Importance of housing
Housing pigs is important because it provides an environment which will improve feed efficiency, reduce on the labor in husbandry and management tasks like feeding and handling. In addition, housing will increase in efficiency of controlling diseases and parasites thus it will minimize morality an encourage production in healthy pigs.
Requirements of an ideal pig house
- Feeding arrangement: the feed troughs and water containers must be put in a place where the attendant is able to put in feed and water without entering the pig pen.
- Feed store: the feed store should be located near the pig pens as this will enable the attendant to supply the feed to the pigs without lifting feed for long distances. There must be enough room to enable weighing of the feed.
- Observation of animals: the pen must be constructed in a way that the farmer can observe all the pigs without entering the pen.
- Access to pens: for systems where many pens are constructed, each pen must have a gate near the corridor so that the farmer can enter each pen without passing through another pen. This will also facilitate the movement of pigs when being shifted from one pen to the other during the different management undertakings.
Where to build the pig house
- The house must be constructed at a well-drained ground as this will avoid dampness.
- The place must be accessible for the people working on the farm and must be in an area where it is easy to deliver incoming feed and other farm inputs.
- The house should be constructed in an area where it is easy to load outgoing pigs and their products.
- The area must have access to a source of water
Parts of a pig house
It is important that the roof is able to protect the pigs from direct sunlight and rain. It should preferably be thick so that the underside remains cool and water tight.
The wall must be partially open to allow circulation of air through the house. Some walls may be solid to give protection against the outside environment and predators.
Movable partitions can be put as walls. Such partitions if used can be moved and the layout is changed according to need.
The floor must have proper drainage so that it is possible to keep it clean and dry. Dung and urine on a damp floor create ideal conditions for disease organisms to thrive. To achieve this, the floor should be made of concrete and sloping, or slatted so that the water drains away. A slope of at least 5% (a fall of 5cm for every 1m) is recommended. Ensure that the water troughs and feeders are placed at the lower end of the sloped floor so that the floor remains dry.