Most gilts of the improved breeds reach the age of puberty at about six to eight months of age but they should not be bred until they are eight months of age or are weighing about 90 to 100 kg.
Care & Management of the Sow
- Regulate the feed intake of gilts or sows immediately after breeding to prevent them from becoming too fat. Obesity of pregnant sows may result to a fewer number of pigs farrowed. Also, they may suffer from farrowing complications.
- Keep the pregnant sow in an environment ideal for better conception. Sprinkle water on the sows when the weather is too hot or whenever necessary.
- To avoid constipation, provide healthy but a laxative ration. Provide plenty of water and newly harvested green feeds such as camote vines, kangkong, Paragrass and water lily.
- Deworm sows and gilts against internal parasites and treat external parasites 14 days before expected date of farrowing.
- In commercial operations, the sow should be transferred to the farrowing house one week before farrowing to provide her time to adjust to new environment.
- On the average, a sow will farrow in 114 days after a successful mating. The usual range is 109-119 days. Watch out for the following signs:
- the abdomen swells
- the sow becomes restless and nervous
- the vulva is swollen with possible mucus discharge
- milk is present in the teats if pressed
- Attend to the sow during birth because this is the most crucial time in the life of the new born piglets.
- Full-feed the sow or gilt with a high energy ration for about two weeks before mating to ensure maximum ovulation rate.
- Observe proper time of mating to ensure maximum litter size. A sow is in heat if she exhibits one or more of the following symptoms:
- swelling and reddening of the vulva
- mucous discharge from the vulva
- restlessness and grunts frequently
- mounting other pigs
- frequent urination
- cocks her ears frequently
- Mate each gilt or sow twice to the same boar in one heat period with an interval of 12 to 25 hours.
- A boar-to-sow ration of I :25 -30 is generally recommended.
Care of the Boar
- In commercial operations, a new boar should always be checked for fertility and diseases associated with abortion and birth of dead pigs.
- Regulate the breeding load of a boar.
Recommended breeding load of boars at different ages:
Ages, months = No. of Services per week
- 7 or less = None
- 8-10 = 1 or ever 5-10 days
- 11 = 1 or every 4 days
- 12 = 2 or every 3 days
- 18 and over = 3-7 or every other day
Care and Management of Pigments at Farrowing Time
- Prepare farrowing materials and equipment before farrowing dates.
- Using a clean dry cloth, wipe the mucous membrane and other birth material from the mouth and nose of new born pigs. Assist the piglet in breathing by swinging its head down or slapping it for a few seconds.
- Tie string around umbilical cord two inches from the base and cut with a sharp pair of surgical scissors~ Do not pull the cord away from the body while cutting so as not to cause hernia. Dip injured tip of cord into bottle of tincture of iodine.
- Place piglets in piglet box underneath a heater. Whenever necessary, a 100- watt bulb is enough to provide the desired temperature. This can be changed to a 50-watt bulb after 14 days of brooding.
- Cut the needle teeth. This is done by holding the pig firmly by one hand with three fingers supporting the jaw and the thumb pressing against the back of the neck. Insert the forefinger to one side of the mouth just behind the needle teeth reaching for the tip of the tongue. With a side-cutting nipper or ordinary nail cutter cut close to the gum level. Do not make a slanted cut or leave jagged edges for these are likely to cause injuries to the gums and tongue of the piglet and teats of the mother. Clean and disinfect nipper before working with another piglet.
- Let the piglets suck the first milk (colostrum). Colostrum contains antibodies needed by the baby pigs to fight against diseases during the early life.
- Iron reserves in the body of a newborn piglet is consumed in a week’s time. Injection of commercial iron dextran is necessary to prevent piglet or new- born anemia. Repeat administration 14 days after birth or as soon as symptoms are detected.
- Wean piglets at four to six weeks of age. When weaning is done earlier than 56 days, a sow can farrow from four to five times in two years since sows usually come in heat from three to seven days after weaning. The proper procedure in weaning is to remove the sow, leaving the piglets in familiar surroundings.
- It is also important that all other routinary management practices like deworming, castration,a1 i ear notching or tattooing are carried out before weaning.
Care and Management of Growing-Finishing Pigs
- Management requirements are less demanding, nevertheless they must be provided with ample protection against pests and diseases and fed in accordance with their requirements.
- Deworm pigs one or two weeks after weaning.
- Vaccinate pigs one or two weeks after weaning or one week after deworming.
- Sell or butcher pigs when they reach profitable market size of at least 80 kilogram. Slow-growing pigs despite good feeding and management should be disposed immediately. Keeping them longer is uneconomical.
- It is important to know information on the prevailing market prices of pork. It E is also important to know the exact weights of the live animals and sell the pigs on weight basis.
Other Routine Management Practices
- In backyard operations, identification of pigs is done through outstanding marks on the haircoat. In commercial farms, identification is through earnotching and tattooing.
- Castration or the removal of the primary sex organ of the male is best done on pigs about two weeks of age or earlier. This is done to improve the meat I quality and to prevent the perpetuation of undesirable individuals. Consider the condition of the male animal and the surrounding environment when castrating.
- If the milk supply of the sow is inadequate to feed her piglets, supplement her with a good creep ration. Use a milk replacer. Choose many available brands
- Begin feeding a commercial good pre-starter ration when the pigs are about one week of age.
- The ration of the pigs should be changed at different stages of growth but the shift from one ration to another should be done gradually in order not to upset the normal feeding behavior of the pigs. Always allow a transition period of at least one week before making changes.
- A starter ration is given to pigs from weaning until two months of age and weighing about 10 to 25 kilograms.
- The grower ration is next given to pigs when they are 30 to 35 kgs. or two months old until they are about 15 to 20 weeks old.
- When pigs reach 60 kg. or are about 20 weeks old, a finisher ration is given.
- In formulating a simplified ration, keep in mind that it should always contain sufficient energy, protein as well as adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals.
- Cassava, camote, corn, and corn by-products and discards from slaughterhouses, which are abundant in some parts of the country may be used provided they are properly cooked and dried.
- Dry feeding is practiced in commercial operations for reasons of economy in labor and in feeding equipment. Wet feeding is mostly practiced by backyard producers.
- Provide clean drinking water at all times.
Presented herein are sample rations for the different classes of swine.
Sample 1 -Daily Feed Requirement for 10 piglets from 7 kg. to 10 kg.
Feed Ingredient = Amount
- Yellow corn = 0.9 kg. or 900 g.
- Rice bran = 0.1 kg. or 100 g.
- Copra meal = 0.1 kg. or 100 g.
- Fish meal = 0.1 kg. or 100 g.
- Soybean oil meal = 0.5 kg. or 100 g.
- Skimmed milk = 0.1 kg. or 100 g.
- Ipil-ipil leaf meal = 0.1 kg. or 100 g.
- Brown sugar = 0.1 kg. or 100 g.
- Vitamins-mineral = 0.1 kg. or 100 g.
- TOTAL = 2.1 kg.
Sample 2– Daily Feed Allowance for 5 pigs weighing 10 kg. up to 30 kg. or 21/2 to 3 months old.
Feed Ingredient = Amount
- Yellow corn = 3.0 kg.
- Rice bran = 1.2 kg.
- Copra meal = 0.7 kg.
- Fish meal = 0.3 kg.
- Soybean oil meal = 0.9 kg.
- Skimmed milk = 0.1 kg.
- Ipil-ipil leaf meal = 0.2 kg.
- Brown sugar = 0.1 kg.
- Oyster shell powder = 1.9 g.
- Salt = 9.0 g.
- Vitamins-mineral = 30.0 g.
- TOTAL = 8.44 kg.
Sample 3 – Daily Feed Allowance for 5 pigs weighing 25 kg. up to 65 kg. or 2.5 to 3 months up to 5 to 6 months old.
Feed Ingredient = Amount
- Yellow corn = 3.6 kg.
- Rice bran = 0.4 kg.
- Copra meal = 2.0 kg.
- Fish meal = 0.2 kg.
- Soybean oil meal = 0.4 kg.
- Ipil-ipil leaf meal = 0.6 kg.
- Oyster shell powder = 28.0 g.
- Salt = 40.0 g.
- Vitamins-mineral = 47.0 g.
- TOTAL = 9.6 kg.
Sample 4 – Daily Feed Allowance for 5 pigs weighing 60 to 65 kg. to market weight of 90 to 100 kg.
Feed Ingredient = Amount
- Yellow corn = 4.6 kg.
- Corn cobs = 1.1 kg.
- Rice bran = 3.6 kg.
- Copra meal = 3.0 kg.
- Fish meal = 0.2 kg.
- Ipil-ipil leaf meal = 0.7 kg.
- Oyster shell powder = 60.0 g.
- Salt = 60.0 g.
- TOTAL = 13.3 kg.
Table 3. Daily Feed Intake
Age of Pigs (weeks) = Liveweight (Weeks) = Daily Feed Intake (kg.)
- 10-12 = 20-25 = Up to 1.2
- 12-13 = 25-30 = 1.2-1.4
- 13-15 = 30-35 = 1.4-1.6
- 16 = 35-40 = 1.6-1.8
- 17 = 40-45 = 1.8-1.9
- 18 = 45- 50 = 1.9-2.0
- 19 = 50-55 = 2.0-2.1
- 20 = 55-60 = 2.1-2.2
- 21 = 60-65 = 2.2-2.3
- 22 = 65-70 = 2.3-2.4
- 23 = 70-75 = 2.4-2.5
- 24 = 75-80 = 2.5-2.6
- 25 = 80-85 = 2.6-2.7
- 26 = 85-90 = 2.7-2.8
- 27 = 90-95 = 2.8-2.9
- 28 = 95-100 = 2.9-3.0
source: ldc.da.gov.ph, photo from mboard.pcaarrd.dost.gov.ph