Pig Management Tips For Peace of Mind
Effective pig management involves getting the pig to grow to its optimum weight as quickly as possible and with the least amount of inputs, while maximizing the quality of the final product – the meat. This basically involves three aspects of breeding pigs and pig care – shelter, nutrition and health.
Shelter and shade are essential to proper pig management, since pigs do not sweat and hence have no way of maintaining the correct body temperature. If they are not given shade, they may become heat stressed and this would adversely affect their growth. Hence, they must be provided with the correct shelter.
The ideal housing should be open in front to allow the proper ventilation, with a pit so you can handle the pig manure which you can use as fertilizer for your garden. The area containing the pigs should also be securely fenced in to ensure they don’t wander off and have to be herded back. You can also consider digging a mud hole in the pen that the pigs will wallow in. The mud serves to keep the pigs warm in winter and cool in summer, and conditions their dry, scaly skin.
Pig management also involves providing them with the correct food and water. A plentiful clean water supply is essential for the continued health of the pigs; their drinking water should also be changed regularly. You might also want to spray down the pigs with a hose once or twice a day to keep them cool. While you can feed the pigs table scraps and spoiled produce, you should supplement this with the right pig feeds that have the correct balance of nutrients for optimum growth. You can consult with breeders for the right feeds to give the pigs at particular stages of their development, to ensure that they will produce lean meat, rather than meat with a higher fat content.
Keeping the pigs healthy is also a big part of pig management. They should be given a wormer every four weeks to keep them free from internal parasites. They should also get the proper vaccinations from a veterinarian, and their living areas should be sprayed and kept clean to eliminate external parasites.
Finally, pig management also involves the proper handling of the pigs. Pigs are intelligent creatures that should be given the right amount of attention; otherwise they may become too aggressive and difficult to handle when the time comes to bring them to market to be sold or to butcher them.