Castration is not fun

Well, I found a great neighbor that showed me how to castrate my piglets.

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Barrows 3 days after castration – doing great!

It wasn’t fun, but I feel at this point that it is a necessary aspect of pig husbandry.

My veterinary friend Jess hooked me up with Cory, who had farmed pigs in the past but only keeps a few these days. He showed up around 10 AM along with his Amish assistant Andrew, and another friend of mine George showed up a few minutes later with some apple pomace he had left over from cider making. We all headed into the little pen where I had my first 5 piglets sequestered, and Cory found a little boar and picked him up by the back leg. These piglets were about 7 to 8 weeks old, and a hefty 25-35 pounds or so.

Andrew assisted him as he showed me how to make the cuts, and I sprayed the wounds with iodine. It is a straightforward process, and I noticed the piglet seemed more freaked out then in pain. I also understood that speed and accuracy in the procedure would minimize any pain and discomfort that the piglet felt.

I gave it a try, and it was harder then it looked. I also cut myself with the scalpel. So, all in all, many lessons were learned and I will strive for excellency in the next batch of little dude piglets that I will castrate in the upcoming days. I plan to discard this practice in the future, when I can prove without a doubt that my particular strain of boar carries no off-flavors and also have the ability to separate all my boars and gilts in my paddock systems, so that they don’t interbreed. All the intact boars I processed this year were delicious, so that is good start.

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