For most of us, housing sows individually is a familiar system. Individual pens have been used to make many processes more manageable, including vaccinations, pregnancy and heat checks, and feeding, just to name a few. With recent market pressures, more and more producers are interested in pen gestation for their sow barns.
What is pen gestation?
Pen gestation is just the term used to describe the loose housing of sows. This setup allows them to move around more freely and interact with other animals, as sows are social animals. While they will fight to establish a hierarchy, they interact reasonably smoothly once they determine who is in charge.
An electronic feeding system is an efficient way to feed sows in pen gestation.
Gone are the days of pouring feed out and hoping everyone gets their share. Today, we have access to tools that can help us ensure each sow gets exactly the ration she needs. An electronic feeding system, such as AP’s Gestation Sow Feeder (GSF), allows us to do just that. Here are just a few advantages of using an electronic feeding system in pen gestation.
- A calmer herd
The sows don’t associate people with feeding, so they don’t get overexcited or aggressive when they see a worker enter. An electronic system helps the herd stay calm while eating instead of competing for food.
- A more open barn
By using a gestation sow feeder, producers can eliminate the need for feed drops every two feet, making the pen easier to navigate for workers and animals.
- Increased efficiency
By using a computerized feeding system, producers can see data on who’s eating, drinking, and how much is consumed, keeping a better eye on herd health and efficiency.
So, what should you look for when choosing the right electronic feeding system for your sows in pen gestation?
There are many options out there for feeding your sows electronically. Here are some of the critical attributes your setup should have.
- Open access with precise delivery
Look for a system that allows sows to eat when they want to and ensures they are getting the correct ration for them - and your farm’s productivity. A feeder that uses RFID tags can accomplish this.
UNDERSTANDING RFID AND ITS ROLE IN FEEDING SOWS
- Sturdy design
Find a system made of heavy-duty materials by a company that understands the wear and tear a sow barn takes on. AP’s GSF is made of heavy grade galvanized and stainless steel and made to set up in existing barns with partial slat floors.
- Easy-to-read display
If you can’t use it, you don’t need it. Prioritize the usability of a system in your decision-making. Features such as a large display and easy swapping between languages make the system a more usable product for many operations.
- Cloud connectivity
Look for an electronic feeding system that lets you easily see and change settings no matter where you are. You can’t always be in the barn, so a system with mobile accessibility helps your barn run smoothly, whether you’re in the pen, the office or at home. You also can share the data with sow management software systems.
AP has electronic feeding solutions for your sows.
Whatever way you feed your sows, AP has the right options to fit your operation. Our Gestation Sow Feeder (GSF) checks all the boxes mentioned above, while combining a focus on animal welfare and nutrition with our first-in-class service and experience. To learn more about what AP offers, contact your local dealer or learn more at www.automatedproduction.com