Breeding pigs can be quite profitable, although for beginners keeping pigs at home is often a lot of problems. Pigs grow quickly, are not demanding in food, bring numerous offspring, give meat and fat. But this does not mean that they do not require appropriate care. Without it, there can be no talk about the effectiveness and efficiency of pig production, as well as about making profit.
Breed selection as the basis for future success
Only in our country today there are many breeds of pigs, about 30, so making the right choice is not so easy. There are three main directions: meat, grease and bacon, the latter is often called the universal.
The breeds of each of these areas are easily adapted to our conditions of detention, so the choice of a pig is based on the preferences of the breeder and the goals he sets for himself.
For example, meat breeds (Belarusian, Poltava) are characterized by rapid mass growth. By the age of 8 months, if you keep and feed the pigs correctly, they can already reach a slaughter mass. Their meat volume is at least 60% carcass.
In sebaceous breeds (Berkshire, Mirgorod) lard is 40-45% of their mass and, if the care of piglets, again, correct, it is of high quality.
Bacon breeds (landras, Pietrain, Duroc), whose meat has an impressive greasy layer, are distinguished by universalism, their feature is also a quick weight gain. The ratio of meat and fat in the pig carcass is about 60 to 30, depending on the particular variety.
On the acquisition of pigs
It is usually considered that buying a piglet should take place in the spring. It is difficult to argue with this statement, because it is at this time of the year and then in the summer there is no shortage of food, and in the pigsty it is already warm. These conditions allow us to count on successful breeding.
However, the purchase of piglets can be carried out in the winter. Difficulties in this case will be a little more. The main thing - to carry out the right weaning in case the pig still eats mother's milk.
Then place it in a warm room, providing quality care and nutrition. The optimal age of a pig for purchase is one and a half months when weaning is already possible.
At this time, the babies are able to feed on their own, and when they are weaned from the mother, no serious problems arise. Before you make a purchase, it will not be superfluous to look at the piglets' parents. This will allow you to easily predict the future of young animals, as well as provide an opportunity to understand what you can count on.
Features of keeping young
Care for piglets, as well as their habitat, should be daily. For good growth is not enough only one quality and properly organized feeding. After weaning them, we must pay special attention to creating comfortable conditions.
There are two fundamental requirements for the pigsty: it must be dry and warm. It is important to provide high-quality and full airing, but without drafts.
The air temperature in the pigsty should not fall below 16 degrees, but this is the minimum threshold. Optimally, if it is in the range of 20-24 degrees.
Ideally, you will need to have a heating system in the pigsty, but there are also more economical options.
Dug into the litter head
A suitable solution can be considered the use of deep or irremovable litter.
This means that the litter is not replaced in a pigsty; sawdust or fresh straw are poured on top of an existing layer. Several layers are formed, inside of which the process of decomposition of manure takes place, accompanied by thermal emissions. The temperature here can reach 40 degrees.
Pigs with their heads can bury themselves in such a litter and due to this they warm themselves. More details on how to care for piglets in these conditions can be found in the article "About litter for pigs with bacteria."
For small piglets and sows, you should still take care of installing a stove in the pigsty for better heat. Details of winter care can be found in the article "On the maintenance of piglets in the winter."
Basic requirements for the pigsty
When building a pigsty, one should take into account the level of groundwater. In cases where they lie close to the surface, you need to take care of a reliable building foundation for pigs.
In addition, the closer groundwater is to the surface, the higher the humidity level in the pigsty. This figure should not exceed 70%, otherwise the resulting dampness will contribute to diseases among animals.
The inner walls should be treated with fresh lime, and this procedure is performed steadily every 4-5 months. This is necessary in order to disinfect and prevent infections in pigs.
To increase the level of vitality of pigs, it makes sense to use Chizhevsky chandeliers that enrich the air with oxygen ions. To use such lamps should be no more than 15 minutes a day.
The space inside the pigsty should also be treated with disinfectants, such as Virotz, Vigor or Stalosan F. Before using them, it is advisable to wash the room, but it is not necessary to remove animals from it.
Do not neglect the organization of the fight against flies, mosquitoes and midges, since they can seriously annoy animals. In this regard, various kinds of velcro have proven themselves well.
It is necessary to fight rodents, the extermination of mice and rats is vital. There are many options for poison, which can be bought in the form of tablets, glue or grain. Decompose these funds need throughout the pigsty, but always beyond the reach of pigs.
Organization of lighting and ventilation
The maintenance of biorhythms in piglets is of paramount importance, especially in the winter season. This goal contributes to the proper organization of artificial lighting in the pigsty.
In winter, in a short day, the sow on the ground and the piglets should receive light (at least 15 lux) for 18 hours. For fattening pigs, the light level is 5-6 lux for 20 hours.
Properly organized high-quality ventilation system is also of great importance. Thanks to her, harmful gases are removed from the pigsty. This fact is not always taken into account by farmers, which is an unfortunate omission.
Apply ventilation in the pigsty can either in industrial or in a homemade version. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
There are several options for ventilation systems. Best of all, recommended ventilation. But the choice may be different. It all depends on the breeder's capabilities, preferences and characteristics of the pigsty itself. The main thing when creating ventilation is to prevent the occurrence of drafts that pose a serious danger to the health and life of pigs.
More information about the organization of the ventilation system in the pigsty is described in the article "Making ventilation in the pigsty with your own hands."
Roof and floor coverings
Best of all for the pigsty fit floor made of concrete. The wooden covering is not very suitable, because animals quickly and easily deal with it, gnawing the boards or tearing them.
In addition, it is increasingly difficult to remove manure from a wooden flooring over time, and it is very easy for an animal to slip on such a floor. Concrete coating pigsty will save pigs and owners from such problems.
The floor in the pigsty should be about 5 cm above the drain structure, the slope made in his direction, to facilitate cleaning. Only cement M-500 and D-0 are used.
A litter of straw, hay and sawdust is laid on the floor. This is a must, the concrete floor itself is cold and the animals will catch a cold and get sick.
You can warm the floor with foam, it can be used in the form of plates or balls. In winter, it is recommended to lay down wooden shields. From the article "What can you do in the pigsty floor?" You can get more information on this issue.
Heat loss through the roofs is about 40%, so it should also be warmed. For this purpose, the same foam or mineral wool is best suited.
The stereotype about the omnivorous nature of these animals is quite dangerous, the opinion that a pig can be fed anything, is fundamentally wrong. Particular difficulties often arise after weaning. Quite a few beginners believe that the diet of severed piglets from a sow may consist of waste alone.
This approach is fundamentally wrong. Care for adults, and for piglets, in particular, implies a balanced diet. Of course, there are roots and waste in their diet, but they should be only a part of it, and not completely fill the entire menu from day to day.
There are a lot of feed mixes for piglets, as an example, we can offer this option:
- green food in the amount of 50 or 60% of the total;
- succulent feed, constituting about one tenth;
- herbal and meat and bone meal, about 5% of the diet;
- feed of animal origin, which fill the remaining volume.
Prepare feed for piglets immediately before use. Cereals and root crops must be pre-crushed to assimilate them to the maximum. It will also allow the owner to reduce the cost of purchasing feed.
To organize the feeding process in the pigsty, well-fixed feeders are put in, as well as drinkers, of which there must be a lot so that there is no water shortage. Drinking bowls need to be replenished regularly and always kept clean, it is also important that they are filled only with fresh water.
Water temperature for piglets is also an important aspect. We must make sure that it does not fall below 20 degrees. If this happens, the risk of a cold will increase. And if it turns out to be higher, there will be a threat of indigestion due to intestinal infections.
Place for walking
High-quality care for piglets also involves the organization in the pigsty of the site for walking piglets. Having the opportunity to regularly go out in the fresh air, pigs show better growth in weight. In addition, they will be less susceptible to disease, the taste of their meat will also increase.
In addition, if after feeding for 20-25 minutes, pigs are walked in the air, then there they will also defecate. This will reduce the humidity inside the pigsty, as well as its level of gas pollution.
Place for walking pig should be properly prepared and equip.
First of all, the pigs need to provide reliable protection from wind and rain, keeping in mind their susceptibility to colds.
Adult pigs and young piglets are famous for their ability to dig the ground. Therefore, the requirements of reliability of fences and their protection from digging and the flight of animals are imposed on the walking distance.
Diseases and their prevention
One of the features of pigs is their susceptibility to various diseases, including infectious. Some of them can also become infected by humans, so prevention and timely inspection of piglets are of primary importance. Do not forget that initially the protection of young animals gives mothers milk, but when weaning occurs, further care already falls on the breeder's shoulders.
Often young animals suffer from indigestion; this is a typical disease for piglets. For treatment, use of brovaseptol, which, together with glucose, is administered to the animal in the mouth with a syringe.
A dangerous disease is leptospirosis. Pigs are usually susceptible to it, but there are also cases of adult lesions. Infection occurs due to the fact that the pig digs the ground in which there are leptospira. This disease is dangerous for a person who may become infected by an animal.
Piglets can get sick and such a disease as erysipelas. Particular danger of spreading occurs in spring and autumn. The source is rodents, as well as individuals that have already become ill in the herd.
The greatest threat to livestock is plague, the mortality rate of which is at least 80%. The disease has an infectious nature, but the worst of all is the fact that it is practically not treated in piglets.
Based on this, the role and importance of prevention cannot be overestimated. An effective tool in this case is the vaccination of pigs.
It is carried out in several stages. After pig farrowing, the newborn piglets on the third day receive Ferranimal and Suiferrovit. When they reach the age of one month, they are given vaccines for enterococcosis and salmonellosis.
At the age of one and a half months with the observance of the weekly cycle, they receive drugs for leptospirosis, at two months for erysipelas, and at three months for the plague. In addition, vitamins must be absorbed by each piglet to prevent rickets. To this end, the young receive "Trivit", as well as fish oil.
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