Trough with a twist boosts water intake and performance

US - A tray drinking system for pigs, which increases water consumption by 25 per cent and improves pork yield by 1-1.2 lb per carcase has been developed by an American pig producer.
calendar icon 21 November 2007
clock icon 3 minute read
Innovative WeighBetter trough increases water intake and aids performance.
The WeighBetter Watering System has been designed by Brad Knipplemeir as a result of Barn Report evaluations. The British developed software monitoring system identifies pigs' eating and drinking patterns and found that on his 14,500 pig-place finishing unit in Nebraska the pigs did not eat or drink during the night, but concentrated these activities at particular periods during the day.

This behaviour could lead to high levels of competition and aggressive behaviour around the drinking trough. "Historically the drinking process was a two-step process, with the pig having to bite or push a dispensing device before drinking," commented Brad.

So he went back to basics and designed a water tray rather than a bowl or drinker - producing a water trough with a new twist.

With dimensions 18 inches long, 12 wide and 3 inches high, it holds between one and two US gallons of water. A valve controls the water level and there are two baffles with openings in the bottom to control waste. The tray is set within the pen division, also helping to reduce wastage. The tray serves 75 pigs and allows four pigs of 130 kg to drink simultaneously.

The benefits emanate from easier drinking for the pig, while allowing better access and escape from the tough. And the increased access to water promotes higher feed consumption which is reflected in increased carcase yield.

The value is worth around $1 per pig in the US and probably about £1.30 a carcase at UK prices.
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