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No-wash-pigs Technology: An Easy Way to Manage Piggeries

Keeping the piggery clean and odorless has always been a challenge for hog raisers but this is more difficult for small-scale growers who raise pigs in the backyard They need to wash their pigpens more often to keep their neighbor from complaining.

Ironically, the fetid odor of piggeries is not a problem in the Municipality of Barotac Viejo in Iloilo for hog raisers there are practicing the no-wash-pigs technology, a very easy and economical way to manage piggeries which has been initially practiced in the Integrated Farm System (IFS), a demonstration farm that the municipal government established in Barangay Vista Alegre.

In this technology which is based on earlier models, the pigpen is made of bamboo and nipa and its concrete flooring is slightly inclined to force water and waste to flow down to the drainage. The floor is also stocked with 6-inch bedding which contains equal amounts of river or beach sand, fresh rice hulls, and carbonized rice hulls or rice hull charcoal.

To prevent the inhibition of mange and mites in the rice hulls, a handful of salt should be added per square meter, but this is optional. A better option is to regularly add dried kakawate (Gliricidia sepium), neem (Azadirachta indica), and ipil-ipil (Leucaena leucocephala) leaves for these help fasten the processing of the bedding mix into organic fertilizer when it is removed from the pen at the end of the cycle.

Since the bedding mix absorbs foul odor, hog raisers don’t need to wash their pigs everyday. All they need to do is feed the pigs and spray the bedding with a probiotic solution weekly. The probiotic solution is made by dissolving two cups of concentrated indigenous microorganisms (IMO), which contains beneficial microorganisms like yeast, lactobacilli and molds, per 15 liters of water.

The bedding should be removed immediately after each cycle and allowed to age for two to three weeks before using it as an organic fertilizer. During the aging period, microorganisms in the bedding speed up the decomposition process, but the bedding will degrade faster if it is feed to earthworms.

“This technology is simple, not labor intensive, and can be adopted by house holds who want to raise pigs in small-scale. In fact, when the fishing slowed down the communities near the seashore have ventured into hog raising. They have built small pigpens in their backyard because they can manage the odor of the hogs by adopting the technology,” Mayor Raul Tupas said.

Even government employees became interested on hog raising as an additional source of income because of the no-wash-pigs technology. With the technology, “they simply feed and water their pigs in the morning before reporting in the office and attend to the pigs after office hours,” he added.

The technology is also beneficial for the pigs. Edward Jamola and Vicente Baticbatic, staff of the municipality’s hog project, said that when pigs are washed daily, they lose energy to keep their bodies warm after wetting.

The demonstration farm, on the other hand, would continue showcasing new farm technologies. “Soon, the staff of IFS will release a new technology on alternative feeding which utilizes local feed ingredients such as aerial potatoes, cassava, legumes, among others. Through this, dependence on expensive formulated commercial grower feeds would be lessened and likewise, the cost of production would be reduced,” Tupas said.