Using the Right Feeder for More Successful Ad-libitum Feeding in Farrowing


Larger litter sizes and longer wean ages are increasing the nutrient demand on sows, making feed management during lactation a key part of efficient and successful production systems. Improving overall sow feed intake is a critical part of attaining this success.

In recent years, ad-libitum feeding—always having feed available to a sow—is becoming a common way to improve feed intake. However, the biggest challenge to ad-lib feeding is the high level of feed disappearance or wastage that occurs when sows always have access to feed.

In response to this common issue, Crystal Spring created a wet/dry sow feeder that takes the same time-tested technology that is in our wet/dry finishing feeder and applies it to the ad-libitum farrowing room. By placing both a nipple in the feeder bowl and a shelf in the feeder, a sow can mix and have access to wet feed without the waste.

Studies show that this increases feed intake without increasing feed disappearance, resulting in less weight loss/back fat loss for the sow compared to a dry, bucket-style feeder with an external nipple. It also improves overall production results with greater litter weights, heavier wean weights, more piglets weaned and an improvement in the sows return to estrus.

Want more information? Please contact your authorized Crystal Spring dealer or reach out to us directly at


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