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References Farrowing Feeding

Richard Wellink, excited about Farrowing Feeding:

"Sows in better condition and heavier piglets "

Sow farmer Richard Wellink from Aalten, the Netherlands, can see a clear difference. In the section where he uses the Farrowing Feeding system, the sows are in a better condition and the piglets are heavier when weaned. "Soon I'm going to install it in all the sections," he says enthusiastically.

The Nedap Farrowing Feeding automatic feeding system allows you to feed each farrowing sow exactly according to her requirements. From the farrowing day through to weaning, the feeding curve can be programmed precisely according to the sow's condition, the number of piglets and the lactation stage. The program can even take account of the feeding speed: first-litter sows eat less quickly than older sows. This means that each sow receives exactly what she needs.

Richard Wellink owns a sow farm, Topigs 50, in Aalten in the Netherlands. He had Nedap Farrowing Feeding installed on a trial basis in a single section with eight sows. "I've used it for several rounds now, and I'm very happy with it," he says. "In the other sections, I have to feed the sows by hand every day. With Nedap Farrowing Feeding I've just put in a curve. The sows automatically get a little bit more feed each day."

Wellink usually feeds twice a day, but that means that " certainly at the end of the lactation period " the sows are given an enormous amount of feed to deal with. "Then you're at 8 to 9 kilos of feed per day; when you're feeding twice that's quite a lot of kilos. Especially in hot weather."
Feeding smaller quantities more frequently helps to stimulate feed intake. With Farrowing Feeding that can be up to 24 times per day. Wellink now gives a smaller portion of food four times per day. "That's the big advantage," he says. "They get up on their feet, they drink something, and that 's good for milk production. I can see that the piglets are heavier at weaning than those in the other sections. And the sows are staying in better condition. That's important, because the foundations for the next round are laid in the farrowing pen."

Easy change
That's why he has decided to have Nedap Farrowing Feeding installed in all sections. This is fairly simple to do, because the system consists of an auger dosing unit and a 12-volt electric motor. In principle it can be attached to any feed hopper beginning at 250 euros per sow place. It is controlled from the central corridor; the process unit runs on the Nedap Pig Management Technical Platform.

Feeding more
"Once the entire shed has been converted, I'm going to try to feed a bit more," Wellink says. "For now I've kept the total feed levels the same, but I think that with Nedap Farrowing Feeding the feed level per sow can be increased. You feed more often, so they eat it more easily. In addition, it stimulates water intake. And if you feed a lot right from the start, milk production gets going more quickly."
If the sows in the farrowing pen stay in better condition, he expects that it will also have a positive effect on fertility. "I am now at 27 to 28 weaned piglets per sow per year, so there is still room for improvement. With Nedap Farrowing Feeding I say, bring on 30!"


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