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Swine are highly efficient converters of food to muscle mass (feed to gain ratio of approx 3.5:1). They are also prolific, able to produce two litters of up to 14 piglets twice a year.

Swine carry diseases which can be spread to humans. They should therefore be raised in confinement, their pens cleaned often, and the manure composted to kill parasites. If raised on a pasture setting, they should be given enough area so that the manure can dry in the sun (sloppy muddy pig pens are a disease hazard). Pigs should not be allowed to wander around villages, or kept in an area where their manure can be washed into the water supply.

Swine have a mono-gastric digestive system, very similar to the human digestive system. Thus, pigs are in direct competition with humans for the same food sources. In a development setting, if food shortages are a problem, pigs are not an appropriate choice of livestock. Pigs are appropriate where food surpluses are spoiling, or where there is an edible byproduct from processing of a crop.

Pigs require a high percentage of protein: Pig feed should contain 13% protein (by weight). For pregnant or nursing mothers, or growing piglets (up to 3 months), this percentage should be increased to 20%. A rule of thumb for protein calculation is that a ration that is 1 part beans to 2 parts cereal grains is approximately 13% protein.

Signs of protein deficiency: animals who are deficient in protein will not gain weight properly. They will have drawn in rib cages. If deficiency occurs during growth the animal will have a large head and a small body frame.

Calculating a feed ration -
(__% protein in cereal) subtracted from (__% protein in end ration)= parts of protein ration
(__% protein in Protein ration) minus (__%protein in end ration)= parts of cereal ration
Example: you are using a corn that is 8% protien, and soy beans which are 30% protien, and you are mixing a 13% protein ration for normal growth in pigs-
8%(corn) subtracted from 13%(overall) = 5 parts soybeans
30%(soybeans) minus 13% (overall)= 17 parts corn
This means for every 5 cups of soybeans, you need 17 cups of corn. (you could approximate this to 1 cup of soybeans to 3 cups of corn).
The protein percentage of the cereal grain and protein mix you are using must be looked up.

Terms and Statistics -
Adult Female: Sow
Adult Male: Boar
Immature Female: Gilt
Castrated Male: Barrow
Young: Piglet
Giving Birth: Farrowing
Gestation Period: 3 months 3 weeks 3 days
Estrous Cycle: 21 days
Signs of heat(nearing ovulation)- sow stands still when pressure is applied to her loin

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Profitable Pork: Alternative Strategies for Hog Producers

Farmers who want to successfully produce pork on a small scale can preserve their independence in the face of the consolidating hog industry. "Profitable Pork: Alternative Strategies for Hog Producers" showcases examples of alternative ways to raise pork profitably. In designing hog systems that work on their farms - in deep-straw bedding, in hoop structures and on pasture - producers have been able to save on fixed costs, find greater flexibility, identify unique marketing channels and enjoy a better quality of life. The 16-page bulletin features profiles about successful hog producers as well as the latest research on everything from greater profits to better-tasting pork raised in alternative hog systems.


Biodigesters and Dream Farms

For some different thoughts on raising pigs, Podcast on raising pigs, by Paul Wheaton and Jocelyn Campbell

FA info icon.svgAngle down icon.svgPage data
Authors Eric Blazek, Robin
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 9 pages link here
Aliases Hogs, Pigs, Pig
Impact 880 page views
Created May 2, 2006 by Eric Blazek
Modified September 4, 2023 by StandardWikitext bot
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