The Underestimated Impact of Feeders on Sow Conditioning

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Maintaining a sow’s condition during lactation has, arguably, the greatest overall impact on an entire production system—ultimately it determines the success or failure of finishing weights of market pigs. Pork producers have invested a lot of money in genetic and nutritional improvements, as well as production management, in an effort to maintain sow conditioning during this critical time.

The fact that our industry continues to learn, research, and debate best practices on this important topic is evident in the number of scientific articles (both university and commercial), podcasts, and social media posts about it. However, the impact of equipment—specifically feeders—on sow conditioning is one aspect that is often overlooked in this discussion.

About 15 years ago, we adapted the innovative features of our wet/dry feeders, which have a proven track record of improving production performance at finishing, into an engineered lactation feeder. This gave the sow-side of production access to the high-quality and performance improvements that producers were already experiencing in their nurseries and finishing barns. The feeder we created is our S2-Series Wet/Dry Sow Feeder.

The S2-series feeder includes our patented EZ-Adjust feed flow control and Adaptive-Flow™ Drinker Nipples as well as innovative new feed shelf design and a new waste-reducing bowl. This engineered technology is a simple way to ensure that a sow consumes all the feed presented to her, while reducing waste in both feed and water.

Independent trials show that sows fed with an S2-Series wet/dry feeder have significantly higher feed intake, less water waste, and most importantly, less backfat loss and less overall weight loss compared to sows fed with dry feeders. In short, sows consume ALL the feed placed in the wet/dry feeder, thus maintaining her condition during lactation. The long term results speak for themselves – greater 21-day litter weights, more piglets weaned, and higher wean weights.

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, a lot of investment has been made in genetics, nutrition, and production management. It would be  a shame if all that money and focus is wasted (or at best, less effective) because the feeder isn’t considered part of the equation in maintaining a sows condition.

For more information about how our S2 feeders can help you improve performance, please contact our team at info@cshe.com or WhatsApp/Phone: +1 (402) 227-8228.