How Can I Make My Pig Gain Weight Fast?
Importance of Feeds and Feeding
- Feed accounts for at least 70% of the cost of commercial pig production. Therefore, it is the most important operational cost item in a pig enterprise. To maximize profits, a pig farmer must minimize feeding costs. Feed must contain the nutrients in the right quantities
- Pigs require feed for body maintenance, growth and reproduction. Feeds supply nutrients which are used to meet these biological needs.
- There are six classes of nutrients required by the pig: water, energy, protein, vitamins, minerals and lipids. These nutrients can be supplied by a wide variety of feedstuffs.
- Feeding pigs for optimum production requires that feedstuffs be combined in proportionate amounts that will provide the quantities of nutrients needed by the animals.
Nutrients required by pigs
- Water: Sixty-five percent of the pig’s body is water. The pig requires water to enable all body functions such as digestion, excretion, blood circulation and maintenance of body temperature.
Lack of water quickly leads to a rise in body temperature and death. Also less water will have a major effect on food intake and pig performance. A Sow needs 20 liters of drinking water daily. A farmer should supply clean fresh water all the time.
- Energy: Provides the body system with the power to function. The energy requirement of the pig is supplied by carbohydrates and fats. The main sources of carbohydrates are cereals, root crops and fruits (Table4). Fats commonly used in pig feeds include groundnuts and soybeans oils, among others. The pig requires very small amount of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid required for the body’s normal functioning.
- Protein: Provides the primary blocks for body building and repair i.e meat, collagen, hair and nails.
- Minerals: These are the nutrients found in bones. Minerals are required for strong bones and normal body function. There are 13 essential inorganic minerals known to be required by the pig.
The minerals required in sizeable quantities are calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and chlorine. Iron is very important to the piglet. The common sources of minerals include: lake shells (Obusonko), bone ash, common salt, brown salt, soil and commercial vitamin-mineral premix. Bonemeal, oyster shell and limestone are the most common sources of Calcium and Phosphorus in pig rations.
Care in feeding pigs.
Farmers should be aware of the importance of good feeding to pigs. They should take great care in ensuring that the pigs get timely and adequate quality feeding. A single feed stuff cannot provide all the nutrients required for all body functions of the pig.
A farmer should therefore mix the different feedstuffs in proportions that satisfy the requirement for a particular type of pig (weaner, piglet or Sow). Table 9 has been developed to guide on this matter.
Although expensive, feedstuffs from animal sources are better than feed stuffs from plant sources since they have better balance of nutrients. Whenever possible, a farmer should include both plant and animal feedstuffs in the ration. S/he should whenever affordable supplement local feed formulation with commercial feed if available.
Article Related Questions:
- How much food should a pig eat per day?
- How many kg of feed does a pig eat per day?
- How do you make pig feed formula?
- What are the most common feed ingredients fed to hogs?
- What is the best grain to feed pigs?