The length of time pigs are offered creep feed has little impact on how much they will eat or weight they will gain.

The duration of creep feed availability did not affect preweaning gain and weaning weights in recent Kansas State University research. However, litters with more prolonged access to creep feed seemed to have a higher proportion of “eaters” compared to litters with access to creep feed for shorter periods.

Previous studies have shown that eaters — pigs accustomed to consuming creep feed — have higher postweaning feed intakes and better growth performance. If creep-feeding behavior can be encouraged and more eaters can be created, postweaning performance can be improved.

KSU researchers concluded that starting pigs on creep feed when they are older might not have a detrimental effect on the amount of feed the pigs eat. Because older pigs seem to accept creep feed more readily than younger pigs, the older pigs may actually consume as much or more creep feed overall, compared to pigs started on creep feed at a younger age.