Weaning is one of the key stages that will make a piggery farm profitable.
Bert De Jong, a piggery expert with Koudijs Nutrition BV, explains that weaning is the transition of piglets from the sow milk to feed. This is the time when the piglets will develop the intestines to easy feed intake and development of muscles.
“During this stage, farmers should feed their piglets on creep feed like Romelko or KPLC50. The piglets should be fed on 500g, three days before weaning and 500g three days after weaning,” he explains.
It is also important for a farmer to know the feed intake of their piglets. The feed must be clean and should be given to the piglets on small quantities and several intervals a day. Also give your piglets clean and enough water mainly through nipples that can be put on cans or tanks.
Before weaning, a farmer should prepare the weaning room, buy washing and spraying it to kill all the germs that may attack or infect the piglets. The room must also have an average warmth of room temperature of 27 degrees and above.
“In case the room temperature is lower like in places of Kabaale with cold climates, you can use a heat stove or lump to create warmth to the piglets,” he explains.
Romelko is a pellet ready feed that can be served to the piglets. Also, a farmer can use PKLC50 which is a powdered concentrate that a farmer can use to mix his/her own feed at a ratio of 50% with broken main and bran.
“You must however, be careful with the quality of maize. It should be clean and quality maize with no mycotoxins that may cause diarrhea,” Bert De Jong says.
Feeding your piglets on creep feed, will help the sow remain health yet the piglets will grow faster. You can wean your piglets earlier as the creep feed can be used as a milk replacer.
At this stage, you must record everything that you do with you piglets like the weight gain, feed consumption. Also, you need to check the health of your piglets through their dung. When the dung is hard, it means that they are not getting enough water. Health piglets’ dung should be pinkish.
Michael Buwembo, a piggery expert with Kafiika Feeds, explains that the fattening stage starts at 16-17 weeks or four months, but commences at the weaning stage.
“At this time, a pig will be consuming 2.5kg a day. Fattening depends on the breed, disease management and vaccination,” he explains.
Buwembo says at all stages, a farmer must be critical with the nutrient mixes in the feeds for their pigs.
“Quality feed must have all the required nutrients with fibers because if the feed has more energy (protein) it will make the pig gain more fats them beef,” he says.