I save 1h-1h30 throughout the day with SKIOLD automatic sow feeders

SKIOLD Smart Feeders have improved daily workflow and resulted in calmer sows

Discover below the testimony of Yoann Hervé, pig farmer who has opted for the SKIOLD Smart Feeders to distribute dry feed to his pigs.

Why invest in a dry feeding system (SmartFeeder with sensor)?

While our finishers are on liquid feed, our sows consume dry feed. Before we got the SKIOLD Smart Feeders automatic dispensers, we had simple feeders that had to be adjusted, and the water was pipetted. We did everything by hand. We switched to the SKIOLD Modulosec system to save time and make the sows consume more water. For this, we entrusted SKIOLD with dry feeding in the farrowing section.

How long did it take to make the project a reality?

The realization was quick. I sought information before contacting SKIOLD. I chose the SKIOLD Smart Feeders after weighing the pros and cons and making a few visits. We made two visits in one day. We signed in December and the project was completed in May.

For the distributor, Fred Guillerm, this was his first installation of SKIOLD Smart Feeders. He had a great open-mindedness! He was able to adapt to my requests. I knew and visualized what I wanted. So I helped them with the installation. I participated in the assembly of all the probes on the troughs. ETS Guillerm prepared the troughs for me by pre-drilling them. When Fred arrived, all the troughs were mounted, all probes with cables were waiting and troughs were on gantries. Then ETS Guillerm mounted 54 feeders in less than 15 days.

Why choose SKIOLD?

I chose the product first. The SKIOLD Smart Feeders are scalable and offers different ways of working. It was everything I wanted. In fact, I wanted to:

  • Monitor water and feed quantities

  • Have a permanent basis of water

  • Modulate feed doses

The SKIOLD Smart Feeders are simple to use. In terms of washing and shelf life, the product seemed simple and well caulked. The product has no air cylinders: Maintenance is easy and does not cause noise pollution from air leakage. Even at the design level, the product is simple. It is therefore a system that you can repair yourself.

With the DistriWin software, we are very autonomous. Remote control is convenient. I can operate the dispenser manually from my phone to dispense the feed into the troughs. We can adjust and modulate a lot of parameters. For example, the SKIOLD Smart Feeders can provide small amounts of 20-25 g. This is by time and not a calibrated notch like the competitor. Finally, we handle them 6 by 6 or 8 by 8.


What the dry feeding system has given us

Time saving

Today, on a theoretical basis, I devote 30 minutes to the dry feeding system in the farrowing section.

Before with the old dispensers, I had to check all my troughs. If some of the sows hadn't eaten, I should adjust my dispensers. I should adjust the 54 feeders by hand, start the chain and wait for it to fill the dispensers. Then I went into the rooms and I scraped the troughs. Finally, it was necessary to wait until the sows had finished to give them water. I spent an hour and a half to two hours on a single room.

In conclusion, I gain 1h-1h30 on the day * 365d * hourly rate of an employee, it's not nothing! With SKIOLD Smart Feeders we save labour. Just by the labour it is a return on investment of the equipment in 5-6 years.

Daily ease of living

Anticipating births

We can anticipate and know when the sows will give birth and not overlook some sows. In fact, the latter will consume more water. What I do in the morning when I have a doubt about a sow, I consult the software and look at the water consumption of the day before. Then I look at which ones have milk. If we find that a sow has not eaten enough and is not very well, we systematically focus on water consumption. However, every sow is different.

Reduce the problems of milk flow in maternity wards

Today, I keep 14-15 piglets under my gilts. My sows no longer have a problem with milk production. Now. The sows get up to drink water unlike before. It's impressive! I don't even have 1 L permanently in the bottom of the trough. It's adjusted so that the light comes on. With every stroke she gets fresh water, but not 1 L each time. The sow will be able to consume 150 to 200 ML of water each time the probe is activated.

Homogenize the sows and the piglets

Due to the fact that we no longer have problems with milk production, the sows and their weaners are more homogeneous. When checking the ELD (bacon thickness), I found much fewer skinny sows. The standard deviation is much smaller between the skinniest and the fattest. In addition, we have re-increased the average. Today, the skinniest sow is 9 or 10 ELD.

Improving sow welfare

The system is very quiet and has a positive impact on the welfare of sows. Previously, the piglets were constantly looking to suckle from the mother and we waited for the sows to lie down to check that there were no piglets lying under them. Now, thanks to a better milk flow, the piglets are quiet when the sows get up. Since we got the SKIOLD Smart Feeders, the sows are no longer disturbed and are calmer.

Eliminate waste in the trough

With the SKIOLD Smart Feeders with sensor we have the tool to modulate. Sows consume one dose of water, 1.5 L of dilution per kg of feed, 20% in a fixed dose. The advantage is that sows consume small doses. Previously, the feed fell into the trough all at once, and if the sow was not hungry the feed was wasted. Today, I no longer empty the troughs and I see an increase in average consumption. My sows consume up to 40 L of water per day. This summer, one sow even consumed 60 L! In addition, small doses help to obtain a curve which shows very quickly. With 5 days of lactation, I get to more than 1 kg per day on each sow. I can’t do that with a conventional dispenser.

Any advice for farmers who would like to invest in automatic dry feeding?

If these farmers want to gain precision and manpower, they must invest in the SKIOLD Smart Feeders. Without the sensor it would be like buying a car without seats! Without the sensor, there is no point. And with this system, it is very interesting to manage water.

My final conclusion

If I was to do It again, I would do everything exactly the same!


Installation by Fred GUILLERM, Lampaul Guimillau

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