NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: ad lib feeders  (Read 394 times)


  • Joined Sep 2017
ad lib feeders
« on: June 13, 2018, 01:53:07 pm »
Hi I have currently got some pigs which we are fattening up and all is going so well (touch wood) that I am planning on the next lot and trying to make it easier.

I am only a small holder who is also a teacher and so would only be keeping 3 pigs for fattening but was wondering about using an ad lib feeding system to make it easier for me as I am out the door early and often back late. Is it good enough to just fill up and leave? Could I leave them for a weekend / week with this system if someone came and checked on them every few days?

Just want some opinions please.


Voss Electric Fence

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: ad lib feeders
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2018, 06:22:31 pm »
No, feeding time is ideal for checking the pigs for anything out of the ordinary, feeding at a regular time helps keep them tame (ish) . Filling a feeder and leaving it is an invite to the local wildlife to visit throughout the day ( and make unwanted deposits )
All live stock should be checked at the very least once a day, sods law says if you don't look at them for a couple of days then they will either die,turn wild or escape and have a good head start  ;).
My last lot of pigs had a 5am feed and and evening feed around 6/7pm depending on work commitments, they saw me as the provider of food and daily examination helped bonding .
Thats my view anyway


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: ad lib feeders
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2018, 07:14:20 pm »
I agree with Rupert on everything. The more time you can spend with them the nicer they are and more of a pleasure to keep
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits


  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: ad lib feeders
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2018, 09:10:07 pm »
It what you mean by feed. I used to give mine a bale of straw which they slept on and ate, about one every two weeks and then gave them pig nuts once a day.
  When they went to the butchers they were too fat. With the longer days even if you are working you can do two checks, if I am going to miss one out for any reason its the evening check, a morning check gives me time to sort this out when shops are open, help is about and you can see what you are doing.

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: ad lib feeders
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2018, 09:36:08 pm »
checking and handling, feeling the pig , checking the back fat, looking for any injuries (playing with them, everything is a game then , the more affable a pig is the more the element of stress is reduced )


  • Joined Sep 2017
Re: ad lib feeders
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2018, 08:04:40 am »
Thanks for the answers and opinions I love spending time with my pigs was just trying to find a easier way of looking after them if there ever is such a thing.


  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: ad lib feeders
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2018, 08:49:09 am »
The pigs were the easiest animal I have ever kept. They had a  wired and electric fenced pen on rough grass, and a bit of a shelter to keep them out of the sun. They came the end of April as weaners and I took the butcher myself the middle of November. I used a bucket to get them into the trailer and they slept overnight in it and they followed a bucket into the largage.


  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: ad lib feeders
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2018, 10:37:32 am »
Ad lib feeders are designed for indoor use. They are not ideal for a short term solution such as being away for a weekend/week. They don't have lids and rain would blow into the feed tray. There is no reason why you can't make an area suitable to house a feeder where it can be weather proof. They will gorge at first but quickly settle into feeding a sensible amount. As said vermin, including birds, can be a problem. Your pigs will finish more quickly.

Many farmers will not see their outside stock on a daily basis, it just isn't practical. For smallholders the potential losses from not seeing stock daily is not worth the risk. Pigs though do need to be seen daily because they must have an adequate water supply. Stock on grass will need less water than pigs fed dry nuts. They are extremely curious and very strong increasing the potential for escape and mischief. Generally speaking pigs very healthy but if they do become ill the onset is usually very rapid.

I agree with everything everyone else has said about handling etc.

They are easy to keep but they are a daily commitment.


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