Boar or Turkey Baster?

We’ve located a Tamworth boar we could buy to knock up Wilma and Betty (don’t worry, we haven’t eaten Blossom… yet), but there’s no option to rent, so to speak.  Are we ready for a boar or should we just go with artificial insemination?

On the pro-boar side, we’d have a limitless (okay, so at least for a couple of years) supply of piglet potion – no need to buy pig semen, pay a vet to do the deed, or have to learn to perform the procedure ourselves (and buy the necessary gear).

On the pro-AI side, we simply don’t have that much land, which means we don’t have enough space to keep the mister separated from the gals.  Translation: we’ll be all piglets, all the time… which runs us back against the space issue.  We can’t sustain more than 20 pigs on this farm (even that’s an optimistic guess), and Tamworths average 8 piglets per litter but can pop out as many as 12.  Compounding the issue, pigs raised for bacon are kept 2 or more months longer than “porkers” (8-10 months vs. 6-8 months), so with a gestation of 3 month+, our gals will likely pop out the next batch before the first piglets are ready for processing.  (And we’d have to worry about papa knocking up his now of age female progeny.)  It already smells enough like pig here with 3.  And we simply don’t need that much bacon.

The other downside is that, unlike all our other animals, we can’t just change our mind on a boar and send him to the abattoir.  Meat from an uncastrated male pig has a funky flavor referred to as boar taint.  So if he doesn’t work out, I just bought some really expensive future dog food.

However.  Instead of raising all our piglets for consumption, we could sell them as weaners to other farmers (just like how we procured our gals in the first place as 8 week olds).  At $125 a weaner, that may have a nicer profit margin than raising the pig as a “bacon-er” when you calc in all that feed.  So now we’re back to considering the boar, assuming we can drum up enough potential buyers.

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3 responses to “Boar or Turkey Baster?

  1. Turkey Baster!
    We have been buying weaners (for $60) for a few years and decided that we would like to raise our own pork from scratch, so we have kept a sow over and were able to borrow an 800 pound Durock boar to breed Suzie.
    * I say “borrow” because we didn’t agree with the owner on a price (I know he will be reasonable) but we have been feeding this giant for 7 weeks. He is ugly and eats a lot. His previous owner gave him to my friend to get rid of him. ( I am wondering just now if boar isn’t the root word for borrow)
    Suzie isn’t dainty but she ain’t a Durock. She is built a lot closer to the ground and can’t handle Wilbur’s size and sits down when he mounts her. He ends up humping the middle of her back and ejaculalting there – very frustrating, all around.
    It is 2 am and I just woke up wondering if I can I expect any success if I catch his sperm in baggy and load it into a turkey baster?
    What are the risks? I need an immediate response.
    Thansk, Rick

    • I’ve heard that the sow and boar need to be about the same size for any success. As for the baggy, you are a braver soul than I to try it, but let me know if it works.

  2. Baconer and Dogfood
    I obtained a proper applicator from a neighbour and had rehearsed the procedure in my mind: I put them together. He mounts her. If necessary or possible, I guide him into her. If she sits down, and he starts ejaculating, I catch the prize in the baggie and put it inside my jacket to keep it warm, hurry it into the house and fill the applicator. I then put it back inside my jacket and go out and breed her.
    I had them in pens next to each other all day and as long as he was on the other side of the fence rails he was her best boyfriend but as soon as I put them together she wanted nothing to do with him even though she was obviously still in standing heat. He got pretty worked up chasing her around and I thought I would just see if maybe he would respond to manual stimulation. He was quite cooperative and did squirt some stuff into the baggie but I think it was half pee and half semen and I was reluctant to use it. Lucky I was wearing rubber gloves! Have you ever smelled boar semen. I don’t think I have ever smelled anything more disgusting! I got that stink on my arm and on my jacket. I am glad I didn’t take it into the house.
    It is beginning to look like Suzie will end up a baconer. And Wilbur is going to Winnipeg…

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