With decades of swine feeding experience, we developed an intuitive sow feeder built specifically for ad-lib feeding. The PigEasy sow feeder’s eating area is focused, so feed can’t build up in the corners, and the water pipe is at a specific height with a specific water nipple so the sow cleans up her feed with every drink.
But what if your farm’s feed bowls are relatively new and you can’t completely upgrade the entire sow feeder?
The MealMeter’s adaptable design allows for installation on many different types of sow feeders because we understand the varying needs of producers.
To retrofit your existing feeder, you’ll need the MealMeter. The MealMeter is housed in the Lactation Boot, which will be installed on either side of your existing feeder.
An important, yet often overlooked piece of retrofitting a feeder to the MealMeter system is the water pipe and nipple. This is important to the system’s success because the sow cleans up her feeder with every drink so the feeder is ready for her next meal.
Here are a few examples of set up options into different types of feeders:
Short Hog Slat Sow Bowl
Because of this bowl’s short height, we developed a bolt-on bracket for the Lactation Boot to install on either side of the feeder. We want to make installation as easy as possible for you, and having a premade bracket is one way we accomplish that.
When installing the Lactation Boot into the premade bracket, it’s best to fasten the boot at three different points to completely secure it.
This feeder requires a bend in the water pipe to get the nipple in the ideal place, which is toward the bottom of the feeder. The nipple works best when it is very low in the bowl, so the sow doesn’t over-dispense water.
The good news is if you let us know your feed bowl type, PigEasy pre-bends the pipe to fit your existing feeder so it’s ready to go when it arrives at your farm.
You’ll also want to cut out a small weep hole about 1½” from the bottom of the feeder to release any excess water that was dispensed.
Before MealMeter installation, it’s important to remove obstructions, like the tube and the adjuster at the top. It’s also important to measure the side of the feeder from the flip out tabs to see if you’re able to install the Lactation Boot from the outside of the feeder.
If there isn’t enough room for the Lactation Boot to fit on the outside, the Lactation Boot will fit in the back corner of the inside of the feeder. The beveled design of the Lactation Boot juts the MealMeter out enough so the MealMeter can spin freely without hitting the back wall of the feeder.
A bend in the water pipe is not required with this feeder because it has a flat bottom. Because of the size of the feeder, you’ll still want to make a small weep hole about 1 ½” from the feeder’s bottom.
Standard Large Bowl
This feeder is where we originally developed the MealMeter, so we know firsthand how simple this installation can be.
The Lactation Boot can be installed on either the inside or outside of the feeder. We prefer installation on the outside of the feeder for a couple reasons. First, when the boot is installed on the hinge side, the feed line can remain undisturbed if you need to open the gate at all during farrowing. Installing the Lactation Boot on the outside also drops the feed in the ideal location, which is toward the center of the feeder.
PigEasy Feeder in Existing Head Gate
When retrofitting into current equipment, another option is to use the PigEasy feeder in your existing head gate. A few things to keep in mind are 1) the bottom angles of our feeder will need to be closed up so no pigs can sneak through. 2) Fastener hole placement on the side of the feeder. We’ll ask a few questions to get the right placement, so our feeder is ready to be fastened into your existing head gate. 3) Any other obstruction or any head gate feature you want to maintain (i.e. flip down feature).
We can help with all of that. Give us a call (888-354-0112) or send us an email with some photos (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll help ensure our feeder can fit easily in your current head gate.
Quick Coupler: This has become a popular part to order when updating feeders. The coupler serves as a quick valve for each hose that shuts the water off when the coupler is separated. This eliminates the need to shut off the room’s water when disassembling for wash out. These quick couplers are very durable and work with a large range of water pressure.
Hopper: If you’re currently hand feeding but want to switch to ad lib without adding a feed delivery system, our hopper is the way to go. The hopper holds approximately 25 lbs of feed, so it can be topped off for a day’s worth of feed. Its sleek design doesn’t protrude into the front walkway to allow for movement around the sows without the fear of bumping the feed.
While these examples hit on the most frequent retrofitting situations, we’ve worked with customers to retrofit the MealMeter into many different existing feeders. The MealMeter is extremely adaptable because we understand the challenges of updating existing equipment.
The first step to optimizing feed intake with your existing bowls is to give us a call and send us some photos. We’ll work with you every step of the way.
PigEasy’s goal is to make things easy…. Because easy is better!