Pork production: Alternatives to commercial feed rations for your pigs

Question: I want to feed my pigs well so they can grow and be healthy, but commercial rations are very expensive, and I can’t always afford them. Are there any alternatives? Pigs grow best on commercial rations which have been designed to supply the balanced diet they need. But if…

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Pork production: How to choose a breed and select sows

The success of a pig production business depends on selecting the correct breed. Simon Streicher, former CEO of the South African Pork Producers Association, tells us what to look out for. Producers starting out with a new pork production unit have to buy breeding stock. And this has to be…

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Pork production: Feeding your pigs for the best results

Without correct feeding, a farmer won’t be able to run a profitable pig production business.  To raise healthy pigs, farmers must ensure that their animals receive a nutritious, well-balanced diet at every stage of production. SUITABLE RATIONS Nutrition is a fairly specialised branch of pig production. Farmers are encouraged farmers…

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Pork production: Approach disease prevention holistically

It’s more than just vaccination and administering antibiotics. Farmers need to adopt a holistic approach to keep pigs disease-free. ‘It’s not enough to simply administer antibiotics or use vaccines when a pig herd gets a disease, because it will not address the underlying causes,” says Dr. Peter Evans, a veterinarian…

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Pork production: Getting the basics right

The basics need to be in place before you set up a piggery. But what exactly are the basics, and which production system is most suitable? All piggery sites must have a good water supply, says Dr. Peter Evans, a veterinarian and animal production consultant to the South African Pork…

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Pork production: Useful guidelines for pig farming

Commonly asked questions about pig farming are answered here by an expert. The pigs used by farmers today have descended from the wild pig (Sus scrofa). The gestation period of the sow is about 116 days (3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days) and a litter usually consists of 8…

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Pork production: Seasonal changes and the health of your pigs

Questions: Do seasonal changes play a role in the health status of pigs? The weather and the changing seasons can play an important role in the health status of pigs. They’re more sensitive to temperature than most kinds of livestock. Baby piglets – especially the modern white breeds that have…

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Pork production: Keeping farm records for your piggery

Question: I’m serious about my pig farming operation, even though it’s small. I need to keep track of what’s happening on my farm so that I can work out costs and identify problems. Please give me some hints about how to keep records and the kind of things I should…

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Pork production: Possible causes for lameness in your pigs

Question: What causes lameness in pigs? I’ve noticed that some of my growers limp when they walk and some are unwilling to get up. What can I do? Lameness in pigs can have many causes. Pigs have small feet in relation to their size and weight. If they live on…

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Pork production: Your piglets and diarrhoea

Question: I’ve been told that diarrhoea in piglets can result in heavy losses. My sows are due to have their first litters and I’d like to know in advance what to expect and how to cope. Piglets are prone to diarrhoea because their immune and digestive systems aren’t mature enough…

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Your library for pork production

Need some advice and information on pork production? Look no further. We compiled some articles on pig farming.  GENERAL How do I get started in pig farming? Keeping farm records for your piggery Useful guidelines for pig farming HEALTH Learn more about African swine fever Dealing with flies in your…

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Pork production: Learn more about African swine fever

Question: I’ve recently read about an African swine fever outbreak in Zambia. Please tell me more about the disease. African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious haemorrhagic disease that infects pigs of all ages, warthogs and European and American boars, as well as giant forest hogs. “Haemorrhagic” means that…

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Zambia struggling to halt the spread of African swine fever

More than 20 000 pigs are in danger of being infected by African swine fever (ASF), which has spread from Zambia’s Luapula Province into the neighbouring Northern Province. According to authorities, the disease that broke out in Luapula’s Samfya District in October has now been detected in 5 districts in…

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Pork production: Dealing with flies in your piggery

Question: Now that the weather has warmed up, I notice that there are lots of flies in my piggery. Is there anything I can do to control the flies? Fly control is an important part of biosecurity on a pig farm. Flies are a nuisance to the pigs and to…

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Pigs culled in Zambia due to African swine fever

At least 1 000 pigs have died from African swine fever (ASF) in Zambia’s Luapula Province, provincial veterinary officer dr. Muswala Mofya confirmed. In another development, Western Province has recorded 49 cases of human anthrax, with 1 fatality, suspected to have been transmitted through contaminated meat. Mofya told www.africanfarming.com that…

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Pork production: How to deal with pneumonia in pigs

Question: Is it true that pigs can contract pneumonia? If so, could they die from it and what can I do to prevent them from getting it in the first place? Pneumonia is most commonly seen in growers and finishers. Pigs can get various types of pneumonia. Some types usually…

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Pork production: Getting the basics right for housing

Don’t try to cut costs when it comes to setting up housing for pigs. Production will suffer if basic requirements are not met, and profits will fall. A piggery’s temperature management and disease control is critical. It is all about the comfort of the animals. Pig producers must ensure that…

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Pork production: Protecting your pigs from sunburn

Question: I believe it is good for pregnant sows to get some exercise, so I have built a large pen where they can be free to move about as much as they like. Now, a neighbour tells me that being outside will harm them as they could suffer from sunburn.…

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This mother and her piglets enjoy the afternoon sun. Proactive biosecurity, including vaccination, makes it possible to have healthy, disease-free pigs.

Pork production: Disinfecting your pigs’ pens

Sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabiei var suis) is a parasitic disease caused by mites and is characterised by papules and marked pruritis. The sarcoptic mange mite’s entire life cycle (egg, larva, nymph and adult) occurs beneath the skin and the mites and eggs cannot survive away from this environment for very…

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