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cassandra

What age to separate the sexes - pigs?

Hi all, my neighbours have just acquired some seven week old slips - a pair of them, brother and sister. They are being run with a foursome of other pigs, all sows, that are a bit older. They intend to keep the male piglet entire for future breeding.

He is already showing an interest in the females he is sharing with - mounting them (without 'completion') and sniffing them into submission (lying on their sides and allowing him to sniff them all over).

At what age should he be separated from them - bearing in mind this is a family that does not approve of abortion and so if the gilts get pregnant they will be stuck with the results?

If breed has anything to do with it, these are landrace x large white on their mother's side and allegedly Wessex Saddleback for a sire. The other gilts are Large Whites.
Bodger

Young boars running with much bigger females can seriously injure themselves and ruin themselves as future breeding stock. If they aren't heavy enough to actually hold their beloved down and still, then willies can actually be snapped and broken.
dpack

what bodger said,

as pigs are social critters could they find him a chum with a future as chops to live with him til he is old enough to go in with his ladies
cassandra

The older sows are only a few weeks older, so not a hazard in that respect. As for companionship - they do have another neutered boar, but that is for the table and will be heading for the deep freeze by the time it is 6 months old.

The main concern is ensuring the sows do not get pregnant too young, so if you can let me know when they need to be separated that would be appreciated!
Nick

When are the sows to be slaughtered? *Most* pigs are not sexually mature until about 6 months, but there will always be early starters. If your concern is to avoid pregnancy, then the age they go to slaughter will help inform you. If they are going to live beyond 6 months, then the boar should be gone before he hits about 5 months, I'd reckon.
cassandra

Thanks Nick, that sounds about what I was thinking. They are very 'religious' next door so if something gets pregnant, abortion or slaughter becomes a no-no to them, so I would rather not have any more pigs around than is entirely necessary as they show no restraint whatsoever!

I will let them know they have two months to build the boar pen then, and with any luck it will be built within three months, lol.

Thanks for your help. They are cute, and I adore them, but I am concerned about the neighbour's track record with animal welfare and responsible husbandry is all.
Nick

Slaughtermen aren't keen on being taken heavily pregnant beasts, but, until the latter stages, it's not obvious, tbh.

How does their religion sit with the potential for brothers and sisters to be shagging? That'll encourage the separation, I reckon.
cassandra

Lol, I have no idea - it does not seem to stop them from breeding at all. Their dogs and cats have now been neutered due to neighbourly pressure (not mine), but they have three mares and a stallion (another uneconomic breeding program) and the idea of pigs having little pigs is clearly exciting for them.

Oh well, I will pass it along - though the boar seems to have disappeared once more, so perhaps someone mentioned the expense side of things to them. I did hear a fair bit of squealing this afternoon and it is possible he has been done and popped into the stables to recover in peace. I will no doubt find out next time we have a yarn over the fence.
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