In rural areas, domestic pig keeping is becoming more common. However, in order for this occupation to become profitable, you must follow certain rules for the care of animals. These are maintenance of a comfortable microclimate in a pigsty (temperature and humidity), ventilation and lighting systems, disinfection of the room, balanced nutrition and organization of walking. All of this we will discuss in this article.
Fast growing prolific animals
Compared to other agricultural animals, the content of pigs in a private farm has a number of significant advantages, which is associated with their unpretentiousness and the ability to absorb feed, both of plant and animal origin.
Due to the peculiarities of the piglet's digestive system, more than a third of the feed it consumes is absorbed, allowing the animal to quickly gain muscle mass and subcutaneous fat, called lard.
If the suckling pig has a weight of about 1 kg during farrowing, then a half-year-old pig with proper feeding can weigh 100-110 kg, and the output of high-quality pork and fat from each carcass is 85-87%.
For breeding pigs, you can use any premises that need a little refit, bringing in compliance with sanitary and hygienic requirements. First of all, it concerns the spaciousness of pens, the presence of good ventilation and sufficient illumination, as well as the maintenance of temperature and humidity at a certain level.
Pigsty should be spacious
If you decide to breed pigs in your subsidiary farm, you should properly equip the room, which will serve as a pigsty. The best thing for this is a stand-alone building, located at a distance of at least 15 m from the dwelling.
The waste products of pigs have a very unpleasant odor, so it is best to equip the pigsty on the windward side of the apartment building.
If there is a free space in your backyard plot, then it is best to build a new building made of wood or brick that will allow you to maintain a stable temperature inside the room, both during the hot summer months and in winter.
When building a pigsty or mini-pig farm, pay attention to the generally accepted requirements in pig breeding, which regulate the proper care of pigs of various breeds.
When growing pigs at home, it is extremely important for beginning farmers to correctly calculate the size of the pigsty.
Conventional standards require that at least one fattening pig had at least 2.5 square meters. m square. For fattening sows with piglets, it is best to build a separate pen of at least 5 square meters. The boar-producer should be kept separately from other pigs in the machine, the area of which should not be less than 3.5 square meters. m
Laying and flooring options
When equipping a pigsty, pay special attention to the floor. Pigs love to rummage in the ground, so the floor must be made of dense materials, little susceptible to destruction. Concrete or modern bulk mixtures are best suited for this purpose. Do not forget to equip special grooves at the construction stage, leading to the drain hole, from which it will be easy to pump accumulated urine.
On the floor of the pigsty should lay a wooden flooring on which the pigs will spend time at night and in the cold season.
In Denmark, a plastic grating is laid on a concrete floor with grooves for the flow of urine. In such rooms it is very easy to clean, and swine feces filtered from urine can be immediately used as a fertilizer on the plot.
However, for the conditions of Russia, it is not very suitable, because the plastic is rapidly cooled, creating discomfort for fattening piglets. The room requires additional heating, which dramatically reduces the profitability of the domestic pig farm.
Read more in the article "What can be made of the floor in the pigsty".
Mandatory use of soft litter
Keeping piglets in a small pigsty requires the use of a bed of straw, sawdust or hay. They are well absorbed by the waste products of pigs, subsequently becoming an excellent fertilizer.
Do not forget that under the influence of urine and fecal masses such litter is quickly polluted. She begins to rot, releasing unpleasant odors and heat, as well as increasing the level of humidity in the pigsty. It needs to be changed regularly, preventing the development of pathogenic bacteria.
Room cleaning and bedding is extremely important. It is best to carry out such a procedure once every two or three days, or depending on the rate of contamination.
The newest Canadian technology of cultivation of pigs provides the maintenance of pigs in the general not heated room with a thick layer of straw laying. As contamination progresses, a new layer of straw is superimposed, which is tightly packed with pigs.
As a result of the rotting of straw, heat is released, sufficient for keeping piglets living in temperate climates. The litter is cleaned no more than 2-3 times a year.
The main disadvantage of this technology is the presence of persistent odor. To eliminate it, litters contaminated with bacteria that feed on pig waste are used. Read more in the article "About bedding for pigs with bacteria."
Ventilation and heating pigsty
When arranging the pigsty do not forget to equip the system of natural ventilation, thanks to which the air in the room can be updated in a timely manner. As a result of the life activity of pigs in any pig farm, the humidity level is higher than in the environment. This is very bad for the health of the pigs, who can lose their appetite and reduce their growth rates.
If you plan to equip a mini-farm in your barn and contain more than 10 fattening piglets, it is best to immediately install a hood that will be periodically turned on, providing good air exchange in the pigsty.
For more information about this in the article "Making the ventilation in the pigsty with your own hands."
It is considered optimal to maintain a constant temperature in the pigsty of 18-22 degrees Celsius, at which pigs feel most comfortable. In summer, such a temperature regime is easy to maintain due to ventilation, and in cold time it is required to provide heating of the room containing piglets.
At home, the most practical is the construction of a wood stove in the pigsty, which is heated in winter. In some cases, use of gas and electric heating systems, but it is expensive, reflected in the cost of pork.
Pigs love dim light
A very important point is the presence of sufficient lighting in the pigsty. Best of all, if you immediately make a few small windows through which sunlight will penetrate the room.
Bright light is very poorly tolerated by piglets, so it is not recommended to build large window openings. The windows in the pig should be tightly closed, preventing drafts in the cold season. In the summer, they open up for ventilation and to reduce the humidity level in the room.
Place the machines in the pigsty in such a way that direct sunlight does not fall on the resting places of pigs and does not irritate the mucous membrane of their eyes.
If there are no windows in your home pig house, then it is necessary to equip the electric lighting system, and lamps of low power should be lit at least 10-12 hours a day (in the daytime).
Electric lighting will help a lot when the sows are farrowing, which are most often piggy at night and require human help. In the first days it is required to maintain a temperature of 33-34 degrees Celsius in the room with the babies. For this great red lamp, which is suspended above the corner with dairy piglets.
Mandatory veterinary support
It should be extremely careful to acquire fattening pigs. They must be healthy, agile and have shine in their eyes.
Young pigs should receive initial vaccinations made by a specialist in accordance with all veterinary requirements.
Be sure to ask the seller how to care for pigs purchased breeds, as well as what feed the pigs received. The first few days in your compound try to feed the kids with the same food. This will reduce somewhat the stress associated with changes in housing conditions, and accelerate the growth of animals.
Be sure to invite a veterinarian who will make the necessary vaccinations against infectious diseases, as well as castrates pigs grown for meat.
Remember that meat of an uncastrated boar contains a large amount of toxic substances and smells very unpleasant. Pig meat does not have such a smell, so no procedures with changes in their reproductive system are required.
Methods of keeping pigs
Depending on the availability of free space on the plot, it’s worth deciding how to keep pigs more conveniently. Can be used:
- free-walking method of maintenance;
- easel walking method;
- content without content
The most popular in our country is the free-walking method of breeding piglets, in which pigs have the opportunity to enter a special area located in open space. There they receive food, bask in the sun, and also defecate. This significantly reduces farmer labor costs, as well as humidity in the pigsty.
The easel walking method involves periodically releasing pigs into the walking area during the feeding period. It has its advantages in the middle zone of our country, where the climate is distinguished by its unpredictability.
With the no-smoking method, keeping pigs loses less energy and gains weight faster, but is more painful and requires frequent examination by a veterinarian.
Features fattening pigs
At home, pigs can be fed with absolutely any feed, with particular emphasis on cereals made with finely chopped cereal mixtures. The grain contains a large amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, which are well absorbed by the body of the pigs, stimulating their rapid growth of muscle mass.
When feeding piglets for their own use, it is acceptable to use food waste. If you plan to fatten pigs for selling meat on the market, then this is not recommended, as it may affect the taste of pork and lard.
The use of combined feed industrial production allows you to correctly calculate the daily diet of pigs, who must eat 3 to 5 times a day. Such feeds are rich in premixes and biologically active substances that promote the health of pigs.
Good results are given by the yeast feed at home. Protein structures of extremely rapidly developing yeast fungi are very rich in easily digestible piglets with vitamins, trace elements and proteins. They significantly accelerate the growth of piglets, which by 6 months can weigh 100 kg or more. Read more in the article "Feed Yeast for Pigs".
Equipment feeders and drinkers
Regardless of whether you will feed the pigs with purchased feeds, rich premixes and vitamin supplements, or prepare your own cereal from cereal mixtures, make sure that pigs have free access to clean drinking water.
For a pig that has reached the bottomhole age, at least 5-6 liters of water is required per day. Due to lack of fluid, piglet growth slows down, and its meat becomes lean and is not in demand in the market.
It is best to use special drinkers for piglets, which should be cleaned regularly from food falling into them (pigs are not very neat animals). It is recommended to replace water in tanks at least once a day.
For fattening piglets in a pigsty, it is best to build stationary feeders, although some breeders practice free feeding pigs, scattering porridge on the walking area.
We do not recommend the second method, because the pig and eggs may be swallowed by the eggs and larvae of the pork tapeworm or ascaris, and the food remains attract insects and rodents, which are carriers of dangerous infections.
Mandatory disinfection and disinsection of the pigsty
If you use pig feeders, you should clean them from food residue after each feeding. At least once a week, they must be washed with a weak alkali solution, which will kill developing microorganisms that adversely affect the health of pigs.
The process of cleaning and cleaning the pen for pigs, feeders and drinkers is best done during their walking. And at the same time it is necessary to carry out forced ventilation of the premises, which will ensure the replacement of carbonated air and reduce the humidity level in the pigsty.
Disinfection and disinsection of premises containing piglets, sows and boar-producers is required to be carried out at least 1 time per month. This will protect pigs from the spread of infections carried by small rodents, birds and insects. You can use the drug "Virotsid", which will destroy bacteria and viruses. With rats and mice - more difficult, since the poison can not be used. You have to use the rat-trap or use a special glue to catch them. You can also use scarers that emit special sound waves.
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Write in the comments how you keep the pigs in the cottage or backyard.