Pigs 1×2 Finisher Feeder: Managing the finisher feeder
Selection and maintenance of feeders in finishing pens has taken on a new significance in the light of the new price levels applying to feeds. When feed is as expensive as it is today you have to be extra careful how you use it. The last thing you can afford is waste, whether from a spillage of meal through the slats of the floor or from substandard efficiency of utilisation.
The finishing period of pigs contributes 60% of total feed costs and 40% of all production costs. So you will need a feeder for this stage that safeguards feed efficiency.
As a rule of thumb, approximately 50% of the feeder shelf should be visible and there should be little or no feed around the water nipple. Leaking nipples must be fixed immediately since they can have a huge effect on the volume of manure produced as well as on feed wastage.
The position of the feeder in the pen will affect how well the pigs use it and how often it is adjusted. Ideally a finisher feeder should be placed away from pen corners, with the opening at a 90° angle to the pen wall and preferably within reach of the passageway to aid easy adjustment.
Angled double wet-dry feeders (where the twin openings are at a 90° angle to each other) appear to work better than side-by-side or back-to-back feeders, as the pigs appear to dirty the angled feeder less. Feed efficiency has been shown to deteriorate by 4% in side-by-side feeders than when compared to corner or back-to-back feeders.
There is also an optimum for the feed in the feeder. In general, feed efficiency should improve by 1.2 % for every 100-micron reduction in particle size. But too fine a particle size may lead to an increased risk of gastric ulcers and of feeder bridging. The recommendation is to have 60% of particles under 1mm in diameter, while an 80% target may be realistic for some farms. Pigs 1×2 Finisher Feeder is highly recommended for you.
Note: No matter how well a feeder is designed it will not operate efficiently if not properly adjusted.