Monday, 25 July 2011

Pig Breeding Models

Pure-breeding: mating purebred individuals of the same breed. The progeny has the same genetic makeup. The major objective of pure-breeding is to identify and propagate superior genes for use in commercial production primarily in crossbreeding programs as well as to propagate and identify superior females for maintaining valuable genetic material. Furthermore crossbreeding will not be worthwhile unless superior pure bred individuals are used.
Cross breeding: mating two individuals from different breeds thus introducing into the progeny a gene combination that is different from that existing in either parent or in the breed of either parent. Cross breeding can involve two or more breeds, depending on the desired result. The sole purpose of cross breeding is to take advantage of the observed improvement in performance of the progeny above that of either parent. This is known as hybrid vigour or heterosis.
Out breeding: mating individuals of the same breed but which are less closely related than the average of the breed. There should not be a common ancestor for at least four generation back in the pedigree of the boar and the females with which he is mated. It is a useful mating system in purebred individuals.
In breeding: mating individuals of the same breed but which are more closely related than the average of the breed. This could be between such close individuals as those from the same litter or a boar and his daughter. Inbreeding is rarely practiced because it can cause problems such as a decrease in litter size and increases mortality. Inbred sows are inferior in milking and mothering ability. It delays sexual maturity in gilts and boars. Inbred boars have less sexual libido. Inbred gilts have fewer eggs during oestrus and farrow smaller litters than those out bred.

The main breeds in Kenya

Large White
They are distinguished by their erect ears and slightly dished faces. They are long bodied with excellent hams and fine white hair. Very prolific, late maturing with good mothering ability and can be used for pork and bacon production. Fairly hardy animal. Large white are found practically in all crossbreeding and rotational breeding programmes. Sows have an enviable reputation as dams and form the foundation of the classic F1 hybrid gilt. They are the favourite breed in the country and the world over.
It is a very versatile breed performing well under good management. They are white in colour, have dropping ears and a straight snout.  Sows produce and rear large litters of piglets with very good daily gain ( ADG) and high lean meat content ideal for either pork or bacon production.
Many consider them the mother of all pigs. This breed has set the standard for large litter sizes, good milking ability, and strong mothering instincts at birth and through weaning. They consistently have high yielding carcasses. They have a long, big frame and are white with erect ears.
Durocs are golden brown to black in colour with a thick auburn coat and hard skin. They have small, slightly drooping ears. Traditionally, Durocs have been use as terminal sires (traits associated with it are quick growth, deep body, broad ham and shoulder). Its tenacity in looking after its young, combined with its docility between times, makes it an ideal candidate for an out door pig either as a sire or as a dam. Its succulent carcass and heavy muscling makes it a very suitable pig for anything from light pork to heavy hog production. pigs are reddish in color with droopy ears. Duroc is considered, by many, to have the best tasting pork. It is also considered one of the hardiest breeds and they do well outside with simple housing. This is the red pig. These hogs, noted for their fast growth and good feed efficiency, are a reddish color with droopy ears. On the average, this breed needs less feed to make a pound of muscle than the other breeds.

The breed has been developed in the United Stares of America and is now one of the world's most important breeds. It is used extensively as the sire of cross bred pigs for pork and bacon production. The Hampshire is very prolific. It produces an abundance of lean meat and has more meat than the large white or landrace.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Pig Butcheries in Kenya

The industry has been in the hands of the private sector for many years, apart from the time when Uplands Bacon factory under the Pig Industry Board had the monopoly. The factory collapsed and was wound up in 1987. After the collapse, pig processing has mainly remained with the Farmers Choice Ltd processing well over 70% of the pork produced in the country. Other players include Chefs' Choice, Hurlingham Butcheries, Oscar foods (Kikuyu), and many local pork butcheries in urban centres across the country. Pig production is mostly based on commercial concentrates whose quantity and quality of feeds fed varies from region to region and farm to farm. Keeping of scavenging pigs, which requires a minimum amount of inputs, is also common. 
 Free loitering pigs scavenging in dumping sites and market places is prohibited by law. About 65% pig farming is practiced in Central Province, Rift Valley and Western Provinces. The production cycle in the pig Industry is influenced to a large extent by the tourism sector. During peak tourism periods (June to August) and (December to January), pork demand is highest hence the players target this period. When tourism is off peak, the market suffers a glut (more pigs than the market can consume) leading to low pig producer prices. Products present in the market: bacon, ham, pies, rolls, sausages, pork cuts, tallow & lard. Pig manure is used on farms as fertilizer.
Population growth, urbanization and improved living standards have fuelled demand for meat and pork being cheap to produce compared to beef, has a bright future in the country.

How to Start A Successful Pig Farming Business

Pigs can be raised in controlled or free environment, as a small- or large-scale business. But in whatever size, a prospective farmer would need inputs as to how to raise pigs efficiently and in a more productive manner. Raising pigs can be pursued as a small-scale operation as source of family meat and supplement income or it can be made into a large-scale operation. Pigs may be raised in highly controlled environments (hog lots) indoor, in open spaces or barns as breeding sows or grown and sold for slaughter to butcher shops.

Small-scale pig farming plays an important role in the livelihood of many families in the developing world. In Kenya, most pigs are of exotic breeds and their crosses, and are concentrated mainly around Nairobi District and its environs. These areas have the advantage of favourable climate perhaps conducive for intensive pig farming and farmers have easy access to markets. Here are some brief issues that need to be considered carefully for successful pig farming;

Choosing Piglets to Raise

Pig feeders can be obtained from stock breeders, and producers, in auctions and classified ads. Pigs are of different breeds some of them are well suited for specific environments, indoor or outdoor. Crossbred pigs tend to grow faster, consume feed more efficiently and are vigorous. When buying a feeder, choose the large and healthy looking ones, at least 11kg. If you are choosing a male, which is observed to grow slightly faster than females, get one that is already castrated. Male or female, they are preferably immunized. Ask the breeder for health information and stock of the breeder.

Proper Nutrition for Pigs

Pigs feed on both grains and meat. They can also be fed with cooked table scraps and vegetables. Corn is their most common food, but they could benefit from having a diet with protein from soybeans or cooked meat. Further, they grow faster with vitamins and other supplements. Piglets have higher protein requirements than mature ones. Feeds can be bought packaged and in bulk. Pigs must also have adequate supply of drinking water daily, about 8 to15 litres. Provide water either through a tub or automatic nipple waterer.

Ideal Housing for Pigs

Pigs need housing to keep them warm during cold temperatures and to shelter them from excessive heat. Pigs are sensitive to heat and could die from heat stress. When housed indoors, temperature conditions must be well regulated. Controlled temperature conditions can help maximize growth. Cooling mechanisms for pigs can come in the form of drip water system or a wallow (for a hog pen).
Pigs can be housed indoors in individual stalls, pens (in groups or batch) or in barns. Even if the pigs are raised outdoors they would need a shelter during cold and hot weathers. The housing should have a space for feeding and bedding.

Pig Farm Sanitation

Sanitation is important to keep the pigs disease-free. A mechanism for easy cleaning and removal of waste is necessary for any type of pig housing. Some use slotted pen floors to make waste collection easy. Hosing a barn and removal of manure daily are recommended. So is keeping the floor dry to reduce odour.
After five to seven months, pigs are likely to reach ideal market weight of more than 90kgs .They could be sold at livestock auctions or slaughtered for meat.