PROBLEM: Feeders that need adjustment make it impossible to get feeding right for every pig.
“I need to open up the feeder. The sow seems frustrated.”
“Look at all that wasted feed. The feed is coming out too easy. Better adjust down.”
“Adjust options 1-6?… let’s just set it at a 3 or 4 so we get it right on most of them.”
Any of these comments sound familiar? We’ve been there too. Adjusting feeders is frustrating because it’s impossible to get right. Either we adjust it down too much and animals are frustrated OR we adjust too high and we’ve got a mess on our hands with lots of wasted feed.
In grow/finish or GDU pens, we discovered feeders are adjusted to the median eaters, leaving the fast eaters frustrated and the slow eaters not satisfied. Sure, average daily gain goals might be met, but could frustration at the feeder be the cause of pen aggression, tail biting and lame pigs?
An adjustable feeder for lactating sows may seem like a good option because then we have the opportunity for individualized feeding. But even if the best employees take the time to adjust 400+ farrowing feeders, they are diverting their attention from more important tasks like attending to pigs and sow health.
Picture this: an aggressive sow enters a farrowing crate and makes a big mess with the adjustable ad lib feeder. The good farrowing technician doesn’t want to waste feed, so they adjust it down to avoid over dispensing. A few weeks later, that sow leaves the crate and that good farrowing technician washes out and disinfects the room.
How often are barn technicians able to remember to adjust that dispenser back to center? What often happens is this: the next sow enters that crate, has a clean bowl throughout farrowing, but the technician notices three weeks in that she is losing a lot of condition. Upon checking the feeder, the technician realizes it has been adjusted down too much and the sow hasn’t been able to maintain condition with what she dispenses. Time to adjust the feeder to a more open setting. Will the sow be able to gain back that condition the week before weaning when she has bigger pigs milking on her? The likelihood is low, and the likelihood of that sow being culled after her next parity is high.
SOLUTION: PigEasy developed the MealMeter – a Feeder that does not need adjustment. Ever.
The PigEasy MealMeter system of feeders is set up for intuitive ad lib feeding at each pig’s own speed without adjustment. Here’s how:
- the sow or pig can manipulate the MealMeter feed dispenser as quick or as slow as they prefer. The MealMeter feed dispenser is positive flow and can’t leak.
- the sow or pig dispenses feed from the MealMeter into the feed and water bowls specifically designed for ad lib feeding and drinking. The water pipe and button nipple’s placement in the bowl is placed low on purpose, so the sow or pig cleans up the bowl with every drink.
Here’s what our PigEasy MealMeter customers observe in GDU & Grow-Finish Pens:
- Pens are calmer. Aggressive eaters can eat and drink quickly, then be on their way. The aggressive eaters don’t have to fight for feeder time and the timid pigs can easily access the feeder later in the day. There isn’t the typical crowding of the feeders.
- When customers trial the MealMeter GDU/Grow-Finish feeder in comparison to the other feeders in the barn, they notice the biggest pigs in the barn are in the pens with our feeder. No real training is required; pigs rapidly pick up on using the MealMeter feeding system.
- Also, these feeders are the cleanest in the barn. Because each MealMeter feeder has individual feed/water bowls, not one continual pan, this wet/dry set up is much cleaner and easier to manage.
- Barn operators can focus more on caring for the pigs and less on maintaining the feeders because no adjustment to the feeders is required.
In Sow Barns:
- Wean to estrus intervals are improved due to MealMeter use in lactation and breeding. Sows stay in condition with little to no management. Feeders are clean. Feed disappearance is eliminated. Feed intake greatly improves.
- Technicians/employees focus more on caring for the animals and less time on managing feeders.
- Sows remain in the herd longer. Production improves.
PigEasy’s MealMeter feeder system allows caretakers to focus on what matters most, caring for the animals. the MealMeter ad lib feeding system gets it right every time for every pig.