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PIG (SWINE) Online Course

Learn the care and management of pigs with this online pig care course.

In this course, you will gain skills and knowledge in:

  • breeding and selection
  • nutrition and feed
  • pig diseases
  • boar management
  • sow and litter management
  • and much more.

This course is suitable for students looking to learn commerical pig management as well as those with general interest in pigs. 

This course provides you with a sound foundation in pig care and management, along with the benefits of self-paced, online study.  

Read free article here - How To Raise Pigs

Attractive discounts apply for multiple course pathways (see our "discounts and payment plan" page).

Contact one of our consultants for advice on the best combination of courses to achieve your goals: info@careerlinecourses.com or phone +61755368783 or within Australia 1300 172882 for friendly advice.


There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Background to pig raising
    • Pig Farming
    • Pig Husbandry terms
    • Hybrids in pig farming
    • Pig breeds
    • Pig Production systems
    • Building systems
    • Environmental controls
    • Building materials
    • Floors
    • Pig pens
    • Waterers and feeders
    • Fencing
    • Waste water treatment using reed beds
    • Waterflow
    • Anaerobic ponds
    • Suitable plants
  2. Breeding and selection
    • Heritability in pigs
    • Testing pig performance
    • Points for selection
    • Pure breeding
    • Cross breeding
    • Crossbreeding systems
    • Single cross
    • Back crossing
    • Rotational crossing
    • Hybrid breeding
    • Artificial insemination
    • Animal selection
  3. Feeding Pigs
    • Types of rations
    • Energy requirements
    • Protein requirements
    • Mineral requirements
    • Vitamin requirements
    • Digestive system
    • Understanding feeding
    • Feeding on pasture
  4. Pig diseases
    • General health problems
    • Management practices
    • Notifiable pig diseases
    • Some major diseases affecting all pigs
    • Diseases affecting sows
    • Diseases of growing and fattening pigs
    • Handling and restraining pigs
    • Vices in pigs
    • Summary of pig diseases
    • Pre-weaning period
    • Post-weaning period
    • Breeder pigs
  5. Managing the boar
    • Selecting a boar
    • Housing
    • Feeding
    • Health
    • Breeding
  6. Managing the sow and litter
    • Selection of gilts
    • Housing
    • Feeding
    • Weaning
    • Ovulation
    • During pregnancy
    • Before farrowing
    • Farrowing
    • Lactation
    • After farrowing
    • Management of the suckling pig
    • Marking Pigs and Ear Notching
    • Points to consider at weaning
  7. Management of Fattening pigs
    • Feeding fatteners
    • Housing
    • Transporting to market
    • Cuts of pig meat
  8. Economics and records
    • Efficiency factors
    • Gross output
    • Records
    • Pig Calendar
    • Pig Ration
    • Pig Register
    • Sow Record
  9. Managing a Piggery
    • Research innovative practices
    • Evaluate the production performance of a specified piggery.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Select appropriate pig breeds for different purposes.
  • Explain how to manage the breeding of pigs.
  • Explain the physical facilities, including buildings and equipment of a pig farm.
  • Explain the procedures used in managing the condition, including the health and feeding of pigs.
  • Explain the husbandry operations associated with pig farming.
  • Develop strategies for marketing, including both traditional and innovative marketing plans of pigs and pig products.
  • Develop different strategies, including both traditional and innovative approaches, to manage the general operations associated with pig farming.

The Main Pig Breeds

The Large White

Many regard the Large White as the best baconer.  Its popularity has increased over the last twenty-five years to the extent that today, it ranks first as producers of high grade pork and bacon carcasses. Large Whites satisfy the demand by consumers for attractive carcasses with long, well-fleshed sides and a uniformly thin fat distribution.  The breed is highly fertile and is characterised by its mothering abilities and vigour.  With correct breeding and management, Large Whites can be marketed for pork at 45.5 to 55 kg. liveweight and for bacon at 91 to 100 kg live-weight. One drawback of the Large White is that it is susceptible to sun scald and is not very suitable for extensive pig farming system.  The Large White fits in admirably to intensive systems of mixed farming.

The Landrace

The Landrace has its origins in Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands and Germany.  The Landrace is a white pig with medium sized ears that are lopped are slightly erect.  It has good length, a fine head, neck and shoulders, well finished good hams, evenly distributed and not excessive fat, high fertility and good mothering abilities.  It also converts food economically. Animals imported to Australia proved to be most adaptable to local conditions.  The popularity of the breed increased as the demand for its high quality carcass grew.  The carcass can be further improved to very high standards by crossing the Landrace with the large White. The Landrace is prone to sun scald if kept extensively. Sows are prolific and satisfactory mothers because of their milk producing ability. They reach their top milk production after 5 weeks of lactation; later than most other breeds.



This breed originated in Berkshire and surrounding counties of England. (ie. south central England).

Modern Berkshires are very distinctive with black coats, white feet, a white stripe on the face, and a white tip on the tail. The face is dished. It is one of the most prepotent breeds, leaving their characteristics on their offspring to a very marked degree. The breed is of extremely high quality and produces carcasses that have a well earned reputation for exceptional quality pork and bacon, with evenness of lean meat and fat. Boars are active workers. Sows are docile, good milkers and make good mothers if kept in reasonable breeding conditions. This breed has lost popularity since the 1960's due to changes in husbandry, and market requirements.

The Large Black

This is a large black pig with no white markings. It is an excellent grazing pig, and a prolific breeder. This is one of the heaviest milkers of all breeds, so it makes an ideal mother. The long drooping ears extend to the point of the nose. Its hardiness is second to none. It is light in the bone, long & deep in the body, has broad loins, long & wide quarters. It has thick broad hams which are well let down. This breed was suitable for crossbreeding for pork & bacon. The breed did not gain great popularity in Australia, and is not in favour today with the intensive systems of housing commonly used.



The Tamworth is reported to be a direct descendent of wild pigs of the midland counties of England. It was an early introduction to Australia and underwent considerable improvement in type and conformation. The breed has been famous for its lean bacon, and was widely used for crossbreeding, especially with the "Berkshire". Crossbreeding was carried out especially to obtain better quality, greater length of side, fine bone, and a higher percentage of lean meat. This breed is late maturing. Tamworth’s possess a robust constitution and are useful in open air pens or paddock feeding conditions. They are hardy, resistant to sun scalding (due to golden red colour), are prolific breeders; sows are good sucklers and are docile with young.



The Saddleback

The Saddleback was developed from the Essex and Wessex breeds.  They are black pigs with a white band over the shoulders.  The sows make very good mothers being good milkers with a quiet temperament.  The pigs are hardy and are efficient grazers, able to make use of bulky fodders.  The Saddleback is a pork breed (being too short for bacon) but a common practice is to cross a Large White boar with a Saddleback sow to produce a hybrid which is good for bacon production.


This is an American meat hog with a black skin, likely to have originally come from England. Colour markings are black with a white belt entirely encircling the body, including both front legs and feet. Its most valuable characteristics are its ability to mother good sized litters of a uniform type, and general high quality. It has good grazing ability and high adaptability. They have performed well in pig testing stations in comparison with other breeds. Their gains, the efficiency of gains, and carcass comparisons have been very good.


A most popular American breed originally called "Duroc-Jersey". Colour varies from very light gold to a very dark red. The face is of medium length and slightly dished. Ears are drooping. This breed is early maturing. It puts on flesh from an early age, is of mild disposition, and is a fair grazer. This is one of the larger breeds. The sows are excellent mothers.


Enrolment Information
Australia: $595.00 AUD
Course Code: BAG209
Duration: 100 hours
Qualification: Certificate
Exam: Optional
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