Castration and Cleanliness

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by vancom, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. vancom

    vancom Well-Known Member

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    We have two 6-7 week olds (thanks Tango) that will be castrated by a "professional" tomorrow. That's my sis-in-law who works at Rutgers, is here for a visit and has lots of experience castrating (she brought her own scalpel but forgot the earplugs, so she says) and she has a concern. She usually castrates in farrowing pens, and is concerned that our freerangers won't heal as well due to potential for infection.

    Any thoughts? We can keep them in the goat shed where there's lots of clean fluffy straw, but man, those pigs can stink up a place fast. The goats spend their days lounging in the field with the pigs and then come in at night while the pigs have their own outside pen--they move the straw to get to the dirt so I can only imagine what the dirt floored goat shed would look like in two days of healing time!!

    Vanessa
     
  2. beeman97

    beeman97 Well-Known Member

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    If she cuts them properly then u will have no issue with infections if they are left to there regular pen, cut them & pour some iodine in the cut area. ive never had an ifection in one of our pigs ever. ,,, cut em & let em run ,,, they will do just fine.
    Rick
     

  3. vancom

    vancom Well-Known Member

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    But their "regular pen" is the field! Mostly. They sleep in a little pallet-house we built for temp shelter between dark and dawn but range all day in the dirt and plants with the goats. I'm tempted to say they'll be fine, too, as they were field-raised. We will use iodine and we have a betadine spray--their little crotches will be purple, though! Sis-in-law said we'd check them every day--she just doesn't want to make us unhappy by accidently offing one of the piggies!

    Vanessa
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Keep the cut low so that the incision can drain and since these pigs are larger while confining them do not squeeze them creating a hernia.
     
  5. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    I'd say there is less chance of infection in a pasture than in a confined pen. In a good sized pasture the sun and time get their chance to disinfect. Just my 2 cents.

    Heather
     
  6. farmergirl

    farmergirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I castrated all of mine in the paddock where they're housed. Here's the routine I used:
    1) Catch pig, hand to helper to hold on top of 55 gallon drum
    2) Use clean wet wash cloth, with no disinfectant, to wipe surgical site free of dirt
    3) Make each incision low enough that when the pig stands up any blood or fluid will easily drain out
    4) After the procedure, I sprayed a little disinfectant on the whole area and dropped the pig back down on the ground (carefully). Every pig, and I believe we did 16 total, hit the ground, passed for a second to gather himself and then took off running to the other side of the field to join his buddies.

    We had NO problem with infection at all and administered no antibiotics.

    This was the first time I had ever castrated hogs and I can honestly say that catching the pigs is the hardest part!

    One thing I would do differently next time.....castrate earlier so the pigs are easier to restrain!
     
  7. FarmboyBill

    FarmboyBill Well-Known Member Supporter

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    40 yrs ago me, my brother and dad helped my uncle Milt do around 40 some little boars. It was on a Sat morning, but it got hot quick. It was in a pen not measuring 50sq. me and Kenny did the catching, dad helped Milt who cut them. Pretty soon there was balls everywhere. We was walking on them. Once finished, and we had caught our breath, Milt got a bucket and has us boys hunt up the balls and put them in the bucket. We did, and it took thereabouts a month before aunt Bertha would fry them and we came up and ate them. She said she would never use the skillit again Lol. Milt just cut them and sprayed them with Old Blue Ointment. Never had a problem
     
  8. Firefly

    Firefly Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Heather, the field is a much healthier place. ROFL FarmBoyBill!!
     
  9. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Oooh boy, I'm nervous. Is she gonna give them a tetanus anti toxin first? The person who bought 3 of their sisters yesterday said he lost a male to flies when he cut two summers ago. I think cleanliness and fly control is important. Keep the flies down with natural pest control and ag lyme, use iodine or something similar. I'm waiting on word to see if a person who asked wants a boar or not. If he doesn't I'll take both boars to my neighbor for castration.
     
  10. vancom

    vancom Well-Known Member

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    we feel a little braver thanks to everyone's comments. My sister-in-law will do what is right, and we have lots of good iodine sprays, various ointments, etc., as we also raise Lamancha goats and chickens. We will also consider tetnus as we have several kinds in the underhouse fridge that we use on the goats at various times (disbudding primarily)

    If you hear a squealing coming from Middle TN tomorrow, it's them (or me, not sure who will hurt worse!)

    Vanessa
     
  11. HogEmAll

    HogEmAll Well-Known Member

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    I live in the panhandle of north florida. Lots of heat and flies here, but I've NEVER had a problem with castrating little boars. As long as you start the cut down low so the wound can drain properly, as mentioned preveiously, you should have no problem. Also, instead of using Iodine, I use Kerosene. It kills virtually any and all bacteria and germs, and it keeps the flies and bugs off the wound for a good while.
     
  12. vancom

    vancom Well-Known Member

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    Rain Rain Rain. Too wet and muddy so we'll wait a day. Don't want to tempt fate. Heck, even the goats are hanging with the pigs in a dry spot today. Thanks to all who have posted.

    Vanessa
     
  13. highlands

    highlands Well-Known Member

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    We have never had any problem with infection in the hundreds of piglets we've castrated. As others have said, keep the cut low (forward) to aid drainage. I splash with iodine before and after.

    I hate castrating though and don't feel it is really necessary. I'm doing experiments with not castrating. You can read about it here:

    http://sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/2005/11/to-cut-or-not.html

    http://sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/2006/03/boar-meat.html

    So far I would say one does not need to castrate. Read the above articles though for full details of what I have found so far. I still do it as requested by customers but would rather not.

    Cheers,

    -Walter
     
  14. BD

    BD Active Member

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    hi, I prefer to use electrical side cutters when they are about 5 days or so old. They might still may work on 7 or 8 week old depending on size. I found this to BE SAFER than a blade of any sort and you don't have to worry about having a wound to stitch up if they move ; been doing it like this for years, BOB