Here we cover the crucial components of feed management including feed silos, centreless augers, wet/dry feed systems, and chain and flight systems. This resource is designed to provide valuable knowledge to both experienced farmers and newcomers, aiding in understanding the mechanisms vital to successful pig farming.
A centreless auger feed system is a highly efficient mechanism for transporting feed in pig farming.
The system features a spiral or helix-shaped auger, which sits inside a tube. When this auger rotates, it creates a motion that pushes the feed along the tube. The feed is initially sourced from a silo and as the auger rotates, it moves the feed through the system and dispenses it at specified outlets into the feed troughs for the pigs.
This system is versatile and efficient. It reduces waste and ensures a steady, consistent supply of feed. It’s suitable for different types of feed, including meal and pellet forms, providing flexibility in feeding methods. With fewer moving parts, it requires less maintenance and the enclosed system helps protect feed from the environment, ensuring it stays fresh and safe.
1. Efficiency: The centreless auger feed system ensures consistent and controlled delivery of feed, reducing wastage and ensuring all pigs receive an adequate amount.
2. Flexibility: This system is suitable for various types of feed, including meal and pellet forms, allowing farmers to adjust their feeding approach as needed.
3. Low Maintenance: Due to its design with fewer moving parts, the centreless auger system generally requires less upkeep compared to other feed systems.
4. Protection of Feed: As the system is enclosed in a tube, it helps shield the feed from environmental elements, preventing contamination and preserving freshness.
5. Easy Feed Flow Adjustment: The system allows for easy adjustment of the feed flow rate, enabling farmers to fine-tune the feeding process based on the specific needs of their pigs.
The chain and flight system is a conveyor-based mechanism used for distributing feed in pig farming. It involves a motor-driven chain with attached “flights” that move feed from a central bin or silo along a trough, dispensing it at specific outlets into individual pig pens.
This system provides a reliable and controllable method of feed delivery and is capable of distributing feed over large distances, making it ideal for larger farms. It also allows for easy visual inspection of feed flow and can handle various feed types. However, it may require more maintenance due to its exposed design and multiple moving parts. Despite this, its efficiency in large-scale feed distribution makes it a valuable choice in pig farming.
1. Efficient Feed Distribution: The chain and flight system effectively delivers feed across large distances and multiple pens, making it highly efficient for larger farms.
2. Visual Inspection: The system’s exposed design allows for easy visual monitoring of feed flow, enabling quick detection and resolution of any potential blockages or issues.
3. Flexibility: It can handle various types of feed, providing flexibility in feeding strategies.
4. Controlled Delivery: Like the centreless auger system, the chain and flight system offers a consistent and controllable method of feed delivery, ensuring each pig pen receives an adequate amount.
5. Reduced Feed Waste: By delivering feed directly to individual pens, the chain and flight system helps to minimize feed waste, contributing to overall operational efficiency.
Wet/dry feed systems, such as WINFeed, bring together the best of both feeding worlds for pigs, offering them a choice between dry feed and wet feed within the same system. This choice is made possible by a mechanism that mixes water and dry feed directly in the feed trough, where pigs can opt for dry feed or stimulate a nipple drinker to mix the feed with water.
The system begins with dry feed being dispensed from a feed bin or silo into individual feeding stations. Each feeding station is equipped with a water line and nipple drinker. When a pig is ready to eat, it has the option to consume the dry feed as it is, or it can nudge the nipple drinker with its snout, which releases water into the feed trough. The water mixes with the dry feed to create a moist, palatable mash that many pigs prefer.
1. Improved Feed Intake: By offering pigs a choice between dry and wet feed, these systems can boost overall feed intake. The wet mash is often more palatable to pigs, encouraging them to eat more and potentially gain weight more quickly.
2. Water Conservation: With water being released only when a pig interacts with the nipple drinker, wet/dry systems can contribute to significant water savings compared to systems that continuously provide wet feed.
3. Reduced Wastage: The ability to consume feed as either dry or wet reduces the amount of feed wasted. Pigs tend to waste less feed when it is in the form they prefer.
4. Versatility: These systems are suitable for pigs of different ages and sizes, from weanlings to sows, providing a flexible feeding solution.
5. Improved Animal Welfare: Offering pigs a choice in their feeding aligns with animal welfare principles, as it allows them to express their natural feeding behaviours and preferences.
WINfeed is a program that can control all aspects of liquid and dry feeding, milling and mixing. Here are some of the things it can do and control:
Types of feeding:
Regardless of the specific feed delivery system in use, a feed silo is a crucial component in all modern pig farming operations. Essentially, a feed silo is a large storage structure used to hold and protect large quantities of feed or grain. This is where the feed is stored before it’s delivered to the pigs through whichever feed system is in place.
Feed silos are carefully designed and constructed to ensure the feed stored within remains dry and safe from the elements. This helps to prevent spoilage or contamination that could harm the pigs or waste valuable resources. They come in different sizes and configurations to suit the specific needs of a farm, based on factors such as the number of animals, feeding schedule, and type of feed used.
Feed silos also play a significant role in the efficiency of a pig farm’s operations. By allowing bulk purchase and storage of feed, they can lead to cost savings and ensure a steady supply of feed for the animals. The feed is typically gravity-fed from the silo into the feed system, whether that’s a centreless auger, a chain and flight system, or a wet/dry feed system like WINFeed.
In this way, the feed silo acts as the starting point for the entire feeding process, making it an indispensable part of any pig farm’s feed system.