Hog Feed 101

choosing the best feed for your pigs


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Hog Feed 101: Choosing the Best Feed for Your Pigs

Selecting the best hog feed tailored to pigs’ nutritional needs at every life stage is a key responsibility for pig owners. When it comes to raising pigs as livestock or for show, providing them with the right feed is crucial for their health and well being.

The Forbidden Menu: Foods to Steer Clear of in Pig Feed

While pigs have the ability to consume most foods, it doesn’t mean it’s beneficial for them. The stereotype that pigs will eat just about anything is true. However many things that a hog would eat are not things they should eat. High-sugar foods can slow growth rates, while foods like potatoes contain natural toxins that can lead to sickness and even death. General foods to avoid in pig feed:

  • Milk, meat, and fish – can host devastating viruses like mouth and foot disease
  • Fruits & potatoes – contain natural toxins
  • Foods that are high in salt or sodium
  • Sweets and high-sugar foods – can slow growth rates
  • Leftovers, food scraps – can contain mycotoxins
  • Certain vegetables: raw sweet potatoes, unripe tomatoes, rhubarb, celery, parsley, and onions

Hog Feed Requirements

Hog’s nutritional requirements change through their life phases. They should be monitored regularly to ensure they are receiving the correct feed type for their life stage.  

YOUNG PIGS (25 – 75 lbs.)

Young pigs that weigh less than 75 pounds should be fed starter feed like Kelley’s Pig Starter or Ace Hi Pig Starter. Starter feeds contain lactose and animal proteins to help piglets transition from nursing to feed-based diets. These feeds should be given twice a day according to the pig’s weight.

Also, while all pigs should have fresh and clean drinking water available at all times, newly weaned pigs are especially prone to dehydration and should be monitored.

GROWING PIGS (75 – 125 lbs.)

Growing pigs require grower feeds which are specifically designed with more protein to encourage growth. Feeds like Ace Hi Pig Grower and Kelley’s Pig Grower are designed to help your pigs grow without gaining too much fat.

FINISHING PIGS (175 lbs. to market weight)

Market weight is typically approximately 230 pounds or more. Choose a hog feed mix specifically designed for finishing pigs like Ace Hi Hog Finisher or Kelley’s Pig Finisher

These feeds are nutrient dense with less protein and more fat to accurately meet your finishing pig’s nutritional needs and get them to market weight.


Feeds like Ace Hi Sow Ration and Kelley’s Sow & Gilt differ from other feeds as they contain higher amounts of crucial vitamins and minerals to support the gestation and development of healthy piglets.

Water Requirements For Hogs

Up to two-thirds of your hog’s body weight is water. As a key component of your pig’s diet, clean and fresh water should be abundantly available to your hogs at all times. Access to drinking water is critical to hogs’ ability to grow and their overall health.

Expected Pig Growth

With the correct nutrition your hogs can be market ready at about six months old. During the grower phase, pigs will gain an average of 1.6 pounds daily, then increase to around 2 pounds per day during the finishing phase.

Kelley's Pig Feed

Choosing the Best Feed for Your Pigs

Optimizing the feed selection for your hogs not only has a direct impact on the time and expenses involved in reaching the desired market weight but also plays a crucial role in determining the quality of the meat produced. By carefully choosing the most suitable feed for your pigs, you can effectively prioritize their nutritional requirements and overall well-being, thereby ensuring the development of healthy and robust hogs.

Shop for the best pig feeds available at Star Milling Co. Click here to learn more about our diverse selection of options tailored to meet your pigs’ nutritional needs.

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