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Author Topic: boar taint  (Read 5621 times)


  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: boar taint
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2013, 10:04:30 pm »
Yes, I thought so too, so took his comments with a pinch of salt  :).


  • Joined Aug 2013
  • Cornhill, Banff
    • The Roundhouse
Re: boar taint
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2013, 11:24:40 pm »
I can taste that 'piggy' taint in some pork from the supermarket. Just in case it is a boar thing I will only have gilt weaners and they have all been ok so far.
I think if you can taste it then whatever cause of the taint you will notice it, my hubby can't taste it so if we get a dodgy 'shop chop' he gets my meat as well.

Is it possible that some people just have a more acute sense of taste? I can always taste goat milk and cheese too. even when I don't know it is goat dairy at the time it goes in my mouth.
Permaculture and smallholding, perfect partners


  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Wigan
    • Laura's Organics
Re: boar taint
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2013, 07:39:00 am »
We keep OSB's to 7 months.  We usually have a mix, and raise them together until 5months.  Theres no difference in the meat it all tastes lovely....

Daisys Mum

  • Joined May 2009
  • Scottish Borders
Re: boar taint
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2013, 03:59:23 pm »
My 2 middle white boars went at 33 weeks and there is no sign of any boar taint, in fact the meat is delicious.
I only had boars and never saw them trying to bonk each other either. An old pig keepers trick used to be to feed them lots of sugar in the last few days but I think that's a bit of an old wives tale.  ;D


  • Joined Nov 2009
  • East Sussex
    • OaklandsPigs
Re: boar taint
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2013, 05:48:01 pm »
Is it possible that some people just have a more acute sense of taste? I can always taste goat milk and cheese too. even when I don't know it is goat dairy at the time it goes in my mouth.
Quote from our book "Perfect Pigs" on boar taint
"Boar Taint is an unpleasant smell that can be released during cooking pork from adult boars.  Research has shown that 1 in 2 women but only 1 in 7 men can detect this. The occurrence of boar taint is higher in hybrids used commercially than in purebreds, and research shows that housing conditions and diet both affect taint. In commercial herds the rate can be about 1 in 12. 
For those of us breeding the traditional breeds, boar taint is highly unlikely to be a problem - we usually fatten outdoors where pigs get a varied diet from soil and vegetation, they are from non-hybrid pigs, and we take them off before sexual maturity. Therefore the risk of boar taint is extremely low.
However as this subject is regularly raised with us when people are selecting weaners, it is covered here.
Boar Taint is mainly caused by androstenone, a steroid produced by the males that are sexually active, and by skatole, a by-product of bacterial activity in the gut. As male pigs reach sexual maturity the amount of androstenone increases, and sexual steroids produced by the male also inhibit breakdown of Skatole.  Both can then be deposited in the fat of the pig, and it is possible for this to cause boar taint.
The meat of sexually mature boars is more at risk, but as most male pigs are taken off to pork or bacon before the pig reaches full sexual maturity, it is highly unlikely to be a problem.  Fully mature (retired) boars are culled and their meat generally goes abroad to be made into Belgium Pate or Italian Salami, as there is a much higher risk of taint in those types of boar.
No research on smallholding pigs has been done to our knowledge, but at Oaklands Pigs we generally fatten male pigs (entire boars will grow about 20% faster than gilts) and in many years of selling weaners (400-500 weaners a year) we know of no-one directly who has come across this problem.  Indeed we have on several occasions used 10-12 month old boars to get first time gilts pregnant and then taken the boar off for meat without any issues, as a boar used once or twice is not what we class as sexually active.
So personally given a choice we would take boars for fattening, and many families want boars, as they would be too tempted to keep a gilt for maybe breeding later on, but know boars will have to go ! !"
"Perfect Pigs" the complete guide to keeping pigs; One Day Pig Courses in South East;
Weaners for sale - Visit our site for details


  • Joined Sep 2013
Re: boar taint
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2013, 09:28:41 pm »
some very interesting replys.thankyou all very much.ill be sending the boars off at 6 months so by the sound of it they will be fine :thumbsup:


  • Joined Oct 2013
Re: boar taint
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2013, 01:39:02 pm »
That article excerpt is great - we have kept boar weaners ay past 28 weeks, with no problems - it causes more problem in mixed herds or having girls close y. Once they realise they have testosterone and know what to do with it, that's when it starts causing the taint.

I think that is has become more of an issue in theory than in practice, if you know what I mean.

PS - abbatoir talking rubbish! - sorry



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