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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