Last Updated on November 13, 2020
With so many different brands and types of pig feed, finding the right one for your hogs can be tough. The good news is that we’ve done all the work for you. In this article we not only cover all the different types of pig feed, we will give you a recommendation for each one.
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If you raise pigs then you know how important it is for them to have proper nutrition. I primarily raise pigs on pasture but I still have to supplement my larger breeds with some type of feed so they get enough protein, otherwise, they stall out.
If you will be feeding your pigs traditional pig feed then below is what I recommend. But before we get into that, let’s go through the different types of pig feed.
Types of Pig Feed
Pig Starter Feed
Pig starter feed typically has a higher protein content and is designed to to feed your weaned piglets until they are ready to transition into pig grower feed. The weight at which this transition takes place varies based on the brand of feed. This transition sometimes takes place around the 40 lbs – 70 lbs range.
Pig Grower Feed
Pig grower feed typically has a 16% protein content and is formulated to help your pigs grow to maturity. Most pig grower is also used as pig finisher but sometimes you will find the two types of feed sold separately. Most pig grower is used to grow pigs all the way to butcher weight.
Sow feed is specially formulated for nursing sows. The protein content is typically the same as pig grower but it contains additional nutrients to help a nursing mother produce enough milk and offer proper nutrition to her piglets.
Non-GMO Pig Feed
Non-GMO pig feed is feed that doesn’t contain any genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Most pig feed is made up of corn and soy so non-GMO pig feed would have corn and soy that hasn’t been genetically modified. Non-GMO feed doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been treated with synthetic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, only that the crop was planted using non-GMO seeds. Non-GMO feed is typically more expensive than conventional feed.
Organic Pig Feed
Organic pig feed is feed that is made up of non-GMOs and is not treated with synthetic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. In the U.S., in order to be certified organic you must adhere to a set of guidelines established by the USDA and be certified by them. In order to call pig feed organic, the manufacturer must use organic feed ingredients that were sourced from a USDA certified organic farm. Organic feed is typically more expensive than non-GMO feed and conventional feed because it is harder to source.
Local Pig Feed vs Nationally Distributed Pig Feed
Feed sourced from a local feed mill is always my first choice when buying feed. Not only does this support a local businesses and local economy, there is also less fossil fuel used because it isn’t being transferred around the country.
If you can get good, locally sourced feed, that’s always the best in my opinion. But the problem is that not everyone has access to that, especially good locally sourced non-GMO or organic feed. Because of that, I have put together this list of the best pig feed that is sold nationally.
Best Non-GMO Pig Feed
Hiland Naturals was one of the largest distributors of non-GMO feed until they stopped production over a year ago. However, they have started up production again which I’m very excited about.
Their feed is Non-GMO Project Verified which means that it is tested and verified by a 3rd party organization called the Non-GMO Project. Since the government is not involved in Non-GMO labeling like they are with organic labeling, the Non-GMO Project is a private organization that has taken on this role to verify products don’t contain GMOs.
Hiland Naturals offers pig starter (21%), pig grower (16%), and sow (16%) feed.
They sell their feed through local dealers and feed stores throughout the U.S. To find a dealer near you, check out their Dealer Locator page and give them a call. Again, they are ramping up production again so tell them you want to buy some in your area.
Best Organic Pig Feed
Nature’s Best Organic Feeds is one of the most widely available organic feeds in the U.S. It is Non-GMO project verified and USDA Certified Organic. This means that their feed ingredients must fall in line with USDA Organic requirements.
They offer one type of feed with 16% protein that is supposed to have optimal nutrition for all pig ages and sows.
Nature’s Best Organic Feeds is widely sold at Tractor Supply and other large retailers. Use their Store Locator to find the closest store to you that sells it. Be sure to call ahead though because they might not keep it in stock.
Best Conventional Pig Feed
If you don’t have access to a local feed mill and do not want non-GMO or organic feed, Purina Nature’s Match is the most widely available conventional pig feed.
It contains 16% protein and is nutritionally balanced to feed pigs of all ages, from weaned to finish.
Purina Nature’s Match pig feed is available on Amazon but is typically sold by third parties on there and can sometimes be found cheaper elsewhere across the U.S. Use their Retailer Locator to find a local retailer near you.