One of the common questions we get after someone purchases our wet/dry feeders is, “Now what? How do I maximize the benefits of my investment?” Our answer is pretty simple: Managing the feeder to get the best possible results isn’t rocket science… but it is different than managing a dry feeder or other common feeder types! And getting the water right is the ‘cornerstone’ of managing a wet/dry feeder.
Without understanding this principle, when producers may notice that their feeders seem to have too much or too little feed in the feeder’s trough, so naturally, they adjust the setting to either increase or decrease the amount of feed in the trough. However, with wet/dry feeders, we recommend making certain that the water flow to the feeder nipples is correct before making any adjustment to the feed flow.
Here’s why: If the water flow is too high, pigs will have to rake more feed down into the trough to get the wet feed to a consistency they can easily eat. It’s kind of like when you pour too much milk on your breakfast cereal, making it too liquidy and more like soup. When this happens, you’d probably pour more cereal into the bowl so you have a better ratio of cereal to milk, making it easier to eat. The same thing is true for pigs. The problem is, this sometimes results in the pigs making too much wet feed and they don’t consume all. When this happens, feed spoilage occurs and feed efficiency (F:G) suffers.
Changing your feed flow before you make sure that you have the right water flow can also create other problems. For example, as the pigs try harder to get more feed out of the hopper—usually by licking—it causes the feed to gum up on the shelf, preventing it from flowing into the feed trough. High water flow from the feeder nipple also exacerbates this problem by making the pigs’ snout wet, which wicks into the feed on the shelf, causing additional gumming. This, of course, results in less feed in the trough, which causes average daily gain (ADG) to suffer.
And when a producer sees there is no feed in the trough, he or she may think they need to open the shelf further… thus creating a catch-22.
In short, making certain that the water flow is correct is always ‘Step 1’ in getting the most out of your wet/dry feeder. That’s why we created innovative solutions like our Adaptive-Flow™ feeder nipples which automatically adjust water flow in response to the varying water pressures in the barn and making certain the right amount of flow is achieved.
After that, ‘Step 2’ is managing feed flow. We make that simple with our patented EZ-Adjust™ system which allows precise feed flow control for a variety of feed formulations—whether mash or pellets.
Once you have both water flow and feed flow under control, you will be getting the most out of your wet/dry feeder.
You might be asking, “Really? It’s that simple?”. Yes, it really is! As long as you understand the basic principle of water flow control, managing a wet/dry feeder is not mystical, magical, or rocket science… just simple and easy. We’ve worked hard for 40+ years to make it that way.
Have questions or want more detailed information concerning what our recommended water flow rates are? Please contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp/Phone +1 (402) 227-8228. Visit our website at www.crystalspring.com to find your local authorized dealer.