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Animal Production
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Overview of pig production in Nigeria
Pigs are kept for meat production. the meat obtained from pigs can be pork (fresh meat),
bacon (mainly fat) and lard (white, slightly soft, pork fat). Pig meat (pork) is a very important
source of animal protein in human diets. Pig rearing is popular in many parts of Nigeria,
which has the highest production in Africa. In areas where pigs are reared on free range,
they are most valued as a kind of "savings" to the farmer from where he can get some
finance in the time of need.
Commercial production of pigs under intensive and semi-intensive system is possible in the
country because of the high demand in some part of the country.
Characteristics of pig as a farm animal
1. Pigs are very aggressive and also inquisitive in nature.
2. Unlike other livestock, pigs have higher survival rate especially under scarcity of inputs.
3. They reproduce faster than cattle and from estimate, they have more offspring. By the
time the first calf is
ready for market, 30-40 slaughtered pigs can be sold from one sow with about 5-10
times the amount of
the edible meat.
4. Pigs have the ability to convert agro-industrial waste products to meat cheaply and more
rapidly than any
other domestic quadruped.
5. The pig carcass yield a high dressing percentage of edible meat which is of greater
nutritious value.
Limitation to pig production in Nigeria
1. One of the most limiting factor in pig production is the loss due to parasites and diseases.
planned veterinarian programmes for pigs will go a long way in enhancing profitability of
the enterprise.
Also, veterinary cost may be reduced with high standard of sanitation.
2. Un-availability of breeding stock with superior genetic background, Efficienct disease
control, good
nutrition and management cannot make any impact in pig production enterprise if the
genetic make-up of
the animal is poor.
3. The third problem is poor feed. Feeding of pigs in Nigeria is poor.
4. Capital. Swine production require good housing and fencing materials.
5. Poor management system. Pigs are very sensitive to careless management system. Poor
management is
mostly responsible for the low average productivity in pig production in Nigeria.
6. Religious and social disposition to pig and pig production.
7. Marketing problem. Unlike egg, milk and meat which are universally acceptable to many
Nigerians, pig
products are not as widely acceptable to all.
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8. Record keeping. Most farmers do not have the habit of record keeping.
Strategies for development of pig production
1. A development policy which focus on the following should be put in place.
(a.) Large scale feed depot.
(b.) Pig breeding and multiplication centre should be for the production and distribution
of foundation
stock and weaners to prospective pig producers.
2. There should be mobilization of small scale pig producers. the farmers should be involved
in any
development plan.
3. Compensation policy in the case of disease outbreak.
4. Extension support services that will be focused on increased productivity of swine should
be put in place.
Breeds of pigs
There are over 90 recognized breeds of pigs and an estimated 230 varieties of pigs in the
world. In Nigeria, pigs have been classed into indigenous and exotic breeds.
Indigenous pig breed
The indigenous pigs are usually of modest size with adults reaching 100kg maximum weight
but rarely weigh more than 60kg at the first year of existence, even under the best rearing
conditions. In general, the indigenous breeds have smaller and shorter legs than exotic
types with the typical unimproved conformation of a large head, well developed forequarters
and relatively light hind quarters.
The indigenous pigs are sexually early maturing. Females may show first oestrus as early
as three months of age. The skin is often black, brown or occasionally spotted but rarely
white. The sow of indigenous pigs have good mothering ability. This has been reported to
be responsible for low piglet mortality.
Exotic breeds
Exotic breeds of pigs were mostly brought from Europe. They constitute the commercial
herds being reared under semi-intensive and intensive management systems.
Example of exotic breeds are:
Large white (Yorkshire). Large white is a very popular breed throughout the world. It is fast
growing, strong-frammed with good body length. Large white is widely distributed in Africa
and is used extensively for cross-breeding. For instance, the Large white X Landrace
female is the most popular cross for commercial production. The white hair and skin render
the carcass more acceptable to consumers than that of coloured breed. However, shade
and wallows are essential for the breed to prevent skin from sun burns.
Other exotic breed of pig are:
i. Danish Landrace
ii. Duroc
iii. Hampshire
iv. Berkshire
Pig production systems
There are three distinct production systems.
(1.) Extensive or free range: This system is the traditional method of rearing pigs in most
parts of the world.
(2.) Semi-intensive: In this system, the animals are restricted to a limited area and
therefore the farmer takes
the whole responsibility of feeding them. The pigs are allowed into fenced larger yard to
graze, wallow
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and exercise.
(3.) Intensive system: This is the commercial method of pig production under which
economic considerations
are the sole determinant of herd size. The farmer grows or buys feed for the animals.
There is an absolute
requirement for skilled management including veterinary protection against parasites and
diseases to
optimize output.
Management procedures in pig production can be divided into two categories:
(1.) Daily routine management
(a.) Supply of water: Water should be provided first thing in the morning. The
left over water in
the trough should be removed and the trough is thoroughly clean and refill
with clean fresh
water. The water in the wallow should be changed regularly too.
(b.) Feeding: Dry feed should be made available at all times. Restricted feed
should be supplied
twice daily. The fresh feed provided should not be more than what the pig
can consume
within 20-30 minutes. Left over should be removed because such feed can
get sour and may
be a breeding ground for maggot. If possible green vegetable should be
provided daily. If
breeding stocks are reared on pasture, this must be done in the morning
before the weather
become hot.
(c.) Cleaning:- After watering and feeding, clean up the pens. Remove moist
bedding and
replace with a dry one. Wood shavings can be used for young animals and
sawdust for older
ones. If a pen is vacated, it should be washed, disinfected and allowed to rest
for at least one
or two weeks before other animals can be brought in.
(d.) Animal inspection:- Inspect animals early in the morning and watch out for
any abnormal
behavior. Observe their general state of health, injuries, general comfort and
signs of heat.
(2.) Specific management procedures
(a.) Management of breeding herds
Pigs selected for breeding usually include the young male and females.
The pig experiences fast oestrus at about 5-6 months of age but should be
allowed to cycle twice or thrice before mating and it is usually better to
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start mating at about 8 months of age. Breeding of gilt (a young female) at
an early age causes production of few piglets per litter. Similarly, the boar
should not be allowed to breed until about 8 months of age. Early breeding
could lead to low conception rate in female due to sperm dilution. The
mating ratio is 1 boar to 10 sows. Pregnant sows required exercise on
pasture and restricted feeding. Flushing before mating and farrowing is
Once the gilt/sow has been successfully served, conception will occur. The
gestation length in pig is 114 days. All sows should be checked
periodically to detect any one that has returned to oestrus so that they can
be served again.
Heat stress has been recognized as a major source of embryo losses
especially during early pregnancy. It is important that pregnant sows
should be shielded from extremes of heat especially during the hottest
months of the year through the provision of shades and wallows.
(b.) Management of sow and her litter
The foundation for successful farrowing is laid by proper feeding and care
of the sow during the gestation and pre-gestation period. The pregnant
sows should be led to the farrowing pen a few days before parturition to
enable them to adapt to the environment. The pen must be thoroughly
fenced and disinfected before occupation.
There must be suitable type of bedding such as wood shavings, saw dust,
straws, and crushed maize cobs. The more unfavourable the weather, the
greater the bedding materials required. After farrowing, the foetal
membrane and wet beddings must be removed and a thin layer of dry
bedding is put inside the pen. The stubs of each piglet should be dip into
15% iodine tincture to disinfect and seal the navel against harmful micro-
The additional management practices for the piglet include cutting of the 4
pairs of needle teeth which are normally present at birth. This is done
because piglets can inflict injuries on their dams and one another. Iron is
given orally or intramuscularly to prevent baby pig anaemia. Baby pig
anaemia is a common cause of baby pig losses. It is also necessary to
reduce the number of piglets to the number of functional teat by either
artificial rearing or by passing some of the piglets to foster dams. The
foster dam should be pig that farrowed the same time to guarantee the
acceptance of the piglet by the foster dam. Harmless disinfectants or other
local materials such as onions can be used to rub the body of the foster
piglet and the body of the foster dam. The dam should not be provided
with concentrate for the first 2 days. Fibrous feed should be fed to the
Within 24 hours of birth, the individual piglets should be marked for
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identification and record purposes.
(c.) Management of growing and fattened pigs
Pigs that are not purposed for breeding are sent into growing fatten stock. The pig
can be castrated to improve the carcass quality, increase the growth rate and also
prevent the production of phenols which is the characteristics odour (i.e. born
odour). Their management essentially involved good nutritional practices.
Growing pigs up to 45 kg weight are fed ad libitum while restricted feeding is
practiced between 45-90 kg body weight to ensure that there is no excess
deposition of fat.
The pig has a digestive system which is classified as mono-gastric. The digestive tract of
the pig has five main parts: the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and small and large intestine.
Specific factors (nutritional, environmental and managerial) are known to affect performance
of pigs on the farm. 65% of the cost of production of pigs goes to feeds.
Figure: Factors that need to be considered when developing pigs diet

An essential part of a sound feeding strategy is to make good decisions on which
ingredients to use in the diet. Ingredients provide nutrients that pigs require for normal
performance. Pigs do not require specific ingredients in their diets, but instead require
energy and nutrients such as amino acids, minerals and vitamins. There are numerous
ingredients available to use in pig feed.
Classes of nutrients in swine nutrition
Pigs need energy for maintenance, growth, reproduction and lactation. The bulk of pigs
energy requirement is met by carbohydrates and fats. Fats and oils are dense sources of
energy containing about 2.25 times more calories than carbohydrates. The energy content
of feedstuffs and energy requirement of pigs are commonly expressed as metabolizable
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energy (ME).
State Sources of energy:
i Maize, (ii) Cereal offals etc
Protein and amino acids
Pigs of all ages and stages of the life cycle require amino acids. Amino acids are the
structural units of protein. During digestion, proteins are broken down into amino acids and
peptides. The amino acids peptides are absorbed into the body and are used to build new
proteins, such as muscles. Thus, pigs require amino acids, not protein. Diets that are
balanced with respect to amino acids contain a desirable level and ratio of the 10 essential
amino acids required by pigs for maintenance, growth, reproduction and lactation. Those
10 essential amino acids for swine are arginine, histidine, isoleucine, lencine, hysine,
methionine, phyenyalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
Minerals serve many important functions in pig nutrition. These range from structural
functions in bone to a wide variety of chemical reactions essential for maintenance, growth,
reproduction and lactation. Pigs require at least 13 minerals. Of these calcium, chlorine,
copper, iodine, iron, Manganese, Phosphorns, Selenium, Sodium and Zinc should routinely
be added to the diet.
How can these minerals be supplied?
Answer Practical Maize-Soybean meal based diets contain sufficient levels of
magnesium, potassium and sulphur.
Major sources of minerals
Mineral element Major Source
Calcium Limestone, Oyster shell, Bone meal
Sodium Common Salt
Chlorine Common Salt
Phosphorus Bone meal
Vitamins are organic compounds that are required in very small amounts for maintenance,
growth, reproduction and lactation. Some Vitamins (thiamin, Vitamin B
, and vitamin C)
probably do not need to be included in the diet because they are synthesized from other
compounds in the body or by microorganisms in the digestive tract, or grain-soybean meal
diets contain sufficient amount to meet the pigs requirement. Vitamins are classified as
either fat solube (vitamins A, D, E, and K) or water solube. The water solube vitamins
routinely added to all swine diets include niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and vitamin B

In addition, biotin, choline and folic acid routinely are added to diets for breeding
swine. Vitamin potency in feed and manufactured products will decrease with exposure to
light, high humidity, heat, rancid fat and oxygen. For best results, store basemixes and
trace mineral-vitamin premixes in a cool, dry dark place and use them within 30 days of
purchase. Premixes containing only vitamins can be stored longer.
Water is one of the most important components of a feeding programme for swine. Vital to
all body functions, water accounts for as much as 80% of body weight in pigs at birth and
declines to about 50% at adulthood.
Feed requirement for pigs in a Tropical Environment
Age Daily feed required
1 8 weeks (creep) 1.5
8 16 weeks (Growers) 1.5
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16 24 weeks (Finished 2.5
Feeds for different classes of pigs
The nutrient requirement of pigs depends on such factors as age, sex, productive status
and environmental conditions.
Creep Ration
When piglets are between 7 10 days, provide them with Creep feed from a separate
trough to which the dam has no access. Feed them in very small amounts, fresh little and
often at first for the piglets to be accustomed, then it can be increased according to
appetite. This should continue till the young pigs are weaned at between 6 to 9 weeks of
age. Creep ration though expensive, is necessary for a good start and should be supplied
freely to piglets. Creep feed supplements the declining milk yield of the sow as her lactation
advances. The ration should contain a crude protein level of about 24% and metabolizable
energy (ME) of 3100 Kcal/Kg.
Weaners ration
This ration should be gradually introduced before the pigs are completely weaned at age
between 5 8 weeks. The practice allows for smother transition the pigs should have free
access to the ration at all times. The protein content of the weaner ration is slightly lower
than that of creep ration (18 22%) with metabolizable energy at 3000 Kcal/Kg. The fibre
content should be higher than that of creep rations. Weaners should be on this ration till the
live weight of about 35 45 when they should be gradually being introduced to grower
Growing/Finishing ration
The grower/finishing ration should have higher fibre content than creep and weaners
ration. The crude protein content should be lowered to between 16 18% while the energy
should be about 3000Kcal/Kg.
Fatteners ration
Rations fed at the fatteners stage should be designed to avoid putting on excessive fat, but
must not restrict growth. Such ration is made up of 15 16% crude protein and is usually
high in fibre, while the energy requirement of 3000 Kcal/Kg is adequate.
Breeders ration
Breeder ration is usually prepared to meet the requirement of the breeding stock. Good
litter size and healthy newborn piglets start with the correct feeding of the sow at breeding
time. Like the boar, sows should be in thrifty condition, neither thin nor fat when bred. This
helps the sow to conceive larger number of piglets when bred. Crude protein level should
between 15 16% and should be high in fibre.
This is the practice of increasing the level of feed about one week before mating in order to
stimulate an increase in number of ova shed in sows. This ration should have a higher
energy. However, once bred, the pregnant sow should be returned to the normal ration so
as to gain weight steadily through pregnancy
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Reproduction in swine is an integrated process that involves many events, including
attainment of puberty and normal estrous cycles, fertilizations embryonic and fetal
development during pregnancy, farrowing and recovery of sows reproductive system during
lactation. These events must occur in a coordinated sequence or the entire process fails.
Failures of these processes cannot be measured directly, but are reflected in reductions in
farrowing rates (number of sows mated that produce piglets) and/or number of pigs born
Sexual dimorphism in swine is more prominent at about one month of age of piglets.
Puberty is attained at about 125 days of age. The boar should be used for breeding for the
first time at 7 8 months old. Sperm numbers and semen volume in boars increase until 18
months of age.
Ejaculation characteristics
The sperm cells in one ejaculate of boars is between 20 50 millions. Ejaculation could
take between 5 10 minutes. The ejaculate is divided into three phases which are:
a. Pre-Sperm:- this prepares for passage and also acts as lubricant. These only take
about 3 minutes.
b. Sperm-Containing is high in sperm content and it takes about 2 3 minutes
c. Post sperm has high gel content and its aid cervical plug during coitus in pigs.
Fertility checks in boars
Young boar that is intended for breeding should be checked through:
i. Test on several gilts. Note that young boars may need help
ii. The animal (boar) can be taught how to use dummy if using AI.
iii. Physical examination of boars before breeding include observation of general
appearance of boars. A good and fertile boar is active, alert and aggressive.
Soundness of feet and legs is a pointer to virility of boar.
iv. Body condition score of boars should be checked. Animals that are too fat or
too thin should not be used for breeding.
v. Soreness in the testicles of boars may indicate infection. Some semen of
young boars can be collected and analyzed for sperm numbers, motility and
any form of abnormalities.
Methods of mating in Swine
Mating in pigs can be through hand mating, pasture mating and artificial insemination.
i. Hand mating involves bringing the sow to boar. Care must be taken not to
make a large boar to small gilt. This method is not as efficient as AI.
ii. Pasture mating involves running boar with females. This method is
characterized by inefficient use of boars. It is hard on young boars.
iii. Artificial insemination is the most efficient method. One ejaculated can be
extended to serve up to 15 sows. This method is well favoured in commercial
Gilt and Sow Reproductive Characteristics
Puberty is reached in female pigs at between 5 7 months of age. Puberty in the females
can be increased (made early) by the presence of boars, increased, body weight and group
housing. The gilt should be exposed to breed at 8 months after the 2
or 3
estrus at first
breeding should be between 100-115kg body weights.
Estrous Cycle
Estrous cycles in swine is 21 days. The estrus is between 40 60 hours. Ovulation is 38
42 hours after onset of estrus. Ovulation rates can be increased by inbreeding, age at
breeding (older sows have increased rate) and weight at breeding (increased weight
increase ovulation rate).
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Signs of estrus in sows and gilts
1. The most definitive behavioural sign is standing to be mounted by the boar.
2. Sows in estrus will often assume the rigid stance, called the lordosis reflex, when
pressure is applied on the rump (back pressure) by the herdsman.
3. The group-housed sow actively seeks out the boar.
4. The vulva lips are swollen and red with a thin, mucous discharge.
5. Other signs of estrus include: depressed appetite, restlessness, alertness, pacing,
grunting, and chomping of the jaws.
Estrus detection
Deficient estrus detection is the most important cause of infertility in breeding herds using
hand-mating or artificial insemination (AI) systems. Typically, sows are checked for estrus
once a day and gilts twice a day. In herds with estrus detection problems, heat checking sows
twice a day is recommended. Estrus detection can be improved by observing sow behaviour
while the boar is given direct contact with the sow.
Refractory Sows
Sows and gilts can become fatigued and refractory to board contact in less than one hour,
even if they are on heat. This is due in part to the extreme exertion (isometric contraction)
associated with standing heat. Thus, best estrus detection systems do not allow constant
boar contact. For estrus detection in the absence of a boar, response to the back-pressure
test can be used.
Methods used in increasing Ovulation rate in Swine
1. Administration of Pregnant Mares Serum Gonadotropin (PMSG) followed by hCG
(Human Chorionic Gonadotropic. PMSG is given at day 15 16 of cycle while hCG is
given at day 18 19.
2. Flushing of Sows should be done.
Hormones involved in Reproduction in Swine
1. Progesterone
2. Estrogen
3. Testosterone (androgen)
4. Prostaglandin F
When to breed during estrus
It is recommended that sows/gilts should be bred two times during estrus. The first breeding
should be at late first day of estrus (especially for gilts) or early 2
day of estrus (for sows).
The second breeding should be at between 12 24hours at first breeding. If the farmer is
going to breed only once during estrus; it is advisable that he should breed the second day of
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What is the difference between estrus and estrus cycle?
The estrous cycle is the cycle of a non-pregnant female Mammal that goes through a luteal
phase and a follicular phase. Estrus is the period in which an animal will stand to be bred,
and is part of the follicular phase of the estrous cycle.
Conception Rate and Embryo Survival
Fertilization rate in Swine is about 90%. The percentage of litter loss during gestation in pigs
is about 5%.
40% of embryos are lost. Most loss occurs in the first half of pregnancy. Embryo loss can
be as a result of over-feeding during pregnancy, excessively fat breeding sows or gilts, high
body temperature, high body temperature, abortive diseases like brucellosis and leptospirosis
heredity factors (lethal recessives), nutritionally incomplete rations and injuries.
Gestation and farrowing
Gestation length in Swine is 114 days. Add enough bulk (wheat offal or maize bran) to the
diet of sows 3 5 days pre-farrow. Farrowing mostly occur after sunset. The litter size is
maximum at 4
or 5
parity. At 8
parity, stillborn increases.
Performance targets and decision boundaries for reproductive efficiency in swine
Reproductive Targets Decision boundary
Farrowing rate (%) >85.0 <80.0
Number of pigs born alive per litter (litter size) >11.0 <10.05
Number of stillborn pigs per litter(%) <5.0 >7.5
Number of mummified fetuses per litter(%) <1.0 >1.5
Signs of imminent farrowing
When farrowing is imminent there are a number of signs to look out for. These includes:
1. Restlessness:-The soul or gilt will face up and down or circle round and round.
2. Nesting:-The soul or gilt will pull the bedding material into one area and create a
nest. They do this by carrying the bedding in their mouths and moving the straw
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with their feet
3. Milk production:-Just before farrowing, the son or gilts milk will be released. The
former can check this by squeezing the treats and if milk droplets come out then
farrowing is close
4. The vulva becomes larger and reddens
5. Heavy breathing:-As farrowing begins the gilt or soul will start to blow
and puff as it strains.
The design of housing facilities to meet commercial pig production
objectives must be based on weather conditions, local prevailing practices,
constraints on land, environmental considerations, governmental
regulations, and costs. It is a mistake not to invest on high-quality housing
designed by experienced engineers.
Dry sow accommodation
After weaning, a sow is moved to the dry sow accommodation. There
are several ways of keeping dry sows and gilts.
1. Outside in Paddocks
2. General Purpose Pens
3. Semi-Open Yards
A suitable boar pen should be sited close to the dry sow
accommodation. When a sow comes on heat it is then easy to transfer
her to the boar pen for service. The provision of a service crate in the
pen enables a small sow or gilt to be served by a large boar.
The same pen can be used for both farrowing and rearing the piglets.
The pens may be totally enclosed within a building or each pen may
have its own outside yard.
Tha main features of farrowing pens are:
1. A large enough area to accommodate the sow and ten piglets of
to 20kg each. Suitable dimensions are 300cm x 240cm.
Boar accommodation

Farrowing and rearing accommodation
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2. A creep area running down the length of the pen measuring 240
cm x 75 cm.
3. A galvanized iron rail, with a diameter of 5cm should be fixed 25 cm
from the wall opposite the creep and 25 cm above the floor. This is
to prevent the sow from crushing the piglets against the wall.
4. Provision of food and water for the sow. Food and water for the
piglets must be provided in the creep from 2-3 weeks.
For small farmers the general purpose type of house is cheap and
flexible. For the farmer with ten or more sows who wishes to fatten all
the progeny, it is worth having a special fattening house with feeding
and dunging passages. These houses may be totally or semi-enclosed.
They usually consist of two lines of pens opposite each other with
either a central feeding passage and lateral dunging passages or a
central dunging passage and lateral feeding passages.
The floor space per pig is important. The floor space requirement
increases as the pigs grow. This means that if the same pen is used for
a given number of pigs from weaning to slaughter, it is likely to be too
small during the last weeks.
Floor: Concrete floors are best in all of the buildings. The main reason for
using concrete is to make the pens easy to clean out thus ensuring that the
pigs are kept in hygienic conditions. A concrete floor is made of 6-8cm of
concrete on top of 10cm of rammed hardcore.
Walls: The following materials may be used depending on the situation:
concrete blocks, bricks, corrugated iron, timber (planks or poles) and iron
rails. The strength of the walls is an important consideration. Sows and
boars can exert considerable pressure when rubbing themselves against
a wall, as they often do, and the structure must be able to withstand
Roof: The purpose of the roof in the tropics is to provide shade and to
keep out rain.
Ventilation of buildings
Fattening pens

Building Materials
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The purpose of ventilation is to replace stale air with fresh air. In open and
semi-open buildings, this takes place naturally. In fully enclosed buildings,
especially when they are full of pigs during hot weather, ventilation must
be provided artificially. Fully enclosed buildings are usually only used in
those parts of the tropics where low temperatures occur at certain times
of the year. At other times the temperature may be high. It is necessary to
be able to control the ventilation according to the climatic conditions with
Individual feeders for dry sows and gilts are recommended. If a group of
sows are fed together, they will not all be able to eat equal quantities.
The dominant animals will eat more and the shy ones less. Moreover,
they may fight and injure each other. Feeding each animal in its own
feeding stall prevents this and enables each one to be fed according to its
requirements. Individual feeders have to be strong and can be
constructed of tubular steel.
Water can be given to pigs in their feeding troughs but it is better to allow
them free access to fresh water at all time through a piped system using
cup drinkers or nipple drinkers.
It is also advisable to provide water for young pigs which have started to
eat creep feed. It can be provided in galvanised drinkers which are placed
in the creep area next to the feed trough. Pigs will eat more creep feed if
they have free access to water.
It is useful to have a scale for weighing young pigs at birth and at 3 weeks
of age.
A few 10 litre buckets are essential for carrying small quantities of feed
and disinfectants.
This includes teeth clippers for removing the eye teeth of young pigs,
syringes for injecting iron, antibiotics, etc., and scalpels for castration.



Weighing Scales


Veterinary Equipment
Shower Equipment
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A special stall with a shower enables pregnant sows to be washed
thoroughly before entering their farrowing quarters. Portable showers are
helpful for keeping pigs cool in excessively hot weather.
Keeping the pens clean is part of good management and the necessary
equipment for this should be available - hand brushes, brooms, scrapers,
buckets, hosepipe, etc.
Ground up feedstuffs should not be stored for longer than a few weeks.
Feed that is stored too long will become stale and lose its palatability.
Conditions in the feed store should be cool, dry and free from dust. It is
also important to make it vermin proof. The building should therefore be
well constructed with a concrete floor with a damp course, walls made
with bricks or blocks, and a corrugated iron roof.
When stacking bags of feed, use a wooden frame to keep the bottom layer
of bags off the floor and stack the bags well clear of the walls. This
allows good air circulation and helps to prevent the feed becoming damp
and lumpy.
A cupboard or chest of appropriate size should be reserved for the storage
of veterinary equipment and medicines. This should be situated in a cool,
dry place and kept locked. Put the cupboard up about 5 feet high, above
the reach of young children.
A separate room or area should be made available for the storage of equipment.
Health care is an important way of making sure that pigs stay productive.
Every pig keeper should know how to recognise and, if possible,
prevent and cure illnesses which can affect pigs.
It is always better to prevent disease than to let animals get ill and then try
to treat them. Allowing pigs to get sick is expensive for several reasons:
sick pigs stop growing and reproducing so money is lost with this decrease
in production; some diseases result in the death of pigs; replacing the dead
pigs is expensive; treatment for the ill pigs is usually expensive.

Cleaning Equipment

Feed Store

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A good pig keeper takes time to look at his animals carefully every day.
He is checking to see that they are healthy and are not showing any
signs of disease. If anything is not quite right, he must recognize it early to
prevent it from becoming more serious. The signs farmers should look for
These should be sleek and glossy all over with no dull patches. The
shedding of some hairs is normal, but there should be no abnormally bald
areas. The skin should not have scurf (a lot of loose flakes of skin).
In breeds with curly tails, the tail should be neatly curled. If the tail hangs
straight, it is often a sign of ill health.
The eyes should be bright with no discharge coming from them. The pig
should appear alert.
Movement should be easy and free, not stiff. When resting, the pig should
be relaxed and breathing evenly and quietly.
A normal appetite is a good sign. If an animal suddenly goes off its
food, the cause should be investigated immediately. It could be an early
sign of disease or it could be due to a sudden change in diet.
These should be normal in amount and appearance. Any signs of diarrhoea
should be noted and the cause investigated.
The body of a healthy pig is generally rounded and well fleshed. It should
not appear "bony" nor "pot-bellied".
Adult pigs should stay at about the same weight, though some sows may
lose a little weight when they are suckling their young. Young pigs should
grow to reach their mature weight, though it is important to realise that


Skin and Hair







Weight and Growth
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the rate of growth depends on inherited factors and partly on the level of
feedings. So slow growth may not be due to ill health but poor feeding.
However, loss of weight, or failure of young pigs to grow, accompanied
by a dull skin and dropping tail, is probably caused by disease.
There should be no discharges from any part of the body including the
eyes, nose, mouth, vulva, anus and teats.
The body temperature of a healthy pig is 39C and the heart rate is 60-80
beats per minute. These are not checked every day but only if a disease
is suspected.
The following measures will help to prevent disease.
Any new pigs bought in should come from a reputable breeder with a good
record of health in his piggery.
These should be established in a place separate from all other pigs. It is
important that urine and water from washing the quarantine pens should
not be allowed to drain into the water supply, so the quarantine quarters
should be built away from and downhill of it. Each quarantine pen should
be totally enclosed so that there can be no contact between pigs in
adjacent pens. Pigs should also have no contact with wild animals,
particularly birds and rats, as these can carry diseases.
The quarantine quarters should be used for:
a. New Arrivals These should be kept for four weeks in quarantine
to make
sure they are free from disease. Pigs returning to the piggery after a
of absence (e.g. for showing or mating) should also spend four
weeks in
b. Pigs Suspected of Having a Disease If a disease which can spread
from one
pig to another is suspected, the affected animals should be
isolated in the
quarantine quarters.


Temperature and Pulse

1. Buy from a Reputable Breeder
2. Quarantine Quarters

Resistance to disease
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All animals have a certain amount of built in resistance to disease. If
this resistance is lowered in any way, the animal becomes more likely to
catch a disease. There are many things which may lower the resistance to
disease, some of which are due to bad housing and management, such as
cold, wet, draughty conditions and poor feeding.
Pigs are particularly susceptible to stress which will also lower their
resistance to disease. Pigs can be stressed by many things including
changes in their routine, changes in food, bad weather, discomfort and
overcrowding. The presence of one disease may also lower the resistance
so that the animal gets another disease as well.
If the measures outlined in the sections on housing and feeding are taken, a
serious outbreak of disease is unlikely. However, disease can occur in
even the best managed piggeries and the pig keeper must be prepared to
deal with it. Careful observation of his stock every day will enable him to
detect signs of possible disease at an early stage. Action may then be
as follows:
The first duty of the pigman on seeing a sick pig, if he is not the
owner, is to advise the owner, manager or government officer in charge
of the farm or district.
The sick pig or pigs should at once be moved to the quarantine area of the
farm. This means that they should be kept in pens in a totally separate
place from all other pigs (in the quarantine quarters). During the daily
routine, the pigman should attend to the healthy pigs first, then go to
treat the sick pigs in their isolation building. If possible he should wear
different overalls when treating sick pigs, and leave them hanging up in
the isolation building when he has finished.
Put a bucket of disinfectant near the pen. Anyone who has attended the
sick pigs should wash their hands, arms and boots thoroughly in it after
treating each sick
The pens from which the sick pigs have been removed should now be
cleaned thoroughly, along with the food and drinking vessels and any
other equipment.
Now check back to the sick pigs and ensure that they have settled into
their new pen, are comfortable, free from draughts and have ample food
and clean water.

Action to take on the outbreak of disease
i. Information
ii. Isolation
iii. Disinfection
iv. Comfort
v. Observation
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Make sure the sick pigs are kept under observation, note if they drink
excessively, if they huddle for warmth or appear too hot, note if they
start eating or stop eating.
Unless you are sure you know what is wrong, you may waste time and
money on the wrong treatment. The problem may be obvious, such as
wounding or heat stroke, and so immediate action can be taken. It is
always best to consult the veterinarian when you are not sure
If the treatment fails and the animal dies, a post mortem is essential to
find out why so that the rest of the pigs may be saved. Again a post
mortem by a veterinarian is the best. The dead body will decompose fast
in the tropics and so
must be put in a cold room if there is to be any delay, or the most
experienced person available may undertake the job and try to preserve
organs or blood and faeces samples for further testing in the laboratory.
After a post mortem is done, the body should be burned to make sure that
any disease organisms which are in the pig's body cannot contaminate
anything. Wear gloves to do a post mortem and burn them with the pig's
body afterwards. Wash the knife thoroughly in disinfectant.
Symptoms Affected pigs have a high temperature, go off their food,
huddle together and become dull and depressed. A sticky yellowish
discharge comes from the eyes and sometimes the nose. The skin
develops red patches and the belly often turns purple. The end of the tail
and the edges of the ears die, go black and may drop off. Pigs often start
convulsions and die after seven days. Pregnant sows abort or produce
dead or trembling weak piglets which are also infected with swine fever.
Usually, pigs with chronic swine fever die after a few months.
Cause The virus which causes swine fever is easily spread to uninfected
pigs in several ways:
a. By direct contact with an infected pig.
b. On clothes, vehicles, equipment, birds and flies.
The virus is killed by strong disinfectants and by boiling.
Prevention All new pigs should spend four weeks in quarantine before
entering the piggery. If swill is fed to the pigs, it must be thoroughly
boiled. If there is swine fever in the area, it is better to stop feeding swill
Vaccines are available against swine fever in some countries. The
local government veterinary or livestock officer should be contacted to
find out which vaccine should be used and when.
If there is an outbreak of swine fever, the following should take place -
vi. Diagnosis
vii. Death

Pig diseases
Swine Fever (Hog Cholera)
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the slaughter of affected pigs, quarantine of pigs which were in contact
with the infected pigs, thorough cleaning and disinfection of ail buildings
and equipment, boiling of clothes and the burning of all carcases.
The virus is very easily spread so as many precautions as possible should be
Treatment There is no effective treatment. In some countries it is
possible to obtain hyper-immune serum which can be given to uninfected
pigs that have been in contact with infected pigs. This serum will give
these pigs some protection against swine fever for a short time.
Symptoms The symptoms are very similar to hog cholera. Pigs with African
swine fever often develop paralysis of the hind legs as well. Affected pigs
usually die after 4-8 days.
Some pigs will survive the acute phase of the disease and develop chronic
African swine fever. They have an intermittent high temperature with
swollen joints. These pigs are very lame and lose weight. Sometimes
they have difficulty breathing. The pigs will die after 2-12 months.
Cause The virus which causes African swine fever is different from the
virus of hog cholera. It is very easily spread to uninfected pigs in several
a. By direct contact with infected pigs and warthogs which are
carriers of the disease. Soft ticks that are found in the lairs and
burrows of
these animals also carry the infection. Thus in rural areas infection
from a
wild source must always be considered possible. The faeces,
urine and
discharges from the nose and mouth contain many of these
b. By eating infected pig meat and bones found in unboiled swill.
c. From bites of infected ticks.
Prevention The virus is killed by boiling, so if swill is fed to pigs, it must
be thoroughly boiled. If there is an outbreak of African swine fever in the
area, it is safer to stop feeding swill.
Routine treatment against ticks (see Section 10.6.1 9} will help to prevent
Wild pigs and warthogs also get African swine fever. A double fence all
round the piggery will prevent contact with wild pigs.
If there is an outbreak of African swine fever, all affected pigs should
be slaughtered and their carcases burned. The whole piggery should be
thoroughly cleaned, disinfected (2% caustic soda solution is very effective)
and left empty for 3-6 months.
Treatment There is none. All affected pigs should be slaughtered and

African Swine Fever
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their carcases burned.
Symptoms Foot and mouth disease in pigs is usually a mild disease but it
can also be very severe. It causes blisters and ulcers mainly on the
feet, between the hooves and along the tops of the hooves (the
coronets), and a few on the udder, snout and in the mouth. Affected
pigs often have a high fever for the first few days, then go off their
food. Because of the blisters and ulcers on their feet, these pigs will
usually be lame, with hot swollen feet. They will spend a lot of time
lying down. In very bad cases the hooves may fall off. Some five per
cent of affected pigs will die.
Cause The disease is caused by a virus. It is very easily passed to other
animals (especially cattle and sheep) in several ways:
a. By direct contact with infected animals, both domestic and wild.
Wild game
of many species, also carry the infection, often in a
symptomless form.
b. By contact with contaminated clothes, boots, buckets,
equipment and pig
c. By eating contaminated food or water. This food may be
uncooked meat or
bones from an infected animal feed in the swill or food which
has been
contaminated by being in contact with infected animals.
d. By breathing contaminated air. The air breathed out by an
infected animal
contains many viruses which can be carried for up to 100km by
the wind.
The liquid in the blisters on the feet, nose, mouth and udder contains
many viruses. If a sample is sent to a foot and mouth reference
laboratory, they can decide if it definitely is foot and mouth disease. A
government livestock officer or veterinarian can do this.
Prevention Keep infected pigs indoors in the quarantine quarters.
Wash you hands, all equipment, clothes, boots and pig pens thoroughly
in disinfectant if they have been in contact with an infected animal. Put
buckets of disinfectant at all the entrances to the piggery and make sure
everyone washes their boots in it when they go into or out of the
piggery. The most effective disinfectants are:
formalin (10%)
carbonate (4%)
citric acid (0.2%)
In some areas any affected animals are slaughtered and burned to
prevent the infection from spreading. Any animals which have been in
contact with diseased animals should be kept isolated in quarantine

Foot and Mouth Disease
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Treatment In some countries it is compulsory for affected, and
sometimes in-contact, animals to be slaughtered and burned. The local
government veterinary officer must by contacted if there is any
suspicion of foot and mouth disease.
As the economic consequences of an outbreak of this disease are so
serious, it is usual not to attempt treatment but to carry out a slaughter or
vaccination policy according to the laws of the country concerned.
Symptoms This disease is usually mild. If a pig has severe swine
vesicular disease, the lesions look like foot and mouth disease, with
blisters and ulcers on the feet, the snout and in the mouth. Sometimes
blisters will appear on the legs. Pigs usually recover from this disease.
Cause A virus causes swine vesicular disease. It is spread to infected
pigs in several ways:
a. By direct contact with infected pigs.
b. By eating infected pig meat in unboiled swill.
c. On clothes, boots, buckets, equipment, etc. The virus is killed by
and by very strong alkaline disinfectants.
Prevention Isolate any infected pigs in the quarantine quarters and wash
all equipment which has been in contact with the disease in strong
alkaline disinfectant. In some countries slaughter of infected pigs and
burning their carcases is compulsory. The local government veterinary
officer should be asked for advice.
If swill is fed, it should be boiled.
Treatment There is none. Pigs usually recover from this disease
without treatment. If the blisters and ulcers are bad, treat with simple
wound powder.
A complication of this disease is its similarity to foot and mouth disease.
If there is any doubt, the local government veterinary officer should be
Symptoms In pigs this disease is usually mild but if it is severe, it looks
like foot and mouth disease. Severely affected pigs have a high
temperature, then develop blisters and ulcers on their mouths and feet.
They usually recover in 3-4 days. The ulcers heal more quickly than with
foot and mouth disease.
Cause The virus which causes vesicular stomatitis is spread to uninfected
pigs by ticks and biting flies and through cuts and grazes on the skin.
Prevention Routine hygiene and the use of quarantine quarters for
infected pigs and disinfectants will help to prevent this disease. There is a
vaccine available but it is not often used.

Swine Vesicular Disease

Vesicular Stomatitis
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Treatment None is required.
A complication of this disease is its similarity to foot and mouth disease.
If there is any doubt, the local government veterinary officer should be
Symptoms Erysipelas can affect pigs very suddenly (acute) or it can be
a more long lasting illness (chronic).
a. Acute The pig will have a high temperature, go off its food and
dark red diamond shaped patches (3-5cms across) on its belly
and sides,
and sometimes on its neck and ears. It will be very depressed and
may have
a discharge coming from its eyes. After 2 - 3 days it may start
vomiting and
have diarrhoea. 25-75 per cent of pigs with acute erysipelas will
die after
2-4 days of illness.
b. Chronic Erysipelas effects pigs in three ways:
i. The heart becomes damaged inside making it difficult for
the pig to get up and walk.
ii. The joints become hot, swollen and painful, so the pig is
very lame and prefers to stand still or lie down. After 2-3
weeks the pain goes but the joints are still swollen and stiff
making the pig move with a stiff stilted walk.
iii. The skin develops the dark diamond shaped patches as in
acute erysipelas. These patches swell up and the affected
skin drops off. Several adjacent patches can join together
leaving a large raw area which goes dark purple and then
dries hard and black. The edges curl up exposing raw skin
underneath which is very likely to be infected by other
Cause Bacteria called erysipelothrix cause erysipelas in pigs and can also
infect birds, sheep, cattle and humans. It can live in the soil and is often
carried by birds. It is killed by boiling or disinfectants used at twice their
normal strength, or 14 days direct exposure to sunlight.
Prevention The usual hygienic measures will help to reduce the risk of
infection but even the best piggeries can still get erysipelas. Pigs which
are properly cared for will be more likely to survive if they do get
erysipelas. Vaccines are available.
Treatment Isolate affected pigs in the quarantine pens, as in Section
a. Acute Erysipelas: Daily injections of 2,000 - 4,000 units
penicillin per kg
body weight. If the pig is very ill, 20-30 ml hyperimmune
serum can be

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given once.
b. Chronic Erysipelas: It is not possible to cure this. Affected pigs
lose weight
and condition rapidly. Various proprietory steroids given by a
officer may help to make the pig feel better but will not cure it.
Symptoms Saimonellosis can affect pigs in three ways:
a. Acute Salmonellosis usually affects young pigs 1-14 days old,
but it can
occur at 2 days to 4 months old. Affected piglets have a high
go off their food and are dull and ill. Their faeces go grey with
streaks and the skin of their ears and bellies often goes purple. The
start wandering and shaking, sometimes becoming paralysed
and have
convulsions. They die after 1 - 7 days.
b. Enteric Saimonellosis is less acute and usually affects adult
pigs. They
have a high temperature for a day, go off their food, then develop a
diarrhoea with blood clots. Often pneumonia develops with
breathing and coughing. Some pigs die after 1-5 days.
c. Carriers of saimonellosis show no symptoms but can transmit the
to other pigs, humans and other animals. These pigs often
remain as
carriers for life.
Cause Bacteria called salmonella cause saimonellosis. These bacteria can
be transmitted in dirty water, feed, pasture and faeces of infected pigs
or other animals.
A pig's resistance to disease, particularly to saimonellosis, is reduced by
stress (eg. poor feeding, lack of water, worms, discomfort,
overcrowding) and by the presence of other disease, eg. swine fever.
Saimonellosis often complicates swine fever.
If saimonellosis is suspected, a sample of faeces and a blood sample
should be sent to the laboratory.
Saimonellosis is killed by sunlight, drying, high temperatures and some
strong disinfectants, but it survives for months in faeces, soil, water and
pasture, it is also carried by wild animals and humans.
Prevention of saimonellosis is important as the disease is easily spread to
man, particularly by infected sausage meat and contamination. Thorough
hygiene, clean

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fresh water, clean food, good husbandry and avoidance of stress will
help to prevent salmonellosis. Any new pigs should be in the quarantine
quarters for the first month. Any animals suspected of having
salmonellosis should be culled. A stool sample should also be taken from
the pigman.
Antibiotics in the food can be used to prevent salmonellosis but this is
only practical in the larger piggeries.
Treatment of salmonellosis is not recommended as treated pigs will
become carriers and infect other animals, it is safer to kill pigs which have
salmonellosis and any which are suspected of having it. Do not eat the
meat of these pigs, but burn their carcases.
Strict hygiene is most
Symptoms A sow with mastitis has a hot swollen udder which sometimes
develops hard areas. In very bad cases, the sow will stop producing milk.
She will have a high temperature and will often go off her food. She will be
less interested in her piglets and will not allow them to suckle so the
piglets will become hungry and restless.
If the mastitis is not treated, the sow will probably die.
Cause Mastitis is a bacterial infection of the udder. Damage to the
udder by piglets' teeth or abrasion from lying on a rough floor without
enough bedding can result in mastitis. If the sow is also living in dirty
conditions, her udder is likely to get infected from the dirty floor or from
flies carrying infection.
Prevention A thorough hygiene routine and plenty of clean bedding for
sows, especially from just before farrowing until the piglets are weaned,
will help to prevent mastitis. Clipping the piglets' teeth soon after birth will
stop them from damaging the sow's teats.
Treatment Mastitis will usually respond to treatment with antibiotics or the
sulpha drugs. The choice is wide and a veterinary surgeon should be
If there are any open sores on the sow's udder, these should be bathed in
dilute antiseptic solution or salty water (1 teaspoon salt in 500ml clean
water) and then covered in antiseptic powder at least twice daily.
Thoroughly clean the sow's pen and make a deep clean bed for her to
prevent any more infection or damage to her udder. If the piglets' teeth
are not already clipped, clip them.
To avoid transferring the infection to other sows, it is important to keep
a sow with mastitis in the quarantine quarters and observe the usual hygienic
Symptoms The symptoms of brucellosis in pigs are very varied. The

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disease rarely effects piglets before weaning but any pig over weaning
age is susceptible. It is usually a long lasting (chronic) disease in pigs,
some showing no symptoms at all. Affected pigs do not have a high
temperature but may show one or more of the following symptoms:
a. Lameness, lack of coordination, paralysis of the hind legs,
swollen joints,
particularly in young pigs.
b. Abortion, either in late pregnancy or early pregnancy, when
the actual
abortion is often unnoticed but the sow comes into oestrus
(season) again
4-8 weeks after mating.
c. The birth of small litters, weak piglets (which often die before
weaning) or
stillbirths (piglets born dead).
d. Infertility and sterility.
e. Orchitis - sore, inflamed, swollen testicles of boars.
Cause Bruceila suis causes brucellosis in pigs and can also infect man. It
is a very resistant bacteria and can live for 6 weeks on the ground. The
bacteria can enter the body at mating or through damaged skin or by
pigs eating infected meat, milk, contaminated food or water. The
genital discharges, urine and faeces of an infected pig contain many
bruceila bacteria and can easily contaminate food and water which will
spread the infection to other pigs and possibly to man. The disease is
often brought into a piggery by an infected boar.
To confirm a diagnosis of brucellosis, blood samples from pigs should
be sent to a laboratory. The symptoms of brucellosis in man are an
undulant fever (like malaria) and arthritis (stiff aching joints). If pigmen
develop these symptoms, brucellosis in the pigs should be suspected.
Prevention Hygiene is very important. Burn aborted piglets and their
afterbirths, dead piglets, contaminated bedding, feed, and anything
which has been in contact with infected pigs to prevent the disease
spreading to other animals. Thoroughly scrub and disinfect the pig pen
and any other contaminated equipment. All new pigs should be bought
from piggeries that do not have brucellosis.
As the infection is often transmitted by infected boars, it is dangerous
to use community boars or to borrow boars for mating unless they are
free of brucellosis.
There are vaccines against brucellosis but none are totally effective in
pigs. The local government veterinary officer should be asked for up to
date advice.
Treatment There is no treatment. As the disease is so infectious and
transmissible to man and dogs, infected pigs should be slaughtered and
their carcases burned. Do not eat the meat of a pig with brucellosis. Any
pigs which have been in contact with a pig with brucellosis should be
kept in quarantine and blood tested to prevent the disease from
spreading to all the pigs.

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Symptoms This disease is commonly associated with the presence of rats
and other vermin. Pigs with leptospirosis often show no symptoms but still
excrete the bacteria and so can spread the infection to other pigs and to
man. If symptoms are shown, they will be any of the following:
a. Abortion storms - many pregnant sows aborting.
b. Stillbirths and deaths of piglets soon after birth.
c. An increase in the number of sows coming back into season
after mating
(returning to service).
d. Cataracts - a grey to white area in the centre of the eye.
Leptospirosis is diagnosed by sending samples of blood and urine to a
Cause Leptospira bacteria cause this disease and are excreted in the urine
and saliva of infected pigs. The disease is spread:
a. By ingesting food, water or soil contaminated by other pigs or
b. By direct contact at mating or by biting.
c. From an infected sow to the unborn piglets inside her.
d. By flies and ticks carrying the bacteria from an infected pig or
infected urine.
Prevention is very important as this disease is transmissible to men, dogs
and many other animals. Rats and other wild animals carry leptospirosis so
keep the piggery free of wild animals. It is possible to vaccinate pigs
against leptospirosis. The local government veterinary or livestock officer
should be asked for advice.
Treatment The most useful antibiotic is streptomycin. For acute
leptospirosis the dose is 25mg/kg body weight daily for three days by
intramuscular injection. Chronic cases of leptospirosis can be cured by a
single injection of 25mg/kg body weight. Chlortetracycline or
oxytetracycline are also used.
Infected pigs should be kept in quarantine until they stop excreting the
bacteria in their urine which may be some months after they appear to
have recovered. This will help to prevent the infection from spreading.
Symptoms A pig with anthrax develops a high temperature, small
skin haemorrhages (bleeding points), redness inside the mouth and
such a swollen throat that it is difficult for it to breathe. Sometimes the
pig will have dark bloody diarrhoea. Death occurs after 2-3 days in
most cases. Some pigs survive for 7 days often with pneumonia. At
death there are bloody discharges coming from the nose, mouth, anus
and vulva or penis. This blood is very infectious so the carcase of an
infected animal must not be cut open.
Cause Bacillus anthracis causes anthrax and is found in large numbers in
the blood of an infected animal. When the animal dies, highly
infectious blood seeps out onto the soil around the carcase where the

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bacterial for spores which can remain infective for 10-20 years. They
are then very resistant to disinfectants.
This disease can affect man and many other animals.
Prevention Animals which have died from anthrax should be burned or
buried in quick lime 2 metres deep. Keep uninfected animals away from
the area where infected animals lay for at least six months and treat
the area with quick lime.
Vaccine is available and pigs can be vaccinated against anthra
Posted by Tunji Iyiola-Tunji at 4:07 AM
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Abubakar Usman abu zainab January 31, 2013 at 6:07 AM
good day, sir when can we find note on rabbit production? thank.
Tunji Iyiola Tunji January 31, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Sorry, you will get it in class tomorrow.
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