Improving Results with Creep Feeding
Why should one feed a creep ration?
- Pre-weaning growth and care is a major determinant of post weaning performance
- Increasing the nutrient availability is vital for smaller piglets that can’t compete at the udder
- Higher intake of solid food enhances intestinal function later in life, which is essential for health
- Higher intake pre-weaning gives higher intake and growth in the first week after weaning
What won’t creep feed do?
- Total and daily feed intake of lactating sows is not affected
- Lactating sow performance is not affected
- Will not cure all bacterial infections without additional medication
What to expect from a good creep ration
- High nutrient density
- High nutrient digestibility
- Attractive to piglets in texture, smell and taste
- Minimum feed wastage due to structure
- Attracts more “creep eaters”
How much creep can we expect to feed pre- and post-weaning?
- Intake greater than 50g per litter is attained only after day 13
- Average intake of 300 to 500g per piglet to weaning on 28 days
- Total average intake of 6.5kg from weaning to 42 days of age
What are the most critical factors when trying to wean and grow strong litters?
- Good genetics, good condition and healthy sows give good progeny
- Higher born alive weight gives a higher weaning weight
- Getting piglets dry, warm, drinking colostrum and stress-free immediately after birth
- Do not foster piglets unnecessarily
- Get all teats working after farrowing, especially with first parity sows
- Feed small quantities of fresh creep feed early and often
- Get pigs to eat solid, healthy, dense feed as soon as and as often as possible after birth because good intake gives good growth