The aim of this study was to assess the effect of weaning weight and post-weaning diet on the performance of weaned pigs. In experiment 1, 30 litters with more than 10 pigs born alive per litter were selected. At 11 days of age, pigs of average weight for the litter were removed from 15 litters so that eight pigs remained per sow. These litters were given access to creep food (16·5 MJ digestible energy (DE) per kg and 18·7 g/kg lysine). The remaining litters were left complete and were not given creep food. Pigs were weaned at 28 days of age and pairs of pigs (a male and a female littermate of similar weight) were formed from each litter (no. = 54 pairs). Pairs were blocked on the basis of litter origin and weight and assigned at random to one of the following treatments: (1) 10 kg starter diet (16·1 MJ DE per kg and 17·4 g/kg lysine) followed by link diet (15·3 MJ DE per kg and 15·0 g/kg lysine) to 27 days (high dietary regimen; HDR); or (2) 4 kg starter diet, 10 kg link diet and weaner diet to 27 days (low dietary regimen; LDR). Thereafter pigs were given common diets to slaughter at about 95·6 kg live weight. On experiment 2, four pigs (two light and two heavy) were taken from each of 32 litters (no. = 128 pigs; age = 22 days), blocked on sex, litter origin, and weaning weight and within weight category individually assigned at random to two dietary treatments: (1) high density diet (16·1 MJ DE per kg and 17·4 g/kg lysine); and (2) low density diet (15·1 MJ DE per kg and 15·7 g/kg lysine). The duration of the experiment was 26 days. In experiment 1, reducing litter size and creep feeding increased weaning weight by 0·6 kg (P 0·05). This weight advantage at weaning was lost by day 14 post weaning (P > 0·05). From day 0 to day 27 post weaning daily gain was 472 and 427 g/day (s.e.12·8; P 0·05) and food conversion efficiency was 1·26 and 1·36 g/g (s.e. 0·026; P 0·05) for HDR and LDR, respectively. In experiment 2, weaning weight was 7·1 and 5·8 kg (s.e. 0·08; P 0·01) and pig weight at day 26 post weaning was 17·5 and 15·4 kg (s.e.0·23; P 0·01) for heavy and light weight categories, respectively. In the period from day 0 to 26, food intake was 440 and 396 g/day (s.e. 8·0; P 0·01) and daily gain was 389 and 355 g/day (s.e. 8·0; P < i 0·01) for heavy and light weight categories, respectively. Weaning weight was found to be a good determinant of weight at day 26 when terms for litter origin were included (R2 = 0·67; P 0·001 for the high density diet and R2 = 0·77; P 0·001 for the low density diet). It is concluded that weaning weight can be increased by pre-weaning management but that this weight advantage is lost in the early post-weaning period. Where weaning weight was naturally higher the weight advantage was still evident at day 26 post weaning.