Friday, February 26, 2010

Some common diseases of pig include: brucellosis, anthrax, bovine mastitis, hog cholera or swine fever, pleuropneumonia, enteritis or swine dysentery, transmissible gastro-enteritis, etc.

1. Brucellosis/Contagious Abortion: This disease is caused by a bacterium called Brucella abortus.
i. High fever
ii. Diarrhea and dysentery
iii. Posterior paralysis
iv. Premature abortion
i. Contaminated feed
ii. Contaminated water
iii. Infected animals
i. Isolation of infected animal
ii. Proper sanitation
iii. Regular vaccination

2. Anthrax: This disease is caused by a bacterium and transmitted through contaminated feed, water, equipment and infected animals.
i. High fever
ii. Depression
iii. Blood oozing from the mouth, nose, anus or carcass
iv. Lack of appetite and sudden death
i. Proper sanitation
ii. Vaccination and isolation of infected animals.

3. Enteritis or Swine dysentery: This is a protozoa disease that causes serious digestive tract disorder.
i. High temperature
ii. Loss of appetite
iii. Frequent passage of watery, fowl smelling faeces (may be bloody).
iv. Loss of weight
i. Proper sanitation
ii. The administration of sulphur drugs and antibiotics such as Terramycin and Aureomycin.

4. Hog Cholera/Swine Fever: it is a viral disease. It affects pigs of all ages.
i. High body temperature
ii. Diarrhea and vomiting
i. The only control is to kill affected animals and bury them.

5. Transmissible Gastro-Enteritis: This disease is caused by a bacterium and affect piglets mostly.
i. Diarrhea and vomiting
ii. Green or white faeces
iii. Sudden death
i. Antibiotics and sulphonamide drugs are used to cure the diseases.


Common sanitary measures to be adopted in pig farm include:
1. Clean pig pens regularly by scrubbing the floor
2. Disinfect the pig pen at regular interval to make it germ free.
3. Clean the feeders and waterers to prevent contamination
4. Isolate infected animal for treatment.
5. Burn or bury dead animal.
6. Regular vaccination.


Feed cost represents 70 % - 80% of the total cost of producing swine. Feeds are given to all categories of pigs should be balanced in nutrient, i.e. it should contain all nutrients required for growth and production. Breeder’s mash (15% protein) should be feed to breeders to prevent body fat deposition but keep them thrifty. Flushing of the breeders should be done 7- 10 days before breeding and maintained until the animals are bred. Flushing is the process by which two feed intake of the gilt or sow is increased so that it can produce more eggs or ova and consequently more number of fertilized egg or ova and large litter or piglet. Pregnant or in sow should not be overfed during gestation period to prevent fat deposition which leads to small litter size and difficulty in parturition. Laxative diet, rich in high fiber (grasses) should be given to in sows to aid easy parturition and lactation. The young piglet should be given creep feed (22% protein) as from two weeks of age to promote rapid growth of the piglet. As soon as the piglet are weaned, they should be given Weaners mash which contain about 18%protein for about 14 weeks at an average rate of 1kg for a pig per day. The pigs are also fed on fatteners’ mash (14% protein) during the fattening stage when pigs do not require high proteinous feed. The pigs are fed at an average rate of 2kg per pig in a day till they reach market weight of 60-90kg at 9-10 months of age.
Pigs being omnivorous animals can feed on kitchen wastes, grasses, remains of restaurant or eatery food and other by-products of brewery, dry waste etc.


Pig houses are sheds which provide shelter against harsh weather as well as provide proper hygienic conditions required. It should be constructed along the direction of the wind but should be far from residential areas. It should have low walls made with bricks, stones or concrete cement with low walls to allow free flow of air or with planks. The floor should be hard, impervious to water but easy to clean. It should be cement concrete slabs. The floor should slope towards the drains with a gradient of 1.40, to ease cleaning. The surface should be slantly rough to prevent pigs from slippering. The roof should be made from either asbestos, galvanized iron or aluminum sheet. All pens except farrowing pens, are constructed the same, with the provision of feeders and drinkers (waterer). Farrowing pens in addition to the feeders and drinkers should have rail guards so as to prevent the sow from lying over the piglets. The farrowing pens should also have creep area where the feed of the piglets are kept. Such partition prevents the sow from eating up the nutritious feed for the piglet.


Pigs are non-ruminant animals and they belong to the family called Suidae. There are two main species of pigs – sus sacrofa and sus vittatus. The name hog most commonly refers to the domestic pig (Sus domestica) in everyday parlance, but technically encompasses several distinct species, including the wild boar. Swine is a term generally used to describe pigs as a group rather than an individual; however it may often be implied in a pejorative manner to any living being expressing pig-like behaviour. Pigs do not have functional sweat glands, so pigs cool themselves using water or mud during hot weather. They also use mud as a form of sunscreen to protect their skin from sunburn. Mud also provides protection against flies and parasites.

Some common breeds of pig are named below:
1. American Landrace
2. Belgium Pie Train
3. Chester white
4. Duroc Jersey
5. Hampshire
6. Large Black
7. Large White
8. Poland China
9. Tamworth
10. West African Dwarf Pig

All the breeds are grouped into three classes namely:
1 Meat type
2 Land type
3 Bacon type
Pigs are reared mainly for meat production, pig skin, income, bristle and manure, etc.


Boar A matured male pig
Sow A matured female pig
Gilt A female pig that has matured to reproduce or has reproduce
Piglet The young or baby pig
Weaners Young pig just separated from their mother
Fatteners Old pig reared for the market
Barrow A castrated male pig
Farrowing The act of parturition in pig
In sow Pregnant sow
Dry sow Sow that is not pregnant
Pork The meat of pig
Bacon Salted pig meat
Lard Pig meat with fat

1. Pigs are very prolific animals. At 8-10 months of age, gilt is matured and can be farrow twice a year producing 6-10 piglets per litter/birth.
2. It has a short gestation period of 114 days i.e. three months, three weeks and three days
3. They matured very early. A piglet gets to 60-90kg market weight in 9-10months depending on the feeding.
4. It requires little capital investment in terms of building, vaccine and equipment.
5. Pig meat (pork) is a good source of protein.

There are three system of rearing pigs. They are Intensive, Semi-Intensive and Extensive

INTENSIVE: - All the pigs are confined within a building and are not allowed to move out. The pigs are raised inside the pens on either concrete or iron slated floor.
Feeds, water and medications are supplied daily in adequate quantity and good sanitation is maintained. The system saves labour; provide condition for management standards and easy control of internal parasites. There is also protection from extremes of climate, predators and thieves.
The feeding efficiency is high, thus, the growth rate is also very high. The system requires high capital investment in terms of building, vaccine and equipment.

SEMI-INTENSIVE:- In this system, housing is provided for the animals and they are allowed to move out to feed on natural vegetation. Paddocks are provided around the house which is fenced, wallows and shades are also provided. The animals are allowed to move about thereby, exercising themselves to prevent fat built-up in the body. The system needs less capital investment but the labour requirements, disease incidence and parasite infestations are slightly high. Concentrate feeds are also provided.

EXTENSIVE: - In this system, the pigs are allowed to roam about and fend for themselves. This system has little or no capital investment and the cost of production is low. However, disease incidence and worm infestations are very high. The animals are also exposed to adverse weather condition.