Support Nursery Pig Feed Intake for Strong Finishes

Young Animal : Nutrition

Grow/Finish : Grow Finish Production

Dari Brown, Ph.D.

Senior Director, Livestock Technical Innovation

End-of-nursery weights are the strongest predictor of finishing weights and an important predictor of lifetime pig performance.

In fact, for every 1-lb. increase on day 32 post-weaning weights, data shows an increase of 2.1 lbs. on finishing weights (110 d).1 This was one fact supported by an 18-month Purina Animal Nutrition Center swine nutrition study including 1,770 pigs. Researchers documented weights from wean to finish and made recordings at each diet change in the nursery and grow/finish periods.
Industry research builds on these findings, demonstrating that a strong start leads to a strong finish. In a study conducted by Pollmann, et al., pigs that gained more than 0.25 lb. per day in the first week post-weaning reached market weight 15 days sooner than those that did not gain weight the first week post-weaning.2

Weaned pig feed intake

Feed intake does much more than support short-term performance. It supports the integrity of the intestinal lining. If the gut lining begins to break down, pathogens can cross the gut barrier and cause inflammation or illness.
When pigs start eating as soon as they enter the nursery and keep eating without breaks, they are on the path to optimal gut integrity and development through finishing.
This means:
  • Ability to absorb maximum nutrients from pig feed
  • Optimal feed:gain
  • Minimal need to pull energy from growth to fight potential illness

UltraCare® starters support pig feed intake

If you give your pigs a good start and continue providing a quality feed designed to meet pigs’ changing needs at each production phase, your pigs can perform to their best potential. This can help you potentially save on overall input costs and days on feed.
That’s why we reformulated our UltraCare® early starter feeds with ingredients that support pig performance and a new intake-optimizing technology. Compared to the previous UltraCare® pre-starter feeds, the updated formula has been shown to support the following benefits:3
  • Improved ADG of 4.1% in Days 0 -14
  • Improved ADFI of 3.9% in Days 0-14
  • Improved ADG of 4.5% in Days 0-42
  • Improved ADFI of 4.3% in Days 0-42
These early nursery gains set the pace for heavier pig finishing weights at a lower cost per pig.
How would improved ROI impact your operation? Learn more about our swine nutrition technology and find your profit potential at progresstoprofit.com.


1Summation of Purina Animal Nutrition trials: PS1041, PS1035, WF006, WF007, FT142N-15 and PMI Nursery-Grower Transition Pak research.
2Pollmann, 1993.