Pigs are reared for mainly their meat is known as pork which is used to make products like a beacon, brawn, and sausages.
Domestic pigs are known as swine or hog.
In recent days in Kenya according to media reports, pig farming for commercial purposes has become one of the most famous and lucrative forms of animal husbandry.
Media reports say that pork accounts for about 38 percent of meat production in the world.
To ensure maximum production and returns from pig rearing a farmer has to have the best practices in raising and breeding of swine.
Pigs grow faster than other livestock and reproduce twice a year with their gestation period being only 114 days.
Sows give birth to piglets at least twice a year producing about 10 piglets thus generally increasing the farmers produce when fully grown.
Popular breeds reared in Kenya include Hampshire, Large White, Yorkshire, Duroc and the Landrace.
Large white is robust, adaptable and of higher performance than most other breeds. It is preferred by most pig farmers in tropics notes infonet-biovision.org
A landrace is long, big, farrow and are very good mothers, while Duroc grows very fast, puts on weight quickly and is heavy highlights ypard.net
Once a pigsty is set the farmer should research on the best type of breeds to rear and the ones which perform best at the piggery location.
A farmer should select a breed that is good at farrowing, good mothers, have high prolificacy and not susceptible to infections.
When buying piglets remember to ask the seller about their health information, production history, and other records.
Boars should be castrated if they are not meant for mating to ensure they do not waste a lot of energy chasing after sows highlights biznakenya.com
Pigs should be fed once or twice a day with a balanced diet with all necessary nutrients and supplied with clean drinking water. Pigs feed on about three to four kilograms of feed per day.
The huge advantage about pigs is that they feed on a wide range of food variety from leftover foods, fruits, vegetables, the kitchen remains roughage, agricultural waste and so much more as long as it’s not rotten as this could make them sick.
This saves on most home vegetable remains from going to waste. Pig pellets are, however, the best feed.
Setting up a good clean and dry pigsty
One starts by establishing the best location for a piggery to set a proper pigsty.
To keep the pigs clean, a concrete pigsty is more ideal than a soiled one and for easy cleaning.
It should be a warm place for the pigs to prevent infections due to cold. Adult pigs are sensitive to hot temperatures and the piglets, on the other hand, are affected adversely by cold temperatures.
Consider a quiet and calm place away from the noises of the residential homes.
Extra pens should be set to separate a pig with others in cases of infection or during the gestation period.
The farmer should aim at keeping the pigsty dry especially during the rainy season.
Maintenance of good health
A farmer should vaccinate piglets and pigs against the common diseases that affect them like brucellosis, mastitis, leptospirosis, endometritis, anaphrodisias, leptospirosis, diarrhea/enteritis, salmonellosis, influenza, pleural pneumonia, pasteurellosis, African swine fever and anthrax as listed by infonet-biovision.org
The farmer should also consider having a veterinary doctor a phone call away in case the hogs get sick.
The animals should also be dewormed after every two months to ensure they are healthy and worms are also not passed to human beings.
Proper hygiene should be maintained to encourage healthy growth and production for the farmer to reap big.
These include information on their weights, vaccination dates, health information, production history, and other records.
This helps the farmer with easy follow up and maintenance of the pigs to ensure good return on investment.