“It is a lot easier to see the pigs against orange flooring than white flooring, for example,” Benedikt Baer says. “When you first look at the pigs, you’ve got to be able to identify the outline of the body,” he says. “That way you can see whether the pig is gaunt or bloated, or has other signs of sickness.”“Feeders of that size are heavy, and with the Flip-to-Clean, you can easily flip them and get underneath. I think you get a better wash job in the end,” Ezra Baer says.“When it came down to it, cast iron made the most sense,” says Tim Laidigs. “We knew it was durable, and we also liked the fact that if we ever did need to replace a section, we could do so. The sows load nice and unload nice. Having a flush floor has a lot to do with that. The pigs lay out really nice on the plastic panels so we haven’t used mats.” Tim goes on to say, “It just takes a little bit of time to adjust the feeder (LaborSaver) , but after that, the sows feed themselves. That’s saved a ton of time.”“The latest version of the Shelf Feeder with R Adjust seems to be working well for us, and adjustments are very minor from a day-to-day basis, which is great from our standpoint when you look at waste and feed,” Mark Stull said.
“Another contract grower asked me where I have my feeders set; so he has an idea where to set his. Because each Farmweld feeder with R Adjust provides a consistent setting from feeder to feeder and they’re so easy to adjust, I can tell him exactly where to set his feeders at a particular time,” says R.D. Waddington.
“The R Adjust is so much nicer than what we had before. All you have to do is just slide the handle. Once you get it set, you don’t have to ever worry about moving it up or down,” comments Mike Kuhns.
“We can train virtually anyone across our entire system to adjust and maintain the feeders,” Lynn Becker says. “Our feeders that have been working for 16 years work just as well as newer feeders we’ve used for only one year. The feeders are durable, dependable and consistent,” concludes Lynn.
“From grower to grower, when you say that certain number, 27, which is where my feeders are set, it’s consistent. I’d say that’s a plus to go from one grower to the next and get uniform adjustment numbers. Once you set the R Adjust to a place where the pigs are keeping the shelf clean and dry, as well as keeping the pan clean, there’s not much adjustment,” Bob Keller said.
“I gave them dimensions and a drawing of where the beams, slats and poles were located, and they came up with the design,” Benedikt Baer explains.
“When Farmweld ships an order, it is all there – you aren’t missing any parts, there are so many bolts and nuts – everything corresponds perfectly,” Ross Kuper says.
“I could tell whoever built the equipment had been around pigs,” says Randy Koehl. “With the current trend toward full-feeding lactating sows, the LaborSaver feeder works really well,” Randy continues.
“Information changes; studies change; we do feed trials; and we do so much better today in agriculture, tracking costs and trying to improve on the way we do things. Farmweld is taking that all into play. Livestock sometimes has a moving target with equipment and trying to keep costs down. There are a lot of variables and information Farmweld is keeping track of and addressing rather than just saying, ‘Hey, we have a great product at this point.’ And that’s what I’ve been impressed with”, comments Mark Stull.
Quality & Results
“Farmweld has always built a quality product. You feel good about the equipment before it ever arrives for the job.”
– Midwest Contract Builder
“We trialed the solid panel versus black mats in one room before converting all 18 rooms. I love the Farmweld Warming Panels! The pigs lay nicely on the Warming Panels, and if they urinate, the small holes drain the urine and they are never wet. We were washing the black mats constantly, not necessary with the Warming Panel. Wonderful product!” says Beth Peacock, Farrowing Manager at Klocke Farms.
“Farmweld products are just built to a higher standard than other companies out there,” Ben Klocke concludes.
“You get what you pay for,” Benedikt Baer says. “If you want to save a little bit of up-front money, you can get equipment that will last you 10-12 years. I’d prefer to put better equipment in and not have to deal with it for 20 years, rather than having to start replacing and fixing it in ten years.”
“I’d always been impressed with the quality equipment that they displayed,” says Tracy Lorenzen. “It looked like it was built to last.”
“Farmweld Jumbo Feeders have been our feeders of choice for 15 – 16 years,” says Lynn Becker. “It didn’t take a lot of convincing that the wean-to-finish facilities worked,” says Lynn. “We were achieving equal or better performance on growth and feed conversion, and we had better mortality and livability results.” Lynn continues to say, “Farmweld Jumbo Feeders are a good choice for an 8 – 15 pound weaned pig and also for a 300-pound market pig.”
“It is amazing how fast they take off on the feeder – they just learn to jump in and eat,“ Ross Kuper says. “And the feeders are easy to clean and easy to set.”
“Farmweld feeders with R Adjust are not the cheapest, but I think they’re the best built, will last the longest, and so far, what we’ve seen from our feed efficiency numbers, they’re better,” says Mark Stull.
“I think the pigs have really performed well; they came into the barn at an average of 13 pounds. The first load out we had some that weighed 317 pounds, and they hadn’t even been here five months,” R.D. Waddington says. “I attribute the weight gain to the Shelf Feeder myself. They can take the feed off the shelf and get it wet to their tastes.”
“Farmweld has always built a quality product,” Jack Kirk says. “If it is a farrowing crate, we want equipment that saves more pigs. If it’s gating, it’s longevity and features like solid rod construction. For feeders, we want feed efficiency,” Jack explains. “The feeder needs to adjust easily, work well and get the pig to stand there and eat comfortably. That is what grows pork. Farmweld has one of the best wet-dry feeders on the market with their Shelf Feeder,” says Jack.
“My dad wanted the equipment to last so I wouldn’t have to go into debt again and remodel seven, eight or ten years after I bought it,” says Matt Kneller, who purchased the facilities from his dad in 2005. “I’ve never replaced a feeder or a single piece of flooring, and I can’t see any wear – anywhere,” says Matt.
“There was a one to two percent drop (in mortality rates) versus our old farrowing rooms,” Randy Koehl says. Randy believes the combination of the wider creep areas and Farmweld crates helped lower pre-weaning mortality rates.
“The LaborSaver is also adjustable so each feeder can be set specifically for each sow,” says Chet Mogler. “That prevents feed spoiling and spilling.”
“The problem with woven wire is that it wears out,“ says Jim Fishers. “Cast iron will last a lifetime.” Jim goes on to say, “The orange flooring is great for pig comfort because it gives them a nice, warm climate.”
“Flooring was one of my biggest concerns,” says TJ Onstott. “Dad had wire flooring, and we had to replace it every five to ten years. I wanted the most durable flooring on the market. I had heard that some types of plastic panels are brittle and that sections can easily break, but the Farmweld flooring is tough,” he says. “It didn’t cost much to add, and it is pretty handy when you are washing the barn.”
“I looked at all the flooring options, and this was the most durable product and best quality for the money,” says Dave Klocke.
“I wouldn’t put any other flooring in,” says Mark Sturtevant. “It is built to last, and it is just manufactured better. Plus, it washes up so well.”
“The pigs really stand out, and you can catch any problems earlier,” says Gary Lawyer. “You can see if you missed any spots during power-washing,” Gary says.“The pigs are doing extremely well (in the nursery) and seem to be pretty comfortable.”
“Farmweld was very accommodating throughout the project, and I think they have some of the best equipment in the business,” concludes Tim Laidigs.
“Communication has been excellent, and they send you exactly what you need and everything you need,” Jim Fisher says. “You are never short on anything such as bolts or other items you need to install the equipment. It is a quality company.”
“Farmweld crates go together so easy – it is just a few pins to set,” Kenny Brinker explains. “When Farmweld told us they would have the crates and stalls here on a certain date, that’s exactly what they did,” he says. “There were no problems with loads being short or equipment getting mixed up between rooms. We were impressed with how it was all organized.”
“Farmweld’s blueprints were easy to follow – all the posts had numbers and were labeled,” Dan Nelson says. “It all went together so easy and fast. Even after the sale, they kept in close touch with us to make sure everything was going in well and working according to the plan.”
“He was here, showing us the ins and outs, and making sure we’ve got it done right. For a sales representative to do that is tremendous. It’s something that’s unheard of,” concludes Randy Koehl.
“Even though we were not a big operation, they took time to build the equipment that we wanted,” said Tracy Lorenzen.
“When they (Farmweld) say they’re going to have it done, it is there on time. Farmweld is willing to jump right in and fix problems. In this case, they would get the correct gate, cut it and have it out on the job right away,” Jack Kirk says. “If equipment hiccups were my only problem, I would think I’d died and gone to heaven,” Jack continues. More seriously, he adds: “I don’t ever lose sleep over what Farmweld’s going to do – I can depend on them.”
“Julie checks back in with me. She’ll call me from time to time just to say, ‘Hey, what do you think? Do you like it?’ It’s not that Farmweld is the biggest or has the best discount…it’s personality,” Mark Stull said. “They’re looking for input from people who’ve purchased Farmweld products,” Mark added. “They’re always asking if there are things they can do to improve on what they have.”