Without human interference, a young piglet becomes nutritionally independent from its mother and weans in the natural way at the age of 70 days having a usual live weight of 15 to 20 kg.
The digestive ability of the young piglet towards a nutritional scheme without milk starts developing between the ages of 14 and 28 days. This digestive ability is supported by the early exposure of the young piglet to feed.
Another factor is the gradual transition from liquid to solid feed, together with the fact that the growing procedure is fully performed without milk from the age of the 52nd day and so on.
In the 60s, the usual practice in Europe was to wean the piglets on the 56th day of age.
Today, the constant improvement in the nutritional field, the deeper understanding of the physio-pathology of the young piglet and the development of new methods and technology to control the climatic conditions inside the farm, made possible to perform the piglet weaning on the 21st day of the animal’s age as a routine procedure.