Growing and Finisher Pigs
Growing and finisher pigs have a less-demanding management. However, growingfinisher pigs should be provided with utmost protection from pests and diseases. Growerfinisher pigs must be fed according to their requirements.
Pigs should be de-wormed seven to fourteen days after weaning. Vaccinations should be administered seven to fourteen days after weaning or seven days after de-worming. Pigs with slow growth, even with good feeding management, should be disposed of immediately as their stay in the farm will only be uneconomical.
Sows and gilts should be full-fed with a high-energy ration for fourteen days prior to mating to ensure a maximum ovulation rate. Mating should be done at the most appropriate time for the sow to guarantee the maximum litter size. Signs that a sow is in heat should be closely observed before mating. These include exhibiting restlessness and frequent grunts, mounting other pigs, frequent urination, swelling and reddening of the vulva with possible discharge.
Sows and gilts should be mated to the same boar in one heat period with an interval of 12 to 25 hours. An ideal boar to sow ratio is 1.25 to 30.
Sows should be settled in the farrowing house seven days before expected date of farrowing to give the sow ample time to adjust to her new environment. Sows and gilts should be de-wormed and protected from internal parasites and should be treated for external parasites two weeks before expected farrowing date.
Breeding sows farrow averagely 109 to 119 days after successful mating. Farrowing signs include presence of milk when the teats are pressed, swollen abdomen, swollen vulva with possible discharge, and restlessness in the sow. Sows should have assistance during birth as this is most crucial time to piglets.
Piglets must be weaned at age four to six weeks. Sows are removed from the pen so the piglets are left with their familiar environment. Sows come in heat within three to seven days after weaning.
Artificial insemination is the breeding process in which the boar’s semen is given to the sow through the use of a catheter. This technology started in the Philippines in the 6o’s and is now widely adapted by commercial and backyard pig farmers.
Artificial insemination is popular for its economic benefits. More gilts and sows are able to breed with one boar thus diminishing the care and management need of more boars. Artificial insemination also allows the farmer to choose which boar to breed with gilts.
When applying artificial insemination, a knowledgeable technician should be present to do the procedure. Proper artificial insemination facilities should be prepared to preserve the quality of the semen.
Artificial insemination should be performed on the sow in heat at the right time. It is also important to check the quality of the semen before the process. Storage and transportation of the semen should be given utmost care. Semen should be stored at 16 to 17°C.