14 May 1999

Transition feeder keeps piglets sweet

SAVE £4 a finished pig using a feeder which helps piglets adjust from sows milk to solid feed, says manufacturer Quality Equipment.

Its QE Pioneer transition feeder, used for just 12 days, mixes meal and water to a porridge which can gradually thickened. It also mimics the sows milking pattern by offering feed ad-lib for increasing periods in each hour – from 15 to 45 minutes, says the company.

An audible signal alerts pigs to feed delivery times and more feed is mixed when a nudge bar is activated, it adds.

A trial of the feeder showed piglets reached 30kg liveweight 10 days earlier than normal, so its possible to slaughter them 20 days earlier, it says. A producer rearing two batches of 25 pigs a month, could save £200 a month, says Quality Equipment.

A stainless steel feeder, connected to a water supply and 13 Amp plug, will feed 30 piglets and costs £485 (01359-240529, fax 01359-242086).