Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Organic piggery

We (I and our 2 farm caretakers) resumed our backyard organic piggery project in the farm. The first time we did it was about 4 years ago. We used landrace pig variety, those white and long pigs. We fed them "kangkong" or water spinach ("lpomea aquatica"), rice bran, ipil-ipil ("leucaena glauca"), sweet potato leaves and stems, etc.

It looked fine at the initial stage as the piglets were growidng ok. But after sometime, we had difficulty looking for kangkong, and the price of rice bran rose, and it was difficult for buyers to come to our farm during the rainy season as the roads can get muddy and very slippgery.

In short, the project did not prosper. I lost some money there.

Last year, I decided to resume the project. This time, using the native pigs variety (black and hairy, short and smaller than the landrace variety). In addition, we planted bananas as additional feeds for the pigs. And more importantly, we put the pig cage in an open area, so they get lots of sunlight. Our earlier cage was in a place with plenty of tall trees, so sunlight could hardly penetrate. The animals did not have enough energy from the sun to grow stronger and taller.

This year, one female gave birth to 5 piglets. They are a healthy bunch of small little pigs! One died though, not due to sickness, but he was the biggest of the 5, the most animated, he dug the soil under the cage to get out. He managed to get out, but one of our dogs (we have 6 there) who has a "cannibalistic" instinct found him and killed him.

The 4 remaining piglets are growing healthy. If things would turn out fine, we hope to be able to expand our organic piggery in the coming years.

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