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  • #20519 Reply
    Member: NY AvatarCrossIslandFarms

    Does anyone have experience with raising intact LBH boars for meat? On other discussion lists I have been on, the topic of boar taint can be extremely volatile, with some people swearing you can’t ever raise good pork from a boar and others never cutting their boars and getting gourmet pork as a result. My understanding is that breed can make difference as can management. We recently butchered a 6 year old Tamworth boar, after isolating him from the females for 2 weeks, and the sausage was excellent, with not a trace of boar taint. So what do people say about raising LBH boars intact for meat?

    David Belding
    Cross Island Farms

    #20522 Reply
    Member: OK Jennifer LedlowJennifer Ledlow

    I don’t have experience with this yet, but we will in a few months. We have a young boar that was going to be sold as a breeder and didn’t quite keep up with the rest on growth.

    My main issue with keeping boars as feeders is where to keep them. Right now we have a 2 acres pasture, and two farrowing pens. With Large Blacks taking a little longer to reach butcher weight, I think we will have to keep castrating to avoid having them breeding everyone.

    #20560 Reply
    Member: ME Sam KnightSam Knight

    We have decided that we no longer enjoy the process of castrating the young males. The stress on the animal, not to mention upsetting MOM and POP, we feel that that is is no longer a necessary task on our farm. We let the young boars reach about 100 or 125 lbs and send them to butcher as roasting hogs. It does help to separate them from their siblings to prevent that urge!!!
    As for taint in LBH, I think this is just a way for old timers to talk about nothing!

    #20827 Reply
    Member: KS Jeff HamonsJeff Hamons

    We raise our LB’s intact. It is quite the process and adds a lot of complexity to the farm. Boys and girls are raised separately. Escapes can have very BAD consequences. However, the meat is fantastic. Take your time though — develop your genetics. Not all LB’s will e taint free. We have about 60 LB’s on the ground right now.

    Jeff Hamons
    Synergistic Acres

    #20828 Reply
    Member: KS Jeff HamonsJeff Hamons

    Added note — we butcher at about 350 pounds. 14-18 months.

    #21001 Reply

    I was going to call you today to ask this very question. I think I’ll not castrate.

    #22668 Reply
    AvatarRima Kittley

    It’s been a long time since I’ve been on LBHA web site. I gave up castrating my piglet males a long time ago. I just didn’t like doing it. I figured out that the taint is ONLY a problem if any one of the girls are in heat, and only for a few days. You can actually smell it. Besides I like the flavor of younger meat. So we take the males over to the butcher before their litter-mates go into their first heat. The girls go into heat at about 8 months of age and have their first litter some time around their first birthday. Early slaughter is only a problem when you want bacon. There isn’t much in the younger pig. Which reminds me…we have a couple of pigs at the butcher.

    We keep only one breeder male, who stays with the girls all the time. They were all so unhappy being separated that they were breaking down fences. 1000 pounds of pig can go anywhere he wants to if he really sets his mind to it. And pretty much the only thing that will set his mind to it is a sow in heat. We worried about him being around the piglets for while, but he hangs around the babies sometimes even more than the mama. It’s funny to see all the piglets piled around daddy, especially when it’s cold. Of course they know where to go when it’s meal time! We take a very hands-off approach to raising our pigs. And they do great!

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