Who?

Chet Mogler

Farm manager

Where?

Alvord, Iowa, U.S.A.

About the farm

  • 4.400 sow facility

Nedap solutions

Automated heat detection
Electronic Sow Feeding
Sow separation

Time is money, and so is feed. Nedap Electronic Sow Feeding is helping Mogler Farms save both at their new 4,400-sow Pig Hill West facility near Alvord, Iowa.

The Moglers are using their new system to save feed and maintain optimal sow body condition. They are also using Nedap Automated Heat Detection and Automatic Sow Separation, so they and their employees can work smarter instead of harder. Overall, the system maintains peace in the pens for maximum productivity and a pleasant working environment.

Farm manager Chet Mogler:

“The Nedap system works very well for us, and I am happy with the decision we made”

“The employees are pleased with how calm the sows are. It is a comfortable environment for the employees as well as the sows.”

Optimal sow body condition

At Pig Hill, Nedap Electronic Sow Feeding helps the Moglers maintain optimal sow body condition throughout gestation with individual feeding plans. The Moglers have seven feed plans for the herd, each designed by the farm’s nutritionist and veterinarians to meet the changing needs of sows throughout gestation based on body condition and parity at breeding.

“We determine their feed plan at breeding, and from there, we don’t have to touch it,” Mogler says. “Once we get that feed plan dialed in, the amount of labor needed to maintain body condition is minimal. We body condition the sow one time in the breeding stall, and then we don’t have to do it again.”

Sows eat calmly

“Sow behavior is incredibly changed, especially at feeding time, since we started using Nedap Electronic Sow Feeding,” says Mogler. “You never have noisy, high-stress feed drops like you do in stalls. Our sows eat comfortably without competition.”

Because sows don’t feel the need to protect their feed, they don’t rush while eating and slop feed onto the floor like they do from a trough, says Mogler.

Correct design saves feed cost

“The feeder drops a palatable mix of water and feed at the same rate the sow is eating. Each sow can enjoy her meal, making it a very peaceful environment to be in.”

Mogler says most sows finish their rations in one trip through the feeder. But if a sow doesn’t finish, the system holds the remaining feed until the sow’s next trip to the feeder within the 24-hour feeding period. If a sow doesn’t eat or doesn’t finish her ration, the system alerts management.

“Everything is electronically logged, so we know which sows have eaten and which have not,” says Mogler. “Nedap Automatic Sow Separation helps us immediately and easily find the problem sows to separate and care for them properly.”

The design of the feeder also helps Pig Hill save feed costs.

“The feeder bowls don’t have any sharp corners. Because of it, we’re minimizing feed waste,” says Mogler. “Sows lick the bowl clean and they don’t spill. If the sow leaves before she finishes her daily ration, the feeder doesn’t keep dropping feed.”

The forward-exit is key

Pen design creates calm environment

The sows at Pig Hill don’t just eat like queens. Mogler also credits the design of the pen for allowing the sows to live together comfortably.

“A hierarchy in the pen isn’t a problem until there is stress associated with that hierarchy,” says Mogler. “The Nedap Electronic Sow Feeding pen design allows the sows to establish social areas. In addition to the spaces where they eat, drink and move, they can choose a resting space and can regulate their comfort. If they want to snuggle, they can. If they want to sprawl out and not touch their neighbors on a hot summer day, they don’t have to.”

Mogler says the Nedap Electronic Sow Feeder’s forward-exit design is a key to eliminate sow stress.

“Sows can’t just exit the feed station and turn right around. They have to go for a decent length of a walk,” says Mogler. “This walk distracts the sow, and she’ll either get a drink or go lie down. The proper distance between the exit and entrance is key.”

Pig Hill doesn’t want to cut corners. They want what’s best for their sows and their employees. “The biggest way to have success in a pen is to reduce the stress for the female,” says Mogler. “It is essential to work with people who have experience, understand sow behavior and won’t cut corners when designing the pen because not all pens are created equal. It’s all about how the pen is laid out.