Archimedes At Adams
Archimedes arrival at Adams. The full size gilt hog on the right is in heat. She’s probably 300 lbs. The knocker told us Archimedes serviced her about an hour before he met his disassembler.
Be sure to check the update of Archimedes’ Farewell which include notes from Holly about his delivery.
Outdoors: 55°F/43°F Rain and Mist
Tiny Cottage: 68°F/67°F
I notice that the sow next to archimides nose is in full heat. Will that affect her taste? Will her being in heat affect his taste?
Yes, she is in heat and Archimedes serviced her moments later, for free. I have heard that heat in a sow can affect the taste of the meat but in my own testing I have not found this to be true. Perhaps it is like boar taint where it is rare that it causes any problem, that in some lines of pigs it is a problem but in others, at least in ours, it is not a problem. I would be interested in hearing from anyone reading this who has had direct experience with slaughtering gilts and sows in heat. Was the meat tainted? Which breeds were they? How old were they? We have a whole new topic here – sow heat taint. Boar taint has been dispelled as primarily being a myth, it is so rare, so now the question is on the sow heat taint.
Do you offer studs for hire? Rent-a-boars? AI sperm?
We don’t rent out boars nor do we take in gilts or sows for breeding. This is due to biosecurity issues. There is too great a risk of disease coming into our herds from promiscuity. There are a couple of people who have gotten boars from us who do rent them out. If you are interested, email me and I’ll put you in touch with them.
The alternative is buying a boar, letting him breed and then eating him once you are sure that your sows or gilts are pregnant. Many people have done this. Then keep back the best boar from those litters for your next breeding round. By breeding the best of the best and eating the rest you avoid inbreeding issues. This is termed line breeding and is how breeds are formed.
You can also buy guaranteed pregnant gilts. For details see our piglets page in the breeder, boar and rent-a-boar sections.
What was the final weigh in for Archimedes?
On the taint issue; I have fabricated a lot of Lobsters as a chef. Through close observation if I kill a lobster with a knife through the head instead of dropping into boiling water, the lobsters awaiting dispatch will have a different colored blanched meat than the first lobster. As far as flavor it doesn’t make a difference.
Have you noticed the same affect with hogs under stress vs. hogs that have been allowed to calm down before slaughter?
I don’t have a weight yet from the butcher on Archimedes. Coming.
Interesting about the lobsters. I’ve never tried that method of killing them with the knife. Sounds like they’re letting out a scent or something…? What do you guess?
On pigs it is very important that they are calm. Same for other species such as cattle. This is why humane, calm slaughter and handling are so important. Apparently the most effect is in the last fifteen minutes according to what I have read. We have not had this problem but there has been a lot of research that shows this effect. Stress causes the release of chemicals that toughen the meat or can create PSE, dark cutters or watery meat.
Regarding the lobsters, I think they sense one lobster has been removed and the group is now on “alert” which, I assume, releases the same type of chemicals that is affecting the meat in other animals.
We have a guy who comes to the property to slaughter our pigs if they are for customers who do not need a roaster. The process is much more relaxing than loading and sorting the hogs for transport. He breaks them down to halfs for about 20 a pig. Much faster for him than I at this point.
Hey Walter, I have a fun idea while we wait to hear back from the butcher. We all guess what his hanging weight was. Use ‘Price is Right” Rules. Who ever is closest without going over wins “A New CAR!”. No new car you say? Hmm ok how about just bragging rights and the privilege of ” Spay or Neutering” your next full grown boar sans aesthetics of course. Bob Barker would be proud.
I’ll start off the bidding at 1500 pounds.
Okay… But I’m sure you’re over. Archimedes was never as big as Big’Un and Spot who were in that range. I would guess more around the 800 to 1,000 lb range for his end of life weight. But, this isn’t fair because I knew him well. Mouse who was not as big in the shoulders as him we took the trip before and she came out at 785 lbs. That’s one big mouse. :)
So what did the big fellow weight in at?
We haven’t been down to the butcher yet. His meat is on ice and waiting until we have a break in construction to do a run to the butcher. I’ll post when we get it and also about the question on taint as he is not only the oldest pig but also the oldest boar we’ve ever done.