Friday, February 26, 2010

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.