When it comes to swine feed intake, feeding nursery pigs can be one of the most challenges nutritional stages. However, this foundational phase is also one of the most important. In fact, end-of-nursery weights are usually the strongest indicator of finishing weights.
Each phase of swine feeding has a significant impact on the phase that follows, but nursery intake tends to have the biggest effect. One of the biggest reasons for this is that the early stage of feeding shapes the development of both the gut and immune system in young swine. If the gut and immune system don't become strong and healthy during this stage of development, your pigs will struggle to absorb nutrients and avoid illness in later phases.
That's why if you want your feeding efforts to be effective and result in high finishing weights, you need to put a lot of effort into nursery intake. If you're struggling with nursery feeding, take a look at these two tips for keeping piglets healthy and weights high.
Keep Feed Flavour Consistent
One great way of making sure young pigs transition from nursing to creep feeding to nursery feeding without problems is to keep the flavour and smell of your stock feed consistent. Palatability is important to young pigs, so they're much more likely to eat well if they like the feed you give them. Choosing a creep feed that's specially formulated to smell and taste like sow's milk encourages nursing pigs to begin eating during the weaning stage. Likewise, keeping the flavour of starter feed in the nursery similar to the flavour of the creep feed will ensure that your piglets begin eating well straight away, avoiding the weight problems that come with weaning delays. Using consistent feed is also easier on a nursery pig's digestive tract, helping their bodies develop well for the next stage of feeding.
Start by Mat-Feeding
Another highly effective method of getting nursery pigs to eat well post-weaning is to mat-feed. Mat-feeding is when you spread a small amount of swine feed on your pigs' floor mats in the nursery. Being surrounded by easily accessible food encourages weaned swine to start eating from day one. For the best results, you should place these mats near the feeder to encourage pigs to begin eating from there too. While this trick works wonders, remember that should shouldn't mat-feed for longer than a few days or spread feed too many times a day as your pigs can grow too used to this feeding method.Share
8 August 2018
Welcome to my blog. My name is Jenny, and I love to read. Recently, I came across the idea of a man who was running a machinery-free farm. He wasn't from a group that believed in those ideas, but rather, he was a regular person who decided he wanted to farm in completely sustainable ways that didn't waste energy or resources. I am a teacher, and I wanted to research this idea further so I could share it with my students. I read all about using antique farm equipment, and I interviewed several of my relatives about their memories on the farm. Ultimately, a blend of antique and modern equipment seems like the best idea. If you want to explore this concept with me, please read my posts. They are designed to enlighten and interest you.