Pig Feeding and Feeds

Pig feeding is a single largest item on every budget in commercial pig farming accounting for at least 65% of the total cost of producing a pig and therefore correct feeding in terms of quality and quantity is Paramount.

If feeding is correct, pig farmer’s profits and income will definitely become low and sometimes him in operating in deficit. A pig farmer should aim at minimizing the production costs if he or she is to maximize the profitability of this enterprise.

Most farmers usually say that the concentrate feeds are very expensive, forgetting the long duration’s their pigs take to reach the market weight and if we are to compare the effects of concentrate versus other alternatives on the performance of our pigs, you will actually realize that using soya, fish meal, cotton seed cake with broken maize and maize bran is more expensive than using concentrate on a long run.

Quality versus Quantity in Pig feeding

Currently, most feed mills and feed processing companies are operated by people who never cater for the farmer’s interests forgetting that farmer’s exit from pig farming affects them too. Additionally, there is a lot of adulterated feeds on market. For example, sand is added to fish meal, maize bran mixed with rice bran etc. This kind of dilution always to lower the quality of our complete feed which in turn affects the performance of our pigs.

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Pig Feed Formulation

Creep feed

  • Creep Feed is the baby piglets’ first and most important dry food. It contains 20% protein that is highly fortified with milk by-products and is available in small, chewable, highly palatable pellets for easy digestion.
  • A combination of protein source, milk replacer, vitamins, amino acids and rich feed ingredients makes this complete feed the ideal start for young healthy piglets.
  • Feed ingredients in descending order: corn, soya bean meal, barley, wheat bran, vegetable protein, oilseeds extracts, fatty acids, feed phosphate, pig vitamins, and trace minerals.
  • Creep feed (about 20g per piglet per day) or a good home-made mixture with fine rice bran, broken rice and milled maize grains. Clean drinking water must always be available.

According to research, Feeds should meet the animal’s needs for maintenance, growth and reproduction. Good pig feed contains sufficient energy, protein, minerals and vitamins. Rice bran, broken rice, maize, soya-beans, cassava, vegetables and distillers’ residues are often used in pig feed.

Distillery waste is much appreciated in traditional pig husbandry, especially for pigs. It is advisable, however, not to give this high valued feed to pregnant and lactating sows or to piglets and weaners, simply because of the alcohol content in the waste.

Pig Feeding and Feeds

Rice Bran: This is very suitable for pig feeding. It contains 11% protein and can be used as the main ingredient in most feeds. Rice bran can be mixed with other feeds to 30 – 45%. However, it can be kept for no longer than 1 month because it will become mouldy.

Pig Feeding and Feeds

Broken Rice: This is also very suitable for pig feeding. It can be mixed with other feeds up to 15 – 20%. Broken rice contains about 8% protein.

Pig Feeding and Feeds

Maize: Thisis a very good animal feed. It contains up to 65% carbohydrates and 9% protein. It can be mixed and cooked with other feeds, but not more than 40% in the mix ration

Pig Feeding and Feeds

Soybeans: This is a crop that has a high nutritional value and is very good for pig feeding. It contains 38% protein (very high), and should be dried, milled, or well cooked in combination with other feedstuffs like rice bran, broken rice and maize.

Pig Feeding and Feeds

Wheat Bran: Thisis particularly rich in dietary fibre and contains significant quantities of carbohydrate, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Wheat Bran is widely used as a major component in animal feed. It contains Protein 14% – 16%, Fat Max. 9.5%, Crude Fibre 8 – 10% and carbohydrate up to 25%.

Commercial Feed

Ipil: Leucaena and Acacia are traditional, locally available tree-crops, and the leaves are rich in protein. After drying, they can be mixed and fed to pigs with other feeds.

Commercial Feed

Root Crops: Thesecan be mixed with other feeds up to around 10 – 20% (never more than 30%). First, the crop should be peeled and washed and then sliced, dried and ground before use. It should not be fed to pigs as raw cassava with the skin, due to the toxic substances present. The sliced and dried cassava can be kept for longer.

Commercial Feed

Fruits: Fruits damaged during transportation, storage and handling are used as supplementary feeds for pigs by boiling and mixing with other feed such as rice bran, broken rice and maize. They can also be given fresh. Suitable fruits include: bananas, papaya, apples, pears, and melons.

Commercial Feed

Vegetables: Vegetables damaged during transportation, storage and handling are also used as supplementary feeds for pigs by boiling and mixing with other feeds such as rice bran, broken rice and maize. They can also be given fresh. Suitable vegetables include: cabbage, lettuce, spinach, morning glory, sweet potato vine, cola-cassia (needs boiling), pumpkin, guords, and water hyacinth.

Commercial Feed

Green Soya bean plant: A reach source of vegetable protein.



Commercial Feed

Cola-cassia/Pandalu: Leaves and stems are quite a good local protein resources for pigs. Leaves contribute 20% of the dietary dry matter and 46% of the crude protein after cooking. It is also a rich source of calcium, phosphorus, iron, Vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin, which are important constituents of a pig’s diet. The fresh tuber has about 20% dry matter, while the fresh petiole has only about 6% dry matter. Leaves and stems have a good composition with high crude protein content (16.51-18.20 % DM basic), and are used as local protein resource for pig production.

Commercial Feed

Chayote: Both the fruit (vegetable) and the seed are rich in amino acids and vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus and calcium. Fruit is very low in calories (12 calories per 100 g on average), and chayote contains 0.5% protein, 0.2% lipids and 2% sugars.

Commercial Feed

Banana Stem: The best way of feeding fresh green banana or plantain fruits is to chop them and sprinkle some salt on the slices since the fruits are very low in organic nutrients. Cattle and pigs relish this material. For ensiling purposes, the chopped green bananas or plantains are preferred to the ripe fruits which lose some of their dry matter and, in particular, their sugars during ensiling. Similarly, green fruits are more easily dried than ripe fruits which are very difficult to completely dehydrate.

Commercial Feed

Pumpkin: Pumpkin is a good source of the vitamin B group, while a large proportion of these vitamins is lost during the preparation of the protein concentrate and isolates.

Commercial Feed

Bottle gourd: There are important nutritional values in 100 grams of bottle gourd, such as:

  • Energy – 12 kacl
  • Moisture – 96g
  • Protein – little
  • Fat – little
  • Carbohydrates – 2g
  • Fibre – 1g
  • Calcium – 20mg
  • Iron – little
  • Phosphorus – 10 mg
Commercial Feed

Winter melon (Wax Gourd, White Gourd, Ash Gourd): The Winter Melon is a very large gourd that can grow to up to 50lbs or more. It develops a waxy coating when it matures. Unopened, the winter melon can typically be stored for up to 12 months, but after it is cut open, it can only be stored for a single week.

It contains very low Saturated Fat and Cholesterol, and is also a good source of Thiamin, Iron, Magnesium and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fibre, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Zinc, and is very high in Sodium.

Commercial Feed

Clover: Clover’s sodium content is around 0.05%. Crude protein levels in the dry matter are around 25%. Phosphorus is 0.3%, and dry matter digestibility is up to 75%.

Commercial Feed

Stylo: Stylo is rich in protein, and its DCP levels range from 17 – 24% in green leaf and 6 – 12% in the stem. It grows well in poor soil and can be fed directly to pigs without being cooked (unlike forest plants).

Commercial Feed

Alfalfa: Althoughlow in fibre, alfalfa is palatable to pigs as well as being easily digestible. It is the best nutritional package you can put into the rations you use to feed your livestock, dairy cattle, poultry or pigs. It also contains a blend of 47 nutritional elements, and provides one of nature’s most liberal balances of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

Commercial Feed

Berseem: It is very palatable and is relished by all livestock. There has never been a case of bloat reported if accidentally given an excess amount. It contains 18 – 28% crude protein.

Commercial Feed

Mulberry: The protein content 89 g/kg dry matter in the fresh foliage of mulberry leaves is well utilized by growing pigs that are fed a basal diet of broken rice.

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