Every pig operation must have a very reliable source of clean, uncontaminated water supply. Pigs need water for nutritional purposes as well as to regulate their body temperature.
For pigs to develop well; meet the farmer’s expected market weight on schedule, they need constant access to fresh water 24/7. Without an adequate supply of water, they would not be able to metabolise the feed to meet their requirements for the expected growth. The muscle of pigs is made up of protein and water. If a farmer wants to produce lean pork, which is the premium quality of most pork lovers, besides the feeding of diets containing high volumes of crude protein (CP) and amino acids (lysine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan etc), he must make fresh water available in adequate volumes for the pigs to drink throughout the day. Without that, most of the feed will not be properly converted into the energy or lean muscles expected. They would come out as faecal matter.
The water must be free from toxins and other pollutants.
Pipe borne water, borehole water, harvested rainwater and underground water from dugout wells are most likely to be less polluted. Water from ponds, dams and rivers could be exposed to poisonous chemicals used for agricultural purposes like weedicides, nematicides, fungicides, insecticides and fertilisers which wash off when it rains. With the increased use of chemicals in agriculture, dams and rivers are becoming increasingly toxic and undrinkable without prior treatment.
Systems of water supply to pig housing could be; concrete or metallic troughs and nipple drinkers.
Nipple drinkers, if available, are highly recommended, as it prevents the water from exposure to the elements and pollution by the pigs. Especially with the IMO system of pig farming (Natural Pig Farming, using indigenous microorganisms) where the flooring of the sty is made of sawdust or other organic absorbents, nipple drinkers are very necessary to minimise anaerobic conditions around the pigs. Fungal activity in the sty is counterproductive, as it promotes the condition for opportunistic infections of the herd.
Coming soon: “Pig farming without the usual smell, flies, scrubbing, sweeping etc. Natural Pig Farming, Using Indigenous Micro Organisms (IMO)”
All pigs need sufficient clean drinking water.
- A pregnant sow requires 10 – 12 litres of water per day.
- A lactating sow requires 20 – 30 litres of water per day.
- A growing pig requires 6 – 8 litres of water per day.
- A boar requires 12 – 15 litres of water per day.
The above are FAO recommendations contained in their publications for smallholder pig farmers.
By not providing enough water for your pigs, you will reduce their daily feed intake, thereby affecting their feed conversion rate (FCR) and overall growth rate.
The farmer must make ample clean water available for your pigs to drink all the time. The practice where pig farmers fetch water into a trough, without consideration for the population of pigs and their individual requirements, must be reconsidered from now on. It is also not a good practice to supply water to the animals in the morning, and expect that to suffice till the next morning.
In fact, the pigs stop drinking the water when the feed contaminates the water in the sty. The feed, when it enters the water, begin a process of fermentation. The pigs will only dip their snouts in the water, to cool their bodies. They would not drink fermented water. It is important that the farmer replaces the contaminated water in the trough after every 4 hours. Also, water troughs need daily cleaning with detergents and copious amounts of water to rinse them before serving the pigs.
The nearer the water source, the easier it is for the attendant to meet these requirements above.
Pig farmers must invest in water systems that help constant supply to the animals. They should consider proximity to a source of clean water as one of the key factors when siting piggeries.
There MUST be clean drinking water available and easily accessible by all pigs 24/7. Do not compromise on this.
Geoddell Farms® strongly recommend the use of automatic water dispensing systems; nipple drinkers or systems connected to pipe borne water to automatically fill the water trough periodically etc.
PROGRESSIVE PIG FARMERS NETWORK OF GHANA (PPFN-GH)
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