Pig Feed Intake in One Phase Impacts Performance in the Next Phase

Young Animal : Nutrition

Brenda de Rodas, Ph.D.

Director, Swine Technical Innovation

In a recent survey, 85% of participants said early pig feed intake is a challenge.1

If you agree, you are right to seek solutions. Nursery pig performance is the foundation of grower pig and finishing pig performance. Each production phase exponentially impacts the next phase. Supporting fast, repeated pig feed intake right after weaning is crucial for early gain and can impact all growth phases. 
  • Early intake impacts gut and immune development, which will impact the pig through finishing.
  • Disruption in feed intake can delay performance for many days.
Any dip in feed intake or digestion has the potential to prevent a pig from reaching its greatest performance potential. 

Pig feed intake research

Pigs that transition seamlessly from phase to phase are better able to grow vigorously. Research conducted at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center in Gray Summit, Missouri shows this.2
In the trial on more than 1,770 pigs, end-of-nursery weights were the strongest indicator of finishing weights. Pigs that started strong in the nursery went on to perform better than their counterparts in the grower pig phase and the pig finisher phase. Specifically, our data shows every 1 lb. at end of nursery correlated to 2.1 lbs. at finishing.2

Choose the right pig starter feed formulation

To help pigs reach heavier market weights more efficiently, provide the right nutrition through each production phase. Choose a pig starter feed that is palatable and easy to digest. A pig feed formulation that includes aromatic compounds to stimulate feeding behavior can help encourage pigs to consume the nutrients they need.
The pig feed formulation in our UltraCare®  starter feed includes a intake-optimizing technology that supports pig performance. The nutrition you provide starting on day one in the nursery directly impacts long-term performance. You can’t have a strong finish without a great start. 

Connect with your local Purina representative to learn more.

Ipsos study, 2015: Wean to Finish Challenged Pig Study.
Summation of Purina Animal Nutrition trials: PS1041, PS1035, WF006, WF007, FT142N-15 and PMI Nursery-Grower Transition Pak research