Swine

How to Feed Pigs for Health

Traditional : Care and Management

Emily Otto-Tice, Ph.D.

Senior Nutritionist, Swine Technical Solutions

Pigs depend on us to keep them healthy and safe. Lucky for us, the things we do to protect our families work for pigs, too. Simple actions like choosing healthy feed and regular handwashing are easy steps that make a big difference in pig health.
 
Here are a few tips to ensure you’re taking action to keep pigs healthy, including how to feed pigs to keep them healthy.
 

Take it easy when changing pig feed

If you’re switching from one feed to another, move at your pig’s pace.
 
A common mistake is changing suddenly from one pig feed brand or formula to another. The abrupt change can cause intestinal health challenges. Pigs could stop eating or lose weight.
 
Start by mixing a pound or two of the new feed into your current feed. Every three to four days, evaluate how much your pigs are eating and increase the amount of new feed accordingly. If pigs seem to be keeping pace with their normal consumption, you can increase the amount of new feed. If consumption slows down, you may need to hold steady on the amount of new feed until appetites increase.
 
Always provide clean, fresh water for your pigs. Water intake directly correlates with feed intake.
 
Expect to take two to three weeks to transition to the new pig feed.
 

Use the right pig feed for the job

Of course, a healthy pig needs the right pig feed.
 
Pigs have about 20,000 taste buds, so the taste and smell of feed are important. Purina® Nature’s Match® Complete Swine Feed is formulated to encourage pigs to start eating and continue doing so. Adequate, steady feed intake helps maintain digestive health. Seventy percent of a pig’s immune system is located in its intestinal tract, so healthy digestion supports overall health.
 
Nature’s Match® pig feeds provide a complete and balanced diet to help your healthy pig thrive through all life stages.
 
Find the right pig feed below: Nature’s Match® pig feeds are an easy way to ensure your pigs get the right nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Everything they need comes in the bag.
 

Your actions impact your healthy pig      

Proper nutrition is one key to a healthy pig. Another key is creating a biosecurity plan to avoid exposing your pigs to pathogens from outside sources. Avoiding disease stress is especially important during times of stress, such as after vaccinations or when transitioning between feeds. Just like people, pigs are more susceptible to illness when they are stressed.
 
Take these steps to avoid disease spread.1
 
  • Wear disposable boots when visiting another pig farm
  • Wash your hands before and after working with pigs or pig supplies
  • Clean and disinfect pig pens before and after moving animals
  • Establish a regular veterinary pig health check schedule
 
No matter why you are raising pigs – whether for meat or just for fun – the experience will be better for you and the pigs when they are comfortable and healthy. Choosing a high-quality complete feed and maintaining a clean environment are actions you can take to protect your pigs.
 
Do you have questions? Our experts are here to help. Just ask!
 
1Ramirez, Alex. Biosecurity 101, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. https://www.ipic.iastate.edu/info/BiosecurityRamirez.pdf