I know more about Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea than I ever imagined. I have spent the last week obsessing over it. No, we don't have it – yet. Or maybe never. I truly can't decide which would be best.
Either way, this disease changes our farm. We knew it was creeping ever closer, but like most everything in life it is a waiting game. It is now only 27 miles from our barns. Good friends of ours had it hit two weekends ago.
While I spent the weekend thinking of them and keeping them in my prayers, they told me while it wasn't something they wanted, their stress levels dropped tremendously – the waiting and wondering game was over.
I briefly pondered just exposing our herd and getting it over with, to which I was met with the comment, "Are you nuts?"
But whether or not we actually get it, PED has changed our farm, as it will all hog farms, no matter the size or type.
Currently we are considered a naive herd, which any farm that doesn't contract the virus will be considered. Our hogs, particularly our sows, are not immune to it. Since they aren't immune, they can't pass immunity to their litters.
That could change where we buy our replacement gilts. Bringing in PED positive gilts is not considered a good option until further research is done.
Bio-security has always been important but this is causing us to step it up. Now after we sell a load of hogs, our truck and trailer are treated as if they are a positive carrier of the virus. After each load the trailer will need to be washed out completely and preferably with hot water. We have run into the issue of local truck washes not wanting to deal with livestock trailers and manure.
There is so much unknown with this disease, it is moving fast, faster than research right now. But no matter whether or not it physically shows up on our farm, PED has affected how we will manage from here on out.