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Discussion Starter #1
I have a boar that I purchased about 3 months ago for too much money to consider eating. He's a great looking animal but has this nasty habit of wanting to bully me around and even nip me if I'm not looking. Makes working in the area he's in too dangerous to be alone. I do go in with a big stick and use it to rub his back (and knock him over the head!) and he'll stay calm and like it, but never flop over. I really want to train him away from this behavior and am considering a cattle prod, but am not sure this will change his behavior. Also, he is in with a sow that's not in heat, but if she's near me he doesn't like it and when she was in heat, no way would I go in.
 

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sounds like a good candidate for eating.

Attitude has a large genetic component (i've seen enough happy babies that turn into happy adults and grumpy babies that turn into grumpy adults to know this is true for humans, too) You might be able to turn his attitude around but you'll still be breeding aggressive tendencies into your pigs.

If you really like himb reed him once and choose the best built and calmest boar out of the litter...then eat your jerk boar.
 

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I agree. I am fairly new to breeding pigs, but have had mules for a long time. I used to keep some bad mules in hopes of turning them around, in the end I finally decided life is just too short to deal with bad animals. There are too many good ones out there, it just takes time to find them sometimes. We would all like to go make one purchase and be done, but that is just not the case sometimes. I personally do not waste time on bad ones anymore. Give enough time to be for sue there is a problem, but once you know there is, plan to get something better. Don't settle for dealing with something you do not like, keep looking for what you want.
 

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Its hard to train them after they are grown. I do carry a pig stick. Shove handle. If a boar or any other pig get its nose near me i hit its nose with my pig stick. They learn quickly to not nose around. I can pet them on the back part of their back and they like that. That's how i train them to respect me and still they get a little attention. They are happy to get the little pats on the back. Their tails goes to swinging. :)

I never get close to a boar when he is in heat with the sows. That is a no no.

If you can't train him now best to make sausage out of him soon. Not worth the risk of getting hurt. Boars do make very good sausage.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I do plan to get rid of him after I'm sure he bred my sow, but for now, we have to live together. I never go in without a big stick and he's gotten a knock on the nose more than once, but, and it's a big but, he could easily get pissed enough to do major damage. I'm no chicken, but I do know that a 350 pound boar is too much for any man. All that said, I guess I'll go for a little shock therapy and see what happens...hope they don't find just my boots in the pen!:)
 

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I wouldn't breed him to her because I don't want pigs that have poor temperament. If I did breed them I would mark all the piglets from him as finishers, as meat pigs and not keep any as breeders so the bad attitude ends there. Be safe.

-Walter
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This afternoon I fed them some apples clear across the paddock so I could work on the feeder. As I was working, I heard him coming and stepped near the gate out, picking up my heavy stick as I moved. He stopped short and I tapped him on the nose a couple times to get him to move away. He acted more aggressive so I smacked him over the noggin and he went down as I exited. The fact that hi went down shocked and scared me, thinking that I could have really hurt him. That feeling didn't last long because as soon as he got his legs back under him he came at the gate that I stood behind. I then noticed that he was frothed up and realized that the sow must be back in heat. So, I have a mean boar who evidently can't get it up because he's been in there with a proven sow for almost three months...great! Anyone in the marked for a sweet Mangalitsa boar? ;)
 

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I feel for you, but I am in agreement with the others, I am pretty sure I would be sending him off to freezer camp rather shortly.
 

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Sorry to hear this. I did have one beautiful boar for a year i paid 600 bucks for that couldn't do the job. He made really nice meat. What hurt was 8 Gilts did not get bred for 6 months.
 

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Will a boar become resentful and turn mean from being smacked with a stick? Is it common to need a stick to move safely around a boar? how much force should be applied?

Our Berkshire boar is about a year old and has always been good natured, but this past week has given me 2 or 3 nudges on the leg I didn't care for. I have figured his body language and saw the last one coming. It's not rough, but I assume he is testing me. (We recently attempted re-integrating him, the sow, the weanlings, and a barrow, but it was just too much for her to fend off his advances and the piglets trying to re-nurse. So, she was pulled and is across the fence line. I imagine the boar just wants to be with her. He has dealt with the months-long separation really well, actually.)
I just want to know what's the best action when I see him turning in again to push on my leg?
 

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There are those on here who probably know more than I, but here is my take on it. If you need to protect yourself from harm, apply the needed amount of pressure to get the result you need. Yes, to protect myself I would apply deadly force if the situation called for it!! Most of these situations can be avoided however, by using our brains in the first place and not getting in compromising situations to begin with.

I am however familiar with mules and the same basic principals apply. If you watch mules (and horses) they will discipline each other, within a herd. This will include biting and kicking (quite hard at times). Pigs discipline within herds also, look at their actions, biting and shoving (again at times quite hard). You will apply a great amount of force, if you are to rise to the level that they use against one another!. That is what I measure by and how I determine my disciplinary actions in order to get a behavior response I am needing. Start small, but forceful and confident, then apply increasing pressure, as is required to get the desired outcome.
 

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It is best to start to train pigs when they are young. Boars and Sows will try to boss you around when they get older. All my pigs respect me and i have a pig stick with me most of the time. Any time a pig gets its nose close to me it gets a slap to the nose. I haven't had to hit a pig for 5 or 6 mos. now. I always talk to my pigs when i am around them. Pigs are not play toys. They can hurt a person so be careful.
 

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My berkie boar that I slaughtered at 8 months weighted about 400 pounds when he went to the processor. I started doing something with him when he weighted about 150 pounds that I probably shouldn't have done..I would push on him like a football linesman. At 150 pds he would move a few feet. At 300 pounds he would look at me like .."what you doing?". Then a few weeks before he went to slaughter I did it and he looked at me and did it back..I almost landed in the fence.

He was just playing because that is what I did with him. duh. That wasn't why he went to slaughter but it was good lesson to me..a 400 pound pig sometimes doesn't know his own strength or understand the consequences of what he is doing.

I don't know what your pig is doing..he could be playing..he could be serious. I don't normally carry a stick with me, but if i have situations where a pig is getting to friendly i take a stick and rap them on their nose a little as they understand that means "no". A little bit of that and they will probably back off. If I'm having to beat a pig then the pig isn't for me. I'm not into beating animals. I have taken one to slaughter because I couldn't trust him.

keith

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http://www.permaculturefreedom.com
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My berkie boar that I slaughtered at 8 months weighted about 400 pounds when he went to the processor. I started doing something with him when he weighted about 150 pounds that I probably shouldn't have done..I would push on him like a football linesman. At 150 pds he would move a few feet. At 300 pounds he would look at me like .."what you doing?". Then a few weeks before he went to slaughter I did it and he looked at me and did it back..I almost landed in the fence.

He was just playing because that is what I did with him. duh. That wasn't why he went to slaughter but it was good lesson to me..a 400 pound pig sometimes doesn't know his own strength or understand the consequences of what he is doing.

I don't know what your pig is doing..he could be playing..he could be serious. I don't normally carry a stick with me, but if i have situations where a pig is getting to friendly i take a stick and rap them on their nose a little as they understand that means "no". A little bit of that and they will probably back off. If I'm having to beat a pig then the pig isn't for me. I'm not into beating animals. I have taken one to slaughter because I couldn't trust him.

keith

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http://www.permaculturefreedom.com

I've been working around pigs for 40 years and know the difference between playfulness, hunger and just plain aggressiveness. My guy is the later, just more so now that the sow is in heat. I didn't expect the heat part because he's been in with her for almost 3 months. I definitely would not have entered the pen had I known. I have never carried a stick with me having a good leg and a stiff booth which has worked fine. This guy is different, and while he hasn't gone into full attack mode, he did nip my partner on the leg and got me through the fence once, not to mention the aggressive charging which let to his knockout blow, hence the stick. I know I'm stupid for not converting him to sausage emmediately, but a couple grand is a couple grand and I'm really hesitant to toss that out the window with a twenty cent bullet!
 

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That makes sense about watching herd dynamics. As the largest of the group, though, the boar has no one ever challenge him. So it is difficult for me to know how much force to use on him.

Actually, it is not at that point. Even at feeding time, he walks ahead or beside me and doesn't touch me. There were isolated occasions after feeding, when I was cleaning the paddock, and he was near me and just seemed to make a point to turn in and push the side of his head against my leg. Very little pressure, but it was the mere action that got my attention.

I try to stop myself from comparing pigs and horses too closely. I can move a 1000-pound horse with one finger tip, or stop bad behavior with my voice. Also, I am certain that horses understand we humans are far more delicate than they are and do not want to hurt us. If pigs understand that concept, I don't trust they have the same level of respect for me as my horses do. At least not a boar.

Thanks everybody for the input. I definitely keep his whereabouts on my radar. I don't think he is mean or aggressive, but is sometimes getting in my space where I'd prefer he didn't.

When one uses a stick on a pig, is it across the profile of its snout, or straight on at the fleshy nostril area?
 

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That makes sense about watching herd dynamics. As the largest of the group, though, the boar has no one ever challenge him. So it is difficult for me to know how much force to use on him.

Actually, it is not at that point. Even at feeding time, he walks ahead or beside me and doesn't touch me. There were isolated occasions after feeding, when I was cleaning the paddock, and he was near me and just seemed to make a point to turn in and push the side of his head against my leg. Very little pressure, but it was the mere action that got my attention.

I try to stop myself from comparing pigs and horses too closely. I can move a 1000-pound horse with one finger tip, or stop bad behavior with my voice. Also, I am certain that horses understand we humans are far more delicate than they are and do not want to hurt us. If pigs understand that concept, I don't trust they have the same level of respect for me as my horses do. At least not a boar.

Thanks everybody for the input. I definitely keep his whereabouts on my radar. I don't think he is mean or aggressive, but is sometimes getting in my space where I'd prefer he didn't.

When one uses a stick on a pig, is it across the profile of its snout, or straight on at the fleshy nostril area?
Doesn't matter much. Which ever is closest and handy. Straight on the nose front will get his attention. Hard enough that he knows you mean business and are not playing with him. If that don't quite work at first hit him harder. Don't worry about hurting him. He should understand why you are hitting him and should stop his trying to bully you.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have always gotten good results with a boot to the nose...I'm tall. I had smacked him a couple times pretty hard on the nose and only when he got me pissed off, and scared, by his continued aggression, did I result to clobbering him between the ears. I too have never had that kind of aggression from a pig or a horse and I sense a very definite disregard for my physical well being, even after ---- near killing him with my last blow.
 
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