At Farmer’s Choice, pig production is integral in ensuring best quality meats get to the end consumer. We use best pig breeds for high standard pork.
Rosemarks breeding stock is imported from Denmark from one of Europes leading pig genetics producers, DanBred. We use 3 breeds; the DanBred Landrace, the DanBred Yorkshire and the DanBred Duroc. With this three-breed cross, we have the full use of hybrid vigour/heterosis as well as optimum production results, a high lean meat percentage and good meat quality.
- The Danbred Landrace (LL) is a strong pig with a long back, long nose, good legs, good milking and mothering ability. It has characteristic drooping ears. The breed is known for the good quality of its meat. We use the landrace in our crossbreeding program to produce Landrace/Yorkshire crosses for our commercial farms for production of slaughter baconers.
- The DanBred Yorkshire/Large White (YY) is also a strong pig with good daily weight gain, low feed conversion ratio, a high lean meat percentage, good longevity and good mothering capabilities. It is muscular and has characteristic upright ears. Like the Landrace we use pure breeds (YY) or 2 way crosses (LY) as mother breeds to produce crosses for our commercial farms. Landrace/Yorkshire sows have very high fertility, good teats, high life expectancy and are very friendly.
- We use the Duroc (D) as a terminal sire i.e. it is crossed with the landrace/Yorkshire crosses to produce pigs only for slaughter. It is a strong pig with good feed conversion rates and a high lean meat percentage.
Efforts towards getting an awesome pig to the factory for slaughter necessitated the company to establish a Pig Procurement Department that oversees all operations geared towards bringing in pigs for slaughter. This is a team of technical field staff on livestock production lead by a veterinary surgeon.
Specific services include but not limited to:
- Free field extension advisory services. - The field officers move from farm to farm in virtually all areas in the country where there is pig growing potential advising farmers on the best pig husbandry practices from when born to market weight, issues addressed are piglets’ management, weaners management, growers’ management, Finishers management, breeders’ management. Advise on when to sell their animals for slaughter, field extension staff are required to issue the farmer with a farm visit report with details on various issues advised for future reference.
- Free pig transportation to the slaughter house from farmers- This is geared towards encouraging farmers to continue with pig rearing and forms a part of cost sharing between the company and the pig farmer. However, if a farmer is willing to deliver his pigs to the factory a transport subsidy is paid to the farmer per pig depending on the distance from the farm.
- Good superior genetics are availed to the farmers from the company’s nucleus herd which ensures that pig breeding continues in the country hence ensures a sustained pig production. Farmers are expected to purchase the breeders at a set fee which varies from time to time.
- Highly subsidized pig feed is also available to farmers from the company’s mill located at Kasarani. However only farmers supplying pigs to the factory are allowed to buy feeds. Because the mill cannot meet demand for feeds from all pig farmers in the country.
- Prompt payment to farmers when they deliver pigs. Pig rearing is a capital intensive venture therefore prompt payment helps the farmer to feed the other animals so that he can supply tomorrow. Thus payment is done on the second working day after pigs are slaughtered. ‘’We actually pay by the nose!’’
- Training of new and existing farmers on new upcoming pig rearing technology.
We supply pork and pork products to local, regional and international markets hence standardization of slaughter pigs is paramount.
Some of the expected standards:
- Pigs coming in for slaughter must be healthy.
- Pigs must be fit for human consumption on post mortem meat inspection.
- Pigs must come from disease free zones as per livestock movement policy.
- Farmers delivering pigs must possess relevant animal movement documents e.g. valid animal movement permit from their local District Veterinary Officer (DVO).
- Animals must be heavy enough so that the meat yield is optimal, best weight recommended is 90 to100kg live weight. Such a pig would kill at about 56kg to 85kg Cold Dressed carcass Weight (CDW) on average. Heavier pigs are also accepted.
- New farmers are expected to have been visited by our field officers before animals are declared fit for slaughter.
- Animals are expected to be housed properly so that what they are fed on is closely controlled.
- Males must be castrated for our market; this eliminates the male taint in meat.
Other conditions set:
Pigs are bought depending on the carcass quality as shown below:
- Class 1 export standard 60-75kg cold dressed carcass weight CDW 8 -0mm fat depth, well-formed eye at the loin.
- Class2 standard pig all fat levels 56-75kgcdw.
- Class 3 production (manufacturing) all fat levels 76-85kg cdw.
- Class 4 production porkers all fat levels 50-55kgcdw.
- Class 5 production porkers all fat levels 40-49 kg cdw.
- Class 6 production (manufacturing) all fat levels86-100kg cdw.
- Class 7 production heavy hogs all fat levels 101-120kg cdw.
- Class 8 production heavy hogs all fat levels above120kgcdw.
- Class 9 production (sows) curled all fat levels, all weights.
- Pigs below 40kgcdw are not accepted.
- Entire boars are not accepted under any circumstances.
- All pigs must be delivered to slaughter house before 6.00pm in accordance with animal movement policy, the company reserves the right of not accepting pigs after the set time.