Homesteading, Organic Gardening, How to Farm, Preparedness, Self-Reliance
I'm just getting into breeding heritage pigs. Just wondering what age most people butcher? I've also heard that you seperate the male and females, why? And has anyone had any issues with boar taint? Any input would be appreciated.
We've raised a number of breeds including Berkshire, Large Black and Ossabaw. We do not castrate males.
Berkshires grew the fastest but also required the most grain. They were also hardest on the land due to their large hooves. We processed them at 8-9 months. Large Blacks were about the same but had smaller feet. They are a very easy breed.
However, we now raise only Ossabaws and tend to process them at 13-15 months...at least a year. They're slow growers but great mothers and foragers.
The trick for us to manage the perception of boar taint is to grow the males in separate paddocks from the females. We keep them on opposite sides of the farm.
Good luck to you.