Many pork producers have acknowledged the importance of ad lib feeding in lactation for a number of reasons. First and foremost, lactation puts huge caloric demand on a sow as they are feeding larger litters. If we are not giving her access to full feed, there is a chance she will lose condition, which will raise the likelihood of that sow being culled exponentially as she turns from a productive sow to an under conditioned sow. When a sow loses condition, studies have shown that it has a negative effect on her subsequent litter.
Next, if a pork producer is still hand feeding their sows, they will run into a timing issue. A sow is not going to stand up and eat when her litter is nursing and a producer isn’t available at all hours of the day to wait until she’s ready to eat. In this particular scenario, how much intake is that producer missing out on by only feeding a few times a day? On the flip side, a producer may overcompensate by filling her feeder, but they run the risk of wasting a lot of feed if she doesn’t consume it. This is where hand feeding becomes a catch-22.
Lastly, how much is hand feeding costing your operation in labor? Instead of time spent feeding an even better question would be what could you or your employees be able to focus on if you didn’t have to spend time hand feeding each sow multiple times a day?
In this video, Dr. Paul Armbrecht from Lake City Veterinary Clinic talks about the benefits of ad lib feeding in lactation:
What makes the MealMeter system stand out from other ad lib feeders on the market?
The MealMeter system offers many unique features for feeding today’s prolific sow. The PigEasy lactation feeder has a one of a kind design that focuses her eating area, which prevents feed build up and maximizes intake. The PigEasy feeder also features an adjustable waterer. As this is her ONLY source of water, not only will she completely clean her bowl up every time she takes a drink, but she won’t be able to spray herself and her pigs in the summertime. The feeder also has a weep hole near the bottom of each feeder so excess water will not inhibit her feed intake even if a nipple should become leaky.
The MealMeter itself has many attractive features, as it needs NO adjustment, is easily removed and is made to last for years.
So let’s say…
… you are ready to take the plunge into an ad lib feeder, but your current stainless steel feeders are still in great condition.
While you won’t have the exclusive qualities of the PigEasy Lactation Feeder, you can still have great success in ad lib feeding by converting your existing bowl to the PigEasy set up.
This would include installing the adjustable watering bracket and the MealMeter with Lactation boot in your current feeder. What’s even better is we have made it (pig)Easy with templates and a short video tutorial.
Watch Clint explain the most efficient way to convert your bowl to the PigEasy system.
We are pork producers ourselves and understand the difficulties a change like this entails. This is why we designed each product to be installed many different ways on virtually any equipment.
If you have any questions, we would love to help! You can reach us at 888-354-0112 or firstname.lastname@example.org.