Everyone wants his or her weaning weights to be as high as possible, but determining the actual value of higher weaning weights can be tricky. Alan Evers, with Cooper Farms in Fort Recovery, Ohio, has a method for determining the value of weaning weights.

He offers this insight:

  • Every extra pound of wean weight can increase feeder-pig weight by 3 pounds.
  • Every extra pound of feeder-pig weight can increase sale weight by 3 pounds. The additional weight could increase by as much as 9 pounds. Another way to view it is that it reduces days to market by four to five days.
  • Depending on how you value pig space or extra pork out the door in your own system, the benefits could range from 50 cents per head to $1.80 per head.
  • In addition, every half-pound you add to a pig’s weaning weight can reduce starter feed needs by a half-pound. This is equal to 18 cents to 20 cents per head.
  • A heavier starting weight also allows you to feed for age and less for weight, says Evers.