India has a population of about million pigs, which is less than 1 % world population. Even in the present undeveloped state they contribute pork and bristles, a valuable export commodity. Though pigs are maintained for production of pork, their role in progressive agriculture is not fully recognized. Pig farming is adapted to both diversified and intensified agriculture. Pigs convert inedible feeds, forages, and certain grain byproducts obtained from mills, meat by products, damaged feeds and garbage into valuable nutrition’s mean. The faeces of pigs are useful in maintaining soil fertility.
The pig grow fast and is a prolific breeder, farrowing 10-12 piglets at a time. It is capable of producing two litters per year under good management conditions. The carcase yield is high : 65 -80% of live weight. With a small investment on building and equipment, proper feeding and sound disease control program the farmer can profitably utilize his time and labour in this subsidiary occupation.
Important breeds of pigs
1. Large White Yorkshire
The large White Yorkshire is a popular English Bacon breed, which had its origin Yorkshire and neighboring countries in northern England. Yorkshire sows are noted as good mothers.
- Bacon type breed
- The body colour is solid white with occasional black pigmented spots called ‘freckles’
- Other distinguishing characteristic are erect ear, snout of medium length, large in size and slightly dished face
- Skin is pink coloured and is free from wrinkles with long and moderately fine coat. Neck is long and full to the shoulder. Back is slightly arched
- Matured body weight boar: 300-400kg and sow 230-320kg
- Most extensively used exotic breed in India.. It is an excellent breed for the purpose of crossbreeding
2. Middle White Yorkshire
This breed was evolved by crossing the Large White Yorkshire with smaller breed of Yorkshire extraction. The breed is accepted as excellent pork pig, reaching slaughter weight early and with a high percentage of lean meat to bone. The breed is hardy, grows rapidly, but is not as prolific as the Large White Yorkshire. Extensively used to upgrade desi pigs as it is smaller in size. Adult body weight boar: 250-340kg and sow 180-270kg.
The origin of this breed is Denmark, where it has been bred and fed to produce the highest quality bacon in the world.
- Large, long body. The breed is white in colour, although black skin spots ‘freckles’ rather common.
- White bristles in white body
- The breed is characterized by its long, deep side; square ham. The legs are relatively short .The carcass is more lean than that of the meat.
- Matured body weight boar 270-360kg and sow 200-320kg.
HOUSING OF PIGS
- The house should give adequate protection against direct sunlight and rain. Hogs are sensitive to heat and cold.
- The floor and wall should be strong to withstand the rooting habits of pigs. Concrete flooring is durable and easy to clean. The walls may be of bricks, finished smoothly and doors of strong wooden planks or iron.
- Feed troughs and water troughs may be placed along the front to facilitate feeding from outside.
- Pigs thrive well in temperature range of 20-25oC. Provide shade, wallowing tank, cooling devices such as sprinkling of water, washing etc. to maintain thermal comfort.
- Design should be such that all animals are observable easily from outside and the labour requirement is less.
- Boars, pregnant and dry sows, gilts and growing pigs are usually kept in open yards with partially sheltered area. Farrowing sows are housed in completely enclosed houses or pens.
- Simple low cost houses constructed with locally available materials as per above guidelines are preferred in rural areas. Multipurpose pens, which can be used, for all categories of pigs can also be designed meeting the floor space requirement.
- Individual or group housing in cages made up of vertical G.I. pipes/M S rods and also farrowing crates can be adopted in large high-tech farms.
- Uncastrated males and females should not be housed together beyond the age of four months.
Housing of Boars
Boar pen should have covered area of 6.25-7.5 m2 and open area of 8.8-12 m2 for exercise. The walls should have a minimum height of 1.5 m.
- Pigs are monogastric animals and can utilize fibrous food only to a limited extent. Adult pigs can utilize fibrous food better than young stock.
- Part of the protein in the diet of pigs should come from animal source such as fish, meat etc.
- Pigs should be fed at regular intervals.
- Fresh feed should be put only after removal of the previous feed from the feed trough.
- Pig rearing based on commercial pig feed is not economical and hence feeding based on swill is recommended. On an average, pig requires 4-8 kg swill per day.
- All categories of pigs can be given small quantity of fodder or may be sent to pasture.
- Ad libitum feeding using an automatic feeder (which can be fabricated using 200 litre oil drum) may be practiced for weaned pigs to avoid post-weaning weight depression
Nutrients requirement of breeding stock
Lactating gilts & sows
Young boars & adult boars
|Live weight (kg.)
|Energy and protein
|DE (M cal/kg)
|ME (M cal/kg)
|Crude Protein (%)
|Inorganic nutrients (%)
- Pigs are highly prolific in nature and two farrowings in a year should be planned by adopting optimal management conditions.
- For every 10 sows one boar must be maintained for maximum fertility.
- Breed the animals when it is in peak heat period (i.e. 12 to 24 hours of heat).
Care during Pregnancy
Give special attention to pregnant sows one week before farrowing by providing adequate space, feed, water etc. The sows as well as farrowing pens should be disinfected 3-4 days before the expected date of farrowing and the sows should be placed in the farrowing pen after bedding it properly.
Care of Piglets
- Take care of new born piglets by providing guard rails.
- Treat / disinfect the navel cord with tincture of iodine as soon as it is cut with a sharp knife.
- Feed on mothers’ milk for first 6-8 weeks along with creep feed.
- Protect the piglets against extreme weather conditions, particularly during the first two months.
- Needle teeth should be clipped shortly after birth.
- Vaccinate the piglets as per recommended vaccination schedule.
- Supplementation of Iron to prevent piglet anemia is necessary.
- The piglets meant for sale as breeder stock must be reared properly.
- Male piglets not selected for breeding should be castrated preferably at the age of 3-4 weeks which will prevent the boar odour in the cooked meat thus it enables production of quality meat.
- Additional feed requirements of lactating sow must be ensured for proper nursing of all the piglets born.
Care and management of sow:
Care and management of sows are very essential since they are retained in the herd mainly for breeding. Good management and feeding will minimize problems related to breeding. Sows should be looked after with particular care so that the piglets are delivered normally and nursed properly.
Farrowing Sow and Litter:
The pregnant female may be dewormed 2-3 weeks before farrowing and prior to admitting into the farrowing pen. Spray with external parasiticide (1% solution of malathion/cythion, butox. 0.05 %). Scrub the under surface, sides, interdigital space and udder to remove dirt, eggs of parasites, disease germs etc. with soap and water just before moving into the farrowing pen.
Classical swine fever
Classical swine fever (CSF) is a contagious viral disease of pigs. CSF is caused by a virus belonging to the family Flaviviridae and the genus pestivirus.
- Acute infection
- In acute form the pigs appear sick, inactive and drowsy with arched back. Some pigs stand with droopy head and straight tail. Huddling, vomiting, high fever anorexia and constipation. Conjunctivitis, staggering gait, posterior weakness and purple discoloration of abdominal skin
- In last stage of the infection, pigs will become recumbent, and convulsions may occur shortly before death. Sever diarrhoea will also occur during last stages.
- Chronic form
- Dullness, capricious appetite, pyrexia and diarrhoea for up to 1 month. Weight loss, hair loss, dermatitis and discoloration of abdomen or ears are the other symptoms. A chronically infected pig may have a disproportionately large head relative to the small trunk.
- Based on high morbidity and mortality, high fever, diarrhoea. Kidney and lymph node lesions will help in field diagnosis.
- Modified live vaccines (MLV) are used to control CSF.
- Swine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory viral infection of pigs caused by swine influenza vius, characterized by coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, elevated rectal temperatures, lethargy, difficult breathing, depressed appetite and rarely associated with reproductive disorders such as abortion.
- The first clinical signs are fever (40.5-41.5ºC), puffy eyes, anorexia leading to loss of weight, depression, prostration and huddling leading to weakness. These signs are followed by sudden onset of acute respiratory signs, which include paroxysmal coughing, sneezing, irregular abdominal breathing and ocular and nasal discharges.
- In breeding stock, abortions, infertility, production of small weak litters and increased stillbirths.
PREVENTION AND COTROL
Good husbandry practices including All-in/All-out to limit the spread of the disease, provision of fresh clean drinking water, avoiding ducks and turkey contamination's/contact including staff and proper use of disinfectants to clean infected buildings.
FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE
Viral disease of pigs caused by FMD virus of the genus Aphthovirus. Characterized by fever (40-40.6ºC), anorexia, reluctance to move, and scream when forced to move. These signs are followed by vesicles on the coronary band, heals, inter digital space and on the snout. Mouth lesions are not too common and when they occur are smaller and of shorter duration than in cattle and tend to be a "dry"-type lesion. There is no drooling. Sows may abort. Piglets may die without showing any clinical sign.
- Based on symptom and lesions
Control and eradication program
- Prevention of movement of animals and animal products in the area affected.
- Destroy carcasses
- Disinfect vehicles leaving the infected area.
- Perform vaccination.
- A bacterial disease caused by Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae.
- Erysipelas occurs in pigs of all ages, but pigs from 2 months to one year age are highly susceptible.
- The acute disease is characterized by high fever, in appetence, depression, a rapid course of illness, and death within 2-3 days in untreated animals.
- Some animals may show a stiff gait and reluctance to stand or move, and urticarial cutaneous lesions may develop.
- The diamond shaped raised skin lesions are pathognomonic. Pregnant sows may abort.
- In the chronic form arthritis is more common.
- The hock, stifle, elbow and carpal joints are most likely to be affected resulting in severe lameness.The mitral valves are involved in valvular endocarditis. Diamond shaped skin lesions are pathognomonic.
Diagnosis can be achieved by
- Based on symptom and lesions
- Gram-positive rods in acute cases and Gram-positive filaments in chronic cases. Treatment
- In addition to hyper immune serum, treatment with antibiotics such as penicillin and tetracyclines are effective.