Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Author(s): Dr. Mike Brumm
Publication Date: January 1, 2006
Reference: Proceedings of the 2006 Manitoba Swine Seminar
Country: Canada


Out-of-feed is a common error. Human error occurs such as that of failing to monitor bin levels and/or placing feed orders too late. An example of a preventative measure includes adding a second bulk bin and keeping one or the other full at all times. Feed bridging is a second error, where feed plugs up and flow is halted. Anti-bridging devices available on the market can prevent this. Equipment malfunction is a third error. The consequences to out-of-feed include behavioral fluctuations, gastric ulcers (if off feed for 24 hours — plus the breakdown of body stores begins), hemorrhagic bowel syndrome, tail biting, and poorer carcass composition. Dr. Brumm performed an experiment in which he determined that weekly out-of-feed events reduced daily feed intake overall by 0.195 lb/day, but had no effect on feed conversion. Pigs fed coarse diets eat more feed for the final 56-day period compared to pigs fed medium ground diets, but have poorer feed conversion.

Water is a component that is frequently mismanaged among producers. Factors such as pen size and stocking density should be taken into account when planning number of drinkers, number of drinking spaces, drinker type, and delivery rate of drinkers. Water consumption appears to go in seasonal patterns. For example, in the summer, pigs’ water consumption peaks earlier in the day, with a decline beginning midday. Water recording devices can be used to monitor water wastage. Water-to-feed ratios decrease as pigs grow. At the start of their life they require about a 3.35:1 ratio and this declines to about 2.25:1 (with gate-mounted nipple drinkers). Although the volume of manure is less when water wastage is minimized, the amount of total nutrients does not vary. A flow rate of 1000 ml/min appears to be accurate for grower-finisher pigs, and 2 drinkers are recommended for every 15 to 20 grower-finisher pigs.

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