Sunday, May 24, 2015

Automatic sprouting hog feeder, it works!

With the success last summer of sprouted grain for the hogs, I decided to try to remove some labor this year from the sprouting  routine.  And the good news.. it seems to WORK!

We have a pasture feeder from Osborne Industries. This thing is amazing! It is designed so that the grain in the feed trough never touches the grain in the bin. In fact, eve if the feed tray fills to overflowing with water, the grain inside stays perfectly dry! IT does this by having a mechanism at the bottom of the bin that rotates when the pigs eat, and drops grain into the feed trough. No actual gravity feed.

So, the idea is.. leets just leave this thing full of water! that way, the grain sprouts on the way to the pigs but stays dry in the inside storage.  To accomplish this, I added a drip line to the lower part to drip constantly into the feed trough.  After some careful adjusting we are reaching a point where the grain stays wet and some actually sprouts while waiting to be eaten. Yet we only handle dry grain once a week.  Awesome!

No worries about corrosion, as the bottom is fiberglass. Water should nt come in contact with any metal parts that matter.

The proof as they say is in the pudding... or the poop in this case. After a couple weeks of this feeder in operation, a careful poop check (dont you love farming!)  shows near complete digestion of the grain. Without sprouting, it would only be about 50% digestion or less of dry grain.  More digestion of grain equals more bacon!

I'll post some pictures of the contraption when I get a chance, but it is seriously easy, just a single piece of drip line connected to a hose with a pressure reducer.  Everything is tied overhead the pigs and brought in over tposts to keep curious pigs from eating hte hoses.


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