At the two Passion for Pigs seminar locations in Iowa in December, Bob Baarsch from Herdstar.com did a presentation on the impact of out-of-feed events on herd health and performance. Since some of the last research I did while at the University of Nebraska involved out-of-feed events, I followed his presentation with interest.
Using the large farm based data set of hourly feed bin weights available with their BinTrac product, Bob demonstrated many of the common causes of out-of-feed events in wean-finish facilities. Probably the most interesting discussion was the role of tandem bins in contributing to the problem.
For many years, producers have been installing tandem bins on feed lines. The idea is that with 2 bins per feed line, there should always be an inventory of feed available for distribution to feeders within the barn. In theory the outlet slide on a single bin is opened and feed dispensed from that bin. When the bin becomes empty, the slide is closed and the slide on the other bin is opened. At the same time, feed is ordered for placement in the now empty bin.