Botched Castration leads to pointless slaughter?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by unixguy, Sep 11, 2004.

  1. unixguy

    unixguy Member

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado
    FONT=Arial]Good Afternoon;

    Well, I have been lurking on the Help me Kill My Big Pig is thread for a while, because I was suspicious that I would have to deal with this same issue... And we did. The feeder that we bought was supposed to be castrated but, I felt the pig up on tuesday, and went to the vet supply on friday. I read every account about this process on this board, and others. I read the instructions in three books, and all of them were very similliar to they others: The 90lb pig that needed to be altered was not too late, but could not be put off much longer. Snare it, hold it down, go snip, snip through the scrotum, pop them out, ( instructions varied on twist and pull, or tie it off with line and cut, but I was prepared to do both, depending on what blood vessels I encountered ) and it would be done, not (no big deal) but certainly something that we could do.

    Boy was that wrong.

    The snaring and holding went pretty well, Until I started to snip snip... The disposible, curved scapel was WAY too small, and once I started cutting, all hell broke loose.

    I eventually manged to get one testicle out of the scrotum, and not only was it HUGE, it was not attached with a just small white cord and a blood vessel. The connecting tissue was very thick, just under one inch in diameter, and there was a membrane surrounding them. The whole slice, pop, and cut thing just did not apply. I tried to tie the whole thing off, and my wife and I were able to restrain the animal, until the pressure cut into the tissue, and the pig went wild and got loose.

    We callled in our neighbor, and I was able to subdue the animal, re-snare him, flip him over and re-tie the connecting tissue. And then, I tried to sever the nut off.
    Not so much...This pig is apparently very proud of his manhood, and was having NO part of it...

    I am 6'3 and 250lbs, but I was doing the cutting, as my wife couldn't bring herself to do it. But she is 5'10 and not small, and my neighbor is about 6' and built like me.
    Together we could not restain this pig enough to so this surgery. I quickly decided that we were doing something terribly wrong, and it was inhumane to continue. We brought the pig back to its pen, and it is happily sleeping with its penmate, the job half done.

    We are planning to see how it does in the next day or two, and butcher it when the adrenaline it out of its system. My questions are this:

    How long will it take to clear the adrenaline out of the system?

    Will he even make it until that time? He does not seem to be in pain, but who knows?

    We feed him kitchen food from a local restaurant, and were planning on changing his diet to corn for his last six weeks to "harden" the meat. We obviously won't be able to do this... Do you think the meat will still be edible? Should I cut him up, or just turn the whole carcass into sausage?

    What have I done wrong?

    Is there supposed to be just one membrane ( the Skin ) between the outside of the hog and the nut? ( I went through two, and the second was not holding the intestines in).

    I used a topical anesthetic, that was clearly ineffective. Is there one out there that you would recommend? I was informed that once I was through the skin, that there would be no pain, as there are no nerve ending to sense the pain. This was clearly wrong in my case, was I just misinformed? Or do I have a freak pig? ( this could be, look for my posting in the poultry page in a couple of days! )

    What else should I be asking?

    Thanks in advance

    Unixguy.
     
  2. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    17,321
    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I don't see how you have done any irreversable damage so far. Spray the area of the pig for flys, and he should be fine. In the meantime find a SMALL local pig farmer (the big outfits will not allow you on the place), and volenteer to help casterate. Be prepared to get filthy and beat up. You will of course be doing the holding, but pay attention, you will learn how it is done.
     

  3. breezynosacek

    breezynosacek Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    223
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Location:
    VA
    Wow, I really feel for you and the pig! I'm reading and remembering when I had my tubes tied? Yep, only two little tubes and they cut tied and cauterized them. God it hurt afterwards.

    But you know, I wonder sometimes if God doesn't do something different with the brains of critters to keep them from having to suffer so much. Otherwise it would almost be like murder or something to eat meat and I am an honest to God meat eater.
     
  4. MARYDVM

    MARYDVM Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    777
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Most of your problems arose from not having a big enough blade. A scalpel is too small, and doesn't stay sharp long enough when cutting through thick skin. If you had cut through the dense white membrane around the testicle, everything would have dropped a lot farther out, making it easier to tie the vessels and muscle attached to the testicle. Experienced cutters make this incision with one pass of the blade. You probably cut shallow several times, giving the pig time to get really worked up. There are nerves in the skin, and in the retractor muscle of the testicle, so the pig definitely felt everything you were doing. The only way to do this without anesthesia is to be quick - as you found out.
     
  5. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    851
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Ky
    pulling on the testes also stimulates the vagal nerve which in a human is perceived as a gut wrenching sence of nausea, I cant imagine it is anything but unpleasant for a pig as well.
     
  6. Boleyz

    Boleyz Prognosticator, Artist

    Messages:
    2,053
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    KY
    Your main problem was NOT your scalpel, but your inexperience. The hog should have been snared, tripped, and rolled on his side. Then your neighbor could have straddled and sat on the hog's shoulders and grabbed the back legs to keep them from flailing the "Surgeon". Your wife could have stayed at the house. Big pigs have big nuts, so you make a big cut. 2 actually. With your free hand, roll the skin on the scrotum, tightening it on the nuts. Make a cut,One on each side of the scrotum running up and down, not across. You cut deep enough to "pop" the nut from the scrotum. If you cut too deep, it really doesn't matter because you're only slicing into the testicle which is going to be discarded anyway (unless you're one of those who like to eat "mountain oysters".). After the nut is popped free from the sack, pull it out a little ways and cut off the tube. On baby pigs, they're usually just pulled out, tubes and all because sometimes the now useless tube will get infected if left in. After the nuts are out, release the pig back into a private pen until he heals. No further treatment is usually needed. By the next morning, bleeding should have stopped and you pig will usually show no ill-effect.
    As far as being "humane", it would have been more humane to finish the job, because now your pig has been conditioned to fight and fear you. Further, his sack will be pretty sore from the first attempt. You may want to see if you can get some kind keeper of swine to help you. If you were near SE KY, I'd come and help you myself. I've cut literally 1000's of hogs and pigs.
     
  7. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    851
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Ky
    And you've never tried mountain oysters? Ok I have to admit it took a couple years to get used to the idea for me too, but they really are delicious. The trick is to freeze them, then slice them in half and while still frozen you can easily peel off the thick tough connective tisse before frying. Believe it or not it tastes like a very tender piece of tenderloin.


     
  8. Boleyz

    Boleyz Prognosticator, Artist

    Messages:
    2,053
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    KY
    I just can't get past the idea of it. I have a lot of friends who love them, and some who purposely wait until their pigs are 30-40 lbs to castrate, just so they can get the meat. They say it's good, but although I've farmed and butchered just about everything there is, eating hog nuts just doesn't appeal to me. No offense, but it ain't for me.
     
  9. bare

    bare Head Muderator

    Messages:
    1,857
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    I like hog nuts as well as anything, better even than cow nuts. What I can't get past are kidneys. I think I've tried everything to make them edible, including soaking them in salt water in the referigerator for a week, changing the water every day.

    They still taste like **** to me. Is it all in my mind?

    Can anyone share a sure-fired recipe for kidneys that won't taste like that?
     
  10. unixguy

    unixguy Member

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado
    Good afternoon, all;

    Well another day has passed, and I think that everything will be okay. I had a friend stop by today who used to raise hogs in Nebraska, and he shwo me how it is done.

    There were several things that contribued to our problems, and all of them get back to, as someone said, inexperience.

    We were restraining the pig wrong... We had snared his jaw, flipped him over, and held his legs. Kneeling on his neck and loin was much more effective( although still not exactly easy).

    The scapel was WAY too short. I ended up using a scapel out of my chicken caponizing kit. I would have been better off starting out with a box cutter than that small curved scapel. Now I know, although I used the scapel I was told to from the folks at the vet supply.

    The topical anesthetic was a nice thought, but I now know that it could not help here.

    The testicle that I had popped out of the scrotum was stll encased in still another membrane. I would have been fine if I had known to open it and pull the testicle off. Now I know. This was also not dicussed anywhere I saw.

    I learned a lot from this experience, and my regret is for the poor pig that had tp pay the price of my tutorial. He seems to be doing fine. When I got home from work today, he was not out in the yard, but he came to me to get fed. The job had only been half-done, as I alluded to, and he didn't seem to be in any real pain.

    I was able to catch him, and my friend showed me how to restrain him properly, and where the cuts are etc. I had most of that right, except the final membrane.

    He is now fully fixed, and walking around his pen. He came to me for food AGAIN, after the second procedure, and appears to be getting on quite well.

    I had not botched the job as badly as I had thought, and with the job done, he looks like he will be just fine. I would not have wanted to try to finish the job alone, and I would have rather put him down than drag him through another excrucating surgery. However, I was surprised how little fighting and sqealing there was when one knows what the $%#^ one is doing. That said, I will still have them done my my friend next year if we have to, or make sure that the feeders we buy really ARE castrated, like these were supposed to be.

    Thanks to all for your help and advice, and I will keep you up to date on his progress.

    Unixguy.
     
  11. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    594
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    centeral Okla. S of I-40, E of I-35
    hey good for you! for not giving up, you really didn't do all that bad for such a large pig and never having so much as seen it done before, really! I did my 1st 2 earlier this year.

    And all that noise was less from the pain of cutting than from time it took to do it, it can be really hard to learn these kind of skills, and the pigs reaction once you let him go is the proof that it didn't hurt that bad. no where near as bad as it sounds. ~The short quite time before you cut I would account to the pig trying to figuer out what was going on~ on our pigs they struggled at any point I touched them, and once I had a big enough cut done, and my hands where off, they calmed down again. even with the pulling, there was a flinch as the cords snaped but they didn't fight like when I touched them.

    If something hurts bad enough they avoid it next time, or at least show a wary aproach, like when a dog or horse has hurt them, (these I have seen interact) >or a good electric fence< so think about it, your pig shows no fear of you, so you didn't hurt him all that bad.

    you may have missed my post about doing our pigs, but I had trouble with the white membrain too, that is some tough stuff, I used new single edge razor blades, and they went dull after the 1st cut.

    I wanted to let you know that as hard as it may seem, the pig is an animal, not a person, it hurt a little but his overall quality of life is good, so cut yourself come slack.

    and even for people, there are time when pain is necessary, it is never cruel to do, what is needed to be done. Some ways of doing it maybe better than other ways, but it is not cruel to get it done.
     
  12. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    594
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    centeral Okla. S of I-40, E of I-35
    Bare, I had this for an idea, chill or slightly freeze them slice in to sticks like french fries, (or into bite sized chunks) soak in milk until there is a color change in the milk, discard the milk, coat with your favorite cajun spices mix (with salt) coat in flour, I like whole grain spelt four, {combo's of wheat and corn or wheat and oat flours may be to your likeing} I like to fry them in peanut oil, but use what you like.

    we call these cajun fries, and I use all kinds of strong flavored organ meats to make them. Even our children would stand in line at the fryer to get these, made with liver, and they knew what they where too. It was the 1st time they ever had them.

    I haven't tryed pig parts with it but it might work out.
     
  13. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,278
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I was Unregistered in the "Help me castrate my big pig" thread.

    Thank you all for your help by the way.

    Making my pig drunk made him much easier to handle. I didn't realize how much easier until two weeks after the castration. At this point I tried to move the now castrated pig out of his pen and into a pasture I had prepared. I roped the pig the same way, but with a very different result.

    My wife was pulling, I was pushing for all I was worth and the pig was barely moving. I ended up grabbing him from behind in a huge bear hug and carrying him the last hundred feet. By the time I put it down I could hardly breath. I work physically (excavating) for a living, but this was one of the hardest physical excersizes I have ever attempted.

    The last time my pig was more worried about keeping his feet under himself then worrying about where he was going. After the castration he litterally walked back into his pen and fell over in a pile of straw. I said to my helper "I think we killed him!" to which he responed "He's just stupidly drunk."

    For the two bucks worth of booze I would certainly do it again.

    Besides that, it's got to help the poor pig with the pain.

    Now, I have to figure out how to get my pigs out of the pasture and into the truck for their final drive. They don't weigh 110 lbs anymore.

    Pete
     
  14. unixguy

    unixguy Member

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado
    Good afternoon;
    After two of out pigs escaped after a mountain lion attack , I was able to get them back into the bed of my pickup. One of them proceeded to GO THROUGH that back window of my topper. However, we were able to lure them back in again, using McDonalds french fries.

    The trouble with feed is that they cant smell it very well, and while it is 10 miles to the nearest mickeyDs, it makes everything easy enough, that I know how I am going to get them to do ANYTHING.

    Unixguy
     
  15. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    594
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    centeral Okla. S of I-40, E of I-35
    I realy hadn't thought about the smell of the food, but it makes sence, mine really liked left over pizza!