Known as Milkiwean feeder, it is a special adaptation of the company’s successful Transition feeder enabling it to dispense warm milk and early weaning feed so that very young and surplus piglets can be reared. Normally, many such piglets fail to survive.
An element heats water which is mixed with a product from Trouw Nutrition’s extensive range of milk powder or meal at the trough. Mother’s feeding pattern is mimicked by dispensing the warm, milk or feed once an hour. To avoid milk becoming stale the level is controlled by a probe. In addition, feed or milk is only dispensed for 10 minutes, to ensure piglets clean up and leave a minimal amount in the trough. Feed rates are increased as the pigs grow.
With young piglets scrupulous hygiene is essential and the feeder is designed to be easily dismantled for thorough cleaning.
“The machine has been in used on around 40 farms in Belgium for the past six months. With modern productive sows more pigs are being born than can be reared. While this feeder can be used in the farrowing pens for supplementary feeding, it is normally placed in a separate special nursery for rearing up to 35 surplus piglets from a few days old till normal weaning time,” commented Michael Mattmüller, of G E Baker Ltd.
Trouw Nutrition Belgium produces a range of specialist piglet feeds and its Milkiwean Baby Milk sow milk replacer can be used to rear young pigs whose digestive systems are not fully developed until they are ready to make the transition to solid feed. However, the company advises feeding colostrums to piglets for at least two days