Creep feeding is the practice of feeding a solid diet to piglets while they are suckling the sow, preparing their digestive system for weaning. Creep feeding initiates and promotes gut and digestive enzyme development, which enables the piglet to digest nutrients from food sources other than that of milk. This encourages feed intake, which is one of the greatest challenges to post-weaning performance.
Creep feeding becomes increasingly important and beneficial as weaning age increases. As piglets grow, their demand for nutrients similarly grows and with increasing age this demand outstrips the capacity of the sow to supply them, as the sow’s milk yield peaks at around three weeks and then slowly declines.