The right feeding management should start at the very beginning of a piglet’s life. It is important to supply the sow with a good ration if her milk is inadequate to feed the litter. If necessary, piglets may be provided with a milk replacer.
Pigs have different ration requirements for each growth stage. Ration changes should be made gradually over a seven-day period to allow the pigs to adjust to their new feeding rations.
At age one week, piglets should be fed with a good commercial pre-starter ration. Starter rations are given to pigs from weaning to age eight weeks, or when they are 10 to 25 kilograms in weight. At age eight weeks or when they are 30 to 35 kilograms, pigs are given a grower ration until they are age fifteen to twenty weeks, after which pigs should
be given a finisher ration. Clean water should be provided at all times.
When formulating a simplified ration, it is important to consider that the ration should always include sufficient energy, protein and vitamins and minerals. Corn and its byproducts, cassava, camote and slaughterhouse discards may be fed to the pigs if these are properly cooked and dried. Proper ration can prevents any excess feed that will only go to waste.
The animals must be fed with rations that are highly digestible. Enzymes may be included in the feed to help in the pigs’ digestion. Some processes like pelleting, extrusion and pre-cooking of the feed are known to help in the digestibility of the feed. Easily digestible feeds ensure that the nutrients from the feeds are absorbed by the animals.
Sanitation should be given priority in keeping a healthy environment in hog house. Buildings, pens, equipment and facilities should always be kept clean and regularly sanitized and disinfected.
Pigs coming from other sources must be initially quarantined and isolated before transporting them to the pens. Replacement breeder stocks must be immunized against parasites and diseases especially hog cholera and swine plague. Services of a veterinarian or a technician from the Bureau of Animal Industry must be sought when necessary.
Biosecurity measures must be undertaken to guarantee maximum profitability of the stock. Pest control and waste management are among the important biosecurity procedures recommended in swine operations.
Flies, mice, birds and rats should be kept out of the hog house as they not only steal food, they also transmit disease. Rats can be controlled by using mechanical and chemical pest control measures like traps and pesticides. Cats can be used for controlling rats. Other preventive measures are cleaning feed spill promptly, and controlling weeds around the hog house.
All-in-all-out management system should be adapted when moving animals of the same age to their pens. This minimizes disease transmission and allows for the pens to be fully cleaned and sanitized.
Another biosecuriry measure is regular monitoring of animals for diseases. All incoming livestock must be tested and quarantined before transporting them to the hog house.
Waste management is a key biosecurity measure. Improper waste management in the hog house can inevitably lead to profit losses. Sanitation in the pens may be performed by dry cleaning or by using a power sprayer to minimize water usage in cleaning the pens. The use of slatted flooring also lessens water usage in cleaning. Pens should be built to maintain the pig’s temperature levels to minimize the need to wash them. Trees and foliage may be planted in the vicinity of the hog house to keep the animals cool in hot weather.
An anaerobic process called biogas production may be used to extract methane gas from the animal wastes. This greatly reduces waste odor in the hog house. Another anaerobic process that can be adapted is the use of a septic tank, commonly known as the poso negro. A lagoon may be built with aerators as an aerobic process of waste management. Solid wastes may also be mixed with plant residues with effective microorganisms like Trichoderma and Azotobacter to produce organic fertilizer within a month.