Pig Growth Rates and Feed Trough Requirements

Finisher Pig Growth and Feed Conversion Chart.


From the chart above it can be seen than commercial pigs grow quickly.

When selecting a feeder for a particular size of pig always select the feeder with a head space which will  accommodate him at his biggest size during the period of time he will be using the feed hopper.
As an example our No2 Weaner Feeder is designed with a 200mm wide feed space for pigs from 7kg to 35kg. A 7kg pig needs a 110mm wide feed space and a 30kg pig needs 200mm, so the feeder is suitable for this pig as he reaches his maximum weight. Some pig feeders may be supplied in 3', 4', 6' or similar lengths, the problem with this method of manufacture is the feed spaces will vary in width because of the fixed length of the hopper, and this will result in too small feed spaces in some hoppers and too big in others.
Extensive research has been carried out to determine the optimum number of pigs per ad lib feeder.
Too few feed spaces results in uneven pig weights as the more dominant pigs will control access to the feed, too many feed spaces will result in feed wastage and possibly fouling in the trough as there is insufficient activity in all feed spaces, so in some spaces the feed will become stale and go off, this may be rooted out to get to fresh feed behind it, the worst
case would be the pigs actually fouling the trough.
The design of the feed or head space and trough is also critical in ensuring the pigs have good access to the feed throughout the period they use the feeder.
Our philosophy is to design the feed space to fit the biggest pig which will use the feeder, then to make feeders of different lengths using multiples of this feed space.
Feed spaces separated by full height blank dividers have a calming effect on feeding pigs, because there is no eye contact  or head rubbing, whereas troughs which have rods or low trough divisions see more aggression and fighting due to the perceived competition for feed.

Newly weaned pigs have a tendency to 'one feed all feed' as this is the action the sow calls for when she wants them to suckle. It would be impractical to provide a trough long enough with a feed space for each newly weaned pig especially when combining litters into one batch. Allotting 4 to 6 pigs per feed space at weaning gives plenty of available trough space as the pigs adjust from all feeding at the same time to unrestricted ad-lib feeding in a relatively short time.
When moved onto the next growing stage, usually between 25 to 35kg, the pigs would be moved onto bigger feeders, either grower feeders or finisher (fattener) feeders. Again if properly designed these feeders will allow the pig plenty of growing room in the trough and certainly should comfortably accommodate his head size when he reaches finished weight. Typical guidance from welfare organisations indicate that the number of pigs allowed per feed space when finishing pigs on a dry feed ad lib feeder is ten. We would suggest this is the maximum number, and that anecdotally reducing this to eight gives more even batch weights, which will reduce close out time.
Wet & Dry feeders which have a water nipple plumbed into each feed space have allowances of upto 14 pigs per space, but again if the numbers are reduced by two the same results are achieved.
Age of Pig
(weeks)
Weight
Daily Gain (g)
Feed
Consumption
per day (kg)
Water
Consumption
per day (l)
4
7.0 kg
210
0.35
0.9
6
12.0 kg
400
0.75
1.9
8
21.0 kg
625
1.0
2.5
10
30.0 kg
655
1.2
3.0
12
40.0 kg
710
1.4
3.6
14
51.0 kg
805
1.7
4.2
16
65.0 kg
970
1.9
4.8
18
80.0 kg
1020
2.2
5.5
20
95.0 kg
1120
2.4
6.0
22
110.0 kg
1100
2.65
6.6
Average growth rate figures for commercially bred hybrid pigs.
Pure bred and rare breed pigs will vary

This chart indicates the average feed intake and growth rate for commercial grower pigs.
The blue line in this chart shows the average daily feed intake for a growing pig from week 4 to week 22.
So at about 9 weeks he will be eating about 1kg of feed per day and at 14 weeks about 2kg per day.
The red line shows the average weight for a growing pig during the same period.
At 10 weeks he will be about 30kg and at 18 weeks around 80kg.

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Pig-feeding
Weight of
Pig in kg

Width of feed
space in mm

Hendersons Hoppers
Feed spaces in mm

5
100
Pig feed space chart
10
130
20
170
30
200
40
210
50
230
60
250
70
270
80
280
90
290
100
300
110
330
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