre, it will produce less nutrients.

Also, soya with less nutrients, it will contain less proteins and thus your pigs will produce less meat.

“Do not only look at the prices while buying the raw materials, but also see the differences in weights, colour and other qualities. Remember, the heavier the maize/soya the more nutrients it contains,” Buwembo says.

He advises farmers to take a critical look at the quality.

“You can take samples to analyse the quality yourself or take to a company like Kafiika where we can use our machines to determine the nutrient and other contents in your products.

“Buy enough raw materials because your animals must get enough feed at the right time to allow them to have a consistent growth rate. Storage is another aspect to consider while processing feed. Your storage facility should be free of rodents, birds and insects that may contaminate your feed, prevent it from the rains, excessive temperatures and humidity because vitamins and premixes are sensitive to such conditions,” he says.

Proper feeding

Feed management

Bert Dejong, a nutritionist with Koudijs in the Netherlands, says good feed is different for each animal/bird depending on the size and the type.

Therefore, feeds should have the right composition to match the requirements of the birds to grow well. It should be adjusted to the requirements which are changing with development.

It should have the right balance to optimise growth and efficiency to give predictable results.

Feeders and placement

Make sure the number of feeders is sufficient for uniform growth. For example, in poultry, a chicken should not move more than two meters to find feed.

Chick feeders should be 1:40-50 according to size and you must increase the number of feeders as your birds grow. For example, in broilers; at day 14, each (broiler) consumes 60gm of feed a day and by day 36, it consumes 196gm.

Therefore, more numbers of feeders will help to get uniform growth and feed efficiency. In piggery, the raw materials must be resized and modified to be homogeneous. This makes the feed easy to mix and digest.

“The suitable size for the pig’s feed should be between 0.5mm and 0.7mm. For the piglets, feeders should be round. Also, it is better to have water and feed separate. However, when a sow has just delivered, they tend to lose appetite so it is better to wet the feed a little for palatability,” Dejong says.

This is because pigs have a monogastric or nonruminant digestive system just like humans. This, therefore, means that they need to eat feeds with small particles to extract the nutrients value.

“After processing your feeds, package and label them such that you feed your animals on the right feeds and in the right time. This is because feeds can be used for a month, but they should preferably be used within two weeks”, Buwembo said.

Feeding times

Make sure your birds have sufficient feed and water. Do not fill the feeders because rodents will be attracted by the feed. On early days, provide feeding plates and adjust the feeder heights regularly as they grow and make sure feeders are empty at least for an hour daily.

Disease management

Gerald Top, an expert from the Netherlands, advises farmers to always ask for vaccination schedules for the chicken from the suppliers.

Farmers should know how their chicken can be managed to avoid losses in form of death and treatment.

“For pigs, there is a vaccination schedule although it is followed by very few farmers. For example, on day one, the piglets should be given iron because their bodies lack it at birth. And every six months or after giving birth, sows should be given a vaccine, Farrowsure Gold-B, to manage reproductive diseases like excessive heat in the womb,” he says.

On the other hand, Top cautioned farmers against African fever which has no treatment, but can only be prevented by emphasising biosecurity where unauthorised visitors are not allowed into the farm as well as foreign birds and animals.

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