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  • Real Pork Trust Consortium

Nutrition Requirements of Pigs at All Life Stages

A piglet and a sow have different nutritional needs based on the pigs' life stage
A sow and her piglet have different nutritional needs in their respective life stages, and the reference book from this post provides the latest research for farmers about those nutritional needs.

Dr. Nicholas Gabler, Professor of Swine Nutrition in the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University, summarizes a reference book by the National Research Council of the National Academies with useful information about the nutritional needs of pigs throughout their lives. Learn more in the summary below.

Major Finding

Similar to human nutrition guidelines, requirements for amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and energy have been defined for pigs at different stages of life. The main guide for these nutritional requirements is laid out in the peer-reviewed Nutrient Requirements of Swine publication. Unlike other dietary requirement reference guides, this guide only uses scientifically peer-reviewed literature updated with the latest research in the swine nutrition studies field worldwide. 

This text highlights how nutritionists can ensure pigs receive the right nutrition whether they are about to give birth, nursing young piglets, or simply being raised and fed for harvest. For each stage of life, scientists have compiled research on how to best manage pigs’ intake of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, water, vitamins, and minerals while incorporating feed additives or coproducts (leftover, valuable materials from other industries) and guarding against unwanted contaminants in feed.


Why It Matters

Since 1944, the National Research Council has published guidelines for swine nutritionists and other professionals for the development and implementation of nutritional and feeding programs for pigs. These guidelines are designed to ensure pig's daily nutrient and energy requirements are met for optimizing growth, reproduction, and lactation.


How the Research Was Conducted

Following procedures approved by the National Research Council's Report Review Committee, an independent review committee made up of professionals with diverse perspectives and expertise in swine nutrition was formed. This committee reviewed and evaluated only scientific literature on the nutrient and energy requirements of swine at different stages of life. A report was then written that contained the nutrient and energy requirements of pigs, making sure to consider the research advancements and innovations that happened in the swine industry since the publication of earlier editions.


Learn More

To learn more about the nutritional requirements for bigs in every life stage, read the full text online.

Nutrition Requirements for Pigs in All Life Stages
Download PDF • 237KB


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