Monday, May 25, 2009

Commercial piggery

Commercial piggery, at least the medium-sized one as pictured here, produce really big animals, on average twice the size of the native pigs of same age. Feeding for the commercial variety like landrace is quite intensive. After about 120 days, the animals attain at least 80 or 90 kilos, and they are sold. The price per kilo live weight is higher if the pigs are 80 kilos or heavier, compared to those that are lighter.

A swine farmer preferably needs to have his own rice milling facility in order to cut feed cost. Because if he will buy the rice bran to mix with feed concentrate (assuming he does this and not buy packed feeds), the price is high, from P6 per kilo and higher, depending on the season. Rice harvest season, the price is low.

One feedback I have heard about commercial piggery is that the animals are very delicate and have little resistance when diseases strike them. A case is in the province of Pangasinan. Swine flu -- the flu affecting the pigs, and not the disease that affects humans -- has killed many pigs in the province. People have also stopped buying pork, so the swine farmers are losing money.

Organic and native pigs grow slow but they have strong resistance against diseases. They are also cheap to maintain as they eat practically all sorts of vegetables and fruits. And they fetch a higher price per kilo compared to the commercial pig varieties. But I haven't seen or heard much of swine farmers using the native varieties for commercial operation. Could be the longer time for the pigs to grow big, hence longer waiting/harvest period.

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