Out-of-Feed Events in Grow-Finish Pigs: Causes and Consequences
University of Nebraska 2005 Swine Day Report. In theory, bulk bins and automated feed delivery systems assure an uninterrupted flow of feed to the feeder in swine grow-finish facilities. In practice, growing-finishing pigs have varying disruptions in feed availability, some of which may have serious consequences. While every swine grow-finish facility has occasional disruptions due to mechanical failures in the feed delivery system, there are additional disruptions due to human errors associated with keeping feed in the bulk bin and feed bridging associated with feed removal from the bin. Out-of-feed events are a known cause of ulcers in pigs and are suspected of being associated with increased incidence of hemorrhagic bowel syndrome and ileitis. It is speculated that each 20 to 24 hour out-offeed event results in an increase in variation in growth within a population of pigs and results in a reduction in daily gain.