The pig production in Uganda is on a rise due to an increase in the country’s population and incomes leading to an upsurge in pork consumption. It is widely practiced in all regions of the country and has remained a profitable venture.
The market comprises of both low- and high-income earners. The changing trends in consumer behavior and buying habits for example, reduction in consumption of red meat due to health is the key to the growth rate of market. Therefore, is important to note that the market size is quite large. However, the sector still faces a few challenges such as disease and parasites for example African Swine Flu, dysentery etc., unreliable market, inadequate extension services and poor quality and unavailability of pig feeds.
a. Pigs have a very high feed conversion efficiency this means that pigs gain more live weight from a given weight of feed compared to other livestock
a. Pigs consume a wide variety of locally available feeds such as grains, forages, non-meat kitchen leftovers.
a. Pigs are very fertile and can give birth to up to twelve piglets in each farrowing. Sows can be farrowed twice in a year.
a. Pigs suffer less from metabolic and nutritional diseases because they can feed on things ranging from grass to meat hence balancing all nutritional requirement
Before beginning a pig farming venture, there are certain factors that you should put in consideration to avoid losses in terms of time, money and resources and these include; Breeds
There are several breeds on the market. However, it is advisable to purchase very high-grade pigs with desirable characteristics. Some of the common pig breeds include;
This breed is black in color with a white belt around the shoulder forequarters. It is a medium size breed that originated from Southern England. It has a straight face, erect ears, good nursing ability and produces and excellent lean carcass.
This breed is white in color, has erect ears, moderately long head, longer legs compared to other breeds and a ditched face. Although it is not quick in maturing, it is a good feed converter and can withstand different climatic conditions.
The landrace breed is white in color and is characterized by forward dropping ears and a straight snout. This breed originated from Denmark and is widely used for cross breeding especially with the large white to produce prolific breeding sows. This breed is commonly used for bacon. The landrace breed performs well in both confined and outdoor farms. This makes them great for farmers who have not yet established structures.
This breed is mahogany to red in color. It has good motherly ability. It is resistant to stress and is adaptable to various environmental conditions and is very useful in crossbreeding programs.
Most of the local pigs that are kept in villages have arisen as a result of improper management of the exotic or crossbred pigs. It is only those that can survive the poor management practice that stay. The biggest advantage of these pigs is that they are able to survive on low quality feeds and are resistant to some diseases. However, such pigs have low growth rate.
a. Loss of appetite
a. Breathing becomes difficult and abnormal
a. The animal appears dull
a. The feaces may be blood stained or contaminated with worms
a. High temperature and an abnormal heart beat
a. Rough hair coat
a. Give the pigs sufficient and balanced diet
a. Ensure maximum colostrum intake for the piglets
a. Ensure access to clean and fresh water
a. Keep the environment clean and well drained
a. Restrict visitors
a. Isolate and treat sick animals separately
a. Dispose off dead animals by burial or burning
a. Proper feeding at all stages of growth translates to healthy pigs and good weight gain at the time of marketing.
a. It is advisable to feed them twice a day in the morning and evening on grain-based concentrate feeds and the amount of feed depends on the age and reproductive state of the pig.
a. Water should be available in all pens for drinking purposes and outside the pen for cleaning purposes.
a. Fodder such as sweet potatoes, banana and other root and tuber crop residues such as vines, leaves, and peels can also be fed to the pigs
a. Leftover food and waste vegetables can also be fed to the pigs after boiling them well to avoid risk of contamination.
The raising of pigs in confinement is associated with lower production costs, improved feed efficiency and better control of disease and parasites. Several types of pens can be constructed depending on the available resources.
Pig housing requirements such as feeding and resting space vary according to the live weight of the animal.
a. Pregnant sows will require 1.5-2.0 square meters of space
a. Each boar requires about 6-8 square meters and the pen should be strong breaks among gilts and sows on heat
a. Weaner piglets require 0.3-0.5 square meters each
a. Lactating sows require up to 6 square meters depending on the number of piglets lactating
If possible, allocate each lactating sow an individual pen with provisions for a farrowing pan, a piglet’s nest and a creep feed for piglets. Due to fragile state of piglets, it is recommended to add provisions heating and cooling the pen.