Getting More Piglets Interested in Creep Feed
Many piglets do not eat before weaning, even though it helps ease the weaning dip if they do. Weaning is a stressful period for piglets; they are removed from the sow and put into an unfamiliar environment, mixed with unknown piglets and have an abrupt change in feed from liquid to solid diets. Creep feed familiarizes piglets with solid food prior to weaning to help ease the transition process. When it is consumed, creep feed is beneficial, though consumption remains low. In the wild, piglets learn to consume solid food through exploring in social groups with the dam and littermates. The sow is often restricted in movement in intensive production barns, limiting her interaction and learning of the piglets. Environment alterations were examined to see if they affected creep feed consumption. Piglets preferred the tray feeder compared to the standard feeder and as age increased so did the number of times spent around the feeder. The presentation of creep feed seems to have an influence on how many piglets consume it.
Getting More Piglets Interested in Creep Feed (full article)