Friday, December 4, 2015

Raising pigs in Africa

I got a call on my cell phone the other day, and didn't recognize the number.  In fact, it didn't look like a phone number, but what the heck, I answered, and found myself talking to a farmer in Africa who'd been reading my blog and wanted to ask my opinion on some pasturing issues he had.    

ashanti black sow
The popular pig breed in his area is the Ashanti, and he sent several pictures of them.  They look smaller than a yorkshire, but the weaners look good.
ashanti weaners
Group shots are always nice to see breed characteristics
ashanti weaners
He explained that he liked the yorkshire breed, and had imported some yorkshires from the UK at great expense.  He sent several pictures of them.  I think he'll keep some purebred and crossbreed some with the ashanti.  I'm interested in seeing what they look like.
yorkshire weaners
he clearly takes good care of the pigs; they are in good weight for growers.  

the feed and the farmer!  Kofi Nti Boateng
batch of puppies - LGD?
yorkshire weaners
yorkshire weaners
yorkshire weaners
Brahma? calves?
In talking to him, his primary challenge is finding cheap enough feed for his pigs.  In the USA we have segregated our market, and people really don't compete much with animals for feed.  In africa, every bit of grain has a strong market, and it's sometimes difficult to find.  So he's working on growing more of his own feed; it's funny, but in a different way I'm doing the same exact thing on the other side of the planet.  

His climate is such that with water, he can grow corn in 3 seasons.  So he's looking to make a pig tractor and move the pigs over his acreage, planting corn as he moves the pigs.  in 90 days or so he crops that acreage (I'm not clear if he's going to let the pigs harvest it for him, or if he's going to pick the corn - either way, the pigs get it) and efficiently use his land.  

I talked to him about his tractor idea, and suggested an electric fence enclosure instead of a hard tractor, but then realized that I didn't know if his electricity was reliable enough to keep the pigs contained.  A durable tractor might be a good way to go, actually, if you can't depend on the power system.  

1 comment:

Joanne said...

If he can get a hold of a solar fence charger, electric fencing would work fine for his pigs. That's so cool that someone from Africa reads your blog. Gotta love the internet and your blog is a wonderful resource!!!