In this second instalment on farming pigs, we look at which breeds to consider and how to examine a pig…
You’ve done your homework. You have an overall view of what pig farming entails. You know there’s someone willing to buy your pigs. And above all, you can afford to pay your expenses until your first pigs are ready to sell.
The next step is to buy your pigs. As the South African Pork Producers’ Association (Sappa) points out, there are three basic steps to follow when buying pigs:
Sappa recommends the following breeds:
All of these features make the Kolbroek ideally suited for free-range or smallholder systems.
Regardless of breed, there are several factors to be considered in order to avoid losses:
In the next issue, we’ll discuss a selection and breeding programme that can be used on a small-scale farm with 20 or fewer breeding sows.
Sources: Farming with Pigs (compiled by the Western Cape department of agriculture); Guide to Small-scale Pig Farming (department of agriculture) by EH Kemm; the South African Pork Producers’ Association (www.sapork.com).
Make sure you buy pigs from a farm known for its good quality animals, and where the management and standard of hygiene are excellent. The seller should be able to supply you with complete records so that the performance of the boar and his parents are known. When buying pigs for the first time, take someone along who has the necessary knowledge and experience. There are regulations for moving pigs – make sure that you comply with these.
For more information, as well as advice on which breed is best for your situation, contact the South African Pork Producers’ Association on 012 361 3920 or email email@example.com. Visit www.sapork.com.
This article was originally published in the 1 June issue of Farmers Weekly.
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