Nedap Electronic Sow Feeding System A Viable Production Option In The U.S.

May 27, 2014

Innovative and automated system allows sows to be fed individual rations in a group housing setting

Nedap, a global leader in livestock management systems, continues to improve sow performance with its electronic sow management system in the United States.

Nedap’s electronic sow feeding system has been implemented on key operations in the U.S., with sow managers finding multiple production benefits, including: greater consistency in body condition scores, better conception rates, minimized stress on the sows and a more balanced sow parity structure.

For example, Thomas Livestock in Broken Bow, Neb., has added 0.5 pigs per sow per year in their 4,000-sow facility since implementing the Nedap electronic sow management system.

“The Nedap system is a good management tool,” says Steve Horton, facility manager for Thomas Livestock. “We can produce more pigs, have a more relaxed atmosphere and monitor the gilts and sows better. I would recommend it to other sow managers.”

The system allows sows to be housed in dynamic or static groups with the benefits of individual animal management, including: optimized heat detection, enhanced pen flow and rations customized to meet the individual gestation needs of the sow.

In the system, sows are housed in groups and fed individually. Sows enter Nedap individual electronic sow feeding stations where Nedap software reads each sow’s radio frequency identification (RFID) ear tag. An automated feed hopper then dispenses the amount of feed the sow requires based on a ration entered into the computer by the farm manager.

The software allows producers to monitor each sow’s feed intake. Heat detection technology can also be a part of the system. This technology detects open sows with 95 percent accuracy, automatically sorting open sows into a separate holding pen.

Sow managers are alerted to changes in individual sows’ feed consumption and estrus cycle through Nedap’s secure web-accessible software. Nedap’s software notifies the manager when sows need individual attention.

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