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Pig Husbandry

Course CodeBAG209
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment
PIG HUSBANDRY - ONLINE COURSE - HOME STUDY

Learn pig management: for commercial production, self sufficiency, or a hobby.

A sound foundation course that helps develop a broad understanding of pig biology and production; covering such things as breeding and selection, feeding, diseases, boar management, managing the sow and litter, fattening pigs, record keeping and more.

  • Learn to manage your pigs effectively
  • Increase your profits
  • Learn the best methods for fattening
  • Improve your husbandry of sows & litters

Pig Course.All domesticated pigs are descended from two closely related species: sus vittatus, from Asia (mainly China and Thailand) and Sus scrofa, the wild pig of Europe and North Africa.

The Asian pig has short legs, a wide dished face and the ability to fatten rapidly. The influence of this pig can be seen in the Berkshire and Middle White breeds. The European pig was thin with a long, pointed face. The Tamworth is a modern pig that shows these characteristics. Fixing and improvement of breeds has been taking place for over one hundred years. Pigs are kept only for the production of meat. The meat can be used in two different ways - pork and bacon. As such, two distinct types of pig have evolved. The pork type for the production of fresh meat  and the bacon type for the production of cured meat, bacon and ham.

In modern pig husbandry, it is not so important to choose a pork type or a bacon type. Due to better breeding, stricter selection and, above all, scientific feeding the modern pig can produce good quality pork or bacon. The feeding system and age at slaughter will determine what the pig will produce.

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Background to pig raising
    • Pig Farming
    • Pig Husbandry terms
    • Hybrids in pig farming
    • Pig breeds
    • Pig Production systems
    • Building systems
    • Environmental controls
    • Building materials
    • Floors
    • Pig pens
    • Waterers and feeders
    • Fencing
    • Waste water treatment using reed beds
    • Water flow
    • Anaerobic ponds
    • Suitable plants
  2. Breeding and selection
    • Heritability in pigs
    • Testing pig performance
    • Points for selection
    • Pure breeding
    • Cross breeding
    • Crossbreeding systems
    • Single cross
    • Back crossing
    • Rotational crossing
    • Hybrid breeding
    • Artificial insemination
    • Animal selection
  3. Feeding Pigs
    • Types of rations
    • Energy requirements
    • Protein requirements
    • Mineral requirements
    • Vitamin requirements
    • Digestive system
    • Understanding feeding
    • Feeding on pasture
  4. Pig diseases
    • General health problems
    • Management practices
    • Notifiable pig diseases
    • Some major diseases affecting all pigs
    • Diseases affecting sows
    • Diseases of growing and fattening pigs
    • Handling and restraining pigs
    • Vices in pigs
    • Summary of pig diseases
    • Pre-weaning period
    • Post-weaning period
    • Breeder pigs
  5. Managing the boar
    • Selecting a boar
    • Housing
    • Feeding
    • Health
    • Breeding
  6. Managing the sow and litter
    • Selection of gilts
    • Housing
    • Feeding
    • Weaning
    • Ovulation
    • During pregnancy
    • Before farrowing
    • Farrowing
    • Lactation
    • After farrowing
    • Management of the suckling pig
    • Marking Pigs and Ear Notching
    • Points to consider at weaning
  7. Management of Fattening pigs
    • Feeding fatteners
    • Housing
    • Transporting to market
    • Cuts of pig meat
  8. Economics and records
    • Efficiency factors
    • Gross output
    • Records
    • Pig Calendar
    • Pig Ration
    • Pig Register
    • Sow Record
  9. Managing a Piggery
    • Research innovative practices
    • Evaluate the production performance of a specified piggery.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Select appropriate pig breeds for different purposes.
  • Explain how to manage the breeding of pigs.
  • Explain the physical facilities, including buildings and equipment of a pig farm.
  • Explain the procedures used in managing the condition, including the health and feeding of pigs.
  • Explain the husbandry operations associated with pig farming.
  • Develop strategies for marketing, including both traditional and innovative marketing plans of pigs and pig products.
  • Develop different strategies, including both traditional and innovative approaches, to manage the general operations associated with pig farming

WHAT THE COURSE COVERS
You will learn a wide variety of things, through a combination of reading, interacting with tutors, undertaking research and practical tasks, and watching videos. Here are just some of the things you will be doing:

List the commercial breeds of pigs being successfully farmed in the learner's locality.
Compare the different characteristics of common breeds of pigs including:
  • appearance
  • hardiness
  • commercial potential
Select appropriate pig breeds for three different specified situations.
Explain heritability factors relevant to pig breeding.
Explain how pig performance testing is carried out by one experienced tester.
List factors which affect the selection of pigs for breeding.
Compare applications for straight breeding with cross breeding of pigs in a specified locality.
Describe how the process of artificial insemination of a pig is carried out by an experienced technician.
Explain the different husbandry operations carried out during each of the different stages of pig breeding, including:
  • Weaning to service
  • Early pregnancy
  • Mid pregnancy
  • Late pregnancy
  • Lactation
List the minimum facilities, including equipment and buildings necessary for growing healthy pigs.
Recommend three items of machinery which can be used to automate a piggery operation, including details of:
  • the supplier
  • cost
  • technical specifications
Explain the housing requirements of pigs in a commercial production enterprise, in the learner's locality.
Compare housing requirements for boars with those for sows, in a piggery visited by the learner.
Develop maintenance guidelines for pig shelters, including large and small sheds.
Prepare a sketch design of an area for farming pigs, showing the location of major facilities.
Assess the disposal system(s) being used for effluent at a specified piggery.
Explain the concept of reed bed treatment of effluent, for a piggery.
List pests and diseases that commonly affect pigs.
Develop a checklist of general signs which indicate ill health in pigs.
Describe three significant pests or diseases of pigs, including their symptoms and effect.
Explain a treatment for each of three different common pests or diseases in pigs.
Determine the health status of a unit of pigs at a piggery, using a checklist developed by the learner.
Report on the significance of health services for pigs, including veterinary and quarantine services, as used on a piggery visited by the learner
Explain a vaccination program, including what it is, how it is performed and it's expected benefits, that is used at a specific piggery.
Explain the function of the different parts of a pigs digestive system, including the:
  • oesophagus
  • stomach
  • duodenum
  • intestines
  • colon
  • anus
List various food sources for different food nutrients for pigs, including:
  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins
Analyse the ingredients in a pig diet, being used at a commercial piggery investigated by the learner.
Describe food ration requirements for a specific pig, with reference to:
  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins
Prepare a sample of pig feed suitable for either a boar, a weaner, or a porker.
Explain the differences in feeding pigs under different circumstances, including:
  • young pigs
  • growing pigs
  • gestating sows
  • lactating sows
  • replacement gilts
  • breeding boars
Explain the techniques used to physically handle pigs in different situations, including:
  • at a piggery
  • during transportation
  • during slaughter for meat
  • when showing
Prepare a timetable of husbandry tasks, from weaning to marketing, for fattening a pig.
Compare two different, but commercially viable, systems of raising pigs, with reference to:
  • costs
  • materials
  • equipment
  • labour
  • production output
Prepare an annual program of routine pig husbandry tasks, for a specified enterprise.
List pig products commonly sold through retail outlets in the learner's locality.
Analyse wholesale and retail marketing systems for pig products.
Explain the factors affecting sales of pig products, over a twelve month period, in a specific locality.
Explain the factors affecting the cost of pig products, over twelve months, in a specific locality.
Analyse the marketing of a specified pig product from the farm through to the consumer, including associated work tasks, and costs involved.
Write an innovative plan for the marketing of pigs or a specified pig product.
List factors which affect the profitability of a pig farm in a specified locality.
Evaluate the production performance of a specified piggery.
Explain the organisational structure of a specified piggery.
Write a job specification for one member of staff of a piggery.
Assess the impact of staff interactions on productivity in a specified piggery.
Recommend ways to increase unit performance of a piggery reviewed in a case study.
Write a management procedure, including contingency arrangements, for control of production targets and budgeted costs on a pig farm.
Explain the legal requirements and regulations appropriate to operating a commercial piggery in your locality.
Analyse the procedures involved in purchasing a specific piggery which is advertised for sale.
Determine three innovations in the pig industry, which may improve management of a specified pig enterprise.
Evaluate three different innovations being used in the pig industry.
Develop a production plan for pigs on a specified property, which includes:
  • a production timetable
  • details of animals required
  • lists of facilities required
  • materials requirements
  • a schedule of husbandry tasks
  • cost estimates

Design a form for record keeping of appropriate piggery data.

What qualification will I receive upon completion of the course?
This is a 100 hour course studied in your own time and at your pace. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment. If you pass all assignments, you will receive a Course Completion letter.  There is also an optional exam. If you pass all assignments AND the exam, you will receive an ACS Statement of Attainment.  You can find more information on how the exams work here.  
 
 
OTHER COURSES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU 
Advanced Diploma in Animal Husbandry - the Pig Husbandry course can be taken as one of the modules in the Advanced Diploma.  
Animal Husbandry Certificate course -  To obtain a certificate qualification, you are required to complete 6 one hundred hour courses. Pig Husbandry can be taken as one of those courses.
 

eBooks Available

 
Picture of Animal Health - ebook
 
A veritable dictionary of animal diseases, this ebook provides a great guide for some common illnesses found in a range of domestic and agricultural animals. Written for anyone who cares for animals, from pet owners to farmers, to students. 
 
 
Picture of Profitible Farming Ebook
 
This full colour e-book will set you on the path towards profit in a world where markets, technology and climates are changing as never before. Profitable Farming features a comprehensive survey of new enterprise possiblities and many new opportunities available for making money from the land.
 
 


Meet some of our academics

Alison PearceUniversity Lecturer, Quality Assurance Manager, Writer and Research Technician. Alison originally graduated with an honors degree in science from university and beyond that has completed post graduate qualifications in education and eco-tourism. She has managed veterinary operating theatre, responsible for animal anesthesia, instrument preparation, and assistance with surgical techniques and procedures.
Dr. Gareth PearceVeterinary scientist and surgeon with expertise in agriculture and environmental science, with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Post-graduate qualifications in Education, Wildlife Conservation Medicine, Aquatic Veterinary Studies and Wildlife Biology & Conservation. Gareth has a B.Sc.(Hons), B.V.Sc., M.A., M.Vet.S,. PhD, Grad. Cert. Ed.(HE), Post-Grad.Cert. Aq.Vet.Sc., Post-Grad. Cert. WLBio&Cons., Dipl. ECPHM, MRCVS.
Cheryl WilsonSports Horse Stud Groom, Stable Manager, Yard Manager, Equine industrial Training Manager, FE Distance Learning Manager. Cheryl has spent two decades working in agriculture and equine industries, across England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. Cheryl has a B.Sc.(Hons), HND Horse Mgt, C&G Teaching Cert.
Peter Douglas Over 50 years experience in Agriculture and wildlife management. Former university lecturer, Wildlife park manager, Animal breeder, Equestrian. Peter has both wide ranging experience in animal science, farming and tourism management, and continues to apply that knowledge both through his work with ACS, and beyond.