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Nutrition Directly Impacts Swine Farm Profitability

4 minute read

Keeping a business healthy and thriving is a priority for any swine production system. When it comes to improving the performance of your nursery pigs specifically, nutrition plays a critical role. But when faced with rising feed costs, new regulations and supply chain volatility, it becomes even more vital that you make feed investments that yield better performance results. It’s paramount to understand the different factors that impact the success of your production system, allowing swine nutritionists to prioritize their decisions.  

There Are Multiple Factors That Contribute to Swine Farm Profitability

There are many factors that can influence swine farm profitability. However, there are three that explain 98% of the variation in a system: 

  1. Cost per pound of gain 
  2. Price per pound of pork 
  3. Cost per weaned pig

Of these three, cost per pound of gain is the factor that you can directly influence with pig diet costs. Cost per pound of gain is made up of four key metrics: 

  1. Ingredient cost 
  2. Feed budget execution 
  3. Feed waste 
  4. Livability 

All four metrics are key influencers of cost per pound of gain. However, you can impact livability through the diet. By improving livability in your nursery pigs, you’ll positively impact your cost per pound of gain as well.  

How Does Livability Impact Your Nursery Phase Production Goals? 

System health and throughput are essential for achieving animal wellbeing and productivity.  Just a 1% change in mortality can mean the difference between making a profit or loss . On the other hand, a 1% increase in marketed pigs out of the nursery can make an even greater contribution to your bottom line. 

In today’s market, based on 10 years of data, the average cost of mortality is*: 

In nursery flows managing through severe health challenges and seasonal pressures, the direct cost per marketed pig could be as high as $20 per animal*. These challenges are why your nutritional choices must drive results that benefit your pigs and the financial health of your operation. 

Take the Next Best Step: Choosing the Right Zinc

What are your feed decisions leaving on the table? Your swine nutrition choices matter. The right zinc source can help you raise healthier, faster growing pigs more cost effectively, helping you achieve your production goals.  

Recent research revealed that E. coli-challenged pigs fed Zinpro® Zinc displayed improved health and livability while increasing early post weaning feed intake compared to the animals fed an alternative form of zinc.1   

Additionally, the pigs fed Zinpro Zinc in this study experienced:  

• 2.7% reduction in mortality

• 5.4% reduction in medical interventions  

• 20-gram daily improvement in early feed intake 

These pigs continued eating more and kept putting on more weight during the 42-day growth phase.  

Are You Ready to Transform the Health and Productivity of Your Pigs at Weaning? 

We have seen proof of performance that pigs fed Zinpro Zinc can improve your profitability by $1.59 per pig or more and reduce your cost of gain by $0.11 per kg or $0.05 per lb. Our team brings over 52 years of on-farm technical experience, allowing us to help pigs thrive all over the world. We partner with swine producers and industry professionals to provide animals with the opportunity to have the best and most consistent performance results. We’ll work together to improve your production costs and pig performance, ensuring your diets provide maximum value throughput, ultimately helping your balance sheet. 

To learn more about our recent study and how we can collaborate, connect with a Zinpro swine expert today. 


  1. W. Schweer, A. Cornelison, C. Bradley, R. Walk, S. Nosbisch, L. Rodrigues. (2023) Impact of dietary zinc source on post-weaning performance and livability. ASAS Midwest Section Meeting, Madison, WI.