Start creep feeding during the second week to train piglets to eat solid food to avoid a crisis after three weeks, when the piglets demand for more milk is higher than the sow can produce.

Simply spread the feed on the floor in the creep area. On average the piglets should weigh at least 5,5 kg if the sow has good mothering abilities. After weaning, weigh them every two weeks to monitor growth. Wean the piglets when they are eight weeks old or weigh at least 16 to 20 kg, and are in good health.

Tiger Animal Feeds produces feeds specifically formulated for achieving optimum results for all classes of pigs. These feeds include:

  • Sow and boar meal: 2,5 kg per day.
  • Lactating sow meal: From 2,5 kg per day. Increase by 0,5 kg per day until the sow reaches her maximum intake. (Peak lactation normally occurs around day 21, with an average maximum intake at this stage of about 12 kg per day).
  • Piglet creep meal or crumble: 1 – 5 weeks, 2 kg per pig.
  • Pig weaner: 5 – 12 weeks, 54 kg per pig.
  • Pig grower pellet or meal: 12 – 16 weeks, 49 kg per pig.
  • Pig finisher pellet or meal: 17 – 22 weeks, 88 kg per pig.

Addressing rooting behaviour

We tend to raise animals according to their natural behaviours, so we let piglets root.

Rooting is a natural tendency for pigs to use their snouts to push at or nudge into something repeatedly. This is their way of exploring their environment and searching for food. Farmers can use nose rings after one month of age to discourage rooting. Young pigs get temporary rings and older pigs have permanent ones.

Parasite control

Internal as well as external parasites are to be kept in check when dealing with piglets. Deworm at eight weeks and then every two months afterwards. Be sure to consult a vet for advice.

Anaemia prevention

It is recommended that iron shots be administered to prevent anaemia in piglets. This should be done three days after birth. Iron injection is given to supplement the sow’s milk iron which cannot meet the needs of the piglets, especially after 21 days.

Other ways of supplementing iron to piglets include:

  • Putting red soil in the creep area for the piglets to nibble.
  • Smearing an iron compound on the udder of the sow. When the piglets suckle, they also swallow the ferrous product.

Castration being performed on a piglet.

Routine practices

Within the first three days, the following operations should be done on the piglets:

Docking tails

Tails are docked to avoid tail biting and cannibalism when the piglets are playing r fighting each other in their groups.

This can be done by:

  • Completely severing the tail with side-cutter pliers (clippers) or a cauterising tail docking iron. In this case apply an antiseptic product to avoid infections.
  • Crushing the blood veins at a point so that the rest of the tail does not receive blood supply. In this case, the part that does not receive blood will slowly degenerate until it drops off.

Clipping needle teeth

Teeth clipping is done to protect the udder of the mothering sow during suckling. It also safeguards the pig attendant when feeding them, cleaning the pens, or handling them. Furthermore it, prevents injuries to other pigs when they are fighting or playing with each other.

Iron injection given to a piglet.

Castrating boars not used for breeding

Castration is performed to prevent:

  • Indiscriminate mating in the litter or herd that leads to in-breeding.
  • Boar taint that is brought about by the male hormones after sexual maturity.
  • Impact docility in the males for easy handling.

Carrying out these tasks within the first three days has the following advantages;

  • Convenience to the farmer as all operations are done at once.
  • The animals are young, and therefore easy to handle when doing the operations.

Piglets recover easily and quickly from the stress caused by these operations.


Make sure to clean the pens every day to maintain a clean and disease-free environment for the piglets as well as the mother.

For more information, contact Barbara Mulonda Simbaya, Technical advisor at Tiger Animal Feeds by sending an e-mail to or phoning (+260)969-202-207.