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Main research question/goal

Why do organic piglets, despite their higher weaning age, eat less around weaning than conventional piglets? And how can we formulate and produce organic weaning feed that is eaten better by the piglets taking into account their nutrient needs and within a certain price range. These are the questions examined by ILVO, Pig Information Center, organic pig farmers, Ghent University, CCBT, Bioforum and feed mill Molens Dedobbeleer.

Several organic pig farmers and feed manufacturers indicate that the organic weaning feeds appear to be less tasty and contain a higher proportion of protein than the weaning feeds in conventional pig farming. As a result the piglets eat too little and are more susceptible to infections.

Research approach

Improvement paths to optimize the composition and palatability of organic weaning feed are inventoried. The relevant practical knowledge and results from international (organic) research on the feed strategy are combined. Organic weaning feed with an increased palatability is formulated, produced and used on the farms taking into account the nutrient needs of the piglets and within a certain price range.

In addition, the critical points and success factors regarding weaning management at the organic farms are also mapped out through a survey and farm visit at the participating pig farmers.


By applying specific improvement paths regarding the weaning feed composition and by addressing the critical factors in their weaning management, the organic pig farmers are able to make their piglets more efficient - e.g. an increase in health status and technical performance, and a lower feed cost based on the number of kg produced pig.

Funding provider(s)
Molens Dedobbeleer
Vlaamse Overheid Departement L&V

External partner(s)
BioForum Vlaanderen
Molens Dedobbeleer
Ugent - Fac. Bio-ingenieurswetenschappen
Effective start/end date1/03/1931/10/20

ID: 6862547