Choosing the right feeder for a small group of pigs

Choosing the right feeding equipment is just as important as providing proper housing for any group of finishing pigs. Over the years, advancements in improving feeding efficiency and waste reduction has led to countless feeder options available to producers. Gone are the days where pigs were fed from the “slop bucket” or by simply throwing feed on the ground. Whether you’re raising a large group of pigs or simply growing a few animals for your family, the right feeder can make all the difference in keeping your animals healthy and growing properly, without wasting a lot of nutrients.

The feeders for finishing pigs generally fall into two categories: gravity-flow feeders and mechanical-flow feeders. Gravity-flow feeders rely on gravity to dispense feed from a hopper into a trough or pan. On the other hand, mechanical-flow feed delivery requires a pig’s interaction with the feeder to dispense feed into a trough.
Osborne pioneered mechanical-flow feed delivery nearly 40 years ago when the Big Wheel made its first appearance in hog barns. Their unique mechanical flow feature means the pigs themselves – not gravity – control feed flow. Pigs can play with gravity-flow feeders and quickly unload the feed hopper, wasting countless amounts of feed. The Big Wheel’s unique, self-regulating feature is caused by a combination of close hopper-to-trough spacing and gravity-eliminating cone in the hopper. When the pigs stop eating, the feeder quits feeding.

The round trough of the Big Wheel allows pigs to spread radially allowing for more space between animals and less competition for feed access. Round troughs are self-cleaning, too. Rectangular, gravity-flow feeders force pigs into close contact at the trough. Because they must stand shoulder-to-shoulder, linear trough space is never fully used and more contact means more wasteful competition. Corners in rectangular feeders are hard to clean and feed easily becomes stale and stagnant.

In addition to more standing room for pigs, the round Big Wheel feeder takes up less floor space when compared to similar-size rectangular feeders. Give pigs the room they need instead of wasting floor space with bulky feeders.

No other self-feeder has ever beat the Big Wheel’s ability to stop play waste and put feed where it’s belongs – IN THE PIGS! Click here to learn more about the Big Wheel family of feeders for pigs of all sizes!