What do you do with a mature boar pig? (“Boar” meaning an intact, fully functional male as opposed to the breed of pig.) We have met people who claim they taste good, but our experience has been that they have a smell and taste that is…well…unappealing. “Boar taint” is the term for that unsavory taste, and it comes from the testosterone in an intact male. Cows, goats, and sheep don’t seem to have the same problem, but pigs do.
So, our options were:
- Sell him. (We tried. No one wanted him.)
- Take him to the sale barn. (We would get less for him than the cost of the gas to haul him, and he’d likely go to slaughter anyway.)
- Castrate him, wait 2-4 months, then harvest him. (We did that once. One boar got infected and died. The other one turned into a massive couch potato, lost the “taint,” and made fabulous steaks. But the process was traumatic, and with only a 50% success rate, we didn’t feel it was a great option.)
- Shoot him and bury him. (Not the best use of resources and a waste of his life in our farm system.)
- Make a heck of a lot of raw dog food.
We chose option 5. The dogs don’t mind the taint, the raw food is good for them, and it gives purpose to the boar right to the end. Plus, our son got a chance to learn some more about harvesting hogs.
Here is Mark’s commentary: