How to Castrate a Hog

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Hogs are castrated for a variety of reasons. Two of the primary reasons are to stop unwanted breeding and to improve the quality of the meat in animals raised for market. The process also improves the feed conversion rate, allowing a higher weight gain per pound of food consumed. Castrating hogs, especially when they are young, also helps to keep the males more docile and less likely to fight among themselves or pose a risk to the humans who come in contact with them.

Things You'll Need

  • Iodine disinfectant
  • Sterile scalpel or razor blade
  • Disinfecting fly repellant
  • Time the castration so that you are performing this process while the hog is still very young. The best time to do this is when the piglet is about one to two weeks old. If it is older, the process is identical, except that holding the animal will require two or three additional people. When done early, you can easily complete a hog castration with the help of a single assistant.

  • Remove the hog from its pen, unless it is alone. If it is still with its mother, it is a good idea to take it to where she cannot see it while you perform the procedure. Restrain it. If it is small your assistant can turn the piglet on its back, holding all four legs, with its testicles toward you. If it is larger, roll it on its back on the ground. Have one person hold the front legs above the hog’s head, and another person hold its rear legs stretched straight out horizontally. You may need one person for each hind leg, depending on the size of the hog.

  • Clean the scrotum with disinfectant. Squeeze the scrotum so that the testicles are both pressed up against the bottom of it. Make a vertical cut in the sack over one testicle. Cut where the lowest part of the scrotum will be when the hog is standing, to promote drainage.

  • Squeeze the testicle in order to push it out through the cut. Grab it and pull it out completely. Cut the attached white cord. In a young pig, continue pulling on the testicle until the red cord (blood vessel) snaps. If the hog is older, cut this cord at an angle.

  • Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for the other testicle. Check to make sure you have removed all tissue from the scrotum and that bleeding is minimal. Disinfect the area again, and spray with a livestock fly repellant if necessary.

  • Watch the hog for several days to make sure the scrotum heals properly. If signs of irritation or infection develop, contact a veterinarian for specific advice.

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References

  • Photo Credit piglet image by Jane from Fotolia.com pig image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com pig baby image by Maria Bell from Fotolia.com
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