Who’s Your Daddy?
This is somewhat controversial in the pork world, but we don’t castrate our boars. There are valid arguments pro and con, but thus far we’ve never had a need to do so.
One challenge this introduces is that our farm is full of earnest young suitors whenever any gilt or sow is in heat.
Despite our efforts to plan breedings, having so many intact males sometimes gives us surprise litters, like the piglets above. They were sired by a Yorkshire boar shortly before he was transferred to a new assignment in my parents’ freezer (where he has reportedly been serving admirably). He was a fine pig, just not the one we had planned to breed with this particular sow. But love has a way of conquering all and our plans need to adjust. To borrow from Marvin Gaye, “Ain’t no fencing high enough to keep me away from you babe.”