Darby Simpson recently appeared as one of the expert council members, in episode 2003, where he addressed a question from a listener. The question was concerning boars that should have been desexed, yet apparently the job wasn’t done properly… and the main point I found interesting was Boar Taint.
Darby states empirically that Boar Taint is a thing that happens to boars when they reach sexual maturity. He states that you will find the meat is tainted if you butcher them after sexual maturity. I am a huge fan of Darby… listening to him on Permaculture Voices is very inspiring, so I don’t mean to sound like I am putting Darby down, because I am not.
I am sure that some boars to get boar taint, so I am sure it is a real concern… yet I know that it doesn’t always happen. When I raised my pigs I had a boar called “Han“, who was my breeding pig. I let him fully mature and he eventually reached around 200 kilograms. Now, I had no plans to ever butcher him, yet when he went wild (after attacking me) I had to put him down. When I finally served up the meat from Han everyone agreed that it tasted like the best pork they had ever tasted. I did have some trouble eating some of the pork I produced, yet I recall that Han (at 2 years old) tasted amazing!
I posted about this on the TSP comments section for this episode, and Modern Survival made an interesting comment that I wanted to share part of:
“I personally feel this way I have SHOT A LOT OF WILD PIGS and plenty of them were boars.
So, I believe that some boars may have a taint to them, and some of them may become tainted through the butchering process, yet I know that not all boars get taint after sexual maturity. Boar taint is a very talked about subject in the pig raising circles… many people have opinions on the matter. The RSPCA website has an interesting article on Boar taint. In the article it states:
“Not all entire male pigs exhibit sexual and aggressive behaviour and not all pork product from entire male pigs exhibits boar taint. Research looking into differences between pig farms has found that management factors play a role in the level of mounting, aggressive behaviour and skin lesions among entire male pigs.” So I take from this that Boar taint can happen, there are many steps that can be taken to reduce the chance of it occuring… yet the best thing to prevent boar taint is castration of boars before sexual maturity.
I think you can take this point away… If you do have to butcher a boar that has reached sexual maturity, I would say go for it… yet I would recommend that you keep that one for your own consumption. There is a fairly good chance that the meat will be some of the best you every ate.