The Trouble with Feral Hogs

Published 10/16 2013 02:17PM

Updated 10/16 2013 05:02PM

It's no secret feral hogs can cause some serious problems for people in our area.  Ken Cearley, an Extension Wildlife Specialist from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, has some information on these beasts.

The Problem with Feral Hogs:
·    Not native
·    Domestic pigs gone wild
·    Compete with native wildlife for food
·    Prey on livestock, wildlife, and crops
·    Lower stream water quality with rooting activity
·    Carry diseases such as
        - Swine brucellosis- bacterial; causes swine abortions; causes cattle false positive test results
        - Pseudorabies- viral; can kill domestic pigs
·    Cause over $60 million damages each year in Texas alone

Facts About Feral Hogs:
·    Are found in 40 plus states and 253 or Texas 254 counties
·    There are about 2.6 million in Texas
·    Hogs have an average of 5.6 pigs per year
·    Average age of first litter is 13 months
·    Average number of litters per year is 1.5.
·    There are 4.5 times as many young per year as white-tailed deer
·    Increase 18-20% per year in population (it will take about five years for population to double)

Coping with Feral Hogs:
·    Exclude with 28 welded wire fence minimum
·    Hunting (can be hunted year-round); aerial most effective
·    Trapping
·    Snaring
·    Sale to slaughter (Texas Animal Health Commission regulates movement and slaughter)

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