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ASAE Conference Proceeding

This is not a peer-reviewed article.

Comparison of Aqua Globe Bite Ball Valves vs Conventional Drinkers

Kevin C. Rath, PE

692 Rd E1,Schuyler, NE 68661 USA

In Swine Housing, Proc. First Int. Conf. (October 9-11, 2000, Des Moines, Iowa), pp. 118-119, St. Joseph, Mich.: ASAE. ,Pub. Date 2000/10/09 . ASAE Pub #701P0001

ABSTRACT

Reducing water waste has been an increasingly important criteria in the design and management of modern swine production systems. A recently introduced product, the Aqua Globe Bite Ball Valve, shows promise as a means of reducing water wastage. A 960 head grow/finish barn equipped with both bite balls, and conventional nipples was the location of the study. Water delivery, feed intake data and animal productivity data was gathered. The resultant data showed a 15% reduction in the amount of water delivered through the bite ball valves, indicating a tremendous savings can be achieved by virtue of less waste product requiring disposal.

KEYWORDS: Aqua Globe Bite Ball Valves, ADG (Average Daily Gain), FC (Feed Conversion), DL (Death Loss)

INTRODUCTION

Recently swine producers have made an increased effort to reduce water wastage. Wet/Dry feeders, tube style feeders, and cup waterers have all gained increased scrutiny as a means to reduce water spillage into pits. Unfortunately each of these systems comes with a price tag, particularly in a situation where the capital outlay has already occurred. A recently introduced product, the Aqua Globe Bite Ball Valve, shows promise as a means of reducing water wastage at a much more affordable level.

The purpose of the study was to determine the water saving ability of the bite ball valve as compared to conventional nipple drinkers. A 960 head finishing building was selected for the test. Barn design consisted of two identical rooms, each room consisting of 20 pens (9’ x18.75’). The barn was equipped with total concrete slats, insulated curtains on both sides of the building, and a central workroom. The barn was naturally ventilated with misters and stir-air fans. It was also equipped with minimum winter ventilation fans which did not come into play during the course of this study. Five hole stainless steel dry feeders were utilized and each pen was equipped with two nipple drinkers. One side of the barn utilized Aqua Globe Bite Ball Valves while the other side of the barn was equipped with conventional nipple drinkers.

PERFORMING THE TEST

Water data was collected on a daily basis measuring total water delivery through the nipple drinkers. Water used for misting, cleaning purposes or other miscellaneous use was not measured. Daily high and low temperatures were also recorded and used in evaluating daily water useage. While the studies main emphasis was in determining water savings and not animal performance, animal productivity was still measured including feed conversion, average daily gain, and death loss (see Table 1).

TABLE 1 PRODUCTION STATISTICS

# HD IN

#HD OUT

ADG

FC

DL

Aqua Globe Bite Ball

457

434

1.78

2.68

5.03

Conventional Nipples

441

418

1.75

2.84

5.22

Animals entered the facility on July 7 th allowing warmer weather to enter into the test criteria. Weekly water consumption, along with weekly high/low temperatures are displayed in Table 2.

TABLE 2 WATER CONSUMPTION

Avg Daily Water Use (gallons)

Week

Avg High

Avg Low

Bite Ball

Conventional

July 4

80.0

59.2

1.08

2.00

July 11

83.1

63.1

1.21

1.63

July 18

91.6

72.3

1.57

2.03

July 25

92.7

74.0

2.09

2.88

August 1

78.7

59.0

1.69

2.25

August 8

80.7

60.3

1.68

2.12

August 15

82.7

57.1

1.81

2.22

August 22

84.7

59.1

1.90

2.04

August 29

85.7

65.9

2.14

2.09

September 5

78.7

50.0

2.00

2.12

September 12

72.3

40.1

2.05

2.23

September 19

74.6

41.9

1.99

2.15

September 26

66.1

42.0

1.74

1.80

October 3

69.9

40.6

1.70

1.84

October 10

72.1

41.1

1.62

1.93

October 17

58.1

26.9

1.57

1.90

October 24

70.0

32.3

1.59

1.84

October 31

59.3

28.0

1.40

1.46

CONCLUSIONS

Upon analyzing the data we find the Aqua Globe Bite Ball Valve uses an average of 1.72 gallons per pig per day as contrasted with conventional nipples using an average of 2.02 gallons per pig per day. This is a difference of 0.30 gallons per pig per day additional water used by the conventional nipples for a difference of over 15%. When we couple the water data with the animal performance information we can easily determine that the Aqua Globe Bite Ball Valve pigs actually outperformed the conventional nipple waters. Consequently we can conclude the additional water which the conventional nipples provided did not enhance pig performance and in fact was almost certainly wasted in the pit.

To compare the economics of the Aqua Globe we can conclude that a wastage factor of 0.30 gallons per pig per day times 10 pigs per drinker times 365 days yields a water savings of 1,095 gallons per drinker annually. Current waste disposal services will charge between $0.007 to $0.01 per gallon to land apply. Conservatively the bite ball saves $7.67 per drinker in waste disposal expense alone. Other cost saving factors to consider include less water medication waste, along with less water pumping cost. Producers in areas where water is in limited supply would also find the bite ball to be a useful product. It is apparent the Aqua Globe Bite Ball Valve can definitely enhance the producer’s bottom line.