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  #1  
Old 02/07/11, 08:15 PM
 
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Location: West Virginia
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castrating by the moon

One of our local hog experts/old timer/pork producers offered to teach me how to castrate our new piglets from Homegrown Acres. Since this pork will be produced for our local farmers market, and several upscale restaurants, we felt(along with Brian) that it would be best to castrate them ASAP.
He told me that the time to cut was on the 2nd-3rd, because the moon was right(New Moon). He offered to come up tonight, but he thought the moon might be "in the Heart", which could be bad. This weekend coming, however, the moon will change, and might be better then. He and another old timer/ pig farmer are coming up Sat. to teach me the best way to castrate.
I love the passing down of knowledge, and am looking forward to the process, but I feel really dumb. What is this calender, and where can I find it? I am intrigued by the old time way, and grew up raising hogs, here, with no such knowledge. I want to know these mountain ways inside and out, and having been raised here, somehow have missed it.
I think, that the mountain way, has developed from the mode of survival. I envy the folks here, who grew up depending on making their own way, or die. Of course the younger generations dont appear to see it, but the last generation has it going on. We must preserve it.
My question is, can someone explain to me the "Moon", before these wonderful neighbors come up Sat. to teach me some barn yard surgery, so as I can truly understand, and thus glean the full tutorial? Thank you, Luke.

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  #2  
Old 02/07/11, 08:38 PM
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Well Luke, I think it is cool you are willing to learn something new. I castrate by the moon signs also, as I do other things also. Never castrate during full moon, because blood flows free`er during this time. Best thing to do is get yourself an old Farmers Almanac and look it up in the back where they have everything you would ever need to do by the moon signs. They have a whole page that tell what dates to do certain things, including casterating, butchering, cutting hay, setting posts, and lots of other things. It will also explain the differant signs of the moon, like a waxing , wanning, dark and light of the moon. It does work so listen to your neighbors. > Thanks Marc

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  #3  
Old 02/07/11, 09:32 PM
 
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Both of my grandfathers castrated by the 'signs'. My father never did, and neither do I. The method my grandfathers used was to castrate only when the signs were in the knees, legs, or feet, but not on the last day in the feet because that's back too close to the head.

According to my almanac today is the first day in the head. They will be in the knees on the 28th, and will be back in the head on March 7th. You would not want to castrate on March 6th, as that is the last day in the feet.

I have been castrating calves and pigs for well over 30 years, and have many times intentionally not checked the signs until after I had done the job. Sometimes the signs were 'right' and sometimes they were completely wrong. I have never been able to tell one whit of difference in blood flow or healing time.

I certainly have no problem with anyone who chooses to castrate by the signs, but I just wanted to give my experience.

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  #4  
Old 02/08/11, 06:16 AM
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Hi Luke! We are so happy that the piglets have found a good place at your farm! And that your dog is getting along well with them, too!

I don't know much about doing stuff according to moon signs but I also have learned a lot from the folks who managed their livestock long ago. Some of the best information I've found is in books that were published in the 1800s, back when everyone raised their hogs on pasture and in the woods.

I did a quick Google search and came up with this: http://kennysideshow.blogspot.com/20...oon-signs.html It explains the moon sign system fairly well.

As for where the moon will be in 2011: http://www.lunarium.co.uk/calendar/universal.jsp

I tried to figure this all out and my brain hurts so I leave the rest to you!

Brian

p.s. In my brief research I did find this one bit of wonderful advice (from the Farmer's Almanac).

"When is the best time to castrate a pig?"

"When he's asleep..."

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  #5  
Old 02/08/11, 06:49 AM
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I purchase the Old Farmers Almanac each year and it has all kinds of info in it including a monthly page called Best Days of when to do things like castrate.
Nancy

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  #6  
Old 02/08/11, 08:21 AM
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DH always weans our calves according to the sign. He used to castrate them according to the sign, but we band the baby calves now. He claims it worked for him.

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  #7  
Old 02/08/11, 10:18 AM
 
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Once, around 1953 or earlier, My dad was cutting some baby pigs with my uncle and grandad. Uncle Milt always cut them. I never saw my dad do it, and ive never done it. Me and my bro were too little to be inside the hog shed so we stood outside, and out of the way. After cutting a few, dad passed one out the door and told us to watch it. It as bleeding bad. Then another after a bit. Grandad said, Did u check the sign for today? Dad said he hadnt, he just wanted to get the job done on Sat, as he worked the weekdays. Grandad said lets go up to the house and get a cup of coffee. Dad was mad, but he didnt say much. We got to the house and grandad asked mom if she had an almanac. She finally found one. Grandad looked it up, and the signs had changed on the hour we were cutting. He found another time that would be right. He didnt help dad, and dad knew better than to go against grandad, so that was that. The other sign must have worked as I dont remember anything about cutting the rest of the pigs. I suppose I was there, but since it went off without a hitch, I didnt remember it.
I use Llewyens Moon Sign Book, as I could never understand OFA. LMS has 3 or 4 times the stuff in it, and its easier to understand. OFA I think is wrote with the idea that the buyer has been raised up on it and knows it perfectly from being instructed on it by mom or dad.
Im reading from my last years almanac as I havnt got one yet for this year.
ANIMALS, (Neuter or spay). Have livestock and pets neutered or spayed when the moon is in Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, or Pieces. After it has passed through Scorpio, the sign that represents the reproductive organs. Avoid the week before or after the full moon.

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  #8  
Old 02/08/11, 10:25 AM
 
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From one of my old books....

Casturate pigs when the sign is in the feet...less bleeding and soreness. and no infection

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  #9  
Old 02/08/11, 10:35 AM
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I don't know about pigs, but, I have an Amish guy that gelds my horses for me, he will only castrate in certain moon phases. Every one he has gelded for me has went on to be calm, level headed horses.

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  #10  
Old 02/08/11, 12:36 PM
 
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There are many things done by the "signs" of the moon. Many people for many many years have followed this as well as people today. Maybe not as many in todays world but I think many are now completing the circle and are reading about and are trying many of the older ways and are finding out that there is some truth in them.

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  #11  
Old 02/08/11, 07:41 PM
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Superstitions are just that, nothing more. If I don’t step on a crack and my mom doesn’t get a broken back, then it must be true? Come on folks.
Shall we smear some lamb’s blood over our entrance door, too? You want to go burn some witches, too?
I’m sure there are large hog operations that castrate every day of the week. I admit I don’t have their data to prove my point, but in large numbers it would become obvious and I do know they continue to castrate daily without concern for the phases of the moon.
I’m not interested in creating a living museum. I’m not seeking Homesteading in yesteryear. I’m interested in being successful in the here and now.
If you are entertained by the daily horoscope, fine. If you enjoy the Farmer’s Almanac, well good for you. But when these cult-like beliefs start holding you up from getting your crop in the ground in a timely manner or needlessly delays any common animal husbandry procedure, shame on you. Double shame on those that perpetuate such nonsense.

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  #12  
Old 02/08/11, 08:32 PM
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I know that the stress created by castration can be a problem so my advice to Luke was to get it done before the stress of the movement from my farm to his wore off. In other words, they are going to have a setback in their growth due to the stress of moving; why create a second setback later with castration?

However, whether or not there is any proof for these practices (doing things by the moon), it is emotionally rewarding to feel as if you are more connected to the homesteading experience. Raising hogs, IMO, is as much about the experience as it is about the wallet so why not do it in a way that provides a better emotional experience? I am not a religious person but I am spiritual. I love to read about the "old ways" and will incorporate those that make sense to me. If Luke wants to have the experience of his ancestors then I say go for it. After meeting Luke and his lovely wife I know they are not in this for the bucks; the experience is food for their souls, too.

Besides, has anyone ever really done a scientific study? Maybe the practice of doing things by the moon actually has benefit...

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  #13  
Old 02/08/11, 08:39 PM
 
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Well haypoint, thanks for the insight. It is the health and welfare of hogs from larger commercial operations that motivated us to grow our own pork in the first place. I'm not putting any value on old timey superstitions other than it is a practice that is not troublesome, may work, may not, and from a historical stand point, quite interesting to me. If farming by the moon signs helps me, then wonderful. If it is baseless and shows absolutely no benefit, then at least I will be able to debate it with facts, experience, and validity, unlike your useless and rather rude reply. You stick to your methods, I'm going to do whatever it takes to better the welfare of our animals, but also, sell our pork, vegetables, lambs, and eggs to our very conscientious clientele who would appreciate every step we make in attempting to better the quality/health/happiness of our meat and produce.

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  #14  
Old 02/08/11, 08:43 PM
 
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The problem with people today, is to try to do anything else in the world besides farming. Cub Scouts, Baseball, football, soccer, SCA, Other reenactment, societys, ect. Polotics. The old farmers were farmers, and that was all they did, IF they were successful. Ive found out, To farm, and to try to farm successfully, One HAS to pay attention to the operation, Getting in sync with the seasons is like jumping onto a wherling merry go round. If you jump oon at anytime, You wont be ready to do the things as there needed to be done. Wont have the money, wont have the equipment, ect. Its when you DO have the money, DO have the equipment, dO HAVE THE TIME, ECT. Then A farmer is ready to do his farming when it needs to be done, If he also pays attention to the signs. Can that be bad?, Theres NO reason that IF a farmer is ready to do things when there ready to be done, that there should be no reason he cant get it done in timely fashion,

I have seen the signs work several times in my own life. Try it yourself. Plant tomatoes, or potatoes in one row in the 1st quarter of the moon in a good sign, And plant another row next to it in the 3 or 4th quarter in a hot sign, like aquarius. See what ya get,

Most people who dont believe in it will say. Naw, Im not gonna try it. I dont believe in it and im not gonna do a goofy test just to prove im right.

I suppose you dont believe in water witching either.

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  #15  
Old 02/08/11, 08:53 PM
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Well double shame on me HAYPOINT, I don`t care weather you believe in moon signs or not, it is a time proven way on doing things. I have done things by the moon for years, and granted I don`t do everything. And if the weather is not working in my favor, I sure as heck am going to plant corn, if the moon is right or not. Livestock for me is a differant thing, I do alot more by the moon than not. It works for me, and moon signs have nothing to do with burning witches, or stepping on cracks. Totaly differant things here, the moon has all to do about the tides coming in and out. And I feel sorry for you to as I bet you don`t believe in Santa Claus either do you. This is America and we do have the right to do as we want, when we want, on the most part. I also don`t go out of my way to break mirrors either or walk under ladders. > Marc

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  #16  
Old 02/09/11, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by springvalley View Post
Well double shame on me HAYPOINT, I don`t care weather you believe in moon signs or not, it is a time proven way on doing things. I have done things by the moon for years, and granted I don`t do everything. And if the weather is not working in my favor, I sure as heck am going to plant corn, if the moon is right or not. Livestock for me is a differant thing, I do alot more by the moon than not. It works for me, and moon signs have nothing to do with burning witches, or stepping on cracks. Totaly differant things here, the moon has all to do about the tides coming in and out. And I feel sorry for you to as I bet you don`t believe in Santa Claus either do you. This is America and we do have the right to do as we want, when we want, on the most part. I also don`t go out of my way to break mirrors either or walk under ladders. > Marc
If I thought it would help, let me add: "IMHO", but I thought that is what a discussion was, explaining how we do things and what we believe works.

It is interesting that you can follow the Moon Religion ( like other reeligions, it is totally faith supported) only when it fits into your schedule, like planting corn at the "wrong "time, yet cling to the belief that the tides effect the pigs testicles.

Yup, us citizens can do as we want. I want to tell you I do not believe, I have that freedom. You have the right to believe what you like.

If someone wanted to put magnets on their gas line to improve mileage and you said it worked for you, I'm afraid I would disagree. I won't tell you not to say it, just that it is just more fakery.

I agree it is fun to believe in such nonsense, but in consideration of the animals, let's come out of the dark ages and get these pigs clipped right away. The longer you wait the harder it is on the pigs.

Just put me down as a God fearing non- moon control believing person.
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  #17  
Old 02/09/11, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jonathan bair View Post
Well haypoint, thanks for the insight. It is the health and welfare of hogs from larger commercial operations that motivated us to grow our own pork in the first place. I'm not putting any value on old timey superstitions other than it is a practice that is not troublesome, may work, may not, and from a historical stand point, quite interesting to me. If farming by the moon signs helps me, then wonderful. If it is baseless and shows absolutely no benefit, then at least I will be able to debate it with facts, experience, and validity, unlike your useless and rather rude reply. You stick to your methods, I'm going to do whatever it takes to better the welfare of our animals, but also, sell our pork, vegetables, lambs, and eggs to our very conscientious clientele who would appreciate every step we make in attempting to better the quality/health/happiness of our meat and produce.
I wasn't encouraging anyone to emulate a commercial operation. Just that an operation that does castration many times daily would be able to show a statistical difference more than those of us that just raise a few and do it from time to time.
If you like the historical part of it and it fits your timetable, fine. If you care, as you state, about the welfare of your pigs, you'll do it as soon as you have the time to do a proper job. If your customers will buy more or pay more for pork from a piglet cut on the waining moon, you must be doing a grand job marketing.

I just don't believe there is an increase in quality, an improvement in health or that any pig was somewhat happier based on the phaes of the moon that he lost his testicles. I put my faith on knowing how to do it and a sharp knife. I encourage you to persue your beliefs.
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  #18  
Old 02/09/11, 08:59 AM
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We are not morons who are superstitious or "believe in that nonsense." Many of us have college educations, so please don't make such degrading statements. It is Ok with me if you don't believe in doing things by the sign, but please don't act like those of us who do are not quite bright. Many older folks planted by the sign and farmed by the sign with great success. How do you explain the art of water dowsing? You may not believe in it, but I have seen it work with my own eyes. I don't believe I live in the "dark ages," but if a thing works, it works whether you believe in it or not. I suppose you don't believe that the moon has any connection with the tides either.

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Old 02/09/11, 10:09 AM
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I normally don't participate in these discussions, but thought I'd add a bit more information... A friend of mine is an Emergency Room nurse and we've talked about this before. She told me it was well noted (but probably not documented) that blood flows more freely during a full moon and the week before and after. She told me that the ER is a LOT busier and has more difficulty stopping bleeding from wounds. She also mentioned that people are a lot nuttier and difficult to handle as well. She's a firm "believer" and, added to my own farm experiences similar to others on this thread, I am not going to schedule any elective surgery on myself during a full moon either! And I won't do elective surgery on my animals during a full moon either.

By the way, we wean our animals during a full moon. Both the mothers and the offspring seem to be calmer. This could be due to the youngsters being able to see better during the night and not being as scared, and thereby not causing stress in their mothers from their bawling. Whatever, it works for us. We laughed our heads off one year when our neighbors weaned their calves two weeks later (new moon) and their animals bawled their heads off for three or four nights. Of course this kept us awake, too, but it would be louder at their place! tee hee...

I may even try planting my crops at different 'signs' this year to test out that theory, too. Sounds like a fun experiment!

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  #20  
Old 02/09/11, 10:24 AM
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The moon controls the ebb and flow of water and that is why we have high tides and low tides.. It isn't superstition, it is a fact. We are all made up of mostly water so the moon also affects people and animals. Ask any ER or OB nurse. The full moon brings more people to the ER and more births are during the full moon. I did not say all but a lot as there are exceptions to all rules.
The farmers learned years ago that the changing of the moon made a difference in breeding, planting, setting and castrating. But it is your decision on when to do it.

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  #21  
Old 02/09/11, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by linn View Post
We are not morons who are superstitious or "believe in that nonsense." Many of us have college educations, so please don't make such degrading statements. It is Ok with me if you don't believe in doing things by the sign, but please don't act like those of us who do are not quite bright. Many older folks planted by the sign and farmed by the sign with great success. How do you explain the art of water dowsing? You may not believe in it, but I have seen it work with my own eyes. I don't believe I live in the "dark ages," but if a thing works, it works whether you believe in it or not. I suppose you don't believe that the moon has any connection with the tides either.
My comments were not meant to degrade. Planting and castrating and butchering on specific times due to the phase of the moon have no scientific basis. I see it as nonsense and it fits into the category of superstition.

The orbit of the moon affects the tides. That is a scientific fact. For you to suppose I deny that is demeaning to me and shows that my differing opinion angers you.
A barometric pressure change affects how wood smoke is drawn from a chimney, but the phase of the moon doesn’t affect a wood stove. Some things are facts and some things are fiction.

On my farm the ground water level is affected by a rain shower and not the gravitational pull of the moon.

I don't believe delaying planting or butchering or castration helps anything. But I don't believe copper bracelets cure aches or placing a pyramid over your dope makes it better. I know the dowsing trick to get a sapling to point down and can get copper wires to come together over a water line. It is not real, it is a trick.

But if you believe it and want to write about it, fine. But don't get mad when I write that it is as real as the tooth fairy. IMHO

You are correct, “if a thing works, it works whether you believe in it or not.” That isn’t the point. I am saying that if something doesn’t work, but you believe it does, it becomes real to you.

Let me use an example. Some people believe Friday the 13th is bad luck. I mean they truly believe it. So, all day they are alert to possible bad things that happen. Another person might not believe in such nonsense and go through the day as any other day. At the close of the day, the “believer” can recall several near misses or outright bad things that happened, while the other person considers it just another day. Expecting a certain outcome slants one’s view. That is why tests have to contain a double blind element, that is why placebos have such an effect.

There are plenty of folk remedies that persist in our culture. They don’t really work, but the belief persists. Look at all the urban myths that exist, check snopes.com for an update. You are free to spread the beliefs and I’m free to dismiss them as superstition from a bygone era.

Humans are nocturnal. When there is less darkness, there is more restlessness and sleeplessness. Mental patients are more restless when there is more light. Criminals seem more active when they can’t sleep at night, causing an increase in crime. Perhaps it is just that criminals are caught more often when there is more moonlight for the police to see them. Restless people fill Hospital ER. People that are more active have more accidents and we tend to be more active when there is more light. Some feel these changes are due to the pull of the moon, I place the changes on the amount of light. Many times we have a full moon and it is cloudy, so no changes are noted. But a clear night and a bright moon will change people’s sleep habits.
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  #22  
Old 02/09/11, 10:41 AM
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"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

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  #23  
Old 02/09/11, 08:40 PM
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Well alrighty then!

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Old 02/09/11, 09:11 PM
 
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Astronomer Daniel Caton analyzed 70,000,000[citation needed] birth records from the National Center for Health Statistics, and found no correlation between an increased birth rate and the full moon phase. Kelly, Rotton, and Culver report that Caton examined 45,000,000[citation needed] births and found a weak peak around the third quarter phase of the Moon, while the full moon and new moon phases had an average or slightly below average birth rate.

In 1959 Walter and Abraham Menaker reported that a study of over 510,000 births in New York City showed a 1 percent increase in births in the two weeks following the full moon. In 1967 Walter Menaker studied another 500,000 births in New York City, and found a 1 percent increase in births in the two-week period centered on the full moon. In 1973 M. Osley, D. Summerville, and L. B. Borst studied another 500,000 births in New York City, and they reported a 1 percent increase in births before the full moon. In 1957 Rippmann analyzed 9,551 births in Danville, PA and found no correlation between the birth rate and the phase of the moon.[6]

A fifteen month study in Jacksonville, Florida revealed no lunar effect on crime and hospital room admittance. In particular:

* There was no increase in crime on full moons, according to a statistical analysis by the Jacksonville Police Department. Five of the fifteen full moons had a higher than average rate of crime while ten full moons had a lower than average rate. The higher-than-average days were during warmer months.
* Statistical analysis of visits to Shands Hospital emergency room showed no full moon effect. Emergency room admissions may have more to do with the day of the week.[7]

Further research may provide further clarification on the lunar effect and what aspects of human behavior and physiology may or may not be affected.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_effect

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More crimes occur at Full Moon
This myth ascribes more influence to the Moon than it actually has.
By Michael E. Bakich
Full Moon
Crimes are just as likely to occur at Full Moon as at any other lunar phase.
Photo by Adam Stuart
This legend is one most people have heard and many believe, although there's not a shred of proof that backs it up. The myth states that police officers and emergency room personnel note a rise in criminal activity during Full Moons.

Scientific studies, however, show no such correlation. In other words, the Moon's phase has no effect on the number of crimes committed, the number of people admitted to asylums, the number of babies conceived or born, or any other like occurrence.

So why does this myth persist? Perhaps it's because people seem to notice an increase in such events around a Full Moon. Social scientists speculate it's because people are more likely to notice, and remember, a Full Moon, rather than the Moon at other phases.

So, if someone commits a murder when the Moon is a crescent, people covering the crime may not remember the phase of the Moon that night. (Perhaps the Moon set before law enforcement arrived at the crime scene.) If, however, the Moon is full, a police officer might be more likely to remember the phase of the Moon that night, because a bright Moon is obvious.
And here's a startling fact: A Full Moon shines 10 times brighter than a Quarter Moon, even though First Quarter and Last Quarter display half of the Moon's face illuminated.

In short, crimes, births, and strange occurrences happen all month long, but only those that occur around Full Moon cause people to talk about them.
http://www.astronomy.com/en/sitecore...ll%20Moon.aspx
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  #25  
Old 02/10/11, 09:00 AM
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I think it has been established that the nay sayers are all intelligent thinking folks while people like me are ignorant superstitious fools. Can we drop this now or does it just get worse?

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  #26  
Old 02/10/11, 05:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kshobbit View Post
I think it has been established that the nay sayers are all intelligent thinking folks while people like me are ignorant superstitious fools.
I don't think anyone said that. Haypoint said that it was superstition, but he didn't call anyone ignorant or fools.

It's not my intention to offend anyone, but I happen to agree. I've castrated literally hundreds of pigs and calves in the last 30 years, and I've never seen any difference by the signs. I usually check after the fact just for grins and giggles, and sometimes they hardly bleed at all when the signs are 'wrong', and sometimes they bleed like crazy when the signs are 'right'. Most of the time there's no difference at all.

If you think castrating by the signs is a benefit to you, then by all means do it. It won't affect me one way or another.
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Old 02/10/11, 05:43 PM
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I saw this title and wondered if it was a new country song...

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Old 02/10/11, 05:44 PM
 
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I didn't call anyone a fool or anything else. I read some statements, pondered them, then did some research to see what I could find. I do that with most anything I read. And if you check the part I put in bold type, I found that very interesting. DW killed her first deer almost 10 years ago. There was a full moon. She shot the deer at dusk, and the moon came up while I gutted the deer. I remember that like yesterday.

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Old 02/10/11, 08:07 PM
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Location: central Missouri
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I am gonna agree or disagree BUT i do know the moons signs work for me as in cutting my hair to make it grow faster...

also by setting wooden post by the right sign,after digging the hole & putting the post in i will have plenty of dirt to fill that hole up around that post & not have to go looking elsewhere for more dirt..

also by weaning by the right moon sign babies don't cry as much and neither do the mothers...

Just my experience!! everyone has their own observation of things that work for them..

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Old 02/10/11, 08:48 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: West Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjb View Post
I saw this title and wondered if it was a new country song...
Ive been known to write a few country songs. Didnt mean to start a debate, just gather some input. Our castration party is still happening saturday, should be loads of fun.
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