Pig Farming

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It is expected that the global demand for pork will increase in the future. In developed countries the demand will stabilize till slightly decrease due to the fact that more people will eat less meat or to change to a vegetarian diet. In other countries we expect an increasing demand for pork due to an increasing purchase power and higher demands from hotels and restaurants related to an increasing number of tourists.

World-wide there is more and more attention for animal welfare, environmental aspects (air and soil pollution) and the use of antibiotics. PUM is supporting small and medium size farms and companies in a selected number of countries. More recently PUM wants not only to realise a clear progress on individual farms and/or companies but also to have a bigger impact on the surrounding area by looking for possibilities for cooperation in business ecosystems.

Areas of expertise


  • Efficient pork production is an optimal combination of cost price and quality. As individual farmer you can’t influence the marked price but you can have a big influence on the cost price of production and also the quality.
  • Nowadays there is much attention for African Swine Fever (ASF) because it leads to huge losses in many countries. A good bio-security program is very important to keep diseases outside.


  • Use of breeds:
    • The most general used breeds world-wide nowadays are: Landrace, Large White, Yorkshire and Duroc. Please take in mind that that there is as much variation within breeds as between breeds. This means for example that there can be big genetic differences between different Landrace populations.
    • A 3-breed cross is in general the most effective. Based on Large White and Landrace on the female side and Duroc or Yorkshire on the male side.
  • The only general accepted effective data-processing program is based on BLUP (Best Linear Unbiased Prediction).
  • An effective selection on exterior traits is also important to have good productive animals available.


This is the most important aspect to realise good technical and financial results and changing management can be done without investment but it means another way of working. Elements are:

  • Data collection:
    • In pig production there is a strong relation between technical and financial results. So, it is important to collect technical data and to adapt management based on these data.
    • It starts with simple sow and pen-cards and it can end-up in a Computer Management Program.
  • Controlling and treatment of animals:
    • The sooner you detect animals with problems and treat them in the right way the sooner the animals will recover.
    • All animals should be controlled at least once a day.
  • Mating management:
    • A good mating management will have a clear effect on a higher conception rate and bigger litters.
Dr Suneth Disnaka
Dr Suneth Disnaka
 General Manager of the National Livestock Development Board (NLDB)

“Working together with Peter was an amazing experience. Together we organised several workshops and training programmes for farmers, breeders and the members of the Veterinary Association of Sri Lanka. We will continue to pass on this knowledge to our members.”

Feed and feeding

Feed is in general 65 till 80 % of the cost price of pork. So, it is a very important item.

  • The feed composition should cover at least the minimal needs to realise the set production results.
  • Different feeds will be needed for sows, piglets and fatteners. For sows 1 or 2 types of feed are advisable. For piglets at least 2 types of feed to be able to wean the piglets before 5 weeks of age and 2 types in fattening. All will depend of what is available locally.
  • Feed optimization will not always mean that feed will get more expensive.
  • Feed schemes must be the bases to give the animals the right amount of feed at the right moment. For sows it will mean that they stay all the time in a good body- condition (not too thin and not too fat) and in the period between weaning and mating to bring them into a growing condition to stimulate heat
  • Spoiling of feed is in many cases still an important item. Spoiling till 25 % is no exception. So good feeders/troughs and way of feeding are also important.
  • Dry meal is difficult to eat, especially in big quantities. Also spoiling is much related to the use of dry meal. Both can be solved by putting some water over the meal. For example 1 litre/kg and the rest the pigs can drink from a nipple.
  • The use of all kind of by-products (from the food industry for example) can help to bring the feed costs down.

Health and hygiene

  • Hygiene is very important to prevent that animals and special piglets are getting ill but also to prevent that diseases are entering the farm.
  • The type of floor and cleaning and disinfection play an important role.
  • Transport contacts and people can be a reason to get infections into the farm besides other items as there are: vermin, birds and in some cases dogs and cats
  • An optimal vaccination scheme is also important to keep the animals healthy at minimal costs. A good vaccination scheme is based on the infection pressure in the area.
  • PUM is paying extra attention to the use of antibiotics because the use of antibiotics in animal production is the most important reason of resistance of bacteria in human being!

Housing and climate

Optimal production conditions for pigs are the same all over the world. Good housing and climate regulation will adapt the local conditions into good conditions for the different groups of pigs.

  • During lactation sows and piglets are together in the same area but these animals will need totally different optimal temperatures. This can be solved by creating a good piglet-nest.
  • It is still very common that piglets during lactation and in nursery are getting cold. Special at night-time! In many countries the use of curtains can be very effective already
  • A logical farm set-up will make the work easier and more efficient

Artificial inseminations

  • For bigger units it can be interesting to make use of AI to reduce production costs.
  • Minimal requirements for AI are:
    • A very hygienic way of working
    • Good temperature control of semen and diluent
    • To control the quality and concentration a microscope and colorimeter are needed. If not available a dilution of 1 : 6 is maximum (as advice).


  • Training can be done on an individual bases (on the spot) but also by organising seminars or training sessions for a group of people.
  • Also, the training of trainers is an effective way to increase the knowledge in the area. In the situation as there is a co-operative of farmers, an extension service and/or an education centre in the area this can be a good approach.



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