Feed problems on pig farms


Feed accounts for 60 - 70% of costs.  However, some 10% of this can be wasted on many farms, which is 6% of total costs go down the slats or into the muck heap, this may be nearly twice your vet bill!!

Always look critically at any floor feeding, even in the farrowing area.


It is essential to regularly check feed bins

A bin that can be seen through helps reduce mould being missed

Bins with their lids left open, rain got in and spoilt 3 tonnes of feed

Inadequate bin hygiene routines.  Feed bins need regular cleaning

Poor placement in the feed bin and cleaning up afterwards

Poor storage allowing rat infestation waste and disease risk do not leave them outside to get wet

Creep feed should only be stored on pallets

Poor storage creep being too hot.  Note creep feed is basically milk

Holes in the home miller and mix plant

Holes in the bin/auger piping lead to chronic feed loss

Poor milling leading to feed being unusable, pigs cannot digest whole grains

The poor milling was associated with a blunt hammer in the mill

Dusty feed in the feed hopper.  Detailed examination is not necessary.  Check the quality of feed at the top of the feeder and compare with what the pigs are actually trying to eat

Poor placement into feed hoppers can result in fighting over feed

Feed scoop management resulting in increased waste at delivery





Poor hygiene of feed barrow around farm.  Maintain all trailers and tote bins

Poor management of feeders as part of all-in/all-out resulting in wasted feed

Inadequate feeder space for all the pigs, variable growth is inevitable

A sow in heat does not eat.  Ensure all uneaten food is distributed  and not wasted

Holes in feed hopper both large and small result in waste.  Poorly repaired feeders are the number one error on most pig farms

Design of feed hopper where pigs can throw food out of the hopper

Management of feeder with too much food presented

Poor feeder slide adjustment resulting is variable feed availability and waste

Poor cleaning of feeders resulting in reduction in feed space availability

Bedding management resulting in blocked feeders.  Items can get block feeders such as straw or marker cans

Feeders which have allowed water to enter the feeder spoiling the food

Partially covered feeders.  Bird and rodent spread salmonella

Feeders with bird and rodent contamination.

Note all of this bird faeces would have been eaten by the pigs, a major disease risk

Water overflowing into the feeder limiting feed accessibility and resulting in increased wastage

Feed wastage under feeder.  Not only costs money but encourages rodents to the farm