5. Suplemental feeding

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The best start with supplemental feed

How do piglets experience weaning?
It is very important that piglets already eat before they are weaned, because after weaning their gut has to be prepared for feed intake and feed digestion. It is also of importance that we use the period in the farrowing house with the sows to teach them how to eat. And you, as farmers are the best teachers they have.

What is the best time to feed the piglets?
The best time to feed piglets is when the sow is active. Because when the sow is active and eating piglets will be playing and exploring their environment. And if you use this time to feed the piglets they will be more of interest in the feed and so learning them to eat will be easier.

How do you train piglets to eat?
First step in training piglets to eat is by starting with a liquid product like this Milkiwean yoghurt. You can already start with this product one day after the piglets are born. Another trick you can use is learning piglets eating from their mothers. Sometimes give just a little bit of creep feed to the sow and piglets will be very interested in eating with their mothers and the next step is to give a little bit of creep feed in the nest. By giving some feed in the piglets nest, they can explore it and it is easier to train piglets to eat from a feeding trough.

What’s the best position of the feeding trough?
The best position of the feeding trough for the piglets is at the front of the farrowing crate. The head of the sow is there and she is eating in this area. So this is the normal position and place for piglets to find their feed.

Why is a clean trough so important?
It is very important to keep the feeding troughs clean because piglets like and prefer clean troughs. In these clean troughs the smell of the feed is better and piglets are more interested in this feed.  It does not matter which kind of feed you are feeding, liquid feed, dry feed, creep feed. It is better to give a little amount and keep it fresh than over feed the piglet with a full trough and then the feed is getting old and not fresh anymore.