Well, I did it!

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Laura Workman, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I just accomplished my first pig castrations on my 6-week-old potbelly piglets. I was doing it by myself and had built a holder to secure the pigs. The first one was pretty harrowing, and lots of things went awry, but at last the job was done. The second one went much more smoothly since we had worked out most of the bugs on the first one. So now that I'm "experienced," I'm sure the next batch will go even better. Whew!

    And thankfully, no sign of hernias so far. Do they show up immediately if they're going to, or does it take a while?
     
  2. trappmountain

    trappmountain Well-Known Member

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    Congrats!!! I don't know if I could do it. That's why I thank god there are people like you to go to. Maybe someday I will have the guts to try it out.
     

  3. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    congrats! but poor first guy...:)

    i think any herniation should show up in the first few days.
     
  4. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Yeah, the first one was a very serious drag, but after I started, I had to go through with it. I was shaking at the end, and he was pretty glum. But he seems OK, eating and drinking last night, rooting around today. I'm not really happy to hear that hernias can show up days later. Hope it all works out OK.
     
  5. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    i'd sure like to know, from someone who has done it. be sure and let us know?? thanks!
     
  6. Boleyz

    Boleyz Prognosticator, Artist

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    Hi!
    I've castrated 1000's of pigs in our commercial operation, hernias always showed up immediately, as the pigs intestines fell out through the incision in the scrotum. The remedy for this fatal mistake is to carefully slice the scrotum and pop out the herniated testicle while still encased in it's membrane. As you look at the testicle, you'll be able to see the intestine squishing around in the testicular membrane. What I did was to take a piece of sterile (alcohol soaked) fishing line and tie the membrane tightly just above the testicle. This separated the intestine from the testicular sac. I would then open the testicular sac and remove the testicle. I would then relpace the intestine and knotted fishing line into the scrotum and, using a curved suturing needle, sew up the scrotum with more fishing line. This procedure worked about 90% of the time, but occasionally a pig would develop an infection and die. You can usually tell when a pig has a hernia by the size of one side of the scrotum. If your pig's scrotum looks relatively equal on each side, chances are you're looking at a simple castration. Simply hold the pig between you knees, roll the scrotum up tight with one hand, make a slice over each testicle, pop out the testicles, pull them and their tubes free, then drop the pig back in the pen. Some people sew up the scrotum, but we never did unless there was a hernia. We found it better to let the incisions drain and heal naturally. Sometimes other pigs in the litter will bite or knaw at the bloody scrotum, but in nursing litters, they usually left it alone. Older, weaned pigs, will sometimes need isolation from others in the herd in order to heal. Hope this helps. It sounds to me as if your pigs are fine, since no intestines have fallen out. What happens in a hernia is that the wall which separates the intestines from the testicle is ruptured and the intestines descend into the testicular membrane. The wall is too far up in the pig to repair it there, so the procedure I described above was used, allowing the intestine to have the scrotum space. After these pigs are castrated, their scrotum will stay large and distended on the side of the hernia simply because that space becomes filled with intestines. However, this does not affect the overall health/weight gain/taste/value of the barrow hog.
    JB
     
  7. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi Laura. You really made me laugh when you said that first pig was pretty GLUM. I've been pretty glum a few times myself, but I was nowhere near the catagory of GLUM that your pig was. He He
     
  8. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Hi Uncle Will, Yeah, I came in and described the episode to my husband and said I was pretty stressed out. He told me about his day and said he was pretty stressed out too, but he allowed as how it seemed likely that neither of us was anywhere near as stressed out as my pigs. Had to agree with that. ;)

    By the way, both boys are fine, with no sign of hernia in either one. But thanks for the advice on how to handle one should it occur, JB. I'll keep that handy just in case.
     
  9. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    IMO most hernias are the result of the manner the pig was restrained. Hernias are created when the pig is pressured by the holding method, somewhat like when a zit is pinched. Two people can castrate a pig without injury. One person holds the pig with the pig on its back and the head toward the one holding. The front and rear legs on the pigs right side are held by the holders right hand. The pigs front and rear legs on the pigs left side are held by the holders left hand. This exposes the pigs rear as the holder draws the legs in each hand together and the testicles are slightly projected. Cut low so the incision can drain and remove the testicles. No additional treatment required. Never squeeze a pig, you can pop him like a zit!
     
  10. .netDude

    .netDude Well-Known Member

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    How would you suggest restraining them when doing it alone? How about when they are 2 months old? Any sedatives available? (for them, not me)
    Thanks

    Never mind - posted before I saw this:
    http://homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=83559