Pig breeds that are fast-maturing, disease resistant and give better pork quality in Kenya
My name is Samuel Mugutsu from Vihiga County and I’m really interested in pig farming. I am looking for experts advice on the best pig breed to keep in terms of disease resistance, weight gain and feeding.
Knowing your target product (whether piglets for future breeding or pork), market and resources required are building blocks for successful pig rearing business.
Once you have identified them, direct your initial investment towards the breed, housing and feeds. Generally, select breeds that are fast-maturing, disease resistant and give better pork quality.
Common breeds known to thrive well in the Kenyan setting are Landrace known for good maternal instincts and more farrows, Large White that are well-built and strong and the Duroc, which grows very fast and put on weight fast thus heavy.
Feeding accounts for about 70 per cent of the total cost and poses the biggest challenge on quality and cost. Nutritional needs of pigs vary with age, weight, and stage of production. Include all nutritional requirements in the diet.
There are a wide range of ingredients like maize bran, wheat pollard, maize germ, soya, sunflower or cotton seed cake, pre-mixed vitamins, mineral supplements and water.
Things like potato vines and peels, and other leafy foods, should be sun dried to get rid of toxins – avoid kitchen leftovers.
You can cook pig food and/or chop them up to better digestibility. There is a stereotype that pigs are dirty animals; clean houses should take care of their comfort and to a great extent, health or disease control.
Seek for a vet’s attention as soon as you notice a sick pig. Remember, a pig farmer’s worst fear is African swine fever.
This acute contagious viral disease has no vaccine or cures and can wipe out the whole farm. Control entry into the farm with proper biosecurity measures.
Better management and organisation will help achieve at least two farrowings a year.