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Meeting the Challenge of Feeding Just-Weaned Pigs

by 5m Editor
16 February 2011, at 12:00am

Feeding newly-weaned pigs can be a challenge, but remember, good care at the beginning translates into more profit in the end. PIC offers advice on how proper feed management for newly-weaned pigs can help to overcome these challenges.

Feed Management

Remember, extreme nutritional changes occur in the pig at time of weaning. While on the sow, pigs are told when to eat by the sow, given equally spaced small meals throughout the day, conditioned to eat at the same time, and provided with a highly digestible milk diet.

There is little or no transition period when pigs are weaned, yet they are expected to adapt to a new programme, which includes a dry meal or pellet feed of different composition.

In addition, pigs have an unfamiliar feed delivery system and have to learn how to feed themselves. By carefully managing the nutrition and management of newly weaned pigs, these challenges can be overcome.

Feed Quality

Provide weaned pigs with a high quality starter ration that meets nutritional requirements. Fill feeders with no more than two-days-worth of fresh feed.

Only fill the feeders for the pigs being received. For example, don't fill all feeders with a two- to three-day spread in delivery because it will become stale. And clean feeders twice daily.

Creep Feeding

Creep feeding stimulates the pig to eat and helps them find feed. Scatter 1lb. of feed on the mat four to six times per day.

Discontinue creep feeding after one week. The purpose of creep feeding is to stimulate appetite so pigs look for feed when the mat is cleaned. Creep feeding for too long a period trains the pigs to wait for the caretaker.

February 2011