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Keeping costs down in your piggery

Review your production and feed systems regularly to maximise efficiency in your piggery.

Follow your production plan and reassess it based on actual performance. Avoid empty or understocked sheds, pig pens and paddocks, as these increase your costs.

Feed pigs correctly

Feed accounts for up to 65% of costs in a piggery, which makes it the main expense in producing pig meat. You need to know how much and what feed your pigs should eat each day in order to grow to their optimum selling weight. This is vital when looking at your return on investment.

Read more about pig nutrition and diet and how much to feed pigs.

Reduce pig feed wastage

To save money, learn how to find and minimise feed wastage problems in your piggery.

There are 2 main types of feed wastage in pork production: physical wastage and metabolic wastage.

Physical wastage

Some pig feed wastage cannot be avoided, such as feed lost when pigs are fed on the floor or when they spill feed from feeders. However, you can control and reduce the amount of feed wastage. In your operation, check:

  • feeders and feed lines are not worn, faulty or incorrectly adjusted
  • feed is not spilled during delivery
  • feed is placed in correct bins
  • feed is not spoilt due to moisture and condensation in silos or in feeders due to moisture, urine or faecal contamination
  • unnecessary feeding is not occurring (e.g. non-pregnant sows, culled sows, overweight sale pigs, rodents)
  • pigs are kept at the correct temperature (e.g. cold pigs eat to keep warm, hot pigs use energy to lose heat).

When mixing feed on the property, check:

  • ingredients or feed are stored correctly
  • milling loss are minimised (e.g. moisture, trash)
  • particle size of feed is not too coarse.

Metabolic wastage

Metabolic wastage happens when you don't use the best-matched feed for pigs or you feed them in a way that doesn't match their metabolism.

Stocking pig pens correctly

Empty or understocked sheds, pig pens or paddocks are wasted space, and increase costs so you won't get the maximum return on your facilities. Similarly, overstocking sheds, pig pens or paddocks will harm your production cycle. Your pigs may not have the right amount of space to grow correctly and may get ill. Overstocking contravenes the pig welfare code, the APIQ standards and the environmental authority.

Also consider…