Pigs constitute 27.26 per cent of the total livestock (cattle, buffalo, goat and pig) and are mostly owned by tribes and settlers and distributed in Nicobar group of islands and also in different parts of Andaman Islands. Two genetic groups of domestic pigs namely Nicobari pig and Andaman Desi pig are available in these Islands. Nicobari pig is the only registered pig breed from this islands. These pigs are generally reared under free range and/or semi intensive system. In certain locations, it is integrated with various farming system. They are fed with locally available feed materials viz. rice bran, maize, wheat, coconut, taro (Colocasia esculenta and Colocasia antiquorum), tapioca, kitchen/hotel waste, vegetable waste and poultry offals. However, in the Nicobar group of islands coconut is the main feed resource for the pigs. Pig farming has been accepted socially and culturally by certain ethic groups only. However, its trend is changing gradually due to urbanization. The farm size is usually smaller, but it is coming up in the form of commercial farms. In comparison to other livestock, crop cycle of pig farming is shorter. Generally, two farrowing per sow per year can be obtained with the harvest of 4-8 piglets in a single farrowing. However, considerable piglet mortality during weaning period continues to remain as a challenge. Particularly in rural area, pig farming is based on agricultural by-products and kitchen wastes. Traditionally free-range feeding of pig is quite common among tribal people. Most household keeps 2-3 pigs and most of the farmer’s rear pigs in the scavenging (extensive) system. The dressing percentage in pig is generally very high (65-80%) of the live weight. With a small investment and little input cost the farmers can get maximum return by following the scientific management of pig farming. In order to obtain sustainable income from this sector the following general management practices are suggested for the farmers/stakeholders.

  • At least two days before farrowing, the pregnant sow has to be transferred to a room disinfected with bleaching powder.
  • Just after the birth of the piglets, the umbilical cords have to be dissected by a new blade followed by application of tincture iodine.
  • To maintain the body temperature of the piglets (since piglets do not have the subcutaneous fat), a jute gunny bag should be placed at any corner of the room and one electric bulb of 200 W should be provided during night time to provide required warmth.
  • To mitigate piglet mortality due to iron-deficiency anaemia (IDA), which is a common problem for piglet mortality, supplementation with suitable iron salts @50 mg/piglet on 2nd, 7th, 10th and 15th day of the birth is highly recommended.
  • To mitigate death due to agalactia (lack of milk production), piglets should be fed with pasteurized cow milk @ 15-25 ml/piglet in 6 h interval with a 10 ml disposable syringe.
  • In general, piglets suffer from diarrohea from 15th day onwards after birth. The problem of diarrohea should be treated with parenteral use of potentiated sulfonamide and oral administration of 10 ml curd for a period of three days. However, the choice of antibiotics should be made after consultation with a veterinary doctor.