Not only are his gestating sows in better condition, but Denys also loves the change in his herd’s behavior since installing Nedap Electronic Sow Feeding.
“My pigs aren’t aggressively fighting. They mingle calmly with each other,” says Denys. “There is no fighting around the feeder entrance, either.”
Denys attributes the calm atmosphere to Nedap Electronic Sow Feeding’s forward-exit only design, which prevents fed sows from interacting with unfed sows waiting to eat. A wall along the middle of the pen further prevents immediate contact between fed and unfed sows.
“When a sow leaves the feed unit, she has to walk down the full length of the barn and back again. Most of the time on her walk back, she decides to lay down and sleep,” says Denys. “With other styles of feeding systems, sows want to get back into the feeder, which creates aggression and puts more wear and tear on equipment.”
Easy-to-use system saves time
In addition to the quiet atmosphere the Nedap system creates on his farm, Denys appreciates how it saves him time.
“Our sow barn needs less maintenance now because we aren’t spending time fixing loose stalls,” says Denys. “We also save time by not having to find sows to move them to farrow. Nedap Automated Sow Separation finds them and sorts them out for us. We also save time because our sows are easier to handle than when we had them in stalls.”
The system also eliminates potential production loss by helping Denys identify changes in sow behavior that could indicate something is wrong.
“When the system alerts us that a sow isn’t eating, we go into the pen to see what’s wrong. If the sow has a sore foot or another type of problem, we pull her out,” says Denys. “In individual gestation stalls, you don’t have that level of observation. You don’t know if a sow isn’t eating or how much of her feed the sow next to her ate. Now we know exactly how much each sow is eating.”