If you feed pelleted rations to your hogs, will you get a benefit from installing wet/dry feeders?  Or, if you have wet/dry feeders, should you feed a pelleted ration through them?

During a visit to South Korea, Kansas State University swine nutritionist Joe Hancock was expounding the virtues of pellets. But some Korean producers said they doubted the effectiveness of pellets in the wet/dry feeders they were using.

To test whether a wet/dry feeder and pellet combination offered any benefits, Hancock and his Kansas State colleagues designed a trial.

In his study, Hancock found pelleting improved pigs’ feed/gain ratios by 7 percent when used in dry feeders ù comparable to other studies on pellet performance. As for wet/dry feeders, pigs fed pelleted feed through them posted a 6 percent better average daily gain than those fed pellets through conventional feeders. However, pelleting improved feed/gain ratios only 1 percent in wet/dry feeders vs. conventional grinds.

Pigs eating from wet/dry feeders used about one-half gallon per day less water than those using dry feeders.

Hancock’s conclusions:

  • It may be difficult the justify the cost of installing a pellet mill if you already have wet/dry feeders. Or it may be hard to justify the cost of wet/dry feeders if you already feed pelleted diets.
  • On the other hand, feeding pellets through a wet/dry feeder will offer maximum feed efficiency with minimum water waste.