Thursday, May 23, 2024
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The Treasure In Pigs

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Piggery is an assured money maker. The market for pork is huge and unsaturated. According to statistics by the agriculture ministry, there are about 3.5 million pigs in Uganda at the moment. But, because of the demand for pork, there is need for increased production.

At the moment, a kilogramme of pork costs about sh12,000 in Kampala. Most dealers say the demand is higher than the supply.

Why rear pigs

Patrick Matovu, a farmer in Bowa, Nakaseke district, advises farmers not to keep pigs for the sake of it. They should know the market, hence adopt a suitable system.

For example, if one is keeping pigs for pork, boars have to be castrated and fattened so that they weigh at least 45kgs after four months. If one is breeding piglets for sale, they are best sold after two months, because any additional months may not necessarily make a similar increase in profits.

But under any system, a farmer must have a good breeding stock. Stock the best quality breed It is common for pig farmers to keep any breed. Many of them are not even sure which breed they are keeping.

However, Matovu says, a good farmer should know the breed they are keeping in order to appreciate the specific requirements for their growth.

He adds that, a good farmer should be prepared to pay more for a quality pig breed.

Camborough pigs have been identified as a breed that grows fast and produces many piglets when breeding. A camborogouh piglet at two months old costs between sh100,000 and sh200,000. However, other breeds, like large white and landrace cost less.

At Matovu’s farm, he uses a camborogouh male and landrace females, which he says is also good.

Feeding the pigs

One of the biggest challenges for pig keepers is feeding.

However, according to Matovu, pigs feed as much as you give them.

“However, one mistake people make is the failure to calculate the amount of feeds given. For many people, the feeding bowl must have feeds all the time, but that is wrong,” he says.

Matovu says pigs should be fed on a main meal of maize bran, mixed with mukene (silver fish). The prices vary, depending on the season and dependent on the supply available to the producers.

Matovu advises that one way of reducing costs can be by buying the different foods and mixing them according to your own requirements. Matovu does this at his farm in Bowa.

“However, ensure the feeds are converted into weight if that is the objective of the feeding,” he says.

Additionally, pigs can also be fed on cooked or raw food, like potatoes, cassava and maize. They also eat potato and cassava leaves. However, those should not constitute the main meals if a farmer is practicing piggery commercially.

Common diseases

Matovu says the main disease affecting pigs is swine fever, which can affect an entire stock.

The main challenge is that swine fever has no cure or vaccine. It is best to prevent it from affecting the stock. This can be done by ensuring that the pig sty is well fenced off from other animals.

People entering the sty should wear protective gear and their boots should be disinfected.

Matovu advises that you can use common disinfectants to keep the disease at bay.

Keep them clean

Matovu says pigs are as clean as the owner wants them to be. The pig sty should be kept clean to ensure they are healthy.

Keeping the sty clean is labour intensive, but has rewards in the long run. The pigs will be free of disease and parasites, thus reducing the cost spent on medications.

Matovu says the kind of pig sty one constructs may also determine the cleanliness of the pigs.

Setting up a pig house

For pigs to flourish, they require a designed sty to suit their lifestyle requirements. That is why a farmer must take the necessary precautions as they pick a site.

Requirements

  • It has to be a well-drained area, in a shade and away from the main house.
  • It should be designed in a way that crosses the path of the sun, but not directly in the line of the sun.
  • Should be easy to clean. Poor hygiene leads to diseases.
  • The structure must have enough ventilation.
  • They must have adequate doors for the farmer to move in and out, easily.
  • Before one enters the piggery, they should first disinfect. A disinfectant basin must be constructed before every entrance point.
  • Ensure the feeding section is constructed in the piggery and feeding troughs firmly placed.

How to plan your piggery

There are mainly two sections of a piggery the area for feeding and exercising. The feeding area must be covered by a roof by at least two thirds of the piggery. In one corner should be the feeding troughs.

The other section is the exercise area. It should cover at least one third of the piggery.

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