Along with Dr. Tesecum and his team, which included people from BAHA, we first headed to a Mennonite’s farm to collect pig blood samples. Using several pigs, Dr. Tesecum showed us how to collect blood near the pigs’ eyes. At first, the loud squeal of the pigs and the procedure surprised many of us; however, we gradually got used to it. We later even had the chance to collect blood samples ourselves while Dr. Tesecum and his team handled the pigs! Since we grouped in pairs, my partner inserted the needle while I collected the blood.
Later we went to a different pig farm to castrate a boar. Usually pigs are castrated very young in order to avoid boar taint, or the unfavorable taste in a pig. Before we castrated the boar, we again collected blood samples. This time, I had the chance to insert the needle myself. Even though I was very nervous, with guidance I successfully inserted the needle and collected the blood sample. Two other students were able to assist Dr. Tesecum and his team with the boar castration.