By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
Venturing into pig farming can be a profitable business due to the high demand of pork in the market. Yet it requires the right know-how along with the necessities in terms of housing, food, and such to make the operation work.
In the previous article, Aleli Jean Paulican, a staff member of the Agricultural Training Institute’s Regional Training Center in Region X (ATI-RTC X) tackled the different breeding processes and farm operations that pig raisers can engage in. Here, she talks about the basic requirements in pig production and management.
The basics on housing
One of the first things that should be secured in a pig farm is its housing.
According to Paulican in a webinar broadcasted in Agricultural Training Institute Northern Mindanao’s Facebook page, the housing should be designed to facilitate the freedom and individual comfort of pigs, labor saving, herd health and sanitation, bedding conservation, and manure disposal.
“Farmers should give consideration to the cost and durability of the materials used to secure the housing,” she added.
In addition to the housing, the site selection of the farm is also important as it should be accessible, within proximity of essential services like water and electricity yet within a reasonable distance from other farms. Moreover, the site of a pig farm or the pig’s housing should also have suitable surroundings, biosecurity, and in possession of the proper permits for operation. ‘
Once the appropriate site has been located, it’s time to think about the building’s orientation. Paulican said that it’s best to follow an east-west orientation. This would give the pigs the right amount of sunlight and the direction of the wind can help lessen the smell that would come off from the farm.
Providing proper feed nutrients
The next concern that pig farmers or aspiring ones should focus on next is providing the right nutrition for the pigs.
One ingredient is water since the pigs’ body weight is made up of 70 to 80 percent of water.
Next is protein. This is essential for the growth and maintenance of muscle organs and tissues. It also helps in the formation of enzymes, hormones, and antibodies. Some sources of protein can come from animal by-products such as fish meal, bone meal, and blood meal, as well as legumes like azolla, alugbati, and madre de agua.
Another nutrient requirement is carbohydrates because it serves as the largest energy source in the pig’s diet (around 60 to 75 percent). It also helps in the regulation of body temperature.
“Good sources of carbohydrates include corn bran and rice bran which are available in the market. Sorghum and wheat meal are also possible choices,” Paulican said.
She added that carbohydrates are low in protein which is why they need to be augmented with ingredients that are rich in the latter.
Pigs also need crude fiber (CF) to facilitate better digestion as well as water retention. Piglets can be given a maximum of five percent while adults require 12 percent of CF.
Furthermore, pigs also need fats in their meals since these nutrients provide the most concentrated source of energy to the body. On a weight basis, it supplies 2.25 more energy than carbohydrates. Plus, fats make feeds more palatable and less dusty.
The nutrient can be sourced from oils such as vegetable oil, coconut or palm oil, corn oil, and fish oil.
Vitamins are another requirement in the nutrition of pigs. These serve essential functions in maintaining normal growth and reproduction among pigs. Vitamins are usually given in small quantities.
Lastly, minerals should also be included in the feeds because these aid in the formation of bones and teeth, along with other bodily functions.
“Aside from the food and its contents, other factors that affect pigs’ nutrition include its environment, facilities, and management,” Paulican said.
Watch the full video of the ATI Northern Mindanao’s Facebook webinar here.
Read more about farming and gardening on agriculture.com.ph.