Swine/Hog Business Introduction

Hog raising is a very popular enterprise in the Philippines such that there is a proliferation of backyard producers, which dominates the swine industry and a healthy viable commercial sector.

Despite the crises facing the swine industry, still many people are venturing in this enterprise. This manual hopes to bring appropriate technology to the interested farmers and would-be swine producers in order that they may realize profitable production and improve their quality of life.

A. Breed of Swine

There are many imported breeds in the country today and its sometimes difficult to determine the best breed most suited to our conditions. Here is a guide to help you select the breed to raise depending on your purpose, money and experience.

A1. Yorkhire or Largewhite

Yorkshires are entirely white with medium, erect ears. Sows have superior mothering ability, farrow and wean large litters and are excellent milkers. They adapt well to confinement but not to rugged conditions.

Slaughter animals yield a high dressing percentage, produce fine quality meat and compare favorably with other breeds in growth and economy of gains.

A2. Landrace

Landrace are white, have short legs and medium to large drooping ears. The sows are noted for their excellence in mothering ability and litter size. They are heavy milkers and produce pigs with superior rate of growth and efficiency in feed utilization. When crossed with other breeds, they produce pigs of highly acceptable carcass quality. They are however, weak on the feet and legs and have problems adapting to rugged conditions. Such defects should be corrected by proper selection and breeding.

A3. Duroc

The Duroc color is of varying shades of red. The sows are prolific and are good mothers. They produce pigs that are superior in growth rate, feed conversion, and “their performance under rugged conditions is better than any of the white breeds.

A4. Hampshire

Hampshires are black with a white belt around the shoulder and body. They are generally short legged and lack body thickness. The sows have a reputation of weaning a high percentage of the pigs farrowed and are able to adapt to very rugged conditions. The growth rate, however has generally been average or below.

A5. Berkshire

Berkshires are black with six white points -four white feet, some white in the face and tail. The ears are erect and inclined forward as the animal grows older. They are known for their style, meatiness and
good adaptability to rugged conditions. They have desirable length, depth and balance of body but lack good growth and efficiency in converting feed to weigh gain. The sows are not as prolific as the other

A6. Pietrain

The Pietrain is a very meaty type of pig with spotted black and white color. It has well-shaped hams, loin and shoulders. Ears are erect, The carcass has a high lean meat percentage, but it has a poor body constitution. Feed efficiency is not really good and they are a little bit slow grower. This breed is also highly susceptible to stress. Thus, Pietrain is only worthwhile in crosses but not as purebreeds.

Table 1: Characteristics of the Different Breeds of Pigs

Bread Color Ears Type Origin Observations
Landrace White Hanging Meat Denmark Long face, good mothers, weak legs, prolific
Largewhite White Standing Meat England Fertile, high quality meat, fast grower
Bershire Black w/ 6
White Points
Standing Meat USA Short, black skin, white points more resistant to
diseases compared to white breeds
Hamshire Black with
White Bands
Standing Meat USA Short, good quality white bands meat, strong legs
Duroc Red (Golden) 2/3 Erect
1/3 Hanging
Meat USA Good constitution, 1/3 hanging strong legs, fast
grower, resistant to stress
Pietrain Black & White Standing Very
Belgium Very Belgium Very meaty ham meaty and very susceptible to stress

Selection Criteria

When selecting breeder sows on the basis of physical appearance, consider the following:

  •   The gilt should have well-developed udder with a minimum of six pairs of properly spaced function teats. A sow with poor udder development is likely to have poor milking capacity.
  •   Choose those which do not have inverted teats for such teats are inherited and do not secrete milk.
  • A long body is more desirably in sows because it provides more space for udder development.
  •   The body should have uniform width from front to rear.
  •   Good development of the ham, loin and shoulder is required of a breeding animal.
  •   Must have sound and well-placed feet and legs. Animals with medium short feet and short upright pasterns are preferable.
  •   Make it a point to select the biggest animals within a litter.
  •   Female breeders should come from a litter of eight or more good-sized piglets with high survivability.
  •   Do not keep gilts that come from sows in which agalactia (failure to secrete milk) have been observed.
  • Select vigorous and hardy pigs from a healthy litter in a herd raised under good swine sanitation. Do not keep gilts or boars nor breed from litters that have physical abnormalities. These may be inherited.

Most of the factors discussed in connection with a selection of gilt or sow also apply in the selection of a boar. However, the following pointers should also be considered:

  •   Masculinity, both in appearance and action, should predominate in the make-up of any boar.
  •   The primary sex organs should be clearly visible and be well-developed. Select only those boars whose testicles are of equal size.
  •   Select However, the best is to select a boar which has been proven and tested for boars with traits that can overcome the defects of the herd.  Minor defects in the boar may be ignored provided that they are not present among the sows.


In Generally, boars should be four to six months old at the time of selection. ft whatever systems of operation, hog houses must be constructed properly to ensure maximum performance of the pigs. A good hog house may not improve the health conditions of the animals but a poor one will certainly increase disease problem easily.

  •   For a small or backyard operations, cheap and locally available materials may be used such as bamboo and nipa.
  •   Hog houses should be constructed on a slightly sloping and well-drained area so that it will not become too muddy and convenient to work in.
  •   Permanent hog houses should have concrete floors for easy cleaning and to minimize the occurrence of parasites and diseases. Concrete floors must not be too rough to cause foot and leg problems nor too smooth to be slippery when wet.

Facilities and Equipment

Provide the pig house with the proper equipment such as feeders and drinking troughs. Feeders and water troughs are best made of concrete although i other materials may be used. Some people use discarded automobile or truck tires cut in halves.

Table 2:  Space Requirements for Different Classes of Swine*

  •  In bigger operations, farrowing stalls are important to reduce piglet mortality due to crushing of piglets.
  • Heat lamps or electric brooders are needed for survival of newborn pigs. In places where the use of heat lamps is not possible, a box lined with old sacks or thickly bedded straw, rice hull or saw dust can keep the pigs warm and comfortable.

source: ldc.da.gov.ph, photo from tripwow.tripadvisor.com

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