Designed with the sow's needs first

Be precise: Nedap Electronic Sow Feeders for group sow housing

Research and on-farm experiences show correctly designing group sow housing supports productivity while helping minimize lameness and sow mortality. Nedap Electronic Sow Feeding (Nedap ESF) can help you make the most of these benefits. With Nedap ESF, you can ensure each sow gets the individual feed and care she needs while enjoying the social benefits of being in a group. We can design our automated feeding system into any size operation, including new or remodeled buildings.

Sow management precision

Nedap electronic sow feeders can help you minimize feed waste and optimize whole-herd feed conversion. How? With accurate data at your fingertips, you can make feeding adjustments to help each sow maintain body condition. Nedap ESF also eliminates the possibility of feed theft by aggressive sows and allows you to feed each sow to her needs.

How Nedap ESF keeps sows calm and flowing through the system

Nedap ESF is designed with the sow’s needs in mind. The system allows sows to eat without interruption. When a sow enters a feeder, a gate locks behind her, preventing other sows from biting or shoving her while she eats.

Because the sow is protected in the feeder, she can eat at her own pace and will not feel the need to guard her feed. The gates stay locked until she’s finished her ration or until she stops eating for an extended period. In either case, if the sow doesn’t leave on her own, the entrance gate opens, and another sow can enter. This allows for peaceful eating, without stress and without feed-guarding behavior.

Tim Friedel, production manager at Thomas Livestock Co. of Broken Bow, Nebraska, describes how calmly one sow can encourage another out of a feeder.

“The system gives a sow time to finish her feed, and then unlocks the back gate when she’s done. A sow that’s waiting will open the gate and might nudge the previous sow out of the way. But at this point, the sow in front is willing to move because the feeder has stopped. There’s no more feed for her, and she knows it.”

“The sow entering doesn’t feel the need to be aggressive because we run approximately 50 sows per feeding station. This allows plenty of time for the group to eat every day. The sows know their feed’s going to be there, and they don’t have to hurry.

“We really don’t see any aggressive biting or other aggressive sow behavior in our system.”


How group sow gestation pens with Nedap ESF keep sows calm

The unique design of group sow gestation pens with Nedap ESF keeps sows calm and supports a productive atmosphere. The Nedap ESF design incorporates a technique proven for decades to minimize sow injury and stress: forward-exit feeders.

The front exit directs sow traffic one way through the pen. When a sow is finished eating, she steps forward, away from the group waiting to eat. Fed sows have no direct contact with unfed sows. Additionally, fed sows cannot immediately access the feeder entrance after eating.

How are sows kept away from the feeder entrance after eating? They must take a long walk past the waterers, the boar pen and the resting areas where other sows are sleeping before they can return to the feeder entrance again. This lap, often called the “horseshoe” or “racetrack,” distracts the sow from the urge to guard the feeder and keeps her from developing aggressive habits.

We work where you are

Nedap will work as hard in your barn as you do

Are you comparing individual gestation stalls versus group sow housing? Are you thinking about remodeling your current barn or building a new one?

No matter where you are in the decision process, and no matter how you choose to care for your sows, the Nedap Livestock Management team can answer your questions so you find the right fit.

If you choose group housing, rest assured you can use our expertise and complete sow management system to care for each sow as an individual.

Nedap Application Services

The benefits of individual sow feeding with Nedap Livestock Management

  • Forward-exit feeders prevent conflict between fed and unfed sows
  • Sows cannot be disrupted or rushed while feeding
  • Easy-to-use system lets you adjust feed rations to maintain sow condition
  • Barn is quieter and, and air movement is improved
  • Water dosing option encourages sows to eat full rations
  • “Racetrack” pen design discourages feed-guarding behavior

Nedap technology in action

How would precise, individual sow feeding change things on your farm?

Spring Lake Pork
Jerry Epperson, Owner
Read more
"I think the producers need to get into an ESF building and see the animals up close. They will be impressed."

About the farm

  • 5,500 sows in Nedap ESF

Download information about Nedap Electronic Sow Feeding