There are almost as many pig feeders to choose from as there are pig prospects to choose from. Pig feeders can be made from many different materials and come in many, many different sizes. Both depend on what role you want pigs to play on your backyard ranch.
Pig feeders should be sturdy, adequate and easy to clean. Pig feeders can be bin shaped and hang on the wall with doors for feeding or they can be a shallow trough with an open top. Both types of pig feeders can be made from galvanized steel or polyethylene plastic.
Bin Type Pig Feeders
Bin shaped feeders open at the top to pour in the feed, they are almost “J” shaped. The doors at the bottom allow the pigs access to the feed whenever they want it. The doors also keep most of the moisture and dirt out of the feed. Pigs will not readily eat the wet, dirty feed.
Bin type pig feeders can be hung on the wall or free standing. They can range in size from feeders with 6 doors or more that will sustain baby pigs in a litter of 10 piglets from 3-5 weeks of age and hold 7-9 pounds of feed, to larger size bins that hold 100 pounds of feed or more. Above: Bin type pig feeder with two feeder doors.
Round Type Pig Feeders
Round type pig feeders are also considered to be a bin type and feed pours in from the top. Shaped like a funnel, the smaller bottom opening pours directly into a tray shaped trough with several openings, up to 12. These large round feeders can be open trough or have doors on them.
Round type pig feeders are usually considered “finish hog feeders”. They can be gravity self feeding or mechanical flow with a timer. Some of these feeders even include a mix type wheel that keeps the feed mixed so that the hogs cannot pick through the feed and eat only what they like best, saving wasted feed. Finish hog feeders of this type can vary in size from 3 bushel to 40 bushel or more in capacity.
Trough Type Pig Feeders
Trough type pig feeders are open and flat, feed is poured in at each feeding. If the trough is laid on the ground, the pigs can stand in it and get the feed dirty, or root underneath the feeder and turn it over. Moisture, bugs, birds and other animals can get in the feed as well. It is best with this type of feeder to feed what the pigs will eat in one feeding to prevent unnecessary waste of feed.
Trough feeders are easier to clean than bin type pig feeders. They are also easier for baby pigs to learn to eat out of.
Milk Replacer Feeders and Creep Feeders
Milk replacer pig feeders are for baby pigs that are not quite ready to be introduced for feed and for some reason are not getting milk from the sow or not getting enough milk from the sow.
Milk replacer pig feeders can be constantly heated to serve warm milk around the clock. These feeders are essentially large buckets with nipples lined up all the way around the bucket to feed an entire litter at the same time.
Creep feeders are feeders that allow the baby pigs to be introduced to feed while still nursing on the sow. Creep feeders will not be large enough for the sow to reach the feed. These also come in many sizes and can be made out of galvanized steel or polyethylene plastic.
If you don’t want to have a creep feeder and a hog feeder, you can always fence around the baby pig feeder with enough room that the baby pigs can get to the feed, but the sows cannot. We have used this method in the past until the baby pigs get big enough to eat out of a normal feeder.