Impact of Feeder and Drinker Designs on Pig Performance, Water Use and Manure Production

University of Nebraska 1997 Swine Day Report. Two experiments were conducted to examine the impact of feeder and drinker designs on pig performance, water use and manure volume. In the first experiment, pigs with access to a Crystal Springs wet/dry feeder grew faster, but had a poorer feed conversion and similar carcass merit as pigs using dry feeders with wall-mounted nipple drinkers. Water use was reduced 25.6% in the combined winter and summer trials and manure volume reduced 28.9% in the summer trial for the wet/dry feeder system versus the dry feeder and wall-mounted nipple drinker system. In the second experiment, there was no difference in pig performance or carcass merit for pigs using Trojan WaterSwing drinkers versus gate mounted Trojan nipple drinkers. There was an 11.1% reduction in water use and a 16.2% reduction in manure volume for pigs using the swinging waterer. The reduction in manure volume for both systems compared to a conventional dry feeder and gate-mounted nipple drinker system has implications for designing manure storage devices and estimates of time necessary for manure removal. While the volume needed to store 180 days of manure production decreases with either the wet/dry feeders or swinging nipple drinker, the estimated acres of cropland to utilize the stored manure as a fertilizer resource does not change. It appears the difference in volume is due to a reduction in water wastage only. The total pounds of nutrients (N, P, K, etc) in the stored manure do not change, only their concentration per 1,000 gallons.