Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Portabins - so much more!

“When taking in to consideration all the attributes that Prairie Pride Poly Bins have to offer, it was an easy decision to bring them on board to distribute. They fit right in with our philosophy.” 

This is a phrase that you will often hear from us here at PigEasy. So the question comes up, why? What makes Prairie Pride Polybins so easy? 

This is when the list of many attributes occur. Throughout the last few months promoting the polybins that list has definitely grown. We started with the main points, visibility, seamless construction, strong and durable, and ease of use, but there is so much more! Feed bridging can be a huge issue with livestock farmers as that leads to out of feed events. With its smooth finish and seamless sides, Polybins save you from one more hassle. Add that to the visibility if there is an issue, Polybins take the guess out of what's going on with your feed bins.  

First, let's talk misconceptions...

One of the biggest misconceptions is that polybins are only for swine. That's not the case! These bins can be very versatile in any operation. In addition to swine, Polybins can be used in turkey and cattle operations with less corrosion. The polyethylene material is strong, durable and long lasting. How nice would it be to have this in the pasture or feedlot?

To top it off, they're portable!

One product that gets left behind most times is the Prairie Pride Portabin. These bins come in 4 foot and 5 foot diameter. Depending on which one fits best into your operation they hold anywhere between ½ ton and 2 ton of feed. These bins hold all the same features of the standalone bins, BUT, there is so much more!

 Along with the galvanized steel stand there is also a galvanized bottom that fits on the forks of your skid steer, forklift, or a pallet jack. Don’t need it to be portable? OK! The stainless steel stand can also stand alone with some simple modifications.

Much of the time you have an area where you mix your own feed ration, wouldn’t it be nice to not have to open all those bags? You can take the Portabin to town and fill up at the feed mill as it will fit in the back of your truck, which saves time and money! When they are portable you ease your operation up tremendously. How many times are you running to the pasture with calf creep? You can now store it in one container and all you have to do is open a slide gate!

Time Savings = Money Savings

As you know time is a HUGE factor that we all play with our daily operations. Because we all get busy it is easy to forget to check bins, costing us in the long run as the feed mill is running late or on the weekends. But when the almost empty bin is staring at you the whole time it may make it a little easier to call sooner!  If an out of feed event would occur it costs us more money, some of which we don’t gain back. We all go by the saying there are just not enough hours in the day. If you were able to cut down the amount of time you spend on the little things and had more time to focus on your family wouldn’t that pay for itself?

- Dawn


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

"We can rebuild her. We have the technology."

Steve Austin. Astronaut. A man barely alive.
Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. 
We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man. 
Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better. Stronger. Faster.

Gentlemen, we can rebuild her. We have the technology.

Comparing a sow to the 6 Million Dollar Man is probably a bit of a stretch, but there are similarities if you really think about it.

Steve Austin was an astronaut, someone the US Government invested in to take us into outer space and advance NASA’s interests.  After enduring a catastrophic crash of his aircraft, doctors realize Austin will only survive and continue his life’s work if extreme measures are taken. And with this tragedy comes a huge opportunity; to build the first bionic man who is stronger and faster than any human on earth.

Pork producers invest in each sow as a productive entity on the farm. Because sows do not reach profitability until after their third parity, it’s imperative to build momentum with incoming gilts and maintain that momentum throughout her lifetime by keeping her in condition at critical points in her reproductive cycle.

But what if a catastrophe occurs where she loses condition, such as an illness in lactation or can’t keep up nursing a big litter? Studies suggest if a sow loses condition in lactation, she’s more likely to be culled after her next parity. Typically, this sow is never able to regain condition throughout gestation and performs poorly the next litter. We all have the best of intentions to get her back into condition in gestation, but how often are we successful? Do we have the ability to change this trend?

We now have the technology. (Okay, “technology” might be pushing it, but we DO have a solution.)

We have the capability to keep this sow productive in the herd.

Losing condition in lactation happens, but it doesn’t have to be the end for that sow.

Klocke Farms has set up what is called a “Recovery Row” in the breeding barn. This row is intended for sows that are under conditioned, coming off of an illness or are not eating well. MealMeter feed dispensers are ready in the recovery row and feed boxes are first set at roughly 4-6 lbs (2-3 lbs per feeding). The viewing windows and troughs are monitored to assess intake. If by the end of the day the viewing window is empty and the trough is clean, the staff know it’s time to bump up the feed box to allow more feed.

Even being under conditioned, KFI breed these sows if they cycle, knowing that the MealMeter will get them back into condition.

The MealMeter feed dispenser allows the sow to consume her daily ration when she is ready without fear of her feed going stale or being washed down the trough to her over conditioned neighbor. By giving her time and choice, KFI is able to feed these recovery sows 16 lbs or more a day and can then easily get her back into condition before her 35 day preg check. 

Because KFI is able to condition these sows when they need it most, they are able to run a 35% replacement rate and are pushing over 60 pigs per sow lifetime.

This sow will be better than she was before.

Better. Stronger. More Productive.

It could be argued that a gilt entering the herd, given all vaccinations, undergone the feedback program and has built immunity to the population of the sow herd, is a wasted resource if no effort is given to build her back up after she loses condition in one of her earlier parities. Sows that can get past their third parity are able to reach the next level of maturity and that is why pigs from multi-parity sows fare better than P1 progeny in thegrow/finish sector.

Klocke Farms hypothesizes that a lot of the sows that left the herd early due to losing condition in lactation were in fact the more productive sows. By giving them the extra attention they need post-lactation, we are able to “re-build” her so she is ready for the next parity and beyond.

Steve Austin was a man of skill, experience and knowledge. If they had the technology to save him and allow him to reach his potential yet chose not to try, think of how much would have been lost… Dad wouldn’t have had a TV show to watch in high school!

We have the capability to keep these sows productive in the herd. By tapping into the potential of the MealMeter, our herd is better, stronger and more productive than ever before.

Until next time,


This blog post is Part #3 in a series on the long term benefits of the MealMeter.