1996 - Volume #20, Issue #1, Page #10[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Labor-Saving Pig Feeder
The feeder consists of a standard fish feeder with a fiberglass hopper equipped with a rotating disc at the bottom. It's powered by a 1/40th hp electric motor controlled by a timer. He added an 8-in. dia. PVC tubing beneath the hopper. Feed is thrown by the spreader disc against the sides of the tubing and falls into a 36-in. dia. metal feeder tray that serves as a base for the unit. The feeder has a capacity of 55 lbs., and can feed 15 to 30 pigs at a time.
"It does the feeding for me, and lets me precisely control the amount and timing of feed distribution so that they gain with optimum efficiency," says Willard, who uses three of the units on pigs that are 2 to 4 weeks old. "I can set the timer to feed a little at a time throughout the day, which is better than feeding a lot at a time less frequently. For example, I can feed 3 lbs./ hour several times during the day but only three times at night when pigs don't eat as much. Less frequent feeding keeps the pigs a little hungry so that they don't gorge and get scours.
"I put each feeder in the center of the pen where all the pigs can see it. When the feed pellets hit the metal base, most of the pigs jump up just like their mom was calling them and start to eat. The others see them and soon follow."
Willard bought his feeders from Fish Farm Supply Co. which supplies equipment to the fish farming industry (54 Centre St., Elmira, Ontario, Canada N3B 2V6, ph. 519 669-1096; fax 519 669-2864). Several feed companies and a university are testing the units. He estimates that they could be marketed for about $450 (Canadian).
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bob Willard, Rt. 2, Mildmay, Ontario, Canada N0G 2J0 (ph 519 367-5233).
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