Components Of A Pig Housing Unit
• It should be made from locally available materials such as dry thatching grass, polythene sheets, papyrus mats placed over polythene sheets, dry banana leaves placed over polythene sheet or iron sheets
• The roof should be at least three meters above the ground to create a cool environment
• Be rain and sun proof
• Collect rain water if corrugated iron sheets are used
• A minimum slope of 450 is recommended
• Use either bricks or timber off cuts. The off cuts should be nailed on the inside part of the house to prevent the pig from pushing against it easily
• The wall should be well plastered
• Use treated poles to support the structure
• The floor should not be cemented but left bear with a soil surface
• It should be covered by parent material of dry matter ( grass, maize stalk, sorghum straws, twigs or small branches)
• The parent material should be covered by a mixture of either fine saw dust, or rice/wheat bran mixed with lime, table salt, red soil.
• The material is then maintained by sprinkling a solution containing Indigenous Micro Organisms (IMOs)
The amount of space will depend on:
- Size of the animals. A housing unit should have pigs of the same size.
- Age of animal
- Physiological condition (lactating Sows, pregnant Sows)
The housing unit should not be overcrowded as this will lead to:
- Increased susceptibility to disease
- Poor weight gain
- Increased cases of fighting and tail biting
Dry Sows should be housed in groups. Boars are kept in individual pens to eliminate fighting, riding and competition for feed. Boars kept separately live longer. Boar pens should be close to recently weaned pig Sow pens. This promotes fast return to heat.
Each lactating Sow should be kept in a separate pen. There should be a creep area for the piglets; the piglets can run to this area to avoid being crashed by the Sow as it lies down’
Feed and water troughs
- The feed and water troughs should be placed on opposite sides so that the pigs can exercise as they move from one trough to another
- The water troughs should be shifted regularly to avoid over wetting the same spot
- It is advisable to use plastic troughs since these can be easily washed to maintain an acceptable level of hygiene
- The troughs do not necessarily have to be fixed, they should be easily moved to create more room for exercise after the animals have fed and drunk water.
- If the troughs are fixed, they should be built along the wall
- Each pig should be allowed a space of 30cm in a feed trough
- The water trough should be at least 30cm in height.
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