As promised my notes from my pig production class. Please bear in mind that this is not comprehensive. Maybe it will inspire you to do further research or ask me questions… :-).
Pigs are omnivores (can eat anything edible), non-ruminant and monogastric (one stomach compartment). Pigs are kept primarily for :
- The production of pork;
- For soft leather, bristles of brushes;
- Lard (fat) for cooking;
- Hormones for medicinal purposes;
- Manure for soil and fish ponds. Also pig manure is used in some countries e.g China & Taiwan to produce methane gas for cooking and other purposed;
- Good experimental animal for medicinal and nutritional research.
- Boar:- a mature male pig
- Sow:- a mature female pig
- Growers:- young pig of either sex from 10-20 weeks
- Gilt:- young female pig ready for mating >20 weeks
- Weaner:- young pig of either sex just separated from the sow (mother) from 5-8 weeks
- Piglet:- the baby or young pig of either sex.
- Farrowing:- art of giving birth or parturition
- Fatteners:- old pigs reared for the market
- Hog/Barrow:- castrated male pig
- In-sow:- pregnant sow
- Dry-sow:- non-pregnant sow
- Swine:- american term for pigs
- Pork:- meat of pigs
- Lard:- pigs fat
- Bacon:- salted pig meat
- Litter size:- number of piglets in a litter
- Litter:- piglets in a single farrowing
- Gestation: another word for pregnancy period. 114 days (3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days)
- Weaning:- separation of sow
- Castration:- removal of testicles of the male pigs. Better done before weaning.
- Conformation:- physical form, shape and overall appearance of an animal.
- Creep feeding:- feeding of piglets with special feed high in protein.
- Breeding:- art of mating
- Mortality:- death
- Pen:- housing for pigs
Parts of the pig
Characteristics of a pig
- Pigs have fast growth rate, reach sexual maturity within 6 to 8 months and market weight of 60 – 90 kg in 6 – 10 months.
- Pigs are prolific animals with a gestation period of 114 days that is 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days. They usually farrow a minimum of 6 piglets.
- Pigs are polyestrous animals i.e pigs can be bred at anytime of the year.
- Pigs farrow an average of 6 – 12 piglets per litter and can produce 2 litters in 1 year or 5 litters in 2 years.
- Pigs are good converters of feed into meat (pork). They can easily convert compounded waste (waste from feedmill) into pork more cheaply and rapidly than most domestic animals.
- Pigs have an excellent dressing percentage or yield (65% – 80%) i.e proportion of flesh to bone is high.
- The swine enterprise requires a small investment compared to other livestock enterprises. Return comes very quickly when compared to others except poultry and fishing.
- The salvage value of pigs is high i.e the price at which an old pig can be sold off.
- Pork is very nutritious, good source of protein, high in energy and tender. The energy value of pork is much higher than that of beef (cattle), mutton (sheep), chivon (goat)
Hope you find it useful. Lesson 2 notes coming soon….Thanks for stopping by 🙂