Male pigs should be castrated between 2-7 days by a trained and competent person.
If castration is carried out from 8-21 days effective restraint is necessary to perform the operation and pain medication is appropriate.
Male pigs older than 21 days must be castrated under anesthesia by veterinary practitioner.
In the commercial pork industry male piglets remain entire and immune-castration is utilised.
Pigs must be suitably identified applicable to the production system and current regulations.
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All pigs 25 kg and over must be tattooed with your registered swine brand number issued by the local Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA). Pigs should be branded on one or both shoulders. In NSW the crown brand may be applied by the LHPA by arrangement for people who don’t regularly trade pigs and do not have their own swine brand number.
Do I have to tattoo or tag my pigs?
In most cases male pigs are marketed before they reach the age that management would require castration.
Tail docking is done to reduce tail biting that may occur when pigs are bored. Piglets raised in extensive conditions will not require tail docking.
When required, tails are docked leaving a stump of two to three centimetres in length. This activity should be carried out within the first week, preferably when the piglets are one day old.
Teeth trimming is done to reduce the chance of piglets injuring the sow or each other. It is most commonly carried out in intensive piggeries and is not generally required when piglets are raised under more extensive conditions.
If it is to be done, it should be carried out within the first week, preferably when the piglets are one day old. Holding the piglet behind the neck will cause it to automatically open its mouth. Care needs to be taken not to cut the gum as this can cause abscessation.
Nose ringing should be avoided. However, this procedure may need to be performed as a last resort, to prevent adverse effects to the environment, if pigs are kept on pasture. Nose rings should be placed through the cartilage of the top of the snout or the tissues separating the nostrils.
Provision of adequate substrate or pasture for chewing can provide for exploratory or foraging behaviour and deter pigs from rooting up ground excessively.
Where it is necessary to mark pigs for permanent identification, the ear may be tattooed, tagged, punched, or the body may be tattooed or a micro-chip implanted.
Tusk trimming of boars is necessary where injury to humans or animals is likely to occur. Tusk trimming should be conducted using embryotomy wire. The boar should be appropriately restrained and, if necessary, sedated for restraint. Analgesia is not required as the tusk lacks sensory nerves. Tusks should be severed cleanly above the level of the gums without causing damage to other tissues.
Assistance from a veterinarian is advisable unless the operator is very experienced in tusk trimming.