Sow Feeding System to Help Optimize Day-to-day Operations: Pork Producer’s Testimonial
GESTAL Was the Right Fit for the New Construction
Welcome to Legacy Pork. Located in the Midwestern region of the United States, this 5,000-head farrow-to-wean sow farm is managed by Jordan Epperson and Anthony Russo. This second-generation family farm had its share of challenges with a fire that destroyed their barn in 2018. Taking this situation as an opportunity, the team incorporated a different feeding system into their new barn: The GESTAL 3G for the group-housed gestating barn and GESTAL Solo in farrowing.
Jordan and Anthony take us on a tour of their new facility while sharing experiences using our feeding technology and how it has improved tasks and sow performance. Let’s go!
Ongoing Technical Support
Following a meeting with our staff at the head office in Canada, the management team quickly felt they were in good hands with the technical staff and experts from JYGA. Right from the start, the technical support was always amazing and easy to reach.
Choosing the Right Electronic Sow Feeder (ESF)
When the team was looking at an ESF system, one of the things that was important to them was the technology used at the farm and in the office. The team’s previous experience with another ESF system’s software that it was a little cumbersome to use; had a lot of different screens and tabs in order to get things done. With VISION, the software behind every GESTAL, everything is all on one page; you can find information on a particular sow, what it is eating in a day, day of gestation, feeding curves, etc. However, you can still find additional statistics if you want to dig deeper into a specific element.
Animal welfare is also an important value to the Epperson family. With GESTAL, a smart sow feeding system, workers can help sows maintain a good body condition score while making sure that the animals are well taken care of.
ESF and Gilt Training
It is common knowledge that training gilts can be a topic of concern when it comes to electronic sow feeders. However, for Jordan and Anthony, transitioning to GESTAL in the gestation barn was done easily. Essentially, the animals will work and train themselves. Staff was able to focus on important tasks instead of having a large amount of time spent on training gilts. This was a huge plus for the management team.
Group Housing: Eating Schedule with GESTAL
If you happen to walk around the gestation pens, in the morning or in the afternoon, you will realize quickly that the behavior of the sows will change depending on the time of day. In the morning, sows are walking around and looking to see if they can get into a feeder in order to get their ration of the day. On the other hand, in the afternoon, it is much quieter in the barn.
“As the day goes along, as we approach noon time, the majority of the sows have eaten.” Says Anthony about his gestating sows.
A Technology to Attract Younger Generation Back to the Farm
One of the challenges that the swine industry is currently facing is a labor shortage. Technology is a way for Legacy Pork to bring the most qualified workers back to the farm. With GESTAL, the management team is providing an opportunity to use this technology and stimulate the interest of the younger generation to get involved in the day-to-day operations. At the same time, since technology is helping everyday tasks, a fewer number of team members are needed to run the facility. Overall, it was the right solution for their team.
If you wish to optimize your farm’s operation by using a smart sow feeding system, contact our team of experts, they can guide you on how GESTAL can improve your performance.