The demand for pork is increasing in Uganda, thanks to the increasing population and townships. A kilogram of pork ranges between Shs8,000 and Shs10,000 depending on location.
This has made pig rearing lucrative.
Dr. Rogers Kalanda, a veterinary Doctor working with Bulemeezi Agrovet Ltd interacts with piggery farmers almost on a daily basis. He takes us through key things potential and existing piggery farmers shouldn’t put into consideration in order to get the best in this business.
Dr. Kalanda says the structure/ house of pigs should be well spacious with a firm ground-preferably made of concrete.
“It should be easy to clean, leak proof, not slippery to cause injury to pigs,” Kalanda says, adding that disposal of waste should be far away from the pig unit to avoid spreading of diseases.
“It must be well-fenced to avoid unwanted visits and must have footbath at the entrance containing water mixed with disinfectant,” he says.
He reveals that the structure should be 10ft*8ft on the ground and 6 1/2 ft height.
He says the number of pigs it can accommodate depends on age of the animals.
“A mother can nurse all the piglets in this unit up to one month. It can accommodate 7 pigs of four months, 2 of 5 month and one sow/pregnant one,” he says, adding that a bore also needs its own space.
Source of breeds
Kalanda says one need a fast growing breed, but it must be from the right and trusted source.
“A good breed should be between 5-10kgs at one month. Camborough is one of the fast growing breeds. It’s costly but worth it,” Kalanda says, adding that others good breeds are Large White, Land Race and Duloc.
“A good breed should be large in size, longer and taller,” he says.
He explains that a good breed should make 90-120kgs of live weight in six months. Prices for piglets range between Shs150, 000 to Shs300, 000 depending on the breed.
He notes that it is advisable to buy females at two months and a male at four months.
“It is also advisable that you get a male from parents different from females,” he says.
Management and Bio-security
Bio-security means measures taken to reduce spread of diseases on the farm. Management and bio-security includes preventing intruders, cleaning pig sty and unit every day, feeding, disease prevention and identification among others.
“Urine shouldn’t be left to pool,” Kalanda says.
Feeding is one of the most important things piggery farmers should take seriously.
“You need to get a good feed formula containing balanced nutrients, proteins, minerals, vitamins and clean water,” Kalanda says, adding: “These can be found in locally available materials; maize bran, cotton seed cake, fish, sunflower cake, palm kanel (ekinazi), soya bean meal, shells, enzymes, vitamin premix, toxin binder.”
He says that the mixing varies according to protein requirements of the pig as per its age.
Farmers are cautioned of what amount to give to the pigs. At three days, piglets should be given an iron injection.
He says that piglets between 2 weeks and 2 months should have unlimited feeding.
At 2-3 months, a pig should eat one kilogram a day. At 3-4 months, a pig should at least be given 1.5kg a day. At 4-5 months, a pig should be given 2kgs a day.
At 5-7 months, a pig should eat 2.5kgs a day and above 7 months, a pig should eat 3kgs a day.
At two and a half months, a pregnant sow should eat up to 3kgs a day and 3.5kgs at two and a half months up to three months.
From three months upwards, a pregnant sow should eat 4kgs a day and two days to delivery, a pregnant pig should be given 2kgs a day.
It should be noted that a pig gives birth at 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days (115 days).
“After delivery, a sow should be given 3kgs a day plus a quarter a kilo per each piglet but one shouldn’t exceed 6kgs,” Dr. Kalanda says, adding that a boer should be given between 2-2.5kgs a day.
“One can supplement feeds with potato veins and other greens,” he says.
He adds: “Pigs eat a lot; it’s you to determine the quantity they eat daily. If not limited, they can eat up to six kgs. If fed on a well balanced diet, they eat less. With quality feed, a pig can eat 3kgs a day.”
Kalanda says a pig at 5 months reaches puberty and goes on heat.
“However, it is not advisable to give it to the male because its body isn’t fully grown,” he says, adding that it will conceive but will not produce many piglets.
“A farmer should wait until it is about 7-8 months. It can be around 90kgs. This is for exotic but for cross breeds it can be between 60-80 kgs,” he says.
Kalanda says a farmer can use a Boer to impregnate the sow.
“Artificial insemination is good, but many inseminators in Uganda are incompetent. It’s good because it prevents diseases, allows you get a breed you want but they sometimes get contaminated due to poor hygiene conditions unlike live sperms that are fresh,” he says.
Dr. Kalanda says a farmer should identify diseased pigs and consult professional vets for best results.
“Many consult us when things have already worsened. It is a good practice to de-worm pigs at least every 2 months and spray against flies, ticks and lice regularly,” he says.
A farmer is expected to profit from his pigs when feeding them commercially at six months.
“Right from day one up to six months, a farmer will spend an average of Shs300, 000 on each pig. This will include labour, feeds, transport and other related costs,” Dr. Kalanda says.
He advises farmers to buy their own parents which will produce piglets for slaughter.
“Don’t buy piglets, feed them and sell because you won’t make profit,” he says, adding that at six months, Camborough will have about 90 kilos, cross breeds 60-80 and local breeds 50-60 kilos.
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