Young Boar – To Butcher or Not
August 3, 2012 at 4:20 am #16764
I have a young boar who is about 1 year 3 months old. He pulled his hind left leg about 2 months ago. He had started to heal up and walk almost normally, then he pulled it again and I am sure he will not recover enough this time to be able to breed anymore. I have asked around about butchering a boar that has been in service and have gotten a wide variety of opinions. Will his meat be too tainted to butcher? Would it work to just make ground pork and mix it with other meats before preparing? If he hasn’t been in service for a while, will his meat get less strong if I hold onto him for a while before butchering? (He probably needs more weight on him anyway.) (He is not in pain that I can tell, and manages to run quick enough when the feed bucket comes out.) I hate to just put him down and that is the end of it. So I am looking to see if I have any other options.August 4, 2012 at 12:03 am #18079Member: TX
I’ve asked this many times myself and have received numerous remarks, so let me summarize them, in hopes that it helps. According to one long time breeder, specific to the LBH, only about 20-30 percent develop the taint. How strong is it? Depends what your tastes are. Again, from what I’ve been told, get him away from the ladies for 2-3 months, feeding him whatever diet you have been, or something higher in carbs if you want to pack on the pounds. As long as he’s not “active”, his body will produce less of the hormone that produces the taint/taste. Some hunters here in Texas shoot wild feral boars all the time and absolutely love the flavor. Just like wild venison, it has a different taste. My neighbor does that and has told me if the animal smells fine (no strong odor) then he’ll probably be O.K. Some get the animal castrated, which at this stage of the game seems pretty cruel to me, but that’s just me. Again, it takes two to three months for “recovery”, but you might be able to get the same results by following what I mentioned earlier. We’ve been given boar meat before, and with a good marinade, a good fire, or good sausage recipe, it’s been good. One sure fire way to tell… when you get it home from the butcher (or if you butcher it yourself), take a piece and put it in the frying pan. If you don’t run out of the house from the smell, then you’re probably O.K., if not…dog’s hungry?????
Hope this helps.
RossAugust 4, 2012 at 6:00 am #18080
That’s great. Thanks so much for your input! That really helps. I have had him separated from everyone for over a month hoping he would be less active and heal. I will just feed him out and see how he does in the frying pan!August 6, 2012 at 8:19 am #18084
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We had our boar butchered and I am happy to report his meat was fine. It was not tainted! The butcher said he could tell when they were hanging which pig was the boar because it did have a stronger smell, but the meat was fine. It just had a hint of a little more flavor, but it certainly was tasty and not tained.
He was about 325 lbs. when butchered and pretty lean. We sampled some pork chops from him as a taste test before having the rest of him cut up. The flavor was good, but he was a little tough though not inedible. I don’t know if that was the result of how we prepared the meat or what I fed him or the quantity I fed him. Maybe I should have fed him some cracked corn. I just fed him the feed mix I feed everyone and all have grown well on that mix. I finished a steer out a few months ago on the same feed and he was the best steer we have ever had.
He had been separated from all other pigs since the end of May. So he had been “inactive” for 4 months. I was trying to give his leg a chance to heal, but it would get better then he would pull it again. So it was off to the butcher he went. But I am glad to report that the meat wasn’t tainted at all. We are going to bake the next pork chops with rice and mushroom soup. They may be more tender cooked in a moist environment. We just broiled the first ones.
He was born 6/13/11 so he was 1 year and 3-1/2 months old.October 2, 2012 at 8:00 am #18167
Great job Cyndie 🙂 How long did you hang him for as that can make a difference in the tenderness. We normally hang ours for 7-9 days & it makes for really tender meat.
MissouriOctober 2, 2012 at 7:51 pm #18168
Boar taint comes from testosterone in the meat. Some folks actually like and crave it. High testosterone can help with things like increased memory, more energy/stamina. We butcher boar a few times per year. We have butchered a 3+ year old with almost no taint and a 1 year old that could bring the house down with the smell. Anything that is younger than sexually active will have no taint as they aren’t producing the extra testosterone yet.
Keeping them away from females does help, but depending on where you are at that could be almost impossible. They can smell females for a long ways away, its nature and part of how they procreate. If your girls are all bred and you are not in an area with a lot of feral hogs, you should be fine just separating him for a while before processing.
We have found that anything under 18 months isn’t usually tough. Liz always makes a good point with hanging, however we have never found a processor in Texas that would allow us to hang pork. Anything left over 4 days without being cut and frozen and they freak. If you are worried about him being tough, ground pork and sausage are great sellers. We still keep the belly and ribs out as belly is great no matter the age of the animal.
Testing your meat. I recommend you do this on the grill outside. I have completely ruined a pan frying a piece of boar in it. Believe it or not many of my customers still loved this meat. Many ask for it often, again because of the testosterone. Also some people just like that gaminess in their meat. The flavor to me does not have a huge difference, its really about the smell. Cooked in almost anything else you can mask or hide most of it.
With a boar that young, I would say you should have no problems and a great freezer full of meat.October 3, 2012 at 12:08 am #18169
I had the same experience with our butcher. When I asked him about butchering a boar, he was adamant it wouldn’t be any good. He also does not want to hang pork at all. Ours hung for 3 days as we picked up the “test” pork chops on Friday. So it had to hang 3 days before we called him with the results on Monday. They were surprised we thought it was good. I don’t think there is any way, Liz, he would let it hang 7-9 days. 🙂 They were in a rush Monday to get it done. And they certainly did not want it to go past 4 days as they told me Tuesday was the latest it could go without cutting and freezing.
We like to make our own sausage, so we made a test batch last night and had it for breakfast. It was excellent! Great flavor. I will let you know the results when we cook up some more chops or a roast.October 3, 2012 at 12:17 am #18170Member: TX
This is excellent news as we have a boar that is no longer needed and we didn’t want to just take him out to the back 40 and let the coyotes and buzzards have him. Off to the butcher he’ll go, as he’s been “retired” for some time while we were waiting to figure out what to do with him.
RossOctober 3, 2012 at 5:33 am #18172
Ross – I am curious how he turns out. Give us an update after he is butchered. Would also like to know how old and how big he is. Thanks.October 4, 2012 at 7:32 am #18176
Ross, I would really be interested to know what your boar tastes like. No one seems to want Hammy, our Majestic boar and we certainly cannot keep him all winter but the thought of eating him makes our stomachs churn.
If anyone out there wants Hammy to eat without putting him through the pain of castration beforehand then please let us know as you can have him. He is still a good breeder but is now 4 years old.
What do you folks do with all that boar armor? Seems to me like there would be much usable meat on those front sections. That boar armor is HARD!
MissouriOctober 24, 2012 at 4:44 pm #18241
We have cooked more of the boar meat and it is still a bit dry and a little tough, though not so tough you don’t want to eat it, just a little tougher than I like. We baked it surrounded in stuffing. I am wondering if they need to be fed some corn to make it more tender. But does that do the same thing to pork that it does to beef–reduce the good fat and increase the bad fat? I know a lot of people feed their LBH’s at least some corn every day along with other feed.
Old Oak Farm, KYOctober 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm #18243
I hate to repeat myself but I think the hanging time is crucial. We also hung for only 3 days & got tough meat – ending up grinding the rest of that sow into sausage which did the trick. Try taking the meat out & leaving it in your refrigerator for another 3-4 days. Marinade it well & see what that does. We cook our pork slow & long (actually all our meat) so for roasts we will cook at 350F for at least 4 hours. The meat should fall off the bone. When you say you cooked it in stuffing it sounds like you had no juice in there? When we roast we always have plenty of water, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, herbs & spices in the pan with the meat so that we can make a very tasty gravy. Your boar was a good size so should not be dry. A corn fed animal will taste totally different & I don’ t think it will make any difference to the tenderness.
LizOctober 24, 2012 at 7:27 pm #18245
I think I will try the next batch in a crock pot or at least bake it with something more liquidy such as soup. I will also try leaving it in the frig for a few days. That sounds like a good idea. If that doesn’t work, we do have a meat grinder and it has made excellent sausage! We are getting venison now too so sausage-making season is upon us. My husband loves making different kinds and experimenting with spices, etc. He also does a slow-cooked summer sausage in the oven which is very good.
The next time we butcher one I will have the butcher hang it longer. I think he will work with me on that, at least I will try.
CyndieOctober 24, 2012 at 8:14 pm #18247
Sounds like a plan. I was thinking on this some more & also realized I had forgotten to say that stress at time of butchering can make a difference too. If the animal gets really stressed then that can affect the tenderness of the meat. I know most smaller slaughter houses are good handlers of animals before killing but I have also heard horror stories of ones who think it is macho to terrorize the animal before it dies – VERY sad.
Some slaughter houses will let you be there when they kill.