Using Creep Feeding as a Strategy to Improve Post Weaning Feed Intake and Piglet Growth
Environmental, social and nutritional stressors are present in weaning of piglets which often leads to weight loss and increased risk of disease. Creep feeding involves providing highly palatable and easy to digest feed to nursing piglets to decrease feeding issues at weaning. Research in this area is inconclusive with many confounding variables. Which pigs consumed creep feed in the farrowing room and if body weight or feed intake post-weaning were altered was studied. Providing creep feed for 5 days before weaning had no effect on body weight or feed intake, though small effects on growth rate was noted in the nursery with creep feed. Lighter piglets were the ones to consume creep feed and this subset of piglets had improved growth rates.