Piggery farming in Uganda is on the rise most especially due to the ready market both within Uganda and outside the country. Pigs are being sold all over the country and it is also one of the easiest businesses to start at the moment within the country. Pigs can be raised in both a free range and controlled environment and this works for large scale and small scale businesses. And just like any other business, you will need to have a lot of input if you want to reap big from the piggery business. A good breed that is about 60kgs and above can approximately go for shs 900, 000 to 1000, 000 or more depending on the breed and the condition that the pig being sold is in.
Starting a piggery farm will involve construction of the sty, purchasing of good pig breeds, pig feeders, vaccination, pig diseases and lots of information on how to manage the farm properly.
Pig breeds in Uganda
For all the farmers that need to start piggery farming in Uganda, you need to know what to do when choosing the best breeds for the pigs. A good breed has to be larger, taller and longer in size and it also has to weigh at least 60 to 120 kg (at six months) and 5 to 10 kg (at one month). You should also start with at least one female and male if possible cross breed and it is also advisable that you get the good breeds from trusted sources. You can get a good piglet breed ranging between 150, 000shs and 300, 0000shs depending on the type of breed you are getting.
The main pig breeds that are reared in Uganda include the large black, Duroc, large white, Landrace and comborough. The large black is considered to be the native breed because of its color and poor yields. Avoid breeds that have sunken eyes, the good breeds have a long coarse coat and the heads should be bigger than the bodies.
The large white
The large white can easily be identified using their erect ears, fine white hair and dished faces. They are very good at reproduction although they are known to have a late maturity rate. They are a good and a favorite breed and can be found in almost every crossbreed.
These have a straight stout, produce a lot of milk, have erect ears, are white and are good for breeding. They are also known as the mother of all pigs. It is good for large piglet breeds and it can mother piglets from childhood to the weaning stage.
The Hampshire is considered to be one of the world’s best breeds with erect ears, produces lean meat and it also has more meat as compared to the large white and it is best used for bacon and pork production.
This is a good breed which produces good yields but only if it is under good management. They are white in color, have a dished stout, dropped ears, produce large litters, and have lean meat which is good for either pork or bacon production.
What to consider when choosing a sow
The sow should at least have given birth three times to 10 weaners.
The sow must be white
The udders of the sow must be healthy and productive (14 healthy teats)
They should not be lame, have strong legs and have healthy trotters
Care for the piglets
If piglets are not cared for well, you might end up making losses due to the poor yields. Below is what you need to know about piglets for proper care:
Piglets are supposed to be fed creeps that are a bit attractive so that they can feed on them.
Piglets should at least eat 50g per day and after weaning, they should be given at least 1kg per day.
If the piglets are under 5kgs, they should not be weaned.
Make sure that the piglets have plenty of water throughout the day.
Sows and gilts
Lactating sows should be given enough water the whole day, they should be fed with at least 6kg of feeds per day since they are producing a lot of milk during this period. It is better if you feed them twice a day and make sure that the feeding troughs are thoroughly cleaned to reduce diseases spreading.
When a gilt is pregnant, make sure that they do not overfeed to reduce fat, there should be controlled feeding and a dry sow can have a meal of at least 3kgs per day.
Feeding pigs in Uganda
Many people think that it is very easy to feed pigs especially with kitchen leftovers and garbage but this normally hinders their growth and you will need to give them an extremely good balanced diet if you want to gain from pig rearing. Pig feeds should at least have amino acids, minerals, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Commercial pig rearing will involve Feed conservation Efficiency which refers to the knowledge of how many kilograms a pig is meant to feed on in order to be able to produce a kilogram of pork.
There are types of pig feed concentrates that are used in pig farming and all these feeds are given to the pigs according to their age and these include:
Pig finisher feed
The pig finisher feeds help with the healthy growing of the piglets and by fourth month, they will need to at least eat about 3kg of feed per day. The pig finisher is used to prepare the pigs for a ready market at 6 and 7 months.
The starter feed is given to piglets from one week to three months. These help with the proper growth of the piglets since they are extremely demanding during this age. At the beginning, they will feed on little feeds but as the weeks progress, you can increase to about 50g per week and by the time they are three months it can be increased to one kilogram per day.
Sow and weaner feed.
Suckling piglets should be introduced to creep feeding in order to boost their immune system. The creep can be given to them a few days after birth because if they feed on only milk, it weakens the sow.
The creep feed should be easy to digest and eat for the piglets and it should also be attractive (you should make them into crumbs and pellets) and they should be rich in proteins.
Some other supplements that can be added to the pig feeds so that you get good outputs include Amaranth, kales, spinach, pawpaw, avocados, Lucerne, sweet potato vines, vegetables, already packaged feeds among others.
Pigs should have enough water supply throughout the whole day that is at least 7 to 15 liters of water per day. Since pigs are omnivores, they can feed on bathe grains and meat and this helps them grow faster and healthier. note that the piglets require protein content as compared to the mature ones.
Disease that affect pigs
Eryspipilas, this is mostly experienced on adult pigs (those that are nearing the market season) and it is caused by streptococcal infection; some of the symptoms of Eryspipilas include lameness, diamond skin, enlarged joints and endocarditis. The pigs experience a temperature of about 108 degrees Celsius, it causes sudden death, they have reddened skin around the snout, ears, abdomen and throat and the infected pigs normally don’t want to stand.
This can be controlled by giving the pigs penicillin, carrying out an emergency vaccination and administering antimicrobials in the water until you are sure that there are no more infections.
Mastitis, this is a common problem and it occurs in two forms that are the whole under-effect and individual glands.
Whole under effect, this is caused as a result of bacterial infection and it spreads throughout the entire body through the lymphatic system starting from the udders. It is a fatal disease and it causes the udders to be hard, painful and hot. It is normally experienced by pigs that stay in sawdust pigsties.
Individual glands, this is mostly seen under the udder and in most cases it completely destroys the hind gland. Each paired gland is infected and loses the productivity of milk.
Constructing the Pig Sty
Pig stys in Uganda are easy to construct and in most cases it depends on the budget that you have. There are three types of stys that are commonly constructed in Uganda and these are the wooden pole, cement floors and slate stys.
Pig stys can be constructed at a lower cost using any local available materials especially if you are on a low budget. Irrespective of what material you use while constructing the pigsty, make sure that you consider the following:
Try balancing the cost of construction with the cost of pig production. If the cost of the sty is more than the pig production system, then you should reconsider.
The sty needs to be divided into different parts for every phase of the production cycle and the size of the pens depend on the number of pigs housed in each pen.
There should be a 60cm distance from the floor of the pen to the roof.
There should be an equal balance of sunshine and shade within the pen.
The floor boards need to have 2cm spacing.
The floor should not be slippery and there should be easy disposal of waste.
It should also be easy to clean, which is mainly done in the morning and in the evening.
Sanitation of the pig farm
No one wants to stay in a place where there is a stench and that is why you need to keep the farm clean. Sanitation is extremely important on a pig farm so that you avoid pest infestation and diseases. There is no formula to cleaning the stys but all you need to do is to properly dispose-off all the waste got from the pigs. The pig feeders should also be kept clean to avoid diseases and to avoid the bad stench, you can add PROMAX because it reduces the bad smell that is associated with pigs.
What to expect from pigs
The moment you decide to start rearing pigs, the first thing you need to do is go for an extensive market research in the area surrounding your desired location. There are several products that you can get from rearing pigs with the most important ones being meat and manure.
Meat, the good thing about a pig is that most of the body parts are sold on the Ugandan market which means you will be earning big from the pigs for as long as they are of good breeds. You can start selling the animals from around 5 to 6 months but only if they are fed well.
Manure can be obtained as early as four months and it does not matter whether they are in solid or liquid form. The manure collected can be used in fertilizing land.
Marketing of pig products in Uganda
A large percentage of the Ugandan population consumes pork on a daily basis meaning there is a ready market. Pigs have both the local and international market and some of the countries that Uganda exports their pork to include the United Kingdom, Somalia, Sudan, DRC Congo and Rwanda. There is a large market for all pig products in Uganda both local and international and it all depends on how you have packaged your products. Some of the buyers for pig products in Uganda include:
Pork butcheries across the country
You can also add value to your pig products as this will increase your market especially on the international scene. Pig’s meat can be converted into pork cuts, ham, pies, sausages and rolls among others. You can also use pig manure as biogas and fertilizers on farms.