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Friday, January 27, 2017

Feedback and disease prevention in pigs.

Feedback and disease prevention in pigs. The term feedback refers to methods of controlled antigen oral exposure in pig farming,and several methods have been explored to stimulate antibodies in the sows and piglet. The major benefit of feedback is to ensure a disease free stock and production of healthy piglets. The feedback material is usually fed to the sows 8-10 weeks before farrowing to ensure that colostrum is concentrated with antibodies. The common form of feedback material is fecal matter from scouring pigs or from sows in gestation and this will generate maternal antibodies that will be available through colostrum. Pig intestines from sick pigs,low-weight piglets and from dying neonates. The purpose is to extract a concentrated material that contains specific bacterial agents that came from sow feces and the best source for these agents is probably the intestines of young pigs. Another feedback method involves freezing the material into ice blocks giving the pigs access to lick and chew before it melts or the feedback is processed and the slurry is poured on the sows feed. The efficacy of feedback depends on the time of giving feedback, type of feedback collected and the housing arrangement of the sows.The housing arrangement is key as feedback practice has proved to become more difficult when keeping gestating sows in groups, as sows are free to move around and When using electronic Sow Feeding (ESF) stations as the sows are not simultaneously fed,thus exposure to feedback is not uniform. A research published in the Journal of Swine Health and Production says providing additional ice blocks to sows might overcome the nonuniform exposure to feedback and thus confer herd immunity.Enteric pathogens of swine can be frozen and still be viable. Ice blocks could provide a convenient and effective vehicle for controlled exposure of pathogens to pen-gestating sows if sufficient numbers of sows interact with the ice blocks before they melt. The research shows, that when ice was placed in the pen on two consecutive time points 1 week apart, over 90% of the sows in the large dynamic pen contacted the ice. When 4 blocks were used instead of 2 blocks,this increased the number of sows to make contact with the ice, as well as increasing the duration of contact by individual sows and decreasing aggression at the ice block.