Pig Breeding: How to raise a female pig is one of the most common questions people who want to produce and sell piglets always ask. Raising sow for your piglet production business can be profitable and highly rewarding. In this article, we will talk about ways to properly care for the sow during pregnancy, and childbirth, and whether it is already breastfeeding piglets.
Proper sow care during pregnancy, childbirth, and lactation is necessary for your pig breeding business to be successful. If the sow is cared for properly, the piglets will remain healthy and vigorous from pregnancy until they are weaned. It will also serve as the foundation for how many times the sow can give birth without sacrificing her health and the farmer’s income. Here are the things you need to know about proper sow care to make your pig breeding business successful.
Pig Breeding: Management before giving birth.
If your sow is currently pregnant, read this article for the sow care guide needed to successfully conceive your pet.
Deworm your pig. If you think your sow has worms, it should be dewormed two weeks before it is transferred to the farrowing crate or farrowing pen. You also need to know if the animal has skin parasites and it needs to be treated a few days before being transferred to the farrowing crate or pen.
Preparing the place of birth. You need to thoroughly clean the area where the sow will give birth. Remove all perishable items including leftover food, leaves, manure, and so on. You also need to disinfect and freeze it for five to seven days before you move the sow that is about to give birth. Boiling water is an effective disinfectant. Pour it all over the pigsty when you have removed all the ones you need to remove.
Bathing the sow. Before you move on to the farrowing pen, you need to thoroughly wash the pig’s stomach and breasts with mild soap and lukewarm water. This will remove feces that may contain harmful bacteria that can bring diarrhea to the piglets. Do this as well to reduce the likelihood of the litter getting worms.
Feeding the sow. During the period before transferring the sow to the pen in which it is born, it should be fed no more than four to six pounds depending on the weather conditions in the type of pen in which she lives. It is better if the sow is fed food that helps to have proper bowel movements to prevent constipation. The sow should also always have water but avoid throwing it on the floor where the sow can slip and break her leg.
Pig Breeding: Caring for the sow during delivery
Here are the things you need to know if you have already transferred your sow to the breed. Pay attention! This is the most serious stage of proper sow care!
You need to provide proper ventilation to the farrowing pen. If the weather is very hot, making a way for the pig to cool down will help the sow. Bathe the sow little by little so that she does not get hot. Pour water on the neck, shoulders, and abdomen if you notice that the sow is getting hot.
Find out when to give birth
The sow needs to be in the right place and at the right time in preparation for giving birth. So you should list the date when it was cast, count when it can give birth, and observe the signs of labor. This will help you prevent the sow from giving birth in the wrong place and not getting the right attention.
If you plan to breed your sow in a farrowing pen, it should be in the right place by the 110th day of pregnancy. In this way, the mother will get used to the place where she will give birth and how to take care of her before she gives birth. If you have not recorded the date of feeding the sow, you need to carefully observe the signs of the onset of labor every day.
The release of milk from the mother’s breasts is a sign that labor will begin within 24 hours. The milk may be gray the first time you notice it but will gradually turn white as the onset of the childbirth process approaches. The sow may become restless, afraid of it, try to get out of the cage, eat whatever is seen, urinate more often, or try to make a nest.
The birth of the piglets
Proper care of the sow at the time of giving birth will help to prevent the death of the piglets during or some hours after giving birth. Help the piglets remove their navels. Be on the lookout for weak piglets as well. Newborn piglets are carefully cared for to prevent their death a few days after they are born.
Sow labor can last 30 minutes to over five hours. Piglets may emerge head first or hind legs first. Parts of the mother’s uterus should be removed several times as the litter continues to come out, but expect more to come out of the placenta before all the litter has been released. If there is litter in the nursery, you need to remove it immediately so that the litter is not suffocated.
The average release interval of litter is 15 minutes to several hours depending also on the sow. When the release of piglets is delayed, the likelihood of having dead piglets increases.
Helping a sow who is having difficulty giving birth
If you think the mother is having difficulty giving birth, prepare the necessities to help her. The constant urination of the sow but no piglets coming out is a sign that something is blocking the exit of the piglets. Wash the mother’s vagina well with soap. Wash your hands as well. Grab the sow’s vagina until you reach the litter. Gently pull the litter as far as you can until it comes out. Sometimes, the piglets are so large that it becomes a barrier to the sow’s vagina.
Breastfeeding newborn piglets. Each of the piglets must drink colostrum from the sow. This will serve as their short-term resistance to infections. Support the piglets to breastfeed by the mother especially if she is losing or weakening, there are so many piglets that there are piglets that are not allowed to breastfeed or there are deliberately weak piglets.
Pig Breeding: Caring for the sow after delivery
Here are guidelines for properly caring for a sow after she gives birth to her piglets.
Feeding the sow. The mother needs to be fed 12 to 24 hours after giving birth, but water needs to be given continuously. Two to three pounds (1.5 to 2kgs) is the initial feed that should be given to the mother and it will gradually increase as the sow’s strength returns. Feed her the usual amount of food 24 hours after giving birth. Sows that have lost weight need to be fed properly for them to recover.
Sows that suckle more piglets also need enough food for her to sustain breastfeeding. Pigs breastfeeding eight litters or less need to eat six pounds of food, and an additional half a pound per number of litters breastfed. There is no need to reduce the feed to the sow before weaning the piglets.
You need to help stand the sow two to three times daily. It will help her eat, drink and, defecate properly. It will also help you observe your sow. Some sows need to be able to exercise outside of the farrowing pen.
Feeding the piglets. Sow’s milk does not contain enough iron for litter. So they need to be given an iron supplement for the first three or four days to prevent anemia. Consult your veterinarian for supplements that piglets need.
When the litter is a week old, you can then provide pre-starter feeds in the shallow feeding. This ratio contains 20% protein and will encourage the piglets to learn to eat.
Once they know how to eat, you can switch to starter feeds. Feed them a starter until the piglets reach 25 to 30 kilos. Then, you can switch to cheaper rations and grower feeds. Remember that they need clean water even if they have not yet started eating feeds.
Resistance to sow diseases. Regular observation is needed in sows a few days after giving birth. Weakness in eating, being lazy to act, and not breastfeeding properly in piglets are signs that you need to treat your pig with the disease. Treating these symptoms will help stave off MMA syndrome or Mastitis.
If the sow has mastitis, you need to immediately consult a veterinarian to cure this disease. Also, consult experts if you notice other symptoms of mother or piglet disease.
You have two options whether to raise your piglets or sell them. Either way, you can make a profit. The price of piglets depends on the season and the place where your piggery is located. Usually, the price ranges between P2,300 to as high as P3,500.
FAQ About Pig Breeding in the Philippines
Q: What is the importance of pig breeding in the Philippines?
A: Pig breeding is essential in the Philippines because pork is a staple meat in the Filipino diet. It contributes significantly to the country’s livestock industry and provides livelihood opportunities for many farmers.
Q: What are the common pig breeds raised in the Philippines?
A: The most common pig breeds in the Philippines include the native “Asong Baboy” or native pig, as well as commercial breeds like Landrace, Large White, Duroc, and crosses between these breeds.
Q: What are the basic requirements for starting a pig breeding operation in the Philippines?
A: To start a pig breeding operation, you need suitable housing, good quality breeding stock, proper feeding and nutrition, access to clean water, and knowledge of pig management practices.
Q: What are the key considerations for selecting breeding stock?
A: When selecting breeding stock, consider their health, reproductive performance, growth potential, and adaptability to local conditions. Choose animals with good genetics to improve the quality of your pig herd.
Q: What is the ideal pig breeding age and weight for gilts (female pigs)?
A: Gilts should reach a weight of 100-120 kilograms and be around 8-9 months old before they are bred for the first time.
Q: What is the breeding age and weight for boars (male pigs)?
A: Boars are typically ready for breeding at 8-10 months of age and should weigh around 100-120 kilograms.
Q: How do I manage the breeding process for pigs?
A: Ensure proper housing, good nutrition, and a controlled breeding environment. Monitor the sow’s estrus cycle and use artificial insemination or natural mating to achieve breeding.
Q: What is the gestation period for pigs, and how should I care for pregnant sows?
A: The gestation period for pigs is approximately 114 days. Provide pregnant sows with a balanced diet, proper housing, and regular health checks to ensure their well-being and the health of the piglets.
Q: How do I manage piglets after they are born?
A: Keep piglets in a clean and warm environment, provide them with colostrum (first milk) from the sow, and offer proper nutrition to support their growth and development.
Q: What are some common diseases and health issues in pig breeding, and how can I prevent them?
A: Common pig health issues in the Philippines include swine fever, respiratory diseases, and parasites. Preventive measures include vaccination, biosecurity practices, and regular veterinary care.
Q: What marketing and sales options are available for pig breeders in the Philippines?
A: Pig breeders can sell their pigs directly to consumers, local markets, and meat processors, or engage in contract farming with larger companies. Explore different marketing channels to find the most suitable option for your operation.
Q: Are there any government regulations or support programs for pig breeding in the Philippines?
A: Yes, the Philippine government has various programs and agencies, such as the Department of Agriculture (DA), that provide support, training, and information to pig breeders. There are also regulations related to animal health and welfare that pig breeders must comply with.
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