First Course® Early-Weaning Prestarter

First Course® complete prestarter is a nutritionally advanced formula precisely balanced for the digestive needs of the very young pig. It contains high levels of milk products, very digestible protein sources and synthetic amino acids to get pigs off to a healthy start. First Course can be used on orphaned or early weaned pigs that are 7 to 20 days of age or 5 to 11 pounds.

About the Product

First Course is the first prestarter that orphaned or early weaned pigs should receive. It’s highly complex, nutrient fortification is designed to help the young pig transition to dry feed from sow’s milk.

High Quality Milk Products
Improves palatability, increases consumption and reduces digestive upsets. Improves performance due to the highly digestible carbohydrates and amino acids in high quality milk products.

Balance of Select Ingredients
Key ingredients are uniquely combined in First Course to achieve a superior balance of essential amino acids. These high quality protein sources are selected for optimum digestibility and palatability which provides for increased feed consumption.

Balance of Vitamins and Trace Minerals
Balanced vitamin and mineral fortification is essential for optimizing nutrient utilization, metabolism, disease resistance and pig performance.

Highly Palatable
Feed palatability is critical to all phases of production, but nowhere is it as important as in the newly weaned pig. Steam rolled oats and milk products along with feed intake enhancers are combined in First Course to promote feed intake.

Nutrient Analysis

Crude Protein, min %


Lysine, min % 1.6
Crude Fat, min % 6.0
Crude Fiber, max % 3.0
Calcium (Ca), min % 0.6
Calcium (Ca), max % 1.1
Phosphorus (P), min % 0.7
Salt (NaCl), min % 0.6
Salt (NaCl), max % 1.1
Selenium (Se), min 0.3 ppm
Zinc (Zn), min 4,000 ppm
Phytase (Trichoderma Reesei), min 226 FTU/lb
Phytase (Aspergillus Niger)  234 FTU/lb
Xylanase (Trichoderma longibrachiatum)  54 XU/lb

*One unit of phytase activity (FTU) is defined as the quantity of enzyme which liberates 1 micromol of inorganic phosphorus per minute. Environmental factors such as feed pH, moisture, and processing methods such as pelleting or extrusion, may affect enzyme activity.

*One xylanase unit is the amount of enzyme which liberates 1 micromole of xylose per minute under the conditions of the assay.

Feeding Directions

As a Creep Feed:

  • Feed small amounts of FIRST COURSE several times a day beginning when pigs are 7 days of age. Be sure to replace feed left from previous feeding.

In the Nursery:

  • Continue feeding FIRST COURSE until the pigs are at least 20 days of age. Feed in small amounts at least 4 to 6 times a day.
  • Expected total feed consumption is 0.5 to 1.5 pounds of FIRST COURSE per pig, depending on weaning weight, environment and production goals.
  • Provide fresh, clean water at all times.
  • Prevent drafts.
  • Continually monitor pigs for any signs of stress.

NOTE: Open bags should be closed tightly and kept in a cool, dry place away from pigs and possible odors.


Management Tips

Nursery Management

  • It is important to get pigs on full feed as quickly as possible to maximize growth rate. In the  first 48 hours postweaning, feed every 2 hours (six times per day) or as frequently as possible.
  • Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Provide 1 nipple waterer for every 10 pigs positioned at shoulder height.
  • Monitor and adjust ventilation—prevent drafts. Factors influencing ventilation decisions include:

   - relative humidity
   - moisture from condensation
   - air speed across animals
   - odor and gas concentration
   - airborne dust/disease control
   - combustion emissions from heaters

  • Monitor air quality. As pigs grow larger and become more crowded, air quality is affected.
  • Humidity is one of the first signs of poor air quality. Levels between 50% and 60% are ideal.
  • Continually monitor pigs for any signs of stress or abnormalities.
  • Check feeders for proper adjustment. 50% of the trough bottom should be covered with feed.
  • A guideline for feeder space is 3 to 4 inches of feeder space per pig.
  • Temperature guideline for the first week in the nursery is 84° set point.



This product has been formulated specifically for swine and is not intended for other species. Do not feed to cattle or other ruminants.

Product Number

#5220—FIRST COURSE®, 50 lb. 

Please Note: This product information sheet is meant to serve as a general overview and is not intended to replace the product label. Always refer directly to the product label for the most up-to-date nutrient content and feeding directions.