Blood sampling of pigs

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The text on this page is taken from an informal compilation of opinions of contributors to the online VOLE List. As such, they are not peer reviewed and may contain differences of opinion. Those wishing to contact the list may contact Adrian Smith.

I am looking for a less stressful way of pig blood sampling (and less labour-intensive for the staff).  Currently, we use a rope snare (with additional holders if adult Landrace X) to obtain standing samples (or v-trough for smaller/younger pigs).

I searched the internet trying to find some sort of hydraulic sampling hammock system that the pigs could be trained to walk into, but have not been able to find anything.  I was looking for something similar to the Zinpro Feet First chute, but with sampling access points.

Does anyone have a pig sampling system they would recommend?

Ellegaard make a pig sling for mini-pigs, but I have never come across anything for adults. An adult sow can be 250kgs and a boar 300kgs, so it would probably need a fork-lift to pick these up anyway. We use the jugular vein for all ages and restrain by a snatch unless <20kgs, when some people prefer them restrained on their backs in a trough. If only a very small blood sample is required from an adult pig (<5ml), you can try the marginal ear vein, but I very rarely (never) use this, as in my hands it is usually obtained drop by drop.

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