Building hog houses, equipment, and facilities.
By Julio P. Yap, Jr.
We’ve tackled the selection of breeds that are suitable for would-be swine raisers and potentially
beneficial for them. This third article will focus on building hog houses and the corresponding materials and equipment needed.
No matter what the system of operation, hog houses must be constructed properly to ensure maximum swine performance and growth. A good hog house may not necessarily improve the health conditions of the animals, but a poor one will certainly encourage the development of more problems due to disease.
Jolliver Janssen S. Degollado, a brand manager with the Univet Nutrition and Animal Healthcare Company or UNAHCO, advises would-be swine producers to consider the following factors when building hog houses:
• Small or backyard operations can use cheap and locally available materials like bamboo and nipa.
• Hog houses should be constructed on a slightly sloping and well-drained area so that it will not become too muddy; a muddy hog house is inconvenient to work in.
• Permanent hog houses should have concrete floors for easy cleaning, and to minimize the occurrence of parasites and diseases. Concrete floors, however, must not be too rough as this may cause foot and leg problems in the swine; neither should they be so smooth that they become slippery when wet.
Facilities and equipment for swine housing
• Provide the pig house with proper equipment such as feeders, thermometers, weighing scales, and a nipple drinker or drinking troughs. Feeders and water troughs are best made of concrete, although other materials may be used. Some hog raisers use discarded automobile or truck tires that are cut in half.
• For bigger operations, farrowing (or birthing) stalls are important for reducing piglet mortality due to crushing
• Heat lamps or electric brooders are needed for the survival of newborn pigs. In places where the use of heat lamps is not possible, a box lined with old sacks or thickly bedded straw, rice hull, or saw dust can keep the pigs warm and comfortable.
Elvie A. Regaspi, an animal nutritionist with the UNAHCO, recommends that Apralyte be given to newborn pigs to prevent diarrhea. On the third day after Apralyte is given, Regaspi said the piglets should be injected with Jectran Premium with zinc to prevent anemia; this will also boost their growth and resistance against infections.
Next, we will tackle care management of the sow, including feeding and providing the right kinds of medicine.
This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s August 2015 issue.