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Electronic Sow Feeding Experience

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by student on July 3, 2018

Author: Kevin D Stuckey

Reference: Banff Pork Seminar Proceedings 2017


Cooper Farms has gone through the process of opening two barns that are pen gestation units. When looking at options for feeding systems they chose to use Electronic Sow Feeding (ESF) stations, as they felt it gave them the best opportunity to individual feed the sows and decrease aggression.

They have opened two operations, Fox Tail a 2,500 head operation and Pheasant Run which is a 5,000 head operation. Fox Tail was the first operation, which was built between 2012-2013. In this system they utilized post implantation static pens for the sows and dynamic flow for gilts.

Pheasant Run was opened in 2016, continuing with the same basic concepts as Fox Tail. They still utilized post-implantation static pens for the sows and dynamic flow for the gilts. Pheasant run was able to learn from the struggles of Fox Tail. One aspect that was more focused on was gilt training. The facility spent more time training people to train gilts.

Looking forward for Cooper Farms, the next farm they build will still utilize electronic sow feeding. They are looking into technology such as pedometers – which are used in the dairy industry. Pedometers track steps, increased steps are an indication that they sow is cycling and decreased steps is an indication that something is wrong.

One issue the company has struggled with is management, initially they wanted to incorporate inexperienced management that would be more accepting of the ESF. However, they have learned that knowledge of running a sow operation is an asset.

Electronic Sow Feeding Experiences

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