Dr Olufunke Oluwole, a Geneticist at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, has called on farmers and stakeholders, especially unemployed youths, to go into pig rearing because of its enormous benefits.
Oluwole gave the advice on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.
She said pig rearing was a good source of income and a money spinning business, as pigs are one of the most prolific domestic animals, which could give birth to 4 to 18 piglets in a litter, as against one or two in cattle, sheep and goats.
“It has high feed conversion efficiency, matures early, has short generation intervals, it requires a small space to start small scale production, it could be started with moderate capital on small-scale production and it could also be reared on large-scale, with huge capital.
“The management practices are simple and could be managed effectively on small-scale by members of the family, the droppings or faeces can be used as manure to improve soil fertility for vegetables.
“It is equally important for agro-based industries for the production of bone meals, blood meals, cooking fat, cosmetics and bristles, among others.
“Pigs can be fed with various household wastes such as plantain peels, yam peels, and remnant feeds.
“The animal can be very hardy and is not easily infected with disease, under an intensive system of management and proper hygiene, rearing of pigs do not constitute nuisance to the environment,’’ she said.
According to her, the female pig and boar for reproduction matures at six to eight months, while the gestation period is 115 days.
“The following points should be considered for sexual maturity in pigs: for the boar, a well-developed reproductive organs, high libido, age from seven months upward, for gilt, a well-developed reproductive organ, age from 6 months upwards, weight not less than 40kg.
“Selection of boars should be based on the following: aim of the farmer to know the breed suitable for it, high libido, long body length, strong legs, selection of gilt should be based on aim of the farmers to know the breed suitable for it, number of teats, long body length, good mothering ability, number of litters,” she said.
The Senior Research Fellow further remarked that the artificial insemination of mating pigs which is a new technology for genetic improvement of animals had many advantages over the hand mating.
“The artificial insemination, a means of using processed semen collected from a boar into the female reproductive tract through the use of Catheter, promotes genetic superiority to the herd.
“It requires few or no boar on the farm, thereby reducing the cost of production, it prevents disease transmission because the boar used has been tested and free from disease or germs.
“It makes use of superior boars available for the sows, introduction of new bloodlines to the herd and it’s cheaper than buying a new boar.
“When farrowing period is approaching, disinfect farrowing pen with disinfectants such as Izal, Germicide or moriguard, take sow/gilt to the farrowing pen 2 weeks before farrowing and keep a proper record.
“There are 3 stages that are critical for the piglet’s survival during farrowing such as breaking of the sack covering the nose for breathing and taking in oxygen for proper functioning of the lungs and oxygenated blood circulation throughout the blood, for strength.
“Gripping of the leg on the ground for walking to get the first milk for the immune system functioning and then the opening of the eye lids,” she said.
Oluwole advised the farmers to always put the wood shaving that could prevent slippery grounds for the piglets, as this could cause muscle defect that can cause the pig to be paralysed.
“Make sure that the piglets take the first milk from the dam to build or strengthen their immune system before building their own later.
“They start picking on feeds by the third week and they can be given creep-feeds at 4 to 5 weeks of age. The piglets are weaned at 7 to 8 weeks or less, depending on the management,” she said.
Olowole, therefore, urged governments at all levels, farmers, as well as other stakeholders to solve the scarcity of imported exotic breeds, feed unavailability, exposure to modern technology and access to loans, among others, to improve pig production in the country. (NAN)
– Apr. 25, 2019 @ 01:39 GMT |