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Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
ON A SMALL SCALE
Florida Cooperative Extension Service Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences University of Florida, Gainesville John T. Woeste, Dean
Disease and Parasites...
Finishing Feeders .....
Raising A Litter.......
Care of the Sow ......
Care of Baby Pigs .....
Care of the Boar ......
. . 4
. . 4
. . 4
. . 6
Dewormers for Control of Internal Parasites of Swine......... 7
Insecticides for Control of External Parasites of Swine........ 7
Nutrients Required by Swine ........................... 8
Pearson's Square ..................................... 8
Corn to Supplement Ratios............................. 9
Feed Estimates for Animals........................ ...... 9
Prepared by Kenneth L. Durrance, Extension Swine Specialist, and
Cynthia A. Maxson
Art by Ruth M. Franczek
This publication is designed for the small
producer. It contains general information on care,
feeding and marketing of feeder pigs, sows and lit-
ters. Answers to specific questions can be obtained
from your county agent.
First of all, check the zoning regulations for your
land. Also, you should make sure that your
neighbors will not be bothered by odors. Two or
more well-drained acres serve as a buffer and pro-
vide space for manure disposal.
In planning for your swine keeping equipment and
structures, keep the following points in mind.
1 The fence must be hog-proof. 36" woven wire,
with a strand of barbed wire below it one inch
above the ground and one inch below the woven
wire is recommended.
2 For shelter, an open-fronted shed with plywood
hinged sides is fine for Florida.
3 Fifteen square feet of shade area is needed for
o For preventing the possible spread of contagious
diseases, an isolation area for new animals is
4 Fence off an area with a four-foot radius around
trees to keep the animals from damaging them.
5 A covered self-feeder on a wood or concrete plat-
form is desirable and aids sanitation.
*Provide fresh water at a rate of one to three
gallons per animal per day or six gallons per day
for a sow and her litter.
6 Make sure the watering trough will not double as
Disease and Parasites
Buy from a reputable producer and inquire about
the health status of the pigs before you buy.
Healthy feeders are more efficient and healthy stock
is vital to a breeding program.
A pig well bought is half sold!
Find out what diseases are prevalent in your area
and arrange for vaccination and treatment if
necessary. Internal parasites are a constant prob-
lem, and animals should be dewormed within two
weeks after they arrive on your property and then
again about three weeks later. Repeat thereafter as
often as necessary. Consider working with your
veterinarian on diagnosis and treatment of parasites
and work out a health program for the entire herd.
Table 1 lists the available deworming products
and Table 2 the sprays and dips that work well
against lice and mange mites. Foot dip also helps
prevent the spread of disease to your
farm provide it for all visitors.
Growing hogs (40 to 120 pounds) should be pro-
vided with a self-feeder containing a complete feed,
or corn mixed with a supplement. In either case, 16
percent protein with the vitamins and minerals
listed in table 3 is recommended.
Antibiotics are of little value after the pigs reach
120 Ibs. At that point, switch to a 14 percent protein
ration. Tables 3 through 6 contain information for
computing rations and amounts of feed required per
Hogs are ready for market around 220 Ibs.
(210-230). Some people slaughter hogs on the farm
for their own use (see References), but most people
now send them to a custom slaughter plant. Check
with the Cooperative Extension Service in your
county for details on both methods. To sell your
animals, check with the local auction market, pack-
ing plant or buying station (where available).
Raising a Litter
Two alternatives when raising a litter are:
1. Purchase a bred gilt (she may cost more, but
buying and keeping a boar can be more expen-
2. Purchase a gilt and boar and start your own
Spring is the best time for farrowing; the weather
is mild and extra shelter is not needed beyond that
previously mentioned. However, individual houses
such as A-frame huts provide more protection to
baby pigs, not only from the elements but their
dams as well. Huts also serve to discourage buz-
zards and other varmints.
7 EiA-/ IAN
Care of the Sow
A sow should be fed about four pounds daily of a
14-16% protein feed during gestation, depending on
her condition. Three weeks before farrowing, in-
crease the amount to approximately six pounds but
withhold feed the day she farrows. If constipation is
a problem, add epsom salts, bran or oats to her feed.
Gradually increase the sow's feed after farrowing to
about 12 pounds per day. Use common sense: if she
is getting fat, cut back; if too thin, feed more of the
same feed do not change the protein content.
After weaning there are several advantages to
selling the sow immediately (within three weeks):
1. You avoid the trouble and expense of acquir-
ing a boar for rebreeding;
2. The price of a cull sow is usually enough to
buy a bred gilt;
3. If you raised the gilt, and she is a year old,
only 40% of the proceeds are taxed under the
capital gains provision;
4. There is a three month break between selling
the litter as finished hogs and buying another
bred gilt to farrow the following spring. Keep-
ing hogs off the land during this time cuts
down the likelihood of disease and parasites.
It also gives you a break.
/4 ?Z, 16
There are some disadvantages:
1. Gilts tend to have smaller litters, and lack the
immunity sows have had time to build;
2. Your feed bill is usually higher since the gilt is
still growing and requires more feed;
3. The capital gains provision does not apply if
you did not raise the gilt and you can
depreciate a sow:
4. You may be able to lower fixed costs by far-
rowing more than once a year.
If you plan to sell the sow, keep her at least one
week, because a wet sow is usually docked. In addi-
tion, for the first couple of weeks after weaning, a
sow has very good feed conversion rate. After that,
however, you will start losing money by keeping
Breeding Facts and Figures
Estrus ......................... 1-5 days
Heat period .......... ...... .18-22 days
Gestation ..................... 114 days
Breeding age-gilts .............. 7-8/V mos.
-boars ............. 7-8 mos.
Breeding weight-gilts .............. 220 lbs.
If the sow is kept, withhold feed one day prior to
weaning to stop milk production. After weaning,
breed back on the first heat cycle (3-8 days after
weaning), preferably mating her twice, 12 to 24
hours apart. If she is too thin, delay breeding until
the second estrus. Cut feed to four pounds a day
right after breeding, in the first case; if you wait
until the second heat, cut to fotir pounds at weaning.
You may also want to investigate the possibility of
using AI (artificial insemination) instead of buying
or leasing a boar. Check the Reference section.
/' A J.
Care of Baby Pigs
It is vital that pigs nurse soon after birth since
colostrum gives them some protection against infec-
tion the first few weeks.
Post Farrowing Checklist
O Soon after birth:
Tie off and clip the naval cord.v_
Clip the eight needle teeth.
Treat with TBZ if threadworms are a problem
O Dock the tails.
S Identify the litters.
I Castrate the males.
SI Give iron shots.
Fact sheet AS-17 contains drawings showing how to
do each procedure. Iron shots are not necessary if
the litter is farrowed outside (on pasture or dirt), but
are recommended as insurance. Give the shots in-
tramuscularly in the neck AS-17 tells how.
Prestarter feed with added edible iron and TBZ
powder may be offered in a shallow pan when pigs
are seven to ten days old. Place it where the sow can-
not get to it; plans for building a creep feeder are
available from Florida Plan Service. The address is
listed under References at the end of this publica-
At weaning, (three to six weeks old, weighing at
least 12 pounds), pigs can be fed an 18% CP starter.
One hundred to 250 grams (3.5-7.5 oz.) of antibiotics
per ton of feed can be added to give pigs a good
start, but do not abuse the use. Consult the Drug
Withdrawal Guide, available through the Extension
service, because the FDA is getting stricter about
residues. At 60 pounds pigs can be treated as
described under Finishing Feeders.
To improve profits, concentrate on saving as
many pigs as possible from birth to market. If you
want to sell the litter as feeders (40-60 pounds) ask
your county agent for the schedule of feeder pig
sales in your area. Make sure pigs are weaned, vac-
cinated and dewormed, and the males castrated.
Pigs with docked tails also may have an advantage.
Buyers are looking for the same thing you are:
thrifty, growth, alert pigs they can feed for a pro-
fit. If you build a reputation for having good pigs,
when you decide to expand, your market will
already be developed.
Care of the Boar
Provide separate 1/-acre pens for each boar. Shade
requirements are the same as those for finishing
hogs. Except during the breeding season, feed about
five pounds a day of the sow ration. During the
breeding season, increase the amount to six to eight
pounds. Follow a vaccination and deworming pro-
gram, and provide fenceline contact between the
sows and boar a few weeks before breeding. As your
herd expands, consider keeping at least one extra
boar in case something happens to the herd sire.
1 *'**T k
Dewormers for control of Internal Parasites of Swine
Round Nodular Whip Lung Thread Kidney
Dewormer Worms Worms Worms Worms Worms Worms
Dichlorvos 0* O
Hygromycin 0* *
Levamisole 0* O O *
Piperazine 0 O
*: up to 100% control
0: up to 50% control
Insecticides for Control of External Parasites of Swine
Horn Mange Stable
Insecticide Fleas Flies Lice Mites Flies Ticks
Coumaphos S(0) S(0) S(0) S(0)
Dichlorvos S(1) S(1)
(Ciodrin + Vapona)
Lindane S(30) S(30)
Malathion D(0) S(0)
Methoxychlor S(0), DP(0) S(0)
Toxaphene* S(28) S(28)
*Toxaphene is a restricted use pesticide. See your county agent for details. Numbers in parentheses indicate withdrawal times.
S = Spray D = Dust DP = Dip PO = Pour-on
Nutrients Required by Swine
10-20 Ibs. 21-60 Ibs. 61-120 Ibs. 121-220 Ibs. Sow Boar
20% 18% 16% 14% 14-16% 14%
Pantothenic acid Iodine
Vitamin A Manganese
Vitamin B,2 Phosphorus
Vitamin D Salt
Depending on the amount of protein your pig
needs, the ratio of corn to high-protein supplement
or soybean meal will vary. One way to decide just
how much corn and supplement must be mixed to
make the resulting feed have the right percentage of
protein is to use Pearson's Square, which is ex-
plained in the steps below.
1. What percentage of protein does your animal
need? (Use the information in Table 3.)
Example: A young, rapidly growing pig
weighing 25 pounds needs 18%
protein in its mixed feed.
2. How much protein does the corn have? How
much protein does the supplement have?
Example: Most corn contains about 8.5%
Some supplements contain 40%
protein (the percentage is stated on
3. Set up the square. The individual steps will be
outlined for you.
A. The protein content of each feed goes in
the top and bottom left-hand corners of
the square. The amount of protein re-
quired by the animal or animals goes into
the center of the square.
% of protein in corn 8.5 22
(% pig needs)
% of protein in supplement 40 9.5
B. Subtract through the center of the square:
18 8.5 = 9.5
40 18 = 22
C. Add the two results
D. Divide each of the two results from step B
by the result from Step C:
9.5 + 31.5 = .30
22 + 31.5 = .70
E. Multiply each result from Step D by 100
get the percentages: .70 X 100 = 70%
.30 X 100 = 30%
F. Check your work by multiplying each frac-
tion from Step D by the percentage of
protein in each of the two feeds, and
then add them up: .70 X 8.5 = 5.95
This number should equal the .30 X 40 = 12.00
percentage of protein the animal needs: 17.95
Round off to 18.
4. To'calculate the amount on a per ton basis,
simply multiply each percentage by 20:
70 X 20 1400 pounds corn
30 X 20 = 600 pounds supplement
2000 pounds is 1 ton
In this example 70% corn and 30% supplement is
needed to make an 18% protein feed. On a per ton
basis, 1400 pounds of corn is mixed with 600 pounds
of the supplement to make a ton of complete feed.
The corn and supplement can also be fed separately.
9.5 + 22 = 31.5
Corn to Supplement Ratios
18% 16% 14%
Ingredients Ibslton Ibs/cwt Ibslton Ibs/cwt Ibslton Ibslcwt
Ground corn* 1455 73 1576 79 1697 85
42% Supplement 545 27 424 21 303 15
Ground corn 1419 71 1540 77 1678 84
40% Supplement 581 29 460 23 322 16
Ground corn 1379 69 1517 76 1655 83
38% Supplement 621 31 483 24 345 17
Ground corn 1333 67 1481 74 1630 81.5
36% Supplement 667 33 519 26 370 18.5
Ground corn 1276 64 1436 72 1598 80
34% Supplement 724 36 564 28 402 20
Ground corn 1218 61 1391 70 1565 78
32% Supplement 782 39 609 30 435 22
*Ground corn, shelled corn and grain sorghum are interchangeable at 8.5% protein. Refer to the Florida Swine Production Guide II
(p. 18) for free-choice of shelled corn and supplement.
Note: If .8 pound 40% supplement is fed, plus free-choice shelled corn, protein requirements of 40 to 220
pound pigs will be met.
Use the following figures to estimate the total amount of feed required to feed your animals.
Liveweight Feed Days Gain
(Pounds) (Pounds) Required per day (Pounds)
15-40 42.5 32 1.1
40-120 208 53 1.5
120-220 360 55 1.8
Non-lactating sow* 1180 295
Lactating sow* 840 70
*Based on two litters per sow per year, a five week weaning, 12 Ibs. a day during lactation, four Ibs. the rest of the year. If you sell the
sow after weaning, take that into account.
0 AM M SH (bIT 6iSmqw YT1)PRKemp
Barrow-male pig castrated before reaching sexual
Boar-male hog or pig with intact testicles.
Castrate-remove testicles by surgery.
Colostrum-first milk produced by the sow; it pro-
vides immunity to the baby pigs for the first few
Creep feeder-area accessible to small pigs but not
their dams, in which a high protein supplement is
Cull sow-full-grown female sold for slaughter.
Dressing percent-percentage of the carcass usable,
compared to liveweight.
Farrow-to give birth to pigs.
Flush feed-increase feed to stimulate ovulation in
Full-(self)-feed-animals are allowed to eat as much
as they will clean up; feed is available at all times.
Gestation period-pregnancy, lasting about 114
days in swine.
Gilt-young female that has not yet produced a lit-
Growing-finishing pig-animal weighing between
40 and 220 lbs. that is being fed for slaughter.
Runt-small or weak pig in a litter.
Shrink-weight loss, usually temporary.
Sow-female which has farrowed at least once.
Wallow-water-filled depression or container large
enough for pigs to lay in to cool off during warm
Weaning-removing young from their mother.
Yield-percentage of the carcass in the four lean
cuts: ham, loin, picnic and Boston butt.
Swine Production in Temperate and Tropical En-
vironments, Pond and Mayer Swine Science,
Artificial Insemination of Swine, Lewis and Wood-
ward, NC State
Farmer's Tax Guide, Internal Revenue Service
Florida Swine Production Guide II, Florida Exten-
Internal Parasitism of Swine, VM-5 Vet Med Fact
Pork Slaughtering, Cutting, Preserving and Cook-
ing on the Farm, USDA Farmers' Bulletin 2265
Summary of Insecticide Registrations for Swine,
UF Entomology Department
Swine Production in Florida, UF Animal Science
National Hog Farmer
1999 Shepard Road
St. Paul, Minn. 55116
Other useful addresses:
Extension Swine Specialist
Animal Science Extension
402 Rolfs Hall
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32612
Purdue Extension Service*
CES Mailing Room
West Lafayette, Ind. 47907
Hog Farm Management
P. O. Box 67
Minneapolis, Minn. 55440
Florida Plan Service
Extension Agricultural Engineer
101 Frazier Rogers Hall
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32612
Agricultural Research Service
Hyattsville, Md. 20782
International Boar Semen
P. O. Box 538
Eldora, Iowa 50627
Recognition is due to the University of California
for some of the terms taken from Raising Pigs.
*The basis of the Corn to Supplement Ratios table
came from the Pork Industry Handbook, available
from Purdue for $15.00. The address is given above.
Use of trade names in this publication is Intended
for illustrative purposes only and does not con-
stitute endorsement of the products.
ANi'tj kW >-9
This public document was printed at a cost of $461.75, or 15.4 cents per copy, to provide information to small scale
swine producers. 1- 3M 80
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL
SCIENCES, K. R. Tefertlller, director, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, publishes this Infor-
matlon to further the purpose of the May 8 and June 30, 1914 Acts of Congress;and is authorized to provide research, educa-
tional Information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex or
national origin. Single copies of Extension publications (excluding 4-H and Youth publications) are available free to Florida
residents from County Extension Offices. Information on bulk rates or copies for out-of-state purchasers is available from
C. M. Hinton, Publications Distribution Center, IFAS Building 664, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611. Before publicizing this
publication, editors should contact this address to determine availability.