Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

January 2005


Published in 2005 Nebraska Swine Report, compiled by Duane Reese; University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension EC 05-219-A. Prepared by the staff in Animal Science and cooperating Departments for use in Extension, Teaching and Research programs. Cooperative Extension Division, Agricultural Research Division, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


In theory, bulk bins and automated feed delivery systems assure an uninterrupted flow of feed to the feeder in swine grow-finish facilities. In practice, growing-finishing pigs have varying disruptions in feed availability, some of which may have serious consequences. While every swine grow-finish facility has occasional disruptions due to mechanical failures in the feed delivery system, there are additional disruptions due to human errors associated with keeping feed in the bulk bin and feed bridging associated with feed removal from the bin. Out-of-feed events are a known cause of ulcers in pigs and are suspected of being associated with increased incidence of hemorrhagic bowel syndrome and ileitis. It is speculated that each 20 to 24 hour out-of-feed event results in an increase in variation in growth within a population of pigs and results in a reduction in daily gain.