How to Maximize Wet/Dry Feeding Benefits During Nursery Phase

It is well known that the transition from farrowing to the nursery is very hard on the piglets—transport to a new barn is stressful, adjusting to a new environment takes time, and transitioning from sows` milk to solid feed isn’t easy. Wet/dry feeding makes this transition smoother and stimulates consumption, which helps pigs to perform better throughout those first two critical weeks. At Crystal Spring, we call this “a better start for a better finish”.

Historically, producers have tried to manage this transition by gruel feeding. This arduous task requires the barn manager to regularly mix the first ration with water, making a ‘gruel’ in a small round or other type of temporary feeder several times per day. The idea behind gruel feeding is to stimulate feed and water intake. But when other challenges arise in the barn, like health issues, filling gruel feeders often falls to the bottom priority list and, sometimes, isn’t done at all.

With Crystal Spring wet/dry feeders, gruel feeding is done directly in the feeder’s trough and (better yet) is done by the piglets themselves! Instead of spending his valuable time mixing gruel multiple times per day, all the barn manager has to do is shake feed off the shelf and trigger the nipple a couple of times on the piglet’s arrival day to ‘teach’ them how to make the gruel themselves. The rest of his time is freed up to focus on the piglet’s other needs.

Additionally, this ‘gruel feeding’ is the first step in teaching the piglets how to get the most out of the wet/dry feeder right away. This impacts their feeding behaviour throughout the grow out period, resulting in better gains and, ultimately, a better finish.

Of course, ensuring the correct water and feed flow is critical to achieving this positive impact on feeding behaviour, which is why we created our innovative wet/dry nipple and precise feed control technologies—to simplify wet/dry feeder management, reduce waste and give you the best possible results. It’s also what sets our feeders above all others.

Have questions or want more detailed information concerning how we can help your piglets get a better start? Please contact our team at or WhatsApp/Phone +1 (402) 227-8228. Visit our website at to find your local authorized dealer.