The challenges faced by our country in securing the food as well as nutritional security to fast growing population need an integrated approach in livestock farming. Among the various livestock species, piggery is most potential source for meat production and pigs are more efficient feed converters after the broiler. Apart from providing meat, it is also a source of bristles and manure. Pig farming will provide employment opportunities to seasonally employed rural farmers and supplementary income to improve their living standards.
The advantages of the pig farming are:
a. Pig has got highest feed conversion efficiency i.e. they produce more live weight gain from a given weight of feed than any other class of meat producing animals except broilers.
b. Pig can utilise wide variety of feed stuffs viz. grains, forages, damaged feeds and garbage and convert them into valuable nutritious meat. However, feeding of damaged grains, garbage and other unbalanced rations may result in lower feed efficiency.
c. They are prolific with shorter generation interval. A sow can be bred as early as 8-9 months of age and can farrow twice in a year. They produce 6-12 piglets in each farrowing.
d. Pig farming requires small investment on buildings and equipment.
e. Pigs are known for their meat yield, which in terms of dressing percentage ranges from 65 – 80 in comparison to other livestock species whose dressing yields may not exceed 65%.
f. Pork is most nutritious with high fat and low water content and has got better energy value than that of other meats. It is rich in vitamins like thiamin, Niacin and riboflavin.
g. Pigs manure is widely used as fertilizer for agriculture farms and fish ponds.
h. Pigs store fat rapidly for which there is an increasing demand from poultry feed, soap, paints and other chemical industries.
i. Pig farming provides quick returns since the marketable weight of fatteners can be achieved with in a period of 6-8 months.
j. There is good demand from domestic as well as export market for pig products such as pork, bacon, ham, sausages, lard etc.
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