Learning to eat playfully prevents weaning dip
In nature, piglets learn playfully from the sow what they can eat. Verba's KZB feeder responds to that natural process with a low trough so that the piglets can reach the feed. After just a few days, the piglets start eating along with the sow. When weaned, they eat plenty of solid feed and know exactly where to look for it. They no longer suffer from weaning dip, they continue to grow and put on weight a week earlier.
From an early age, piglets copy the behavior of the sow. When a sow starts eating, they copy the art. Verba's KZB feeder was developed with this natural behaviour in mind. The goal is one feeder from which both sow and piglet can eat. After weaning, the piglets no longer have to search for where to get their feed and how the feeder works. The KZB feeder therefore has a low trough and the dosing system is at such a height that both sow and piglet can operate it.
The prototype of the KZB feeder has been extensively tested in the maternity rearing pens of the Brummelhuis family. Experience shows that the piglets take a bit of feed from the trough as early as the fifth day. They chew it and saliva production starts. The piglets will also automatically start eating the starter they are offered in addition. At the end of the suckling period, the piglets are completely used to solid feed. They have copied from the sow how the dosing system of the KZB feeder works and can operate it themselves.
No weaning dip
At weaning, the piglets no longer have to learn where to get their food from and they are all used to taking in solid feed. All the sow farmer has to do is fill the KZB feeder with piglet feed. The piglets eat well from the start and continue to grow after weaning. Weaning dip is no longer an issue, according to Brummelhuis. The result is that the piglets grow considerably faster and reach the desired weight a week earlier, which is a simple way to achieve an excellent weaning weight. The piglets are also in better health; over the past two years the sow farmer has had no more problems with Streptococcus.
Working with the KZB feeder in a farrowing pen saves on labor: when weaning, it is not necessary to place another feeding system in the farrowing pen. The KZB feeder's storage bin is large enough for the feed intake of 15 piglets. In addition, the sow farmer has to clean less often, which saves labor, water and manure production.
The trend toward free-ranging sows in the farrowing pen is driving the switch to farrowing crates: the free-ranging sows soon require a farrowing crate of 6 to 6.5 square meters. This is large enough to serve as a farrowing pen.
Jarno Brummelhuis: 'No more weaning dip and Streptococcus with KZB feeder'
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