Pig Feed

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Pig Feed:

Pig Feed usually contain two components namely energy and amino acids. 

Some facts about Pig Feed:

  • The diets of pigs should be carefully chosen and change throughout their lives because they need different nutrients in different amounts at different stages.
  • Piglets start out feeding on their mother's milk like other animals, but can move on to eating solid food in as little as a week after being born.
  • Good feed is necessary for the pigs' growth, body maintenance and the production of meat and milk.
  • Locally available feeds that are less expensive can be used, but can be nutritionally complete when properly prepared.
  • Kitchen scraps from a family’s household is enough to feed pigs.
  • The most common diet comes from corn that provides energy and soybeans which provide protein. Other grains like wheat and sorghum can also be included in their feed.
  • Supplements can be added to ensure they get necessary nutrients.
  • Even additives can be added to help convert calories to muscle instead of fat, which makes for leaner cuts of meat at the grocery.
  • Feed rations, which is like dog food is ready to go mixture.

Types of Pig Feed:

The nutritional needs of pigs can be divided into six categories including water, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
You can use commercially prepared swine rations from grain, fruit and vegetable from markets as pig feed.
Vegetable, fruit or bread scraps that have been not in contact with animal products or by-products can be used as pig feed if they are properly cooked.
Restaurant leftovers, disposers of food waste products and food transporter can also used as pig feed if they are properly cooked.
Forest Products including wild bananas, wild vegetables, wild cola such as cassia, yam, forage grasses etc. can be used as pig feed if they are properly cooked.
Alcohol distilling residues  can be used as pig feed if they are properly cooked as local alcohol can be made from rice, maize, millet, sweet potato, banana, etc.

Formulation Feed:

Creep feed:

The first and most important dry food of baby piglets is creep feed which contains 20 percent protein that is highly fortified with milk by-products and is available in small, chewable, highly palatable pellets for easy digestion.
This complete feed is a combination of protein source, vitamins, milk replacer, amino acids and rich feed ingredients which makes it the ideal start for young healthy piglets.
Feed ingredients such as corn, soya bean meal, barley, wheat bran, vegetable protein, oilseeds extracts, fatty acids, feed phosphate, pig vitamins, and trace minerals are included in descending order in Creep Feed.
About 20g of creep feed per piglet per day or a good home-made mixture with fine rice bran, broken rice and milled maize grains is necessary to feed each pig.

Source of Pig Feed:


  • Sufficient energy, protein, minerals and vitamins should be there in pig feeds as it should meet the animal’s needs for maintenance, growth and reproduction. 
  • Rice bran, broken rice, soya beans, cassava, maize, vegetables and distillers' residues are usually used in pig feed.
  • Distillery waste are used in traditional pig husbandry, especially for pigs.
  • However, it is not advisable to give this high valued feed to pregnant and lactating sows or to piglets and weaners, because of the alcohol content in the waste.
  • Rice Bran contains 11 percent  protein and can be used as the main ingredient in most feeds.
  • It is very suitable for pig feeding and can be mixed with other feeds to 30 - 45 percent.
  • However, rice bran can not be kept for more than one month because it will become mouldy.
  • Broken Rice contains about 8 percent protein and  is also very suitable for pig feeding which can be mixed with other feeds up to 15 - 20 percent.
  • Maize is a very good animal feed which contains up to 65 percent carbohydrates and 9 percent protein. 
  • It can be mixed and cooked with other feeds, but should not be more than 40 percent in the mix ration.
  • Soybean has a high nutritional value and is very good for pig feeding as it contains 38 percent protein  which is very high.
  • It should be dried, milled, or well cooked together with other feedstuffs like broken rice, rice bran and maize to be used as a pig feed.
  • Wheat Bran is widely used as a major component in animal feed as it is particularly rich in dietary fibre and contains significant quantities of  protein, carbohydrate, vitamins, and minerals.
  • It contains 14 to 16 percent of protein, max. 9.5 percent of fat, 8 to 10 percent of crude fibre and up to 25 percent of carbohydrate.
  • Acacia and Leucaena are traditional, locally available tree crops.
  • The leaves of these crop are rich in protein, which can be mixed and fed to pigs with other feeds after drying.
  • Root Crops can be mixed with other feeds up to around 10 to 20 percent, but it should never more than 30 percent.
  • The crop should be sliced, dried and ground after peeling and washing, before use as it should not be fed to pigs as raw cassava with the skin, due to the toxic substances present in it.
  • The dried cassava can be kept for longer. 
  • Fruits such as bananas, papaya, apples, pears, and melons that gets damaged during transportation, storage and handling can be used as supplementary feeds for pigs by boiling and mixing with other feed such as broken rice, rice bran, and maize.
  • Fruits can also be given fresh.
  • Vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, morning glory, sweet potato vine, spinach, cola-cassia (needs boiling), pumpkin, guords, and water hyacinth that gets damaged during transportation, storage and handling can be used as supplementary feeds for pigs by boiling and mixing with other feed such as broken rice, rice bran, and maize.
  • Vegetables  can also be given fresh.
  • Green Soya bean plant can be used as pig feed as it is a rich source of vegetable protein.
  • Leaves and stems of Cola-cassia/Pandalu are quite a good local protein resources for pigs as the leaves contribute 20 percent of the dietary dry matter and 46 percent of the crude protein after cooking.
  • It is also a rich source of calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboflavin,  Vitamin C, and niacin, which are all important constituents of the diet of a pig.
  • The fresh tuber contain about 20 percent dry matter, while the fresh petiole contain only about 6 percent dry matter.
  • Leaves and stems are used as local protein resource for pig production as they have a good composition with high crude protein content.
  • Both the fruit (vegetable) and the seed of Chayote can be used as pig feed as they are rich in amino acids as well as vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus and calcium.
  • The fruit is very low in calories  which is only 12 calories per 100 g on average, and chayote contains 0.5 percent protein, 0.2 percent lipids and 2 percent sugars.
  • Banana Stem can be used as pig feed as the fruits are very low in organic nutrients.
  • The best way to feed fresh green banana or plantain fruits is to chop them and sprinkle some salt on the slices.
  • The chopped green bananas or plantains are preferred than the ripe fruits ensiling purposes, which lose some of their dry matter and, in particular, their sugars during ensiling.
  • Green fruits are more easily dried than ripe fruits which are difficult to completely dehydrate. 
  • Pumpkin can be used as pig feed as it  is a good source of the vitamin B group.
  • However, a large proportion of these vitamins is lost during the preparation of the protein concentrate and isolates.
  • Bottle gourd can be used as pig feed as it contain12 kacl of energy, 96g of moisture, little of  protein, little of fat, 2g of Carbohydrates, one gram of Fibre, 20 mg of Calcium, Iron and 10 mg of phosphorus.
  • The Winter Melon is a very large gourd that can grow to up to 50lbs or more and develops a waxy coating when it matures which can be used as pig feed.
  • The winter melon can typically be stored for up to 12 months if not opened, but it can only be stored for a single week after it is cut open.
  • It is also a good source of  Iron, Magnesium, Thiamin, and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fibre, Riboflavin, Zinc, Vitamin C and is very high in Sodium.
  • Clover can be used as pig feed as the sodium content is around 0.05 percent, crude protein levels in the dry matter are around 25 percent, phosphorus is 0.3 percent, and dry matter digestibility is up to 75 percent.
  • Stylo grows well in poor soil and can be fed directly to pigs without being cooked, unlike forest plants. 
  • It is rich in protein, and the DCP levels of it range from 17 to 24 percent in green leaf and 6 to 12 percent in the stem.
  • Alfalfa is the best nutritional package you can put into the rations you use to feed your pigs as it is palatable to pigs as well as being easily digestible.
  • It also contains a mixture of 47 nutritional elements, and one of nature's most liberal balances of vitamins, minerals and amino acids can be provided.
  • Berseem is very palatable and is relished by pigs.
  • It contains 18 to 28 percent crude protein.
  • There will not be any bloating  if accidentally given an excess amount.
  • Fresh foliage of mulberry leaves can be given as pig feed to growing pigs that are fed a basal diet of broken rice. 
  • The protein content of 89 g/kg dry matter in the  fresh foliage of mulberry leaves is well utilized by pigs when these are fed a basal diet of broken rice.

Traditional Feed Processing:

Pig feed can be made more palatable by mixing and boiling different feeds.
Usually, there are 2 types of traditional processing.
All the different feeds such as rice bran, broken rice, crushed maize and soya, dried legume leaves, etc are mixed together  in proportion and giving it directly to the pigs.
Some feeds such as raw cola-cassia, maize, banana stem, and soya grains, beans, kitchen waste, forage crops, and similar should be cooked together to improve digestibility, and to breakdown toxin.
Food Waste Feeding to pigs is commonly known as Garbage Feeding or Swill. 
Food waste or garbage that are fed to pigs must be cooked and sterilized properly.

Feeding Alcohol Distilling Residues:

Distillery wastes from millet is most popular for pig feeding which should be mixed with other feeds such as rice bran and broken rice and maize.
The residues of distillers can be fed to fattening pigs.
It should not be fed to pregnant or lactating sows as a high quality of feed is required for these pigs and therefore distillery waste needs to be replaced by other high quality feed such as commercial feeds.

Daily Feed Requirements:

  •  2.5kg a day of sow and weaner meal is required for dry sows and gilts.
  • An extra one kg/day should be given one week before serving gilts and sows and one week after service.
  • 2.5 kg a day of sow and weaner meal should be given to lactating sows for maintenance and 0.25 kg a day extra should be given for each piglet being suckled.
  •  2.0 kg a day should be given to boars. Increase this to 2.5 kg if the boar is regularly used.
  • Creep pellets 0.5 to 1.0 kg a day should be given from day 7 up to weaning time (21 days) per piglet.
  • The feed should be mixed with weaner meal and sow the last one week before weaning.
  • Pigs weaned at 3 to 5 weeks of 11 to 13 kg body weight should continue being fed on the starter diet until they reach 18 kg live weight.
  • Pigs weaned at 7 weeks or older can be switched gradually to sow and weaner diet.
  • All ration changes should be made gradually for growing or finishing pigs.
  • The feeding level of the new diet should be low until the pigs become accustomed to it, if this is not possible. 
  • The incidents of scours can be reduced with restricted feeding during the first week after weaning which are a major problem post-weaning.
  • Medication through drinking water is preferable for treatment in case of an outbreak of scouring, since sick pigs go off feed.

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