Dec 21, 2016
By Gilbert VandenHeuvel
Joy of the Season
With the kids all out on their own, the “ba-humbug” part of me comes out much more easily. It’s hard to go to that place with kids around the house brimming with excitement about the tree going up, wrapping presents and getting a bunch of play time with no school. For parents it great watching the kids get along more then usual. They plan activities together out in the snow or get out a favorite game to play together. The older ones are more inclined to help the younger ones do things like get mom and dad’s present ready or get the toboggans ready for an afternoon of adventure out on a hill.
It seems the switch that turns the tree’s lights on also turns on the spirit of the season for me and probably lots of others.
Below is a nice video aimed at kids, but good for everyone, to learn how different cultures around the world celebrate this special season. What struck me from this video is how there are many different traditions around the world but there is a common thread that connects us all, this is a time we all work to be nicer to our fellow man.
We all have family traditions around the Christmas season. With Dutch roots in my family, we give out chocolate letters and make deep fried oliebollen and appleflappen.
Last year we set up a deep fryer in the garage, cooked up some dutch pastry and had various beverages on hand for our friends and family that came and went all afternoon. At the end of the day your stomach might not be enjoying the 3 or 5 too many deep fried treats you had but you have a smile on your face because of the memories created.
You probably have your own too. It might be watching a special movie from your childhood, or family hockey game, whatever it is, don’t let the “ba-humbug” feeling take root, get out of the Laze-boy chair and make some memories of your own.
Below is an interesting video of various traditions around the world. It would be interesting to spend the next 20 Christmases visiting these countries and experience these traditions first hand. Grab a tea or coffee and have a look.
From all of us here at Dwyer Mfg,
we wish you all the best of this special season of Good Will to All Man.
Dec 14, 2016
By Gilbert VandenHeuvel
The History of Big Dutchman
Dwyer has been selling and servicing Big Dutchman’s computerized liquid feeding systems for 11 years. A lot has changed during that time here at Dwyer’s but it’s only a small part of Big Dutchman’s 78 years of history.
Big Dutchman has an interesting history that spans a number of countries. Basically, it’s a German company started in the United States by Dutch immigrant brothers.
Continue reading for the full story. Thanks to www.bigdutchman.com for the information.
New products coming from Big Dutchman are PRRS air inlet filters and repairable LED lighting designed for agriculture conditions. Stay tuned for more information on these items and more.
Brothers Richard (Dick) and Jack DeWitt, whose parents emigrated from the Netherlands to the U.S., started the company that would become Big Dutchman. The business started as a hatchery and expanded to include the production of broilers and turkeys. As growers looking for more efficient ways to raise their flocks, they designed the Big Dutchman feeder. Pictured: Jack and Dick DeWitt
Model A (round body) chain feeder launched and sold under the “Big Dutchman” product name. At this time the company was called “Automatic Poultry Feeder Co.” It was sold in the beginning of 1949 to Mr. Carson Lamberson, of Abbottstown, Pennsylvania. With its revolutionary chain feed carrying concept, it became the first automated poultry feeder produced on a commercial scale.
Name of company changed to Big Dutchman, Inc.
Josef Meerpohl, a poultry farmer from Calveslage in Lower Saxony, Germany, joins the company as the head of sales for that country.
Company’s first overseas operation is opened in the Netherlands, also under the responsibility of Josef Meerpohl.
New complex inaugurated on Franklin St., Zeeland, Michigan. Founders sell the company to US Industries.
The Meerpohl family acquires Big Dutchman from Hanson Trust, with rights on the brand for all of the world except the Americas. Under the new ownership, the Big Dutchman brand rapidly grows as a truly global organization.
The Meerpohl family acquires the totality of Big Dutchman.
Big Dutchman celebrates its 75 year anniversary in 2013.
December 7, 2016
By: Gilbert VandenHeuvel
The Importance of Corn Particle Size in Pig Feed
FACT: If your corn isn’t ground properly (usually too coarse) you could be loosing up to $1.78 per pig in feed efficiency. As corn price goes up so does the amount of $$ gained or lost. That’s $356 extra dollars you could have in your pocket for each truckload of 200 pigs that leaves your place.
” As grain accounts for a major component and cost in diets for livestock animals, the particle size of ground grain influences feed digestibility, feed efficiency, mixing performance and pelleting. Therefore, periodic particle size evaluation is a necessary component of a feed manufacturing quality assurance program.” Charles Stark & Julie Kalivoda of Kansas State University
“Particle size is an area where producers can significantly improve feed efficiency and lower feed cost per kg of gain. For corn-based diets ranging in particle size from 1200 – 400 microns, there is a 1 to 1.5% improvement in feed efficiency for every 100 micron reduction in average particle size” Greg Simpson, OMAFRA
The best/only way to measure particle size to determine the correct screen size is to have a particle size test done.
A test should be taken:
– every 500 – 700 tonnes of feed processed (as screens and hammers wear, particle size increases)
– change in corn moisture or source (particle size increases as drier corn goes through the same screen size)
– change in mill hammers and/or screen
Dwyer Mfg has invested in equipment to do a particle size test for you. Bring in a representative sample of your ground corn and we’ll let you know your average particle size.
This service is free to all existing Dwyer customers and $15 for others. Next day results can be emailed to you.
The biggest opportunity to save is connected to finisher feed but there is dollars in the balance with nursery and sow feed too.
Only 50 grams of ground corn is needed, so bring in a couple of handfuls from different areas to get a good representation of your ground feed. Paper lunch bag is best so the sample doesn’t condensate before it gets here.
Please, no complete feed with fat added since the fat will clog up our sieves.
“Current research suggests that the optimum particle size for pigs is 700-800 microns (0.7 – 0.8 mm). It’s too expensive to grind an finer that this since the time and energy inputs often outweigh any improvement in feed efficiency. Feed that is finer than 700 microns will produce ulcers in pigs very quickly. Research at the University of Guelph has shown that feed with a particle size of 550 microns produced ulcers in 90% of pigs in only 2 weeks; after 4 weeks the first pig died from bleeding ulcers. ” Greg Simpson, OMAFRA
To read the whole article CLICK HERE
It is well documented that reducing particle size has a great impact on feed efficiency. By increasing the surface area of the grain, there is greater interaction of the feed with digestive enzymes, thus improving the digestibility of nutrients. However, the optimum diet particle size is a decision that needs to be balanced between pig performance and feeding/milling efficiencies.
The key areas to look for on the analysis are the average particle size (700 to 800 microns), shape of the graph/curve (bell-shaped or normal) and less than 10% percent of the sample being too coarse (>1850 microns) or too fine (<300 microns).
If you market 8000 hogs per year, at an average feed cost of $250/tonne, reducing particle size in the grower-finisher from an average of 1000 microns to an average of 700 microns saves about $1.78/pig or $14,240/year. Source: OMAFRA
Table 1. Effect of Particle Size on Feed Efficiency and Feed Costs
Particle Size (a)
900 to 700 microns
Feed Cost/Pig (b)
(a) Adapted from Wondra et. al. 1995b. Effects of particle size and pelleting on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, and stomach morphology in finishing pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 73:757.
Bring in your ground corn sample next time your in the area, it’s the simplest way to save real feed dollars.
November 15, 2016
By Gilbert VandenHeuvel
Slat Gap Cover
Necessity is the mother of invention. (author unknown)
With Denmark banning fully slated floors and farms all around the world retooling to comply with organic flooring standards, something was needed to cover in the gaps in slats. Producers who need to increase the proportion of solid flooring which are already fitted with fully slated floor already installed required a solution. Replacing the slats was too expensive so an opportunity to find a solution was up for grabs.
A Danish tool-maker, Brian Johannsen, come up with the Slat Gap Cover. After a few attempts, Mr Johannsen came up with a design (patent pending) which was simple yet effective and importantly, pig proof.
The designs where evaluated on a Danish Pig Research Centre. Staff there were surprised by the simplicity of the design, ease of fitting and the ingenious locking mechanism
AgBuilt is the North American distributor for the Slat Gap Cover.
Sold at Dwyer Mfg.
Installation is simple, Slat Gap is cut to length with a any tool that cuts wood, placed between the slats and eased into place by treading down on it or by hitting it with a rubber mallet.
Slat Gap was first produced for 18-22 mm gaps but 14-18 mm and 25-32 mm Slat Gap are also available.
The type of plastic used is resistant to the harsh environment of a pig barn. The plastic type is called High Density Polyethylene. To learn more about HDPE CLICK HERE
While the initial use was to reduce the amount of open space more benefits have come to light:
Slat Gap can be installed in high traffic areas to protect the edges of the slats from deterioration.
Spilled feed will stay on top of slats allowing another chance for pigs to eat it, decreasing feed wastage.
Slat Gap helps reduce the amount of concrete corrosion of slat edges from acidic feeds such as liquid whey.
The comfort of pregnant sows greatly increases with Slat Gap installed in the laying area with the manure area left open.
Drafts coming up through the slats can be managed with the Slat Gap placed in strategic areas in the pen creating comfortable sleeping areas.
Sow group housing improvements can be made when feet problems are found by simply adding Slat Gap. According to a Prairie Swine Centre study “In group systems with slatted floors, good slat quality is essential to improve comfort and minimize foot and leg injuries. Slat width and gap is also important and sows are more comfortable on a wide slat that allows them to easily stand with their whole foot on the solid part of the slat, rather than having one half of a hoof down the edge of the gap. Slat widths of 125mm (5”) with an 19-20mm (3/4”+) gap are ideal. ” Find whole Article HERE
To get a more information or a quote, call us at Dwyer Manufacturing.
1-800-323-3405, local: 519-527-2285
Credit to authors of these three articles with supporting information:
November 9, 2016
By Gilbert VandenHeuvel
Prep your House for the cold
Time will tell if this coming winter will be Ice Cold and Snowy like the Farmer’s Almanac predicts.
Either way, we are all looking for ways to save a few dollars this year on heating costs. Continue reading to find suggestions on how to do that.
INSIDE YOUR HOME
First thing to do is change the smoke alarm batteries and the whole unit if it’s more then 10 years old. It won’t save money but it could save you and your family’s life.
Look around for pricing on these 9 volt batteries. There can be a big difference from one place to another.
If your home has some windows that are not used often or really needs some help, a handy way to increase insulation value of the glass is to apply bubble wrap to them. In this video, just water is used to pre-spray the window, others have used a mixture of soapy water and bleach. Make sure you take it off every year or the bubble wrap will stick to the window and create a big job to scrape it off. (this keeps heat out in the summer too)
Putting seals behind light switches and receptacles stops drafts quickly with little effort. For $10 or $15 you probably can get enough of these seals to do your whole house. If you happen to have a heat gun, it would be interesting to check temperature of the switch or receptacle before and after you install the seal.
There is a Home Reno Rebate offered by the Ontario Gov’t through the Green Investment Fund that can give a $5000 rebate to qualified home owners. CLICK HERE for more information.
OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSE
Your outdoor air conditioner, bikes, BBQ and a host of other stuff that sits outside will last longer if you protect them from the elements. Specially made covers work fine but are expensive. Tarps often come on sale and can make a fine cover or watch this video so you can make covers for anything using common vapour barrier and an iron. CLICK HERE
Out door water taps need to be shut off and hoses disconnected. Closing any indoor valves will make sure nothing freezes and breaks this winter. Water spray guns and sprinklers will last longer if they are kept inside so any water doesn’t expand and break the little plastic parts inside.
To avoid spring time starting problems with your gas powered lawn mower you have two options:
empty the carburetor of gas by turning off the gas to the carburetor and let the engine run until it runs out of gas. This stops any chances of the gas gumming up the delicate parts inside the carburetor during it’s hibernation.
Add fuel stabilizer to your gas tank. Be sure to add the correct amount and let the engine run as prescribed by additive instructions.
November 2, 2016
By Gilbert VandenHeuvel
The Water We Take For Granted
Canadians have consistently ranked among the world’s highest users of water, with per capita water use well above that of European and many other industrialized nations. 329 liters per person per day. Usage has slowly decreased since 2001.
We all know that we have more fresh water then most people around the world. This leads us to undervalue this precious natural resource.
I do the same thing many of us do, leave water running when we don’t need to, water our lawns just for grass, or not using a low volume flush type toilet. With all this water around why bother reduce the amount of water you use?
The first step might be to learn how much water we do use.
It just takes a minute or two to take a household water survey that tells you how much water you use and shows you where around your house you use the most water. CLICK HERE
How are we wasting water around our home? Here are a few ideas.
One the most common and least productive wastes of water is a leaky pipe. The biggest culprit is the toilet, where leaks are more common because of frequent use. You’ll usually hear it if your toilet isn’t working properly. If it runs when it’s not in use, check the valves and inner parts. A plumber will be able to spot less obvious leaks. A worn-out pipe or broken o-ring could be adding gallons to your water bill. Have your pipes examined annually to prevent more serious problems.
SMALL LAUNDRY LOADS
That new shirt you love is dirty, but you’re dying to wear it out tonight. The simple answer is to throw it in the wash whether or not you can fill an entire load. Follow this pattern too many times, however, and you’ll see your water bill start to creep up. Not only will a little laundry self-control save you money, it will also save water. Stick to a laundry schedule, and wait until you have a full load to wash. If you just need that shirt, ask your relatives or roommates if they need anything washed.
When we waste one thing, we don’t think of the possibility that we’re wasting another. Wasting food has a documented ripple effect, however, and it’s especially important for Arizona residents. NPR reports that the 1.3 billion tons of food wasted every year equates to 45 trillion gallons of water. That’s nearly a quarter of all water used for agriculture. If the world stopped wasting food, the water crisis would be over.
Do your part to make use of all resources at your disposal.
It’s a luxury that many around the world don’t have, but showers constantly contribute to our water crisis. The average 4-minute shower with an old head uses 20 gallons of water. Replace it with a low-flow shower head and you can cut that down to 10 gallons and by using a WaterSense showerhead, you could save even more. Everyone needs a long shower every now and then, but regular 20-minute sessions put an unnecessary strain on the environment.
OVERWATERING THE LAWN
In an effort to keep lawns green, some residents tend to overwater. Not only does it waste water, it can actually lessen healthy growth. If you have a stubborn brown patch, try reconfiguring your sprinkler layout rather than upping the water dosage. Learn more about how to check your irrigation system for efficiency and how to water just the right amount.
In a broader world view, water is an important and divisive issue.
Today, nearly 1 billion people in the developing world don’t have access to water.
As soon as 2025, large parts of the world could experience perrennial water shortages, says Dr. Upmanu Lall, director of the Columbia Water Center and a leading expert on hydroclimatology, climate change adaptation, and risk analysis.
Australia is the driest populated continent on earth and can yield only a limited amount of freshwater. The average annual rainfall in Australia of 469mm a year is well below the global average. Despite this, Australians are the greatest per capita consumers of water, using an average of 100,000L of freshwater per person each year. Caitlin McGee, 2013
October 25, 2016
By Gilbert VandenHeuvel
Getting Ready for Wi*#@&ter
The last few days have been cold and windy. It’s exactly the kind of day that drags us out of warm fall weather fantasy and into the reality that winter is coming.
I guess our bodies have to get used to the cold weather. It’s like getting used to a sliver under your finger nail, I dread it.
I’ve always wonder why a 5 degree (Celsius) day in October feels so cold compared to how warm a 5 degree day in March feels. So, as I often do when I have a question, I googled it. Here’s a little experiment you can do that helps explain how we adapt to colder temperatures:
Try putting one hand in a bowl of hot water and the other in cold water for a few minutes, then put both in the same lukewarm water. Your hands will feel like they are experiencing different temperatures because they are comparing them to other stimulus. The same thing happens on a bigger scale; if you feel cold but others don’t, chances are they’ve experienced a lot of temperatures much colder and don’t feel as cold at that moment by comparison. (Taken from ELI5 Explain like I’m five)
This means you just keep wearing your light coat and tell yourself a little suffering now will make the cold days of winter easy. Let me know how it works out for you.
There’s lots of different things to get ready for winter. garden / lawn, your car, your house. Below is info for your car and Garden/Lawn. I’ll talk about house care next week.
Getting your car ready for winter should be a priority. Safety for you and your family and everyone else on the roads should be a priority.
Dead batteries are CAA’s most frequent distress call
Your battery has 35% less cranking power at 0 degrees C
Whitish deposit/corrosion on your battery terminals will cause poor connection. It can be cleaned off with a water & baking soda solution (or Pepsi/Coke) and a wire brush. Watch video HERE
Always remove the ground cable first so you don’t short out the battery.
Dwyer Mfg sells quality batteries for everything ranging from the lawn mower to tractor at great prices. Give us a call or email, and we’ll get you set up.
Basic car battery care video CLICK HERE. skip to the 55 second mark to get some good battery care tips.
Read this good article with step by step car battery care by Family Handy Man.com. CLICK HERE
For general car care here is a good video that covers it all. CLICK HERE
Here are a few tips:
Winter wiper blades are sturdier to handle the work load and have synthetic rubber blades so they stay flexible in the cold. Dwyer Mfg has what your car needs.
To keep your cooling system working it’s best don’t mix antifreeze green and yellow colours.
Spray lock de-icer into your car lock now, before they freeze
Apply a thin layer of Vaseline on your door gaskets so they don’t freeze to the car frame
Add Fuel Line Anti-Freeze to all your cars and tractors now, before you have trouble.
Keep your fuel tank as full as possible during cold weather to reduce the chance of condensation forming in your fuel tank
Lawn and Garden
Spring is traditionally the time we get excited about our lawns and gardens, but the fall is an important time too.
Controlling broad leaves weeds with a herbicide is much more effective in the fall then spraying in the spring. Why? In the fall plants are transferring nutrients into the roots to survive the winter. A herbicide will be carried along and kill the root compared to the spring when nutrients are going from root to plant not letting herbicide get to the roots.
Fall is a good time to reseed thin areas but make sure you cover the seed with mulch, clippings or straw so the birds don’t eat it all.
Here is a helpful video on some fall lawn tips. CLICK HERE
Your garden needs a good fall cleanup too. For the basics CLICK HERE.
One interesting tip I found was to use the ashes that have been building up in your fire pit to fertilize your soil for next years plants. (www.doityourself.com)
Use Ash on These Plants
Do Not Use Ash on These Acid Loving Plants
Potatoes. Ash promotes potato scab in potatoes
For a “how to” using wood ash as a fertilizer CLICK HERE
One last suggestion: As you tuck all the rakes, shovel and other tools away, vegetable oil works as good as any specialized product to coat the handles and metal parts.
October 12, 2016
By Gilbert Vanden Heuvel
Being prepared for emergencies broken down into simple steps.
We all make plans for different events. We plan for a weekend away by packing clothes and supplies we’ll need, we plan for a boat trip, we plan for a Thanksgiving meal by getting all the ingredients that will be required, but we seem to never get around to planning for emergencies. What’s more important than keeping you and your family safe?
Below is a short recount of a recent Fort McMurry story:
The flames of an out-of-control wildfire were bearing down on several neighbourhoods across the city, including his home of Abasand.
“By the time that she got there to pick me up, it was ‘you’ve got 20 minutes to get out of Abasand,’” says Dan. “Things were getting really real, real quick.”
That’s when Dan grabbed his emergency kit. He had just enough time to get dressed, pick up important documents from his safe, and choose a few clothes out of his closet.
More than 2,700 homes burned in Northern Alberta that day. For Dan it’s a day he’ll never forget, and a big reason he will always have his emergency kit ready to go.
If you’ve had an emergency kit in your home for a few years without using it, it can sometimes be easy to think ‘why is this taking up space in my house?’
People like Dan can tell you why.
He wasn’t expecting to be gone for long, but he was ready with things like water, flashlights, some food and a can opener.
“There [were] some really practical things in it that made things easier,” adds Dan. “Water is such an important thing because when you start getting stressed you will need more for hydration.”
Dan says now that he’s back in Fort McMurray he is adding an extra change of clothes, and another blanket to his kit.
He has some simple advice for others who may be putting off getting ready for an emergency.
“You never know when something’s going to come down,” says Dan. “I think it’s important for everyone to have [an emergency kit] in the house.”
Emergency Plan For Your Home
You probably don’t need to be convinced that you need to have an emergency plan. The issue is always getting it done. The job seems too complicated and big so we never start it.
How about getting the most basic elements done, so you feel safer in your home and around the farm. Keeping your family safe is always a high priority.
Below is a helpful guide to family preparedness produced by the Canadian government. Take a minute to watch and maybe discuss it with your family at supper tonight.
This website has lots of other good info including creating a home or car emergency kit. Click HERE to check it out.
Emergency Plan For Your Property
We now feel confident that the family will be safe. What about your whole property with it’s out building, sheds and any barns & animals you have. Preparing all that for emergencies seems like a HUGE job, but it doesn’t have to be. There are lots of emergency plan templates around to work from. A number of Albertan organizations and Oxford County both made simple to follow, but complete documents that help anyone create a personal plan for their property and/or farm . Here are some of the highlights.
Produce a list of your Emergency Contacts for your area and post at each telephone and in each of your family’s mobile phones.
Make a plan for fire and spill emergencies for your property. A basic plan is better then no plan. Make sure all family members and staff are familiar with it.
Draw a property/farm site map that will help emergency services arriving at your property know where Electrical and Gas shut-offs are, if there are explosive materials (propane tanks) on site, where any hazardous substances may be. Ask your local fire department what the best way for them to know this information since it’ll do little good in your file cabinet. See below for details on making a site map.
Regularly check your electrical generator, alarm systems, fire extinguishers and first aid kits. It seems tedious but you’ll be happy you did when you need them.
Stockpile supplies you might need to protect your farms such as fuel for generators, batteries and flashlights, water and food supply that can be prepared without electricity.
Have a plan how to care for your animals if you are on emergency power or even no power.
Making a site map
Things happen fast during a fire. At our farm we’ve had a few over the years (dryer, house and wheat field), luckily no people or animals where ever hurt. Directing the firemen while on site is very important so they can remain safe and do the best job possible. That’s why it’s vital to have a site plan something like either of the two examples below.
You can make your site plan from an aerial photograph or draw one up. Either way, clearly mark down points of interest to help those trying to safe your home and barns.
Take a few minutes, and start your plan. Your life and livelihood may depend on it.
October 5, 2016
By Gilbert VandenHeuvel
Like every other business, pig farmers need to measure production elements through out their operation.
This can include calculating your cost of feed per kg of growth, or staff time to different production markers, or a physical measurement of feed used per kg of growth or per pig born.
Estimates of production costs are used for different purposes. One application is in decision-making at the farm level. Information about the profitability of the individual products can be important in the planning of future production tactics and/or feed inputs. It has always been my believe that if you can’t measure the difference a new product or technique will make, there is no point in implementing the change that will, not doubt, cost you dollars. Another reason to produce farm data is comparisons between firms (benchmarking). Benchmarking can lead to greater efficiency in the production process of individual farms when the participating businesses discuss reasons why production efficiencies are different.
This is a big topic, so the purpose of this blog is to overview the subject and more specific information will come out later.
As you are reading this blog remember that changing your feed costs per pig even a little can change feeds costs by large amounts over the life of the feeding equipment being used.
A typical grower/finisher uses about $85 of feed to get to market. In a typical 1000 head finisher barn, if you could reduce feed costs by a conservative $1 per pig due to information you received from weighing pigs regularly, your $4000 investment in the scale would only take 4 batches or 1 year to pay for itself.
In a grower system, feed is your biggest cost so feed conversion and feed cost per kg gain are the numbers everyone should know. It’s vital to know these numbers to optimize many areas such as feed quality, health issues, air and housing quality and animal husbandry. As mentioned, to know these numbers is great to compare to other producers, not just for bragging rights at Tim Hortons, but as a negotiating chip with your loop or bank manager.
Here at Dwyer Manufacturing we’d like to help you measure your feed output and your pig weight. When the right system is put into place, generating useful information to make better business decisions doesn’t have to be hard work or cost a fortune.
Measuring Feed Usage
Please note that when we measure feed output we are actually measuring feed disappearance not the actual amount of feed consumed. Managing your delivery and holding system can greatly reduce the amount of feed wasted thus changing your bottom line instantly.
To accurately know your numbers you need to be able to measure feed usage per group of weighed animals. Here are a few options to get that done:
Bin Scale. This method works good to calculated whole barn numbers. When the difference between in and out weight (including moralities) is divided into total feed you get a accurate feed conversion. This will help you plan your next batch but doesn’t help you identify ongoing issues like health, ventilation or feed quality on the fly and thus making improvements quickly. If the barn is set up with multiple bins feeding different areas of the barn, you will have the ability to do feed comparisons which can be very helpful.
Feed weight Counter. With this simple device hung over a feeder you can measure the amount of feed this pen uses. The stainless construction mean they will last for years as you fine tune your system. To use this unit, you weigh the amount of feed needed to “tip” the hopper over. The counter keeps track of the number of hopper cycles and simple math will give you the weight of the feed used. Re-weighing the feed is key to increasing the accuracy of this system.
Automated Dry Feeding System. There are a number of different ways to use a Daltec or Big Dutchman system to not only deliver your dry feed to your grower barn or sows but also measure feed going to individual animals or pens. Talk to Mike or Joe to set up the best dry feeding system to start saving you money.
Click HERE to go to our website to learn more about Daltec Automatic Dry Feeding.
Liquid Feeding Systems. The Big Dutchman feeding system is a powerful tool that will give you more information then you can use. Either individual components or complete feed amounts are calculated to give you reports for you individual test pens or as a whole room or barn.
I wouldn’t disagree that either of these computerized feeding systems are too complex and expensive to solely calculate feed conversions but both have many other advantages that make these systems a useful tool in a modern pig barn looking to optimize their investments and reduce costs.
A platform scale in a common area or hallway is a good way to quickly weigh a pen of pigs. After the first time they are directed to the platform scale, they usually gladly go for a run down the hallway. Depending on the size of your group, we can make the scale to suit with what ever type of flooring you like. Concrete slats which the pigs are used to, MIK plastic slats, or even checker plate in aluminum, stainless or mild steel are all good materials to make the deck of the scale.
Give Dwyer MFG a call with your needs and we can sort it out for you.
Automatic Weighing. If you’d rather weigh pigs automatically, our Sierens Auto Sort scale could do that. When set up properly, the scale can keep weighing pigs as they grow to give you up-to-date weights of the pigs in the group.
Portable Scale. Keeping it simple has it’s advantages. Using an individual pig scale that you bring to the pigs being weighed can work very well. These scales can be very simplistic with a spring scale with a large indicator dial or they can be more accurate with a electronic weighing system. Dwyer can custom make an electronic scale to fit your needs. If it’s moved a lot, then an aluminum scale can be good idea. Weighing pigs can be a hassle, but with a scale that fits through your doors and holds the size of pigs your working with, the job can be a lot easier.
The hog industry is a competitive business. Keeping costs down is as important now as it’s ever been.
Information is a very powerful tool. It’s vital to start putting in place a system that provides meaningful information to help you farm even better.
September 28, 2016
By Gilbert VandenHeuvel
At Dwyer Manufacturing Stainless Steel is extensively used as a fastener, plumbing part and mostly as a building material.
But what makes stainless steel so good at what it does? Read on and find out. ,
Stainless steel differs from carbon steel by the amount of chromium present. Unprotected carbon steel rusts readily when exposed to air and moisture. This iron oxide film (the rust) is active and accelerates corrosion by forming more iron oxide and because of the greater volume of the iron oxide, this tends to flake and fall away. Stainless steels contain sufficient chromium to form a passive film of chromium oxide, which prevents further surface corrosion by blocking oxygen diffusion to the steel surface and blocks corrosion from spreading into the metal’s internal structure. Passivization occurs only if the proportion of chromium is high enough and oxygen is present, minimum 13%.
There are different types of of stainless steel. For instance, when nickel is added, stainless become non-magnetic and less brittle at low temperatures. For greater strength and hardness, more carbon is added. When these steels are heat treated the material can be used for products such as razor blades, tools and cutlery.
Most common stainless types are 316 and 304. Each have their own properties and used accordingly.
Type 304—the most common grade; the classic 18/8 (18% chromium, 8% nickel) stainless steel.
Type 316—the second most common grade; for food and surgical stainless steel uses; alloy addition of molybdenum prevents specific forms of corrosion. It is also known as marine grade stainless steel due to its increased resistance to chloride corrosion compared to type 304. 316 is often used for building nuclear reprocessing plants.
Watch video that explains stainless grades click HERE
For a complete list of 304 Stainless fasteners available at Dwyer Manufacturing click HERE.
Manufacturers make either rolls or slabs of stainless which are further processed into forms we see each day.
Click HERE to watch an interesting video on the manufacturing of Stainless Steel.
Helpful tip when using impacts on stainless nuts and bolts:
When using stainless nuts and bolts be careful when using an impact to rapidly tighten or loosen. When using higher force the oxide layer that all stainless has can be scraped off allowing the parts to “weld” together, an effect known as galling. Using dissimilar materials such as bronze and stainless is one way to avoid galling or even different types of stainless (304 and 316) can solve this problem. Most nuts and bolts come in the same stainless type (304 or 18/8) so that usually isn’t an option, cleaning the stainless or using a thread lubricant (moly or graphite) helps reduce the chance of galling or even reducing the speed of the impact to stop friction heat build up. For complete details from Greenslade and Company on galling click HERE. Watch video with the detailed science of galling HERE.
For a complete list of 304 Stainless Plumbing available at Dwyer Manufacturing click HERE.
Stainless Steel Facts:
– In 1872, the Englishmen Clark and Woods patented an alloy that would today be considered a stainless steel.
– Brearley made several variations of his alloys, ranging from 6% to 15% chromium with differing measures of carbon. On the 13th August 1913 Brearley created a steel with 12.8% chromium and 0.24% carbon, argued to be the first ever stainless steel.
– Stainless steel is 100% recyclable. An average stainless steel object is composed of about 60% recycled material of which approximately 40% originates from end-of-life products and about 60% comes from manufacturing processes
– In the beginning stainless steel was sold in the US under different brand names like “Allegheny metal” and “Nirosta steel”. Even within the metallurgy industry the eventual name remained unsettled; in 1921 one trade journal was calling it “unstainable steel.” In 1929, before the Great Depression hit, over 25,000 tons of stainless steel were manufactured and sold in the US.
– Stainless Steel can be magnetic if it contains little or no nickel.
– Stainless Steel can pit and degrade if it is in a non-oxygen environment.
– 88% of the worlds steel is recycled.
– Stainless Steel can be a deodorizing “soap”. Simply rub a stainless bar on your hands after handling garlic, onion, or fish. The smell should disappear. To buy on Amazon click HERE.
– Some manufacturers weave stainless steel fibers into carpet. The stainless steel prevents the buildup of static electricity, reducing the likelihood of static electric shock.
Thanks to James Duva Inc and Wikipedia for information in this Blog.
September 21, 2016
By Gilbert VandenHeuvel
Fall Fairs have long been a tradition in the rural community. Fairs have been happening in our area since early pioneers days. The 10th oldest Ontario fair is in Fergus which started in 1836.
A little Fergus Fall Fair History: During the mid-1800s, the fair was a one-day event that included showings of cattle, horses, sheep and pigs as well as roots and vegetables, fruits, dairy produce (namely butter) and ladies’ fancywork. The day ended with a Show Dinner. The fair expanded to two days by 1870. In the early 1900s, the fair included a school children’s exhibit and began to introduce entertainment such as the Guelph Musical Society’s Band. While agriculture is still the focus of the fair, over the years it has grown to include truck and tractor pulls, midway entertainment, handicraft and food exhibits and more. The Fergus Fall Fair is truly a showcase of the talent among the Centre Wellington community and today’s volunteers are proud to be continuing an event with such a rich local history. Click HERE to visit their website.
Pictured above is the London Western fair in it’s early years.
City fairs and carnivals usually happen in the summer, so what’s with this tradition of having fairs in September and October out here in the country?
Weather it was the competitive spirit among early pioneers or the need to get together as a community, or a mixture of the two, early fall fairs centered around animal and produce competitions.
Farmers wanted to show off their best pulling horse or productive sow along with the challenge of growing the best carrots or apples in the area. That competitive spirit still prevails today with 4H competitions going on strong, pumpkin growing is taken very serious and many other contests of quilts, pies, and variations of rural art.
The busy, harvest time of the year is about to begin but there should be some time of celebration of rural life and plain old fun. Our gardens have been growing all summer, so why not enjoy the fruits of our labours.
A few Fair facts from an article in the Hamilton Spectator & Festivals and Events Ontario:
More than 230 agricultural societies operate fairs and exhibitions in Ontario according to the Ontario Agricultural Society
The Guinness World Record for the heaviest pumpkin is 821.23 kilograms (1,810 pounds, 8 ounces) and measured 4.73 meters or 15 feet 6 inches in circumference at the Stillwater Harvest Fest in Minnesota last year.
At most fall fairs in Canada, first place is a red ribbon, second is blue, but that is reversed in the U.S.
Ontario festivals and events are estimated to annually drive $2.3 billion in contribution to regional GPD
Canada’s festival and event industry supports 50,000 full-time jobs
There are over 2,500 member events that happen across Ontario annually
For the whole Hamilton Spectator article click HERE.
To my surprise there are a number of organizations that help communities with the task of hosting a fall fair. Each of these sites have lists to help you find a local fall fair or make a weekend of visiting to a fair in your home town or a town you’ve always wanted to visit but never did.
Here are some:
http://www.ontariofairs.com/ (focuses on rural fairs)
One that I recommend is Lang Pioneer Village. This is a very well run celebration of early rural innovation and respect for their fortitude. My visit there this summer was very enjoyable and informative so a twilight guided tour would be even better. Visit their web site HERE.
Peterborough is near by for a nice meal and overnight stay. For a great BBQ meal, try Dr J’s BBQ and Brews. Find them HERE.
The biggest fall gathering just started. The International Plowing Match. There is plenty to see and do at the IPM, not only during the day, but also at night. To visit the website with all the details click HERE.
Today being the last day of summer, winter is coming whether we like it or not, why not enjoy the fall with the neighbours at a fair. Pick one from the following list all happening this weekend:
Lindsay Ancaster Carp
Stratford Sydenham Coldwater
Drumbo Forest Glenco
GrandValley Huntsville Milton
Ripley Roseneath Thorndale
September 14, 2016
By Gilbert VandenHeuvel
I’d like to teach you a little about drill bits. That may seem boring, so I’ll keep it to the point.
There are lots of different kinds of drill bits for many different jobs. Today we are going to concentrate on drill bits for metal, Twist Drill Bits, like the one in the picture above.
History of Twist drill bits
The twist drill bit is the type produced in largest quantity today. The twist drill bit was invented by Steven A. Morse of East Bridgewater, Massachusetts in 1861. The original method of manufacture was to cut two grooves in opposite sides of a round bar, then to twist the bar (giving the tool its name) to produce the helical flutes. Nowadays, the drill bit is usually made by rotating the bar while moving it past a grinding wheel to cut the flutes in the same manner as cutting helical gears.
The geometry and sharpening of the cutting edges is crucial to the performance of the bit. Small bits that become blunt are often discarded because sharpening them correctly is difficult and they are cheap to replace. For larger bits, special grinding jigs are available. A special tool grinder is available for sharpening or reshaping cutting surfaces on twist drill bits in order to optimize the bit for a particular material.
With the proper technique and some practice, bits can be sharpened on a bench grinder too. Click HERE to watch “how-to” video and always wear safety equipment.
It’s all about the Point Angle
Different versions of the twist drill bit are available to suit particular machinery and particular materials to be cut. Twist drill bits are available in the widest choice of tooling materials. However, even for industrial users, most holes are drilled with standard high speed steel bits. Here at Dwyer Mfg we work with a lot of stainless steel which is much harder then regular mild steel. We sell the same bits we use every day, Walter High Performance bits, model: SST+ .
A more aggressive angle, such as 90 degrees, is suited for very soft plastics and other materials; it would wear rapidly in hard materials. Such a bit is generally self-starting and can cut very quickly.
A shallower angle, such as 135 or 150 degrees, is suited for drilling steels and other tougher materials. This style of bit may requires a starter hole or the use of a center punch, but does not bind or suffer premature wear so long as a suitable feed rate is used. When drilling stainless steel it’s best to use strong pressure and low rpm to reduce heat with maximum cutting. Click HERE for detailed info on Walter’s 135 degree bits.
Dwyer Mfg prides itself on being able to offer quality bits for the lowest price around. Link to our web-store for pricing. With a good inventory, we can either ship or have the sizes you need ready for pick up.
Credits to Wikipedia (LINK HERE)
To sum all this up, in a very inspiring way, please read the personal conclusion of Jane Pauline Preston of her Thesis on RURAL AND URBAN TEACHING EXPERIENCES OF EIGHT PRAIRIE TEACHERS
Reflection: “I’ve come to know there’s life on both ends of that red dirt road.” Brooks & Dunn, 2003
Perhaps one of the most important components of this thesis lies in this final reflection. From the writing of this thesis, I’ve come to recognize hidden “monsters under my bed”. Although I identified some of my rural biases at the beginning of the study, I didn’t realize until the end of my study the extent of these biases. Although I enjoyed many aspects of being raised on the farm, I always thought that I had been cheated academically because I went to a rural school. One might even say I felt bitter, because being raised “rural” put me at a disadvantage academically and professionally. Because I was a “farm girl” I always felt less sophisticated and somewhat inferior to my university friends and teaching colleagues simply because I grew up having drunk frothy milk from our Holstein cows and not the chocolate milk poured from a wax carton. 143 I see now, there is no need for this personal prejudice. From this study, I have come to realize the full potential of my rural background. My rural background has contributed to my success as a mother, wife, teacher, and community member. This background has provided me with invaluable treasures such as communal spirit and support, awareness and concern for others, a love for nature and gardening, and a closeness to family, relatives, and friends. Also from this study, I have recognized the importance of my urban living and teaching experiences and have become profoundly grateful for them. Opportunities within urban communities have quenched my thirst for travel, academic achievement, and religious and cultural understanding. Participating in urban teaching and living has given me global awareness, a greater concern and care for the environment, an interest in politics, an interest in cultural diversity, and a love for the fine arts. Because of these experiences, I am a better mother, wife, teacher, and community member. What I now see clearly is: There is no rivalry between rural and urban, but there are differences. In their uniqueness, there is celebration; a celebration of diversity and an opportunity to learn.
To read the entire thesis click HERE.
Aug 31, 2016
Old historic barns have always had a special place in my heart. I’m not sure why. It might be the ingenuity that was required to build this structure with the tools at hand. It might be the grace and strength that these old structures show. It might be the way these buildings where used to it’s fullest potential for many years and the way of life these structures are a symbol of. More then likely, it’s a little of them all.
Things I’ve learned about these old barns over the years:
Early settlers usually built near the road for easy access but some where built far off the road. Why did someone decide to build so far away from the road which made much more work maintaining the lane way in the winter and summer? With the barn and animals closer to the center of the farm, it was quicker to get the animals to all the sections of the farm and it was easier to deliver the harvested crop to the barn as well.
If you notice that the old barns in an area are larger then average, it’s a good chance that the soil in that area is rich. Fertile soil means extra space is needed to store the higher yields and more animals could be raised with the grand harvest.
These barns might be old but they are still very useful. It’s not unusual to see an old barn turned into meeting place for family reunions or weddings. Bank barns are still used for there original purpose too. The McCormick’s Heritage Meats still use their 1888 built barn to raise hogs that they butcher and sell themselves. See their whole story, click on their homestead picture.
Why are old barns painted red? Here is a theory from www.LiveScience.com that sounds pretty solid.
Why Are Barns Traditionally Painted Red?
…. barns weren’t originally red in fact, they weren’t painted at all. The early farmers that settled in New England didn’t have much extra money to spend on paint , so most of their barns remained unpainted. By the late 1700s, farmers looking to shield their barns’ wood from the elements began experimenting with ways to make their own protective paint.
A recipe consisting of skimmed milk, lime and red iron oxide created a rusty-colored mixture that became popular among farmers because it was cheap to make and lasted for years. Farmers were able to easily obtain iron oxide the compound that lends natural red clay its coppery color from soil. Linseed oil derived from flax plants was also used to seal bare wood against rotting, and it stained the wood a dark coral hue.
Farmers also noticed that painting their barns with the homemade paint kept the buildings warmer during the wintertime, since the darker color absorbs the sun’s rays more than plain, tan wood. So red paint spread in popularity due to its functionality and convenience, becoming an American (rural) tradition that continues to this day.
In our rural community, it’s great to see a new barn or shed go up. New buildings show the prosperity and hopefulness of the community. But it would be a shame if all the old barns where torn down. Iowa has the right idea with a foundation that financially helps farm owners restore old barns. Click on the barn to learn more about this foundation and the families that have worked together. Should Ontario have something like this?
As you travel the country side, I invite you to take a second look at that old barn so you can wonder about it’s past and dream of it’s future.
August 24, 2016
By Gilbert VandenHeuvel
You find yourself with the problem of either your family asking/bugging/demanding that it’s time to take a vacation or you’re really busy with work and stuff but deep down you know you need a break from all the regular stuff that is filling up your life. It’s mid August, corn and soybean harvest isn’t too far away, and if you’ve not taken at least a long weekend off, IT’S TIME.
Personally, I grew up in a family that took regular vacations. My parents took them even though they ran two businesses, a construction company and a pig farm. They took time away as a couple and we all went away as a family. Come on, be realistic, your batteries need recharging, you need to experience difference landscapes and you need to make memories with the ones you love.
Below is an excerpt from an article…
7 Reasons Why Everyone Should Take Vacations Even If You’re Busy
Let’s face it, people are more concerned about their jobs and livelihood now more than ever. However in a bid to selfishly guard our time, we lose some important things in our lives. We need to work, yet we need to get off being busy and experience a vacation, too.
1. You reduce your stress
Whether you are experiencing a burnout or are embattled with lots of pressures at work, going on a vacation will dramatically reduce whatever stress you are experiencing.
2. You do your health a lot of good
According to a study by the State University of New York at Oswego, after surveying 12,000 men it was discovered that men who go on vacation reduce their overall risk of soon death by 20 percent.
3. You improve your productivity
According to a survey by Sam’s Club it was discovered that very few small business owners take days off. This caused exhaustion, impatience, poor decision making and illness. You will be helping your work by becoming more productive after taking a vacation.
4. You become more creative afterwards
Vacation provides you with the time to refresh and recharge your brain cells.
5. You become happier
A recent study shows that taking time off actually improves your happiness. According to the study leader, Jeroen Nawijn, it will be better to spread the vacation experience twice or thrice in a year rather than taking one big vacation!
6. You are open to new perspectives
Whether you are going to the beach in a foreign country or driving through the heat of Las Vegas, time from work gives you an excellent time to reflect and open yourself to new possibilities. At such a period away from work you can see the world from a holistic angle rather than a lopsided angle. You could be pushed to read a business book, learn new cultures and change your perspective to one that will help you gain better vision as you return to your every day job.
7. You offer yourself some family or self time
Quality of life is dependent on how you appreciate yourself and those who are around you. It could be with yourself, family or friends; but only vacations from a busy schedule can offer you time to appreciate the people around you. Doing a vacation offers you an opportunity to truly think about those things that matter, whether it is by reflecting or planning, vacation gives you a sense of peace and warmth you will never get in a workplace environment.
To get more of Casey Imafidon’s wisdom go to: http://www.lifehack.org/author/casey-imafidon
Now that I have you convinced you need some time away, what are you going to do? It doesn’t have to be fancy but it does need to be away. Stay-cations don’t count in my book.
Here are some simple ideas to get you started:
Trade houses with a friend of arrange on-line. Just Google something like “house swap holiday” and see what you find.
If you don’t want the busyness of the city or tourist areas, what about a rural holiday? You can find them all over Europe, and this link has ideas for rural Ontario. http://www.ruralist.ca/try-8-unique-places-to-stay-in-rural-ontario/
Camping, hiking, canoeing are all activities you can tailor to your comfort level and still have a great active experience. Just don’t over-plan it and suck all the fun out.
Road Trip! As long as everyone can get along in the vehicle, hitting the road to find all the waterfalls, lighthouses or corny tourist traps can be fun.
Find a last minute flight, cruise or city tourist package. You’ll have some fun and save $$.
No ideas yet? Try going through these questions with your family and see what comes to mind.
Making Family Memories Take time to share and discuss the following questions.
1) What is your favorite childhood memory?
2) What is your favorite family holiday memory?
3) What food represents a special marriage/family memory?
4) What movie represents a special marriage/family memory?
5) What performer/concert/theater event is a special marriage/family memory?
6) What family crisis sparked a special marriage/family memory?
By Bo Prosser
That’s the end of my life lesson today. Ultimately it’s up to you.
Here are some closing words of wisdom:
A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking. ~Earl Wilson
The alternative to a vacation is to stay home and tip every third person you see. ~Author unknown
A vacation trip is one-third pleasure, fondly remembered, and two-thirds aggravation, entirely forgotten. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com