How to feed piglets for high daily gain?

At Vilomix’ 40th anniversary our Senior Nutritionist from Denmark Jens Svendgaard made a talk on “Feeding pigs in 20 minutes”.

23 years of experience with feed consultancy gives Senior Nutritionist Jens Svendgaard expert knowledge when it comes to what works in different herds.

You can now read the main points and recommendations Jens makes for feeding piglets.

Feeding piglets
When the weaners come from the farrowing house, it’s important that they get the best possible start to be able to perform consistently all the way through the unit. Bad cases of diarrhoea cause irreparable damage to the gut, reducing the feed conversion and growth rates of the piglets.

We therefore recommend:

  • A high content of easily digestible proteins
  • No soybean meal in the starter feed
  • Enzyme training from 4-7 days after farrowing to ensure rapid interest and intake of feed
  • 1% acid in the feed to control the gut 
  • Blood plasma boosts the feed intake: 5% for pigs from 5-9 kg
  • Other sources of protein: Fishmeal, HP 300 and Vilosoy
  • Minimum 10% milk products

The smooth transition
When the piglet weighs 9-10 kg, it should be introduced to soybean meal. The more soybean meal, the cheaper the feed solution, but with greater risk of gut/stomach problems that can cause reduced growth and increase feed consumption. A feed solution that is too cheap can cause lower production results.

We therefore recommend:

  • Max. 10-12% soybean meal in feed solutions for 9-15 kg or 9-20 kg
  • Should still contain animal protein: Easily digestible fishmeal
  • Avoid a protein source that is too uniform, as it increases the risk of a negative effect on production results (growth, ear/flank/tail biting)
  • Content of a soy protein concentrate (Vilosoy)​

Final feed on soybean meal
It is important that the pigs are sufficiently robust for soybean meal as their only source of protein. The figure above gives an example of a feed from 20-30 kg.

We therefore recommend:

  • No more than 25% soybean meal. Preferably 23%
  • If using low-protein corn, 1% fishmeal or 2% Vilosoy can be recommended
  • The earlier you switch to the final feed, the greater the need for fishmeal or Vilosoy
  • No pure soybean meal until over 20 kg!

If you experience problems in connection to feeding piglets, we will be happy to discuss your herd with you.

Contact your Vilomix consultant here