Brent Jones from Southwest Ontario Veterinary Services, Choosing A Diet For Creep Feeding, December 31st 2018


The  benefits  of  various  creep  feeding strategies  can  be  evaluated  in  several different  ways.  In  systems  where  a  buy/sell  arrangement  involves  penalties  for underweight piglets at weaning the weaning weight can  become  a  very  important  metric for the seller.  For  the purchaser,  however, the predictability of optimum feed intake

at  weaning  can  be  very  important.  Researchers wanted to measure the effect on several parameters when  different  types  of  creep  feeds  were  used.

A total  of  24  multiparous  sows  and  their  litters  were allotted to one of three treatment groups:

  1. provided highly digestible creep feed (Creep),
  2. provided a pig  weaning  diet  (Weaner),
  • provided  sow feed  (Sow)  as  creep  feed  until  weaning.

After weaning,  a  total  of  96  piglets  were  selected  for evaluation of post-weaning performance.


  • The  piglets  that  were  fed  the  Creep  treatment feed had significantly higher feed intake from 14 to  28  days  of  age  (p<0.05)  and  higher  body weight  gain  from  21  to  28  days  of  age  than piglets on the other diets.
  • The piglets that were fed the Weaner treatment feed  yielded a significantly higher postweaning feed  intake  and  average  daily  gain  than  other treatments  from  0  to  14  days  post  weaning (p<0.05);

Take Home Message

The  highly  digestible  creep  feed  improved  pre-weaning  performance  but  feed  familiarity  and grain-based  creep  feed  improved  postweaning performance.

Q: So…….. What is the best diet to use as a creep feed?

A: It depends which outcomes you are measuring and how much you value those outcomes.



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