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Nursery Pig Nutrition

The nutritional requirements of weaned pigs change rapidly from the time piglets are three weeks old until they reach 45 or 50 pounds. At three weeks, pigs are accustomed to a milk-based diet. By 10 weeks of age, they can digest the same types of grains fed to older pigs.

Some time after piglets reach two weeks of age, they will begin investigating other sources of feed besides sow’s milk.

Feeding early-weaned pigs is a challenging proposition. Larger farms are equipped with facilities and feeds to make this transition go smoothly, but unless you have a heated nursery facility and access to several different nursery diets, you might be well-served to postpone weaning a week or so.

Small operations that want to wean pigs at less than five weeks of age should probably purchase commercially available pelleted starter feeds.

The digestive physiology of baby pigs changes rapidly from three to 10 weeks of age. Early-weaned pigs should be fed several different diets during this period in order to give the pigs the nutrients they can utilize to grow and thrive. Nursery nutrition is much simpler if weaning is postponed until after five weeks of age.