Autosort Weighing and Sorting Systems Offer Advantages When Phase Feeding

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2135. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 9 May 2006
clock icon 3 minute read
Manitoba Pork Council

Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 2135

A research scientist with the Prairie Swine Centre in Saskatoon suggests automated systems for weighing and sorting pigs offer great potential to help swine producers maximize the benefits of phase feeding.

In an effort to maximize the benefits of technology designed to automatically sort pigs according to body weight scientist at the Prairie Swine Centre have kicked off a series of studies designed to examine the management of these systems.

Research scientist in animal behavior Dr. Harold Gonyou says, while these autosort systems are particularly valuable for identifying and sorting pigs for market, they're also extremely useful in determining when pigs are ready to be switched to less costly diet formulations.

"We have the opportunity of sorting these pigs out according to their weight and feeding them different diets as they're growing. For the last ten or 15 years we've been doing something called phase feeding and we start with a higher level of protein in the diet for the younger pigs and, as the pigs grow, they actually require a lower proportion of protein in the diet.

It's a cheaper diet to feed. However we have to feed just one diet to all the pigs in a pen. In general we have fed for the average pig in the pen and so, when pigs would reach 75 kilograms, we might say we have a diet change at that point so that we drop it down but a pig that only weighs 65 kilograms then is getting a lower quality diet than it could really benefit from.

This way we can feed two diets to that pen of pigs. That is likely to return two or three dollars a pig to you in terms of being able to match you diet more specifically to the pig."

Dr. Gonyou notes essentially, if for any reason we want to feed a pig differently based on its body weight, this autosort allows us to do so because every time the pig goes to eat it is weighed and it can be channeled off to different feeders at that time.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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