Raising Swine in the Philippines
Several factors should be considered before venturing into swine raising to ensure a profitable yield. Precautionary steps should also be taken prior to raising swine in the selection of breeder sows, equipment and facilities, nutrition and health management, and technology research.
The first important factor in swine raising is making the appropriate choice of breeder sows and boars for existing conditions as well as financial considerations. Consequently, choosing the best sows for the farm should be guided accordingly. Selecting the superior sows can be guided by their appearance.
The biggest animals in the litter should be selected as breeder animals. Female breeders should be from a litter with high survivability rate. It is prudent to ensure that selected sows do not come from a litter observed with agalactia or failure to secrete milk.
Farm sanitation should also be considered when selecting hardy and vigorous pigs. Pigs with abnormalities should not be selected as these may be inherited.
Sows with longer bodies are more desirable as length provides more space for udder development. Sows should have a uniform body width from front to rear. Breeding sows should have a good development of the ham, loin and shoulder. Feet and legs should be well placed. Medium short feet and short upright pasterns are favorable in selecting the right sow.
Teats should be well spaced, with a minimum number of 6 per gilt. Gilts with better udder development are more able to have better milking capacity. Sows should be inspected for inverted teats as these do not secrete milk.
Boars four to six months old should be selected for their masculinity in appearance and activity. Boars should have visible and well-developed primary sex organs and whose testicles are of equal size. Selected boars should be able to overcome the defects of the herd. Minor defects may be ignored as long as these defects are not present among the sows.
Housing facilities play an important role in raising profitable hogs. The swine house should be constructed to aid in the maximum performance of the stock. Poorly constructed hog houses unquestionably facilitate health management problems that should be avoided.
Hog houses are ideally built on a slightly sloping area to facilitate proper drainage. This prevents the house from getting too muddy and allows convenience.
Concrete floors should be built for permanent hog houses. This facilitates ease in cleaning and minimizes parasite and disease incidents. Concrete floors should not be too abrasive to cause leg and feet problems. However it should not also be too smooth to be slippery when wet.
Bamboo and nipa are housing materials that are cheap and locally available and are ideal for small farms and backyard hog farming operations.