Pig Rearing

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					              Small Scale Pig Farming:
              Practices and Obligations

Prepared for the New Zealand Pork Industry Board by Graham Pearson,
phone 06-350-5382, email
Contact: Elizabeth McGruddy
         Environmental Officer
         Massey University
         Private Bag 11-222, PN 452
         Phone: (06) 350-5082

Why do you (want to) keep pigs?

• As a means of generating some money

• As part of your "small farming system"

• Simply because you like pigs

Whatever your reason and regardless of the number of
pigs kept, being a pig farmer means you will have
obligations to:

• Your stock

• Your neighbours

• Your family and friends

• Established Pork producers

• Others who handle or process your pigs

Can you say yes to this check list?

• Do you like working with pigs

• Can you cope with the daily commitment they will require?

• Have you checked on the legal requirements for buildings, effluent?

• Is there a market for what you intent to produce?

Historically pigs have held an important place in providing food for households,
all around the world. One reason why pigs were considered valuable was
that they could be used to store protein and other useful food nutrients in
times of plenty, or to utilise what otherwise would be waste products, for use
in times of scarcity or celebration. Pig farming as we know it today started in
New Zealand as an adjunct to dairy farming, using by-products – skim milk
and whey - that would otherwise be wasted.

In a small farming situation, pigs are often seen as an ideal way to: dispose of
garden wastes or an over supply of produce, clear rhizonimous weeds and
as a first stage in cultivation while providing valuable organic fertilizer.
Additionally they can be a nutritious source of meat. Pigs therefore are often
seen as a natural ‘small-farmer's’ enterprise either as a hobby or as a means
of making those extra few dollars.

There are two factors which are essential to successful pig farming.
The first is comfortable, clean housing and the second is daily attention and
observation of your stock. That is, there is no substitute for good husbandry.
Sadly these two vital ingredients to success are often forgotten in the
enthusiasm to start up a small pig unit.

Pigs are often kept under appalling conditions, struggling to survive. But
poor housing and living conditions will eventually take their toll and the stock
will become unthrifty and non-productive. Furthermore, it is no pleasure
looking after stock in dirty, vermin infested conditions. Feeding and visiting
the pigs daily, while a chore, means that you get to know your stock and that
problems are more likely to be spotted in the early stages. Animals enjoy a
routine and a sick pig which stays huddled at the back or takes little interest
in its feed can be readily spotted and the appropriate action taken.

In addition to these two basic requirements to owning pigs are the
responsibilities to other people. Examples of these folk are, your family and
friends, people who will be handling or growing your pigs on further, your
neighbours, those involved in the slaughter of your stock and finally those who
have made a substantial investment in the pork industry.

NZ commercial pig industry
In the early years the NZ pig industry developed alongside dairying, utilising
skim milk and whey, which were considered waste products. In the 1970's,
following radical changes in the dairy industry, all-meal feeding of pigs increased
markedly, being based on barley and to a lesser extent maize. A drop in the
number of pig units resulted, along with a geographic shift to the South Island.
This decline in total units continues today, as the existing units continue to
grow larger.

Currently there are about 400 commercial pork producers, of these it is
estimated that 80 produce 80 percent of NZ pork consumption. These
producers have worked hard to make an efficient and productive industry,
both individually and through their industry organisation, the NZ Pork Industry

Board. Resources and time have been invested by many within the industry
to promote a range of valuable products, all produced under excellent
conditions. Also, they have taken a pro-active stance on a number of issues
confronting the industry. Current key issues are briefly described below.

The Environment
The NZ Pork Industry Board established the position of Environment and
Animal Welfare Officer to research and disseminate factual information about
pig farming's impact on the environment including:
    Developing and reviewing a "Code of Practice", which deals with issues
     facing both intensive and extensive pig units
    Development of an Environmental Management System to help
     producers move towards more sustainable management practices.
    Facilitation of extension seminars to bring both producers and local
     authorities up to date on developments.
    Organise formation of regional liaison groups, which comprise of both
     producers and local authority personnel. This provides opportunities for
     discussion and dialogue.
A major issue is the need to change people’s perception of pig effluent.
Historically it has been perceived to be a nuisance and often disposal of the
‘waste’ was a major problem. Now people are beginning to realise that in fact pig
effluent can be a valuable resource that is often under utilised.

Disease control and occupational health

Leptospirosis is one of the most common occupationally acquired diseases
that can be caught from animals in NZ. Pigs not only act as an important
source of infection for other species of animals, especially cattle, but any
person who comes into contact with infected urine or kidneys may be
infected. Leptospirosis is therefore a major concern for those working with
pigs and those in the meat industry who process pig carcasses.

The NZ Pork Industry Board has led major efforts to heighten commercial pig
farmer’s awareness of this major occupational health issue and to promote
remedial action on their production units by regularly providing regional
seminars. The NZ Pork Industry Board is keen to work with others, such as
yourselves, within the industry to reduce the risk to owners, their families and
meat workers.

The NZ Pork Industry Board is heavily involved in the promotion and marketing
of Pork. Pork promotion takes many forms, probably the most well known is
“Trim pork", a concept set up and promoted by the NZ Pork Industry Board.
Considerable investment has also been made in establishing marketing and
promotional activities through all sectors of the meat trade, the most visual
being advertising, in the form of TV commercials (Mike King) and recipe

More recently a large behind the scenes investment in meat quality issues
has culminated in the implementation of PQIP (pork quality improvement

process), this provides quality management procedures both on farm and
through all the marketing stages from the farm gate to the consumer's plate.
Any requests for further information in this area should be made to the Pork
Industry Board.

Animal Welfare
Another area in which the industry has taken a pro-active stance is animal
welfare. Considerable input was made into the production of the ‘Animal
Welfare Code of Practice (Pigs)’ that is now available through Biosecurity New
Zealand. This Code of Practice is legally binding on all pig owners, irrespective
of size and will be enforced by MAF officers. The Code of Practice should be
consulted before any system is adopted.

Consideration for others
All of these positive actions and investments of time and money can be very
easily negated by the action of a few pig farmers who neglect the basic
principles of stockmanship and animal welfare. Similarly, disregard for the
correct siting of units, the need to avoid the pollution of waterways and the
neighbour’s environment, whether real or perceived, quickly brings the name
of all pig farmers in to disrepute.

Obligations of a small farmer rearing pigs and
some practical suggestions for success
The following points on production and management are designed to highlight
issues that are of concern and to provide information of benefit in meeting your
needs and obligations. It is not exhaustive and the references at the end of the
paper can be used to locate further and more detailed information.

Environmental issues
The New Zealand Pork Industry Board has produced ‘EnviroPork™: pork
industry guide to managing environmental effects’. This guide supersedes the
Code of Practice – Pig Farming (1997). The purpose of EnviroPork™ is to
provide pork producers, council officers, persons looking to enter into the pork
industry, and other stakeholders a reference for acceptable practices to
managing the environmental effects of pork production. This guide should be
read and understood prior to any farming of pigs.

Pig farming has long been an integral part of the rural scene, but increasingly its
legitimacy is being questioned. The Resource Management Act (RMA, 1991)
provides a statutory means to consider today's concerns about the
environmental effects of the industry and to facilitate solutions.

Through the RMA, Regional councils control activities with regard to the
discharge of contaminants onto or into land, water and air. District councils are
responsible for controlling land use issues such as subdivision, noise and odours
as they affect amenity values.

It has been suggested that extensive outdoor pig units, which maintain good

pasture or ground cover should be a permitted activity, since adverse effects
tend not to arise. If appropriate, performance standards may be included as a
means of control.
• Control stocking density appropriate to soil type and rainfall
• Use effective fencing to prevent stock fouling waterways

Pigs must not be allowed to live in unsightly and unhealthy conditions, from
which environmental pollution in any of its various forms can cause a significant
effect. Potential problems can generally be averted by first considering these
• Building and effluent collection system design
• Management practices and level of farm skills
• Hygiene standards
• Distance from neighbours
• Soil type and drainage
• Landscaping

Efficient and effective management practices are all positive ways to avert
potential problems. Examples include:
• Using electric fencing to control rotational grazing and avoiding water
• Sensible stocking rates
• Effective separation of stock from their dung and urine, or alternatively
   provision of a deep litter system in which good composting takes place.
• Using accurate and tidy feeding systems
• Maintaining buildings
• Boundary tree planting
Pigs produce from 3 to 10 litres of effluent daily, depending on their size. This
may double or even triple depending on the type of diet being fed and the
volume of water used for cleaning.

Deep litter systems
Deep litter systems can use straw or sawdust or a combination. The principal
requirement is a restriction on water intake and no spillage into the bedding.
This system also requires a larger floor area per pig. Success depends on the
understanding of the key principles involved and good day-to-day management.
This includes:
• Area 1 to 1.3m2 per growing pig, sawdust minimum 600 mm deep.
• New bedding must be dry before application.
• Weekly management requires removal of litter wet spots, routine litter
  replacement and the forking over of the whole pen to avoid compacting, as
  this limits microbial activity.
• The health programme needs regular maintenance, litter is a haven for lice
  and fleas.

Animal Welfare Issues
Prior to owning any pigs, the Animal Welfare (Pigs) Code of Welfare must be
read and fully understood. This Code provides the minimum standards for all
aspects of caring for pigs and there are significant penalties if anyone is found

         to be in breach of any of the conditions. A copy of the Code can be downloaded
         from the Biosecurity New Zealand website -

         1. Housing
         Often people get into problems because they start out with ambitious ideas, yet
         their skill levels are low and they have little practical knowledge. For instance it’s
         very tempting to start off with in-pig gilt, when this in fact requires expertise in
         dealing with sows at farrowing and the rearing of baby pigs. A safer option would
         be to get a "feel" for pig production by fattening a few weaners over the summer
         months when a simple means of housing the pigs will be satisfactory and ground
         conditions are good.

         Pigs are very like us. They lack insulating fur or wool and so therefore need to be
         provided with a good standard of housing.

         Pigs must be:
         • provided with comfortable and secure accommodation
         • protected from temperature extremes and have a warm dry draught
           free sleeping area

         Pigs confined in housing must have:
         • room to feed, stand, lie down and stretch
         • air quality that will not adversely effect their health

         Pigs kept outside must have:
          • shelter available to protect them from unpleasant weather
          • access to shade from direct sunlight, to prevent sunburn
          • access to high ground where there is no danger of flooding

             Provision of these requirements with simple yet effective components, utilising
             insulation materials, false ceilings and adjustable vents are ideal.

             Remember that a cold or uncomfortable pig will use food primarily to keep warm
             and a pig suffering from heat stress will not eat. The smaller the pig, the more
             critical is a warm temperature, so that body heat is retained. The following table
             provides the temperature ranges as written in the Animal Welfare (Pigs) Code
             of Welfare.

Temperature     Boars and     Lactating     Piglets         Weaners            Growers         Breeding
                Dry sows        sows                                                             Stock
                                             1-5kg           (6-7kg)
                                                         6-7kg    8-25kg        26-60kg        61-100kg
  Celsiusº         15-24        15-21        22-27      25-30        21-27       17-21             15-19

         2. Weaner accommodation
         The younger the pig, the more vulnerable they are and the more critical are their
         accommodation needs. They must be kept warm and dry, subjected to minimum
         variations in temperatures and have minimal contact with faeces and disease


Many people have great success in raising weaners in deep straw, as the
weaners burrow into the straw and are well insulated and protected from cold
draughts. Don't let the bedding get wet and dirty. Chilled weaners will soon
scour and foul the pen, and will be observed sleeping in a pile, in one comer and

The use of weaner boxes for weaners up to 10 weeks of age is another approach
to provide quality accommodation. A low roofed and well insulated construction
works well provided numbers are strictly controlled.

3. Grower accommodation
As pigs grow, they become more tolerant of changes in the environment.
Accommodation requirements are less rigorous. A popular design is a "kennel"
area constructed in a general purpose building. A false roof or lid is positioned
over the pigs sleeping area to create a warm dry and draft free environment. The
kennel lids should be of light, well insulated construction and easily adjusted.
Straw bales can be placed on top of them to provide winter insulation.

This type of building should not be totally enclosed and allow plenty of air
movement higher up. A lightly insulated roof of the "umbrella" building to
minimise solar radiation in summer is advised.

4. Breeding stock
Small groups of less than 10 sows housed in yards works well. Sows can be
bullies at feeding time, so the use of individual facilities or a large area for
feeding is important. Where sows are run outside, a hard dry area for feeding
reduces wastage. Also providing a choice of shelter so that timid sows can
seek refuge away from the dominant sow(s) is a good idea.
Individual sows seen to be losing condition should be fed alone, often they are
slow feeders or at the bottom of the "pecking" order.

5. Animal health
Prevention is always better than cure, so remember to keep up the hygiene
standards, especially around little pigs and when ever carrying out
veterinary tasks.

Remember the skin is the pig's barrier against infection. Cuts and grazes of the
skin allow infections, which can result in swollen joints. Similarly, the gut is
another source of entry for infective agents. Minimising stress and sudden diet
changes allows the animal to maintain its natural immunity status within the gut.

Pen cleaning needs to be regular and after each batch all moveable items
such as troughs and false ceilings should be taken out, scrubbed and left
in the sun for a spell. Rest the pen for a few days if possible. Stock observation
is also vital, with feeding being a good time to check for the first signs of trouble.

Remember visitors can bring diseases on to your farm, provision of a pair or two
of gumboots for visitors are a good positive action.

6. Diseases
LEPTOSPIROSIS is critical to both animal and human health. It is a major concern
at present. People from many walks of life, in addition to producers, run the risk
of contracting leptospirosis. Anyone who comes into contact with infected pigs,
urine, or offal is susceptible.

Most at risk are meat inspectors and meat workers, thus this has both human and
financial implications for meat processors, with ACC premiums skyrocketing.
Abattoirs are currently considering a policy of refusing to process pigs unless the
owner can prove they are either free of leptospirosis or under a vaccination

Leptospirosis is the most common occupationally acquired disease caught from
animals. Transmission to man is usually by contact with infected urine and/or

Pigs are the main carriers of leptospira pomona. The leptospira infect the
kidneys and with-in two weeks, pigs shed leptospires in their urine. Pigs act as an
important source of infection for other animals, especially cattle. In cattle the
disease is known as red-water.

Human symptoms
Leptospirosis is characterised by:
• fever
• chills
• headaches
• aches and pains in limbs
• and often jaundice and nausea
Many people think they are having a bad bout of flu. Symptoms may last from
several days to a few weeks and often longer. The diagnosis can only be
confirmed by a blood test. Early diagnosis and treatment will help prevent
permanent complications to the blood, kidneys and liver. In fact sufferers often
feel they are "going nuts". Further problems can be backache, joint ache,
abdominal pain & dark urine. Weakness, jaundice, a light phobia and confusion,
may also plague the sufferer. On recovery people often fatigue easily and the
symptoms may last for years

How do you get Leptospirosis?
The bacteria enter the body through the membranes of the mouth, nose and
eyes, following urine splashes from infected animals as well as through the skin,
especially through cuts, sores and abrasions. This can be when handling
infected offal or contact with infected urine.

Preventive measures
There are a number of measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of infection.
These include:
• Good personnel hygiene - those with beards and moustaches need to
  wash their faces well.
• Wear suitable protective clothing and cover cuts.
• Scratches and abrasions with waterproof plasters.

• Never enter pig pens in bare feet or jandals.
• Don't run pigs, cattle and deer together.
• Don't allow puddles of urine infected water to develop and keep recreational
  water areas free from contamination.

Consult your veterinarian about a vaccination programme for your stock and
isolate any aborting animals. Control any rodents.

Common dunging channels inside buildings and outdoors puddles of urine are
the primary sources of on-farm cross infection to younger pigs and other carrier
animals, these should be eliminated where ever possible.

Animal effects
Leptospirosis causes both abortions and still births at farrowing. Introducing an
infected animal into an otherwise clean herd could trigger an "abortion storm".
The organism can also cause both liver and kidney damage and abortion in
other animals such as horses, cattle and sheep.

Animal protection
All breeding stock should be vaccinated at selection and again one month later,
prior to breeding, with re-vaccination at 6 monthly intervals. Following a series
of "Leptospirosis Awareness Workshops" initiated in 1995 by the NZPIB for pig
producers, Leptospirosis control programmes in growing pigs have been
initiated on commercial units where Leptospirosis has been diagnosed.
Growing pigs are vaccinated twice following weaning.

Other diseases that are of major importance to the pig industry, because they
affect sow productivity, are;

       Erysipelas
       In addition to causing reproductive failure in breeding stock, erysipelas is
       also a major cause of joint arthritis, which can lead to carcass
       condemnations. Fever and reddened blotches on the skin may be
       observed. All stock intended for breeding should be vaccinated at
       selection, and re-vaccinated 3 or 4 weeks later. Sows can be vaccinated
       after weaning and boars twice yearly.

      Parvo virus
       This is another disease causing reproductive failure. Infection in
       mid-pregnancy results in mummified or weak piglets at birth. Gilt's should
       be vaccinated at selection, i.e. at least one month prior to first mating.
       Twice yearly booster vaccinations are recommended there after.

7. Vaccination
The three diseases most commonly vaccinated for on-farm are: Leptospirosis,
Parvovirus and Erysipelas. Vaccination is a prevention technique and not a cure,
which introduces immunity by stimulating antibody development. Unfortunately
the immunity lasts only about six months so repeat shots are necessary.
Programmes should be designed to cover the breeding stock at appropriate
times in their life cycle. With all vaccinations it is important to use the correct
dosage, inject into the neck and keep all the equipment clean.

Some other common problems that need to be considered are:
  1. Parasites - Control is important as high levels will reduce performance
     and lower the stocks resistance to other infections. Routine programmes
     to control internal and external parasites are necessary.
  2. Worms - Grazing adult stock are particularly prone to picking up worms,
     although younger pigs invariably get them from adult or older stock too.
     Control is by using an in-fed worming supplement, and making sure all
     pigs consume their full share. Treat sows prior to farrowing and at
     weaning. Boars six monthly and growing pigs at seven to ten weeks of
  3. Lice - are often a problem and generally first appear around the ears (big
     and triangular). If scrubbing with a soapy solution the treatment used
     must be repeated twice more at 7 day intervals to kill the new lice as they
  4. Mange - (scurfy reddened skin around the ears) is caused by another
     external parasite which can cause severe discomfort and distress in pigs.
     If untreated lesions will also appear on the tail and inside the thighs and
     shoulders. Animals will be seen continually scratching and rubbing. All
     adult stock should be treated regularly with a proprietary product. An
     alternative is using flowers of sulphur mixed in old sump oil, but this needs
     regular repetition.
  5. Scouring - often occurs in newly weaned piglets. Causes are numerous
     and include nutritional changes, moving stress and disease challenge.
     The major remedial action is to provide plenty of clean water, include
     electrolytes and if the scours persist consult your veterinarian.
  6. Pneumonia - and other respiratory diseases are commonly caused by
     poor housing and damp, cold or draughty conditions. If your pigs are
     coughing lots, or generally appear unthrifty then look to improving your
     facilities. Antibiotic treatment can only provide a short-term cure.
  7. Farrowing fever - occurs post- farrowing. The sow runs a fever, her
     udder becomes hard and the milk supply dries up. A white vaginal
     discharge may be seen. The vet should administer an anti-biotic to
     prevent severe mastitis or even death. Prevention is by reducing feed
     intake and including bran in the pre-farrowing feeds to prevent
     constipation, also pre-farrowing exercise may help. Piglets can be kept
     alive and vigorous with an electrolyte solution, provided they have
     previously received colostrum. An artificial colostrum can be made up
     where cow's colostrum is unavailable using 1200 ml pasteurised milk, 35
     ml full cream, 5 ml cod liver oil, 5 ml "Minadex" (iron compound available
     from the chemist), and 5 ml citric acid.
  8. Anaemia - with in-door housing, inadequate iron intake from the sow's
     milk will be apparent in the suckling piglets. The old-fashioned remedy
     was to put a clod of soil, plus 30 gm of ferrous sulphate in the pen.
     Supplemental iron dosing either orally or by neck injection is more
  9. Fungal toxins - on wet or poorly stored grains can effect the reproductive
     organs of both boars and gilts. Sow's may abort or not hold to service.

8. Buying in stock
Be aware that bought-in-stock can bring disease onto your farm, so bringing

in pigs is always a disease risk.

Weaners are normally exchanged at 8 to 10 weeks of age (18 to 20 kg
liveweight). Avoid buying runts or "poor doers". A suitable checklist is:
• Avoid hairy pigs. These have often had a hard cold start to life, they will
    be old for their age and probably suffering from illness, e.g. Pneumonia.
• Avoid scouring pigs. Any visual signs of loose faeces, dirty backsides
    or red inflamed areas are a warning to potential purchasers.
• Avoid pigs that cough, they have worms.
• Look for pigs with a bright appearance, clean skin and show a keen
    interest in both food and life in general.
• Avoid pigs that limp
Try to obtain pigs that have been weaned at least a few days prior to transfer.
Settle pigs into their new home quickly, unless they have recently been treated,
treat for internal and external parasites. Introduce your feed gradually and if
possible provide plenty of dry straw or other bedding.

Breeding sows
The purchase of breeding stock from either a known colleague or recognised
pig breeder is recommended. Unless there is a genuine clearing sale, buying
from a sale yards is a risky business, as you may well buy someone else's cull.

Buying unmated gilts is the safest option. This gives the young gilt time to
become accustomed to the particular set of conditions on your unit (including
the disease organisms). If purchased at 90 to 100 kg, they will be ready for
mating in about a month.

Remember your boar has a major influence on the progeny (1 boar to 20
sows). So it’s worth while to choose a superior quality boar. Also successful
breeding depends on a sound, vigorous boar. No stiffness or lameness
should be apparent.

9. Moving and transporting pigs
Pigs can be difficult to move across open spaces, some equipment and
forward planning are vital. Some golden rules are:
• Don't lose your temper, take a calm approach
• Use feed as a lure
• Carry something large, flat and solid like a piece of plywood.
• Use this to block escape routes, the theory being they won't go through
   what they can't see through.
Using raceways between buildings and paddocks is much easier.

Make sure trailers have solid sides and a provision for covering in rain.
The "wind chill" effect on pigs loaded in an open trailer can be detrimental
even over short distances, (equate it to sitting in your shirt sleeves and
you'll find it cool even on a warm day). Add straw bedding if traveling any
distance. Far too many pigs come to an untimely end due to pneumonia
because of poor transport practices.

10. Feeding
Pigs are a monogastric animal, which means they have a single stomach gut
system that is similar to humans. The pig requires a diet that is balanced and
includes protein, energy and minerals.

Their capacity to cope with and utilise bulky, fibrous materials is quite limited.
The smaller and younger the pig, the more concentrated the nutrients need
to be in the diet. Older and adult stock, other than lactating sows are better
able to copy with bulky feeds. However remember pigs require a
considerable quantity of feed just to for maintain their current weight, thus
feed above this basic requirement needs to be supplied if juvenile stock are
to continue growing.

An approximate meal feeding scale is:
Weaners,                                  1.0 kg daily
Growing pigs 25 kg                        1.3 kg daily
              45 kg                       2.0 kg daily
              65 kg                       3.0 kg daily
              85 kg                       3.5 kg daily
Breeding sows and boar                    2.5 - 3.0 kg daily
Suckling sows                             2.5 kg plus 0.5 kg per piglet

The simplest feeding regime is to purchase proprietary rations. This ensures
the diets are correctly formulated for energy, protein, including the correct
balance of amino acids plus the correct vitamins and minerals are supplied.
A poorly balanced ration will result in pigs which grow slowly and which are
inefficient converters of their feed. However, when feeding small numbers of
stock, feed will have to be purchased in sacks, making it expensive, and
many small producers try to economise by substituting alternative feeds.
Remember that as pigs make the most efficient use of their meal when they
are young it is vital that they get as much as they can eat at this stage. Feed
at least twice daily.

Later substitution with more bulky and fibrous feeds can take place. For this
a general rule of thumb, is to start growing pigs off on 1kg of meal daily at
weaning, increasing this gradually to 3kg, after which alternative products
can be introduced.

Common sense is needed when considering cost saving substitutes. Their
bulk, water content, high fat or oil content are all factors to consider. An
apparently cheap substitute can easily become an expensive mistake.
Remember also food scraps and garbage likely to contain meat
products must be cooked for an hour before use, by law. The Ministry of
Agriculture and Forestry will need to inspect the facilities. Potatoes are much
better digested when cooked, while fermented products, or products that
ferment while stored, such as apple and brewery wastes, can cause pigs to
become drunk. By contrast, milk is an excellent feed, high in protein and
minerals, which is excellent to combine with more bulky energy sources.

Some common feedstuffs and their limitations are briefly listed below:
  1. Cereals - as the ration basis they provide the energy and some protein.
      They need to be ground, or boiled to assist digestion.
  2. Cereal based products - reject products such as bread, biscuits and
      breakfast cereals may be available, but competition for them is strong.
      They can be put through a garden shredder to produce a convenient
  3. Cooked potatoes - high bulk, limit to 50 percent of the ration and only
      feed to pigs over 12 weeks. Balance the shortage of protein, calcium
      and phosphorus.
  4. Dried blood - very high protein content, but amino acids imbalance,
      limit to 5 percent of the ration.
  5. Fish meal - liable to taint fat and may also cause Mercury residues.
      Limit to young pig diets only, at a maximum of 5 percent.
  6. Grazing - use for adult stock only and treat grazing as a supplement to
      their basic ration not a substitute. Don't put in-pig sows onto Lucerne,
      high levels of oestrogen compounds can cause abortions. Fodder
      beet, choumollier and pumpkins have some feed value.
  7. Legumes - imbalanced energy to protein ratio, limit to 25 percent of the
  8. Meat meals - high ash content, limit to 25 percent of grower rations
      and 10 percent of weaner rations.
  9. Milling by-products - high fibre content, limit to 10 percent of the
  10. Separated milk or skim-milk - separated milk is a good source of
      protein, feed 2 to 4 litres daily depending on age. Top up feed levels
      with only a ground cereal, plus a mineral supplement.
  11. Whole milk - a good source of protein and is available at some times
      of the year. Remember to introduce it slowly. Dried milk powders are
      commonly used as a source of high quality protein for young pigs.
  12. Garbage - you need a regular and reliable source and a licence for a
      commercial operation. REMEMBER by law, all garbage must be
      boiled for an hour before feeding. Remember pigs don't like tea leaves,
      coffee grounds or citrus skins. Similarly meat scraps and soups from
      animals you have butchered are ideal protein sources, but MUST be
      cooked first.
  13. Whey - substitute energy source, feed with a protein balancer ration.
      Remember it’s a bulky feed, known to cause bloat, so restrict to older

11. WATER the forgotten nutrient
Growing pigs require from 1 to 10L daily depending on age, while a suckling
sow requires at least 25L a day (up to 50L). Water is vital to productivity and
good health. The need to supply clean, cool water should never be under
estimated, especially if spillage or low water pressure restricts individual pig
intakes at critical times.

12. Humane Slaughter techniques
When pigs need to be destroyed due to injury or ill-health, the method of
slaughter should be effective and cause immediate unconsciousness which
persists until death.

• Very young pigs can be rendered unconscious by a blow to the head with a
  heavy metal object, delivered to the frontal region. Immediately afterwards
  the animal's throat should be cut.
• Grower and adult pigs should be shot before being bled by a method that
  causes gross damage to the front portion of the brain. The animal must then
  be bled immediately by either a deep incision in the neck or by sticking
  between the first two ribs, to sever major vessels close to the heart. Three
  types of firearm can be used. A rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with
  buckshot or a captive bolt. Remember a current firearm licence is required.
  Shooting a large pig is a difficult procedure and should not be taken lightly.

Home kills
It is illegal to kill stock for commercial sale at other than licensed premises,
where the animals and carcasses are inspected for food safety and
wholesomeness. This law is often flouted at considerable risk to all

All ‘small holdings’ farmers are urged to use commercial abattoirs, where the
resultant meat is not for their own personal consumption. True home kills can
be carried out by a "farm-kill" butcher or yourselves. If the latter option is
taken, considerable thought and preparation needs to be undertaken.

References and sources of further information
A)     Books published for commercial pig farmers, which can provide
useful information for the smaller producers.
By Farming Press Ltd., ENGLAND - NZ contact "Touchwood Books,
Peter and Diane Arthur, Box 610, Hastings. Ph 06-874-2872

Practical Pig Production                  - Keith Thornton
Profitable Pig Farming                    - Geoffrey Johnson
Pig Farmer's Veterinary Book              - Norman Barron
The Sow : Improving her Efficiency         - Peter English and others
Practical Pig Nutrition                   - Colin Whittemore
A Pigman's Handbook                       - Gerry Brent
The Health of Pigs                        - edited by John Hill
The Science of Pig Production             - Colin Whittemore

B)     Books published with small farmers in mind.
Pig Farming for Peasants      - Various authors -1977
Successful Small Farming      - Malcolm Blackie -1981
Small Scale Pig Farming in NZ - David Yerex      -1994
Practical Smallfarming in NZ  - Trish Fisk       -1994

C)     Others
Pig Diseases, D. Taylor                                                 -1979
Butchering; Processing and Preservation of Meat, F. Ashbrook            -1975
The Farmers’ Veterinary Guide, Massey University.                       -1992

D)      Pork Industry Training
For any one wanting to develop a career in the pork industry, the Agricultural
ITO is responsible for 3 courses.

•   National Certificate in Pork Production - Stockperson
•   National Certificate in Pork Production - Herd Manager
•   National Diploma in Pork Production - Farm Business Management
•   Prohand – stockperson handling skills (run through Massey University -
    contact Graham Pearson on 06 350 5799 extn 5382)