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Effect of age

In 65% of EU countries, the mean age at castration is estimated to be between 3 and 7 days after birth in conventional production (Fredriksen et al., 2009). However, age at castration varied widely both within and between countries: nations with a higher estimated mean age are Portugal (17 days), Poland (12 days), Norway (10 days), Lithuania (9 days), the Czech Republic (9 days) and Hungary (8.5 days).

In 62% of countries, castration was reported to be performed more than 2 weeks after birth in a minor part of production. EFSA (2004) reported that some producers may carry out castration of piglets later than the first week of life because the testes are bigger, planning of the work is easier and the risks of medical problems are reduced when the animal is larger (but there is no scientific literature available on this).