Management Tips For Wet/Dry Feeders

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By Natalia Heisterkamp

Managing wet/dry feeders isn’t rocket science… but it is different than managing dry feeders or other common feeder types!

Here are our top nine tips to get the very best results out of your wet/dry feeder:

  • Rethink Pen Density

When selecting a feeder size, it’s important to consider the stocking density of your pen while remembering that pigs eat 20% faster on a wet/dry feeder allowing for more pigs per linear inch/cm of feeder. So if you are working with wet/dry feeders, make sure to place the correct amount of pigs per space (linear inches/cm) to ensure good performance. 

  • It’s All About Water Flow

Controlling water flow in your wet/dry feeder is the most important aspect of management. Feeder nipples that do not have the ability to keep water flow controlled to the correct flow or minimum rate for the size and age of the pig tend to create problems – from flooded pans to stale feed – and negatively impact ADG, FCR and overall performance.

  • Your Wet/Dry Feeder is the primary source of water

When working with wet/dry feeders, the water nipples in the feeder MUST be the primary source of water to your pigs. We want them to drink water from the feeder every time they are thirsty, because every time they drink, they eat, and that will increase feed intake and overall performance.

  • Plan Your Water Sources Carefully

When you have a good wet/dry feeder with feeder nipples that work well and are capable of controlling water flow in the feeder, the sources of water in the feeder need to be accounted for when planning the number of supplemental water sources in your pen.

  • Adjust Feed Flow Based on Feed Type

Controlling the feed flow is critical in a wet/dry feeder to ensure best performance. Making certain your feeder is capable of managing feed flow to different kinds of rations, such as mash or pellets, but also different sorts of feed consistencies and granularities will help ensure a good performance in the feeder. 

  • Ensure Proper Ventilation

Bad ventilation affects pigs eating behaviors and can cause many issues from tail biting and aggression to inconsistent feeding behaviors which may affect feed intake and growth.

  • Manage Barn Temperature

Managing the temperature of your nursery barn is very important to ensure correct eating behavior. If you see piglets laying in the feeder or bunched up together in a certain area of the pen, check the temperature… they might just be cold.

  • Place Supplemental Water Far From Feeder

Always place supplemental water sources on the opposite side of your wet/dry feeders. This will allow your pen “dirty” area to be farther from the feeder and will allow pigs to only look for supplemental water for an extra drink or to cool down on hot days, allowing the feeder nipples to be the primary source of water for your pigs. Because remember… when pigs drink – they eat!

  • Increase Profit by Reducing Feed Waste

In a barn with 1200 pigs about 42 tons of feed will flow through each feeder per year and feed cost represents up to 80% of the total cost of pork production. Using a feeder that has proven performance for 40 years can ensure this investment doesn’t go to waste.

Never thought about this and have questions? Contact our team of experts at info@cshe.com, WhatsApp/Phone +1 (402) 227-8228 or visit our website at www.crystalspring.com to find the CS Expert for your area.