However, castration may not be necessary. Only a small minority of boars have taint. Taint is caused by multiple chemicals and multiple factors including genetics, feed and management. Feed a high fiber diet, manage the pigs out on rotational pastures or keep their stalls ultra clean. Research shows that these things minimize and even eliminate taint. Pasturing hits two of the three: feed and management. Genetics is uncommon but real: breed away from it. You can do a biopsy to test boars. See here:
neil mock wrote:
Walter, Thank you for all the advice, I've gotten lost in your blog more than i care to admit. One question i have, if you do not castrate, how to you control your breeding? Thanks
That is why most castrate. The other options are run a separate herd of males only, sell before sexual maturity (as feeders), or don't control breeding or genetics. At some scales, segregation makes sense. For most people, castration is the easiest answer. For the farmer, but not necessarily best for the animal.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi.
"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
posted 3 years ago
neil mock wrote:Walter, Thank you for all the advice, I've gotten lost in your blog more than i care to admit. One question i have, if you do not castrate, how to you control your breeding?
Our pigs don't tend to breed until after slaughter age so it isn't much of an issue. Most gilts don't take until eight months of age. Very rarely there is a Lolita taking as young as six months. Almost all of our pigs go to market by then so not a worry. This is with large farm breeds. I have read that there are some smaller breeds that take earlier. Ours are Yorkshire, Berkshire, Large Black, Tamworth and our cross lines. This is also on a lean diet which can delay things too. So you mileage may vary.