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IsaanAussie

Pigs 101 (A Start)

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Transporting pigs is always an issue. Starting with getting them into the box without a pile of anxiety all round. The guy photographed here seems to follow my thoughts that pigs can fly. He just nets them with his motorcycle as they fly by.

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Moo Bin Dai

Isaan Aussie

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Hey IsaanAussie

How big is all this going to get? i don't know to tell you the truth! How long is a piece of string? lol...

if it was left too my imagination then i would say that i would like astronauts whilst orbiting earth to look out their window and say " isn't that Shaggy's farm down there " ....but in reality i will be happy with 75 sows and maybe a couple of buildings for fattening pigs,another 2 ponds (1 with a duck home on it),a mixed fruit tree orchard and last but not least a buffalo that i would probably name ' Bob '............aaaarrrgghhhh!!!! stop it Shaggy (note to myself) ....almost broke out into a sprint there, 1st learn to walk...;)

Septic tanks and the like....still need to do my homework on that one big time,my idea was an open slurry pit running off into the pond when full.This is where your duckweed could come in very handy as it apparently

is the best water natural purifier that there is and also Tilapia love it ( protein levels as high as 35-45 %.).... that's going on my little ladies list of ' things to do '.

What do you do with your piglets?do you sell them or fatten them up yourself and then sell them? i don't know if you know of this website http://www.mooyaso.net/ ...it is a Thai farmers pig website ,the web master is the guy that my wife is friends with and he is also guy that we bought our sows from that we have now (12 week old when they came to our farm).We were pretty lucky to get them because he has a waiting list and up to now it seems everyone wants to buy our piglets because they are associated with his name.I went down to his farm last year because my wife had told me so much about him and how great he and his farm was,but i was really disappointed when i got there because basically it was an old Thai style pen but i can't knock the guy because he does breed some good pigs.......I dont know how far along you are with Thai reading and writing (in my case,i ask and the wife translates for me) but i do think this site is worth a look and also good for keeping up to date from inside the Thai pig farming scene,

Another thing we are busy with at the moment,(or should i say my wonderful little wife is busy with) is a 'Standard Farm' training course,which i think is basically the same as an ISO certificate.Which will mean that we will be approved as a good quality pig farm and hopefully will make it better/easier to export.

Another future idea we have is to open a ' farm shop ' selling pork,chickens,duck,eggs and fish...i quite like the idea of this and my past experience as a butcher in a bacon factory would come in very handy.

Will accept any information that you have my friend...what a stroke of luck this was for me finding this site and your topic page and also all the other member on the Farming in Thailand forum who are willing to share their experiences and information...i only hope that soon i can repay you all with my own good advice and tips...many thanks :)

Old Shaggy Dog

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Shaggy,

Perhaps your dreams could include beaming pigs up to the space station? Hehehe Good for you!

Piglets. What I have done with them to date is a long sad story which I will leave untold. The intention was to run full farrow to finish from day 1, well it didn't work out that way. My planning has always been to sell 75% of weaned piglets by nursery exit holding back the best 10 with breeding herd potential, ultimately keeping 4 gilts which would be bred and used as replacements in the farrowing area for returns in the current batch of sows. Should they not be needed, they can be sold as pregnant gilts or held until weaning if more piglets are required.

My dream is to build a grow finish facility on other land we have and transform a couple of the four grower pens I have into farrowing space.

On water lettuce, beware there is a trap if you are using tilapia. Do not let it takeover the pond, aeration will be a major issue. Doesnt seem a problem for catfish. There is a balance point, where the insect life skimming over the pond is maximised and everything is in balance. That is hard to keep constant without a lot of work. Yes the water lettuce is great be there is a cost.

Traditional Thai pig farms, Uhmmm ... I know a few, they seem to fall into two categories, those that clean regularly and those that dont. As ramshackle as some are, when the pigs are clean they do well.

Dealing with the wastes. In most things I deal with the most important first and to me this issue is high on the list. I would much prefer to deal with fresh manure than a slurry tank. Dry muckout is added chore to some but it is a means of collecting the most valuable resource, the urine, liquid nitrogen. Rice hull bedding is the easiest way to keep the floors clean, the manure wet and in small pieces so it composts quickly, odour controlled and urine inside the pen. My pens have a step-down level as the wet or dunging area and the front end of the stays dry on most ocassions if the number of pigs is right.

I looked very seriously at biogas and came to the conclusion it was too hard at my scale and didnt see enough use or market. There is methane produced from the septic system, surprisingly quite a look considering it is mostly suspended solids only that enter it. I have included gas trapping in the plumbing so I could mounting gas collectors on the tanks in the future.

Farm shop. Yeap, got one of those. Come over and give me a few butchering and bacon lessons. Have run all sorts to market tests and there are possibilities.

In closing, sharing basics openly isn't a problem. No need to thank me for that. Many of us do it gladly. More explicit details usually are available offline.

Isaan Aussie

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Just wanted to inform that effective from next Monday, March 21th, Betagro and Balance will further increase prices for their feed by 5 Baht for most pigs and chicken feed.

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IsaanAussie

A pig beamer..lol,what a crackling idea !!!! that is also going on my wife's list of ' things to do '

Your breeding/finishing plan sounded good,shame that it didn't work out for you.I am curious to know why not but i respect your right of privacy.I had a good start to the day today this morning.I received an SMS from my wife as usual, but this 0ne included news of 11 piglets born at 04.00am and all are strong and healthy...phew !!

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So that is it for now,our 1st attempt at breeding is over for now,all sows delivered successfully ! apart from 1 that had problems birthing and i think as result of that she rejected her babies (1 still born and 2 piglets). The other 4 sows gave us in total 39 piglets (7,10,11,11),it would of been 41 but 2 died due to being stood on by the sow.All in all i am very happy because this is our very 1st time that we have bred our own piglets.My wife also told me today on the phone that 4 local farmers have been to the farm today to try and buy the 17 other piglets we have already sold via the website.

Thanks for the tip about the problem with water lettuce and Tilapia,i still need to do some research about this and will not put any into our bigger pond atm.The duckweed does sound interesting for our smaller pond tho seeing as it is in the middle of our duck enclosure and our pond has catfish in it...the only problem i can think of is how to get it growing in the pond,i mean it wouldn't stand a chance of reproducing with 100 ducks and 1000 catfish all trying to get at it.Maybe the answer is to grow it in mass outside the pond in some old concrete containers with have and then introduce it on mass to the pond.

I do have a question for you....you have been breeding Duroc's now for 2.5 years and have gone through all seasons and change in temperature,has the the change in weather/temperature had any effect on your litter sizes?

Biogas.been thinking about this one also for some time now and i would like to try and make a usage of it also.One idea i had was to try and rig up a radiator fueled by biogas for my piglets in the winter months,or as a fuel for cooking with. As they say....the only thing that you can not use or sell from a pig is it's squeal.

How long have you been doing your farm shop and what products are you selling? and if it is not too rude to ask how is it going?

I would be happy to share my butchering skills with you...but i would need to practice a while before i do because i havn't had a boning knife in my hand for many a year,i exchanged my chain mail glove for a welding glove 12 years ago but i am sure that it wouldn't take long before it all came back to me.

I was looking at your photos from inside you pig house that you showed in an earlier post .Did you do the pipe bending yourself?It looked very professional !! do you have a history in metal work?

Shaggy

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Shaggy,

Quick answers this morning:

I do have a question for you....you have been breeding Duroc's now for 2.5 years and have gone through all seasons and change in temperature,has the the change in weather/temperature had any effect on your litter sizes?

Yes, but due to factors I didn't mention before more than weather directly.

Biogas.been thinking about this one also for some time now and i would like to try and make a usage of it also.One idea i had was to try and rig up a radiator fueled by biogas for my piglets in the winter months,or as a fuel for cooking with. As they say....the only thing that you can not use or sell from a pig is it's squeal.

Storage, methane and Thais do mix, explosively... I am concerned about corrosion and convinced scrubbed and compressing the gas properly beyond local capability. Storage in inner tubes excites as much as a triple stage compressor and burn out engines...

How long have you been doing your farm shop and what products are you selling? and if it is not too rude to ask how is it going?

Started when we moved here, about 18 months. Eggs always sell because locals know they are fresh and no-one here seems to know how to tell they are not. Bacon and hams are OK it distance delivering doesnt kill it, havent tried selling meat other than to the locals. It is either a one meal sized sale or on the tick until the next rice harvest. Other issue is lack of time and family assistance. One a few ocassions I have sold select cuts to farang retailers and processors. All in all profit has been about 10% above Live pig returns. So in summary, as a market test or ocassional basis, OK, to make a living, doubt it.

I would be happy to share my butchering skills with you...but i would need to practice a while before i do because i havn't had a boning knife in my hand for many a year,i exchanged my chain mail glove for a welding glove 12 years ago but i am sure that it wouldn't take long before it all came back to me.

Try slowly and a plastic glove. Welding gloves, interesting...

I was looking at your photos from inside you pig house that you showed in an earlier post .Did you do the pipe bending yourself?It looked very professional !! do you have a history in metal work?

Jack of all trades master of none. Yes, fabrication, toolmaking, design studio..... and of course Thailand pig farming and structural fabrication

Isaan Aussie

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IsaanAussie,

Jack of all trades,master of none....tool maker and fabricator are on my list very highly regarded assets,so i think that you are being very modest about your capabilities and skills my friend.I have been working with steel for the last 12 years, making office furniture( bending,brazing,mig,tig and grinding) and i still do not class myself as a fabricator.I see now why your building is of a very high standard.

I made the mistake of showing my wife your building today (i hope you dont mind)....and i got my ear chewed off because your style off design was what she had been trying to explain to me .....unfortunately she did this when the builders were putting the roof sheeting on and not before i had design the roof frame.....but we both agreed that with the next building this will be incorporated into the design.

We also talked about additional pig food sources, ie: duckweed and water lettuce. My wife asked if you cooked the water lettuce 1st or do you give it to your pigs raw? she asked this because she had also done some research about water lettuce and she told me that many water plants carry a parasite called Liver fluke and it can affect the growing of fattening pigs.Other plants we talked about today were water hyacinth and gauge (Thai call it krathin ).The water hyacinth was a new one for me (again a plant that will quickly over run your pond if not controlled well) but the krathin i have know about for 2 years....my 1st experience with this plant made me dance like a mad man while collecting it.....not because the plant has musical qualities,no...it was more due to the fact the that i had disturbed an ant nest with my foraging and they decided to pay me back by swarming over my feet and legs :o,my wife and little niece found this greatly amusing at the time and they asked me where i had learned to dance as a mad man !!!! It was not funny for me at the time but reflecting back on that moment it must of been very funny to see.

I was reading a previous post of mine again (post #78) and i hope that you or other members of TV that happen to read my post dont think that i was being facetious about my comment (but in reality i will be happy with 75 sows and maybe a couple of buildings for fattening pigs,another 2 ponds (1 with a duck home on it),a mixed fruit tree orchard and last but not least a buffalo that i would probably name ' Bob),I know that i am a newbie to farming in Thailand and i also realise that many of you here have devoted many years and money to become farmers....For me it will mean at least another 5 years away from my wife and as much overtime as my body can handle to reach my goal/dream of being together with my wife in LOS.So i do have very much respect for all you falang farmers that have walked the walk !!!!

Shaggy

P.s sorry about my grammar,i have been in Holland for too long now and have become very rusty with writing in my own language :whistling:

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Shaggy,

My skill level? Try "incompotent perfectionist", give anything a shot, that is more like it.

Pig feed. I figure we can worry a lot for nothing. If you look around your sty, you will see scorpions, spiders, chickens, maybe a duck or two, even a snake. Plenty of potential threats. I feed the water lettuce raw, if the plants are large then I break off the root system. To me the answer is keep the pigs and their environment clean.

Isaan Aussie

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IsaanAussie,

I am in total agreement with you about clean environment,and yes we did used to have chickens and ducks getting into the pens and doing their business in there.That is why we made 2 separate enclosures for the chickens and ducks.Regarding the water lettuce,i guess you are correct in what you say....i think that because me and my wife are fairly new to this game we maybe worry too much.

We do have a small problem that maybe you could give us some advice with,we have a Duroc gilt that is almost a year old now and has shown no signs of coming on heat.Seeing as we do not have a boar to help induce this,is are there any other ways to help this along?

Shaggy

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We do have a small problem that maybe you could give us some advice with,we have a Duroc gilt that is almost a year old now and has shown no signs of coming on heat.Seeing as we do not have a boar to help induce this,is are there any other ways to help this along?

Shaggy

Shaggy,

At a year old she is getting to be a big pig and an expensive one. Time to make a decision. Now I have gilts that are very difficult to pick their seasons. One that didnt vocalise, no mounting, no swelling, ate normally. Without a boar very hard. We have boars and heat check twice a day. Finally resolved for my gilt that she was only receptive for 8 to 12 hours, easy to miss. The boar was the only one that knew.

You can get a hormone treatment that will bring a gilt into season within 3 to 5 days. It cost about 250 baht per dose. Gestvet or something like that. Ihad a vet get me some for 4 gilts but it was a complete failure, he never explained what was wrong.

Isaan Aussie

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IsaanAussie,

thanks,will pass on the info to my missus about the hormone treatment (Gestvet),or maybe borrow a boar from our neighbour to try and get her fruited up.We actually won her at a CPF meeting and the plan was to fatten her up to use at our wedding....but everybody fell in love with her because of her good nature (me also), so we decided that she was a 'good luck pig ' for our farm (i know,crazy eh!!!) and would try and get some babies out of her.

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what's not to love about her? :D

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IsaanAussie,

thanks,will pass on the info to my missus about the hormone treatment (Gestvet),or maybe borrow a boar from our neighbour to try and get her fruited up.We actually won her at a CPF meeting and the plan was to fatten her up to use at our wedding....but everybody fell in love with her because of her good nature (me also), so we decided that she was a 'good luck pig ' for our farm (i know,crazy eh!!!) and would try and get some babies out of her.

post-126208-0-95584300-1300824365_thumb.

what's not to love about her? :D

What's not to love about any of them at that size? Especially one that has a name, really Shaggy! Does Marrisa get tucked into bed at night?

Still as a gilt she will come into season quickly if placed in a pen next to a boar where they can see and smell each other. Nose contact is good.

One word of caution, biosecurity. Be careful if the boar is regularly used for serving other farms sows. You dont want anything more than you bargained for coming back into your herd.

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IsaanAussie

Yep,it's a fair cop....busted!!! (i'm not going to tell you that the others have got names also :o).You are correct with what you say to be careful about what boar we bring into our farm,but the farm we have already used has proved to be good so far. Up until now we have only impregnated our gilts by means of artificial insemination...apart from our 1st sow Lyndylou (name was the wife's idea,honest). Hope everything is well with you and your farm .

Shaggy

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The attached file is an article on coping with the PRRS virus. Perhaps the "worst" is over, but the problem will not go away. This article gives a good perspective on the strains of the virus and its proliferation within a breeding pyramid and the effects of introducing external strains. Reality here is there is little chance you will avoid the virus long term unless you live in a completely self contained system.

Coping with PRRS Virus.doc

Isaan Aussie

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