UniBall


UniBall and Friend

JThomas asked: I recently bought a boar. In my excitement and because I was thrown a curve I hastily brought the boar home and continued to raise it unaware that he had only one testicle. I just thought it hadn’t dropped. Well it seems that indeed he has only one testicle. Do you think he will still breed my two gilts or should I swap him out?


The technical term is Cryptorchid. It is a failure of a testicle to descend. Usually it is still up in the body cavity. He is probably fertile and can probably breed your two gilts just fine.

I don’t save uniball boars as breeders although they are likely fertile. I have seen the second drop on occasion. Even with just one they are fertile and in some cases like the boar in the photo above which we just sent to butcher, the remaining ball is over sized as if he is compensating for having just one. The two boars pictured were the same age, length and weight – for the rest of the pigs. Only the testicles were different.

It could be a non-genetic congenital defect in which case it is not a big deal in terms of breeding. Or it could be a genetic fault likely to produce sons like this in which case I would not want to breed him. You wouldn’t know if it was genetic or not except by breeding several generations to get some data. But, you probably can’t tell one from the other without a lot of work so I put these guys to market feeders – the meat is perfectly normal. (Here is where I could make some joke about “They just don’t have the balls to be breeders” but you know I would never pun around like that.)

In any case, if you have another better boar I would suggest eating your uniball boar rather than breeding him. If you don’t have another, go ahead and breed him.

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Daily Spark: “When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want? Will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame? Will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car? Will you find comfort in rereading your financial statement? Of course not. What will matter then will be people. If relationships will matter most then, shouldn’t they matter most now?” -Max Lucado

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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6 Responses to UniBall

  1. Amie says:

    My dad once had a uniballer and had two sows come into heat at the same time…..only one was bred that heat cycle the other the next heat cycle. We joked that uniballer was only 50% fertile and was shootin blanks the other 50%!

  2. Diane says:

    As usual, interesting and informative but PLEASE post a picture of something else. I’d like to say “anything else” but you have a strange sense of humor, so I’ll suggest a picture of your prettiest pig. From the front please, maybe wearing a fancy hat?

  3. Eric Strauss says:

    Yup! That is walter willing to, having the courage to, haveing the, er, balls to post a picture like this. And a good story to go along with it! SEG!

  4. Cary says:

    The problem getting the genes mixed into your other lines is it could end up a recessive trait that only crops up every other generation. It’s so common to breed pigs back to siblings and even parents something like this could be cropping up all over. Hard to say how much it would affect breeding but the problem is it could severely reduce the value of any pigs in the line if it could crop up at any time. If you really want the genetics and want to limit the risk breed it to a couple of sows you wouldn’t normally breed then sell the offspring as growers strictly for eating. If all the males are normal you are probably safe then to breed the boar to better quality sows. At least the sale of the grower pigs might offset the loss if you can’t use the boar as a breeder. Odds are you’d never get your value from a sale or swap. If you can prove he’s a good breeder you can probably get more out of him and add that into what the growers bring in rather than pork chopping him out. I’d be careful with just rolling the dice since bad genes can be tough to breed out.

  5. Nat Kauffman says:

    Good daily spark. Relationships are important.

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