In a previous study the effect of feeder design on pig performance and economic efficiency was examined (Magowan and McCann, 2006).
It was found that the Transition and Jetmix feeders increased feed usage but feed efficiency was poorer than when pigs were offered pellets via a dry multispace feeder. Although similar growth rates were observed over the growing period, the use of the pellets via the dry multi-space feeder was the most economically efficient (35 p feed/kg gain) compared with the use of the Jetmix feeder. In addition, similar pig performance was attained when only the Jetmix feeder was used instead of both the Transition and Jetmix feeders as recommended by the manufacturer. The study also suggested that if small pigs were penned separately and offered feed via a Jetmix feeder, benefits may be attained. The aim of this follow-up study was to investigate the effect of the Jetmix feeder when offering feed to small pigs grouped separately from large pigs.
Small pigs (6-8 kg), in groups of 20, were offered pelleted feed via either a Jetmix or dry multi-space feeder. Compared to the dry multi-space feeder, the use of the Jetmix feeder with small pigs increased feed usage (880 vs 766 g/day) but feed efficiency was poorer (1.62 vs 1.46). As a result there was no significant growth or economic benefit of using the Jetmix feeder compared to a dry multi-space feeder with groups of small pigs within the weight range of 6-8 kg.
The use of the Jetmix feeder increased feed usage but as feed efficiency was poorer, it is suspected that feed was wasted. Results of this study and previous work (Magowan and McCann, 2006) indicate that Jetmix feeders do not increase economic returns relative to a simple dry multi-space feeding system.