5 Tips for High-Performance Pig Farming
Did you know that pork production reached 113.1 million metric tons in 2018, up 2% from the year before? Pork also accounts for just over 40% of the meat and poultry consumed in 2017.
This goes to show that pork is an important source of protein for the world.
It's therefore important for pig farmers to know how to maximize the performance potential of their farms. Here are five tips that you can use to give your farm the best possible chance at success.
1. Find the Thermoneutral Zone
Optimal performance of your pigs is governed by their thermoneutral zone which is the optimal range of a pig’s body temperature. The ideal range is based in a pigs weight and therefore influenced by its feed. Creating an environment that not only provides pigs with access to feed but also helps them attain the right body temperature faster is crucial.
Helping pigs achieve their thermoneutral zone can be achieved by paying attention to pigs and their behaviour. Pig behaviour will indicate whether they're comfortable enough and within the thermoneutral zone.
Here are six signs that indicate pig discomfort:
1. If pigs spend time huddled together shivering, this is due to cold temperatures
2. Eating more than usual can be related to cold conditions
3. If pigs avoid contact or touching each other, this is a sign of discomfort caused by heat
4. If they consume less feed they are likely to hot
5. If pigs foul areas of the pen which they wouldn't ordinarily, such as laying and water areas, they may be too warm
6. If you observe increased panting, almost 50 breaths constantly, they may be too hot
Pigs are non-ruminant animals, meaning that they have a single compartment stomach, and therefore benefit from a feed rotation. Rotating between carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals can help. Research from India shows that while protein requirements differ by category of pig. Suckling pigs before weaning need roughly 22% of protein, weaning 18% to 20%, and breeding and pregnant pigs require 15%
3. The Importance of dry Areas
Pigs tend to do well in dry areas. In many cases, pig farmers provide concrete flooring within housing. Where possible we recommend that you opt for concrete tiles to make cleaning simpler. Dry areas also help the prevention of diseases.
4 Ideal Ventilation and Insulation
Ventilation is important for pig farming as it helps create a more hygiene environment. The right ventilation should provide adequate fresh air for the population of pigs in the building.
Insulation, like ventilation, is also critical. It prevents condensation in buildings and therefore acts as a tool for helping maintain a healthy environment.
5. Hygiene Musts
Pigs are known to suffer from many ailments and are susceptible to many diseases. In numerous cases, pig ailments stem from inadequate environments that are either too hot or unsanitary.
Malnourished pigs are also more susceptible to disease, which is why you should always ensure that your pigs are getting the right amount of feed and water and that both sources of nutrition are clean.
According to research from the University of California, here are six signs that indicate that your pigs could be fighting a disease:
1. Decreased appetite
2. Rough coat
3. Lots of coughing
4. Dull look in the eyes
High-performance pig farming as possible, but to ensure that your pigs of the best chance of success, you'll need to create the right environment. These tips in addition to other best practices will help you generate the best results for your farm.
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University of California: https://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/pdf/8482.pdf