Lactating sows have a new way to automatically increase their feed intake between scheduled feedings throughout the day. They can “ask” for appetizer-sized portions of feed by using their snouts to trigger a sensor on the just-introduced Nedap Activator, an add-on to the Nedap Farrowing Feeding.
The Activator gives “producers more control to monitor and maximize feed intake during lactation with minimal labor,” says Cheryl Day, vice president of business development-North America, Nedap Livestock Management, in a news release.
Day says the wireless Activator on the Nedap Farrowing Feeding can maximize producers’ return-on-investment by:
1. Improving sow performance
Nutrient requirements for sows are three times higher during lactation. The Nedap system can increase overall feed intake through demand-driven feeding to promote faster farrowing recovery while supporting body condition score (BCS), according to the news release. Benefits include shorter farrow-to-breed intervals, quicker rebreeding and less early culling.
2. Cutting labor costs
Labor costs can be a burden for pork producers. The wireless Activator can reduce farrowing barn labor in multiple ways. First, it automatically sends an alert if no feeding activity is detected for a predetermined period. Barn managers get to know exactly which sows need attention without manual feeder checks. This allows them to focus their time where they are needed most. Second, wireless Activator’s demand-driven feeding requires less time to clean stale feed and manually drop feed. For Nedap customers, reducing labor time in farrowing has saved $28 per sow per year. For 1,000 sows, that’s $28,000 per year in labor savings.
3. Increasing feed efficiency
Wireless Activator can reduce feed costs, which account for 65% to 70% of pork production costs. Small, demand-driven portions can avoid waste and unpalatable feed in the feeder. Wireless Activator is installed at the bottom of the feeder and can’t be triggered when covered by feed. Additionally, Farrowing Feeding with wireless Activator provides feed intake data and enables producers to adjust feed rations and delivery rates to promote further efficiency.
4. Boosting piglet performance
Because Nedap Farrowing Feeding with wireless Activator stimulates appetite and maximizes the sow’s feed intake through increased feeding frequency, Day says customers report more consistent and greater milk yields from sows. The result? Customers report a 50% reduction in farrowing pen mortality and up to 1.65 pounds of additional weight per piglet at weaning.
To learn more about Nedap Farrowing Feeding with Nedap Activator, contact Cheryl Day at [email protected] or visit farrowingfeeding.nedap-livestockmanagement.com.