How to Feed Young Pigs

Monday, December 12, 2011

A newborn pig grows to approximately 250 pounds in five to six months. Typically, a young pig is weaned from the sow at around 8 weeks of age and weighs 40 pounds. Prior to this time, the sow nurses the baby pigs up to 24 times a day. They consume a diet heavy in protein. After the weaning stage, young pigs need a new diet of dry feed. This new diet must consist of minerals, vitamins, energy feed and a protein supplement.

Things You’ll Need

  • Water trough
  • Self-feeder
  • Commercial starter feed

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1. Choose a starter feed that is digestible, economical and palatable for young piglets. Young pigs need to consume a diet of approximately 18 percent protein. Provide a relatively inexpensive protein meal with soybeans, or give whey and skim milk for a higher quality source of protein; however, the latter option costs more than soybeans. Try blood meal, fish meal and peanut meal to add protein to the diet as well.

2. Purchase a starter feed with adequate amounts of minerals and vitamins for a growing pig. Be sure the feed can provide the young pigs with the energy they need to grow. Look for ingredients such as barely, wheat and corn.

3. Look for a starter feed that is either crumbled, pelleted or ground. Smaller feed is easier for younger pigs to digest. Young pigs eat approximately 3 to 5 pounds of food a day.

4. Set up a self-feeder for the younger pigs. A hog feeder keeps the food dry and clean. Provide enough space for all the pigs to access the feeder at once. Feed the young pigs twice a day, if a self-feeder is not available.

5. Provide fresh water to the pigs at all times. Piglets around 8 week of age can begin to use a nipple waterier which keeps the drinking water clean. Clean and replace water in troughs regularly if they are used.

Tips & warnings

  • Talk to local farmers, herders and breeders if you have questions about the proper care of young pigs.


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