Feeding technologies of sows in groups
One of the technological solutions in pig breeding is the transfer of gestation sows to group housing. Despite the actualization of animal welfare issues, this technology is now common both in the US and Western Europe. How to arrange a corral for sows’ group keeping, what equipment is the most effective and what you need to pay attention to, not to reduce profitability — these and other questions were answered by Fritz Richardson, director of HOG SLAT International Sales (the largest producer of equipment for pig production in the US).
- Considering the various technologies for keeping sows in groups, which of them are most noteworthy?
- The first place I would give to the electronic feeding stations (EFS), because they provide an individual approach, allow you to monitor feed intake, immediately react to the impairment of animals (malnutrition signals about health problem), keep accurate feed consumption. At the same time, EFS technology has a number of shortcomings.
- What farms it is advisable to apply EFS?
- On small ones, where you can keep an eye on the work of EFS and if necessary, repair them promptly. In addition, it is important that in the region where the pig farm is located, there are relevant specialists who will provide technical support. For example, in Western Europe on a territory that is equal in size to one of Ukraine region, there is access to the services of at least of six EFS service technicians. Therefore, if I planned to apply EFS on my farm, I would first of all be sure that there is a service center and a spare parts warehouse nearby.
- What are the «traditional» options for equipment for group keeping of sows?
- What technology is the most popular for organizing sows’ feeding in groups?
- What is important to consider when designing fodder machines?
- What are the features of managing the feeding system in such machines?
- What disadvantages does the system for group housing of sows with separate partitions of feed sites have?
Answers to these and other questions are to be found in the full version of the article in the journal «Profitable Pig Production» No. 37 (No. 1, February 2017)