Although the exact origins of pigs are not well defined, these pigs possibly originated from European wild boar (Sus scrofa). Their short legs and powerful tusk with cartilaginous disc in the snout are well suited for feeding and rooting.
Breeds of pigs
Indigenous breed: also known as the West African Dwarf pig (WAD) forms the largest breed of pig in the country. They are characterized by stunted growth, poor reproductive performance. They are very hardy. They have pointed snout and sharp feet. Skin colouration could be black, black with white or grey patches or can be pure brown.
Large white: this is also called Yorkshire. It was first developed in Yorkshire, England but now it is popular throughout the world. It is fast growing and has a strong frame with good & strong legs. Females are prolific and adapt well to confinements. It is well distributed throughout the tropics and good for cross breeding. Its susceptible to sunburn under tropical conditions.
Landrace: they are characterized by the presence of floppy ears, they are known for high lactating ability and farrowing of large piglets. They are efficient converter of food to meat.
Duroc: they are red pigs characterized by the presence of floppy ears, fast growth, good quality carcass and productiveness
Others are Yorkshire, Berkshire, Hampshire etc
Economic importance of raising pigs
They are sources of manure used to stimulate microbial / plant growth in feeding fresh water fish in ponds and used as organic fertilizer.
They are highly prolific, mature rapidly and produce large litter.
They help in the production of useful products like hair used as bristles in brushes; skin tanned leather, blood as food or feed.
Generation of methane gas from their manure.
It is useful in medical and nutritional studies.
Management practices in pigs
These entails the various activities carried out in the piggery section ranging from the routine to the occasional practices. They are outlined below:
Routine practices: they are the set of activities carried out regularly to ensure the growth of the animals. They are;
Inspection: the first thing that should be done in the morning in a typical pig farm is to check the vigour and the overall body condition of the pigs for abnormal behavior and sickness or impending illness and also to observe pigs on heat and servicing.
Cleaning: they should be given water before sweeping and washing. Sweeping and washing of pen should be done using water and disinfectant like Moriguard etc. Disinfectant is basically used to reduce the actions of pathogenic organisms in the pen and also to reduce the foul odour emanating from the pen.
Feeding: the pigs should be fed with a compounded feed which consist of palm kernel cake, corn, brewery dried grain, premix, iodized salt, oyster shell, limestone (calcium carbonate- CaCO3), roasted soybean and water. The young ones should be slop-fed i.e. their feeds should be mixed together with water as this is necessary to increase palatability, acceptability, reduce feed wastage and dust particles particularly, the matured ones can be given dry feed. They can also be fed with fruits such as mango, vegetables such as water leaf, also plant such as water hyacinth (a highly invasive aquatic plant which has a considerable amount of crude protein) to supplement their feed. Water should be given concurrently.
Note: Soyabean should be roasted before being fed to pigs using a very large roasting pan on an open fire. The soybean should be evenly spread in the roasting pan and then be intermittently turned to prevent it from burning up as this may cause total denaturation. It should then be packed from the pan after turning brown. The aim of roasting soybean is to reduce the anti-nutritional factors such as phytohaemagluttin, chymotrypsin and other trypsin inhibiting factors thereby increasing the use of the energy and protein it contains, also to enhance their digestibility.