Maintaining a high level of hygiene of the feeding system

No matter whether the feeding system is designed for dry or liquid feed, it is extremely important to maintain a very high level of hygiene. This can be done by implementing periodically routines from a check list including supervising all parts of the feeding system - from one end to the other - and cleaning regularly

Written by: Sales Manager Cristian Calin Chisiu

In many farms this is a challenge though for many reasons: it may not be considered as urgent because everything works fine; the silos are most of the time full and it may be difficult to have a look inside or it may be difficult to open; there is not enough time or personnel to do it etc.

On most farms with good management and a high level of hygiene, there is a lower risk of feed contamination. When the hygiene level is lower, rotten feed is often found inside the feeding system and becomes a contamination source because of a high content of toxic molds, yeasts and mycotoxins. These substances will harm the animals and give challenges in the production.

In practice the feed produced at the feed mill is produced from high quality raw materials with no (or very low) contamination of mycotoxins. Somehow we sometimes experience animals though with signs of mycotoxins (sudden sickness, vomiting, abortions etc. with apparently no logical explanation). As an example -  Ochratoxin – is usually produced after harvest due to poor storage conditions. Huge increases in water intake, polyuria, enlarged gray/yellowish kidneys are also some of the main intoxication symptoms.

Start an investigation

It is therefore vital to start an investigation from the starting point and follow the feed onwards. Inspect the transport pipes (or the silo truck transporter) and then continue with the feed storage silo inspection etc.

Inspection of silos

Check the pipes and pipe connections; silos from the outside and especially the inside walls with a lantern, the feed transport mechanism, etc. Also check if everything is still waterproof - with no loose parts, cracks or openings where the rain, birds or rodents can get in contact with the feed. 

Silos should be periodically checked inside. New grains with higher moisture or a big temperature difference between day and night can cause moisture to create condense on the silo walls. Feed will then start to stick and build up rotten moldy feed from where small amounts can drop into the feeding system. All the above problems goes for both pelletized and feed from your own internal feed mill.

Inspection inside the stables

If one has experienced mechanical problems in the feeding system, excess feed can store in the corner of the pipes over time and get rotten and contaminated by mycotoxins and be carried out with the feed and dropped in the pig feeders.

When washing the stables, it is very important to remember that the feeding system should be emptied before cleaning and washing! When a stable is populated again after a long period, always remove old left feed even if it looks ok. Mycotoxins are not necessarily visible and can not be smelled.

The liquid feeding system should also be well cleaned periodically according to the handbook of the producer. Remember to thorougly clean the top walls inside the tanks and the lid, where the feed is making a film or a thick layer which contains a lot of microorganisms - some of them toxic or harmful.

Another `surprise´ can be found when checking the feeding pipes from the feeding box down to the trough (in the farrowing stable). Often a lot of dark rotten feed is found that has built up inside the pipes.

A high level of hygiene and a toxin binder can help you

There are many pitfalls in relation to feed being contaminated on the farm. A small amount of ingested rotten feed can make a pig very sick and even cause death.

With a high level of cleaning/hygiene and protecting your feed with a toxin binder you stand well. 

The newly launched X-Bond series is our solution for a toxin binder

Check out the variants in our X-Bond series for adding to your feed at a prevention level - read all about X-Bond here