The festive season with its good prices is behind us, the veld is green and productive, and most summer crops are well on their way. African Farming caught up with a few farmers to find out what they have been up to on their farms.
Palesa Moahlodi, Boshof, Free State
Last year’s Covid-19 lockdown affected everyone – also our clients – and this had an impact on demand. Fortunately, we saw it pick up over the festive season and we really hope it continues growing in the new year.
Production never ends and we’re selling pigs of different ages all the time, so we have continuous vaccination and feeding programmes year-round.
During summer we take extra precautions against flies to stop transmission of diseases. We keep the fences around the piggery in good condition to prevent wild animals from gaining access to the houses in case they carry diseases like African swine fever. We mate up to four sows per week and they farrow between 10 and 18 piglets after three months. Here we maintain the principle of “prevention is better than cure”.
We give the piglets their first iron injection when they’re seven days old. This is followed by RespiSure at weaning, to stimulate the immune system and assist in preventing chronic pneumonia. From then on, we just make sure we provide quality feed and keep their houses clean until they’re ready for market at 40kg to 55kg as porkers, and 60kg to 100kg as baconers.
Because it is hot during summer, we must increase the supply of clean water. We’ll also be culling the older, less productive sows and boars for the sausage market.