“Feedback is not pretty. It is not nice. Nobody likes to do it, but that is what we have to do in order to limit the losses,” says Iowa producer and veterinarian Dr. Craig Rowles, who also serves on the National Pork Board Animal Health Committee.
Feedback is a practice that involves purifying and straining fecal or intestinal material from a piglet infected with a disease such as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDV) and feeding it to sows orally. According to Dr. Paul Sundberg, vice president of science and technology for the National Pork Board, sows then build a level of immunity to protect future litters from the disease.
Sundberg notes feedback has been used by producers for much of the last 50 or 60 years and it “is a time-proven procedure to help protect piglets and booster immunity in the sow herd.”
The practice has been found particularly effective against transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE), a disease similar to PEDv.
“We know feedback is effective and is a way to protect those pigs,” he adds.
The American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) released a report examining the role of feedback in building a sow’s immunity to PEDv and the best practices producers should employ to use feedback to their advantage. Click here to read the report.