Electronic Sow Feeders (ESF) are high-quality, durable and efficient technology designed to provide access to fresh feed that will keep sows healthy and reproductive. They allow hogs especially sows to eat comfortably and can be adjusted to precise settings for a balanced feed distribution.

ESF has made a big difference in daily farm management and managing a large groups of hogs. Hogs can now eat from the automatic pig feeders without any interruptions or competition.

ESF is much more than a way to feed hogs. It offers a range of management options including reproductive efficiency, nutritional supplementation and promoting the hog’s welfare. Sows in particular are content and eat meals at their own schedule. They get the correct amount of feed helping them to stay healthy and achieve higher piglet birthrate.

There are many benefits for using an ESF system:

1. Construction

Construction of an ESF facility is inexpensive, flexible and simple. The ESF can easily be retrofitted within existing barn facilities. These automatic pig feeders are often constructed in stainless steel for less operational maintenance and to last longer. Not a lot of training is required for the hogs as the setup automatically guides them to the feed station.

2. Efficiency

ESF reduces feed wastage and cost. It allows for peaceful eating without the need of human supervision or the hogs being competitive. Hogs are less aggressive with each other during their feed time due to the systematic approach. ESF is designed to accommodate up to 50 or more hogs per feed station.

Once the hog enters the feed station, the gates lock for a planned time. The system begins dispensing the allotted feed. The ESF drops the feed into a bowl and keeps the gate locked so no other hog can enter. The gates will open at any time if the hog stops eating or when the feed portion automatically stops.

Hogs especially sows can still remain in groups, while managed individually during feed times. The ESF system is designed to improve the efficiency of barn facilities, farm management and well-being of the hogs. It is easy to use and employees can get their jobs done in no time.

3. Health and Comfort

The ESF system allows sows to choose their own feed schedule. This has proven to reduce stress, anxiety and aggression among hogs. The sows eat in a protected environment, eliminating the competition for food. ESF improves the health of the hog especially sows.

It measures the quantity of the feed and maintains nutritional requirements. The quantity of feed can be adjusted to maintain the weight of the hog.  A well balance feed will result in healthier piglets and fewer health problems for older hogs.

4. Technology

The feed stations are fitted with computers that track and dispense the right quantity feed for each hog. It provides information on each hog which can support management decisions. The computer records the amount of feed that has been dispensed for each feed and at each stall.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is used in sow feeding. This way farmers can manage hogs individually and understand why certain hogs especially sows are not eating. They can easily identify these hogs and fix the problem. With RFID, farmers can also manage each hog and monitor their movement on the farm. Plus, the RFID will help to adjust the sow feed to suit the condition of the hog.

With the RFID tags, farmers are able to dispense the exact amount of feed required for the hog. They are also able to manage the hog’s weight as ESF allows for remote monitoring and control of the feed quantity. The quantities of feed can be increased or decreased by farm staff using the computer system. RFID helps to gather information in real-time, feed herds of all size and monitor consumption.

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