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The Preferred Habitat Of Feral Pigs
You may have noticed that you are able to find feral pigs almost anywhere in the country. That is because feral pigs can adapt to a lot of habitats. They do have preferences however when it comes to where they would rather be. Feral pigs will feel much better in places where they can take deep cover. Marsh vegetation and dense brush will serve as cover, but they will hunt for food at night in open fields. They will also prefer to be in areas where the cold weather does not drop below freezing in the winter and that is why you usually only see them in the south.
Another thing that feral pigs will look for is access to food. One of the best food sources for these pigs is farming locations. They are able to find and eat waste grain from the farms, but if one is not available they will do fine in hardwood forests. They tend to avoid areas where they may run into humans, but because of human population expanding those areas are being reduced. When a feral pig finds itself in a human populated area it may try to search for food in the trash, but it will do so at night when it cannot be seen as easily.
Biology And Feeding Of Feral Pigs
Feral pigs are easily recognized as they have many of the same characteristics that domesticated pigs have. They are solid and compact. They have short legs, but that does not necessarily mean that they are small. Their head is large when compared to the body and feral pigs also get different color fur. Feral pigs can also get rather heavy with some reaching 200 pounds in weight, but that weight can be different depending on the area the pig is located. There have been reports of some giant feral pigs in some areas of Europe; some have reported wild pigs as heavy as 700 pounds.
The males can develop tusks which serve as weapons. The piglets are not born with the same color fur as the adults. The color starts changing at about 6 months old. Feral pigs can actually cause damage to vegetation. Keep in mind that a pig that escapes can very quickly become feral. They will cause damage to farming as that becomes a source of food. As an example in 2008 the population of feral pigs in the United States caused a total of over 800 million dollars in property damage.
Reproduction Of Feral Pigs
If you live in an area with feral pigs then you may notice that you have more in the mid spring. The reason for that is because the males become more sexually active during the fall. Their testosterone levels seem to increase as the day time gets shorter. Those levels of testosterone reach their peak in the middle of the fall. That is when you notice that the once solitary male feral pig starts approaching groups of females. If there are more males present then there will be a fight between them for dominance. Usually the larger male will establish dominance and be the one with the most mating success.
Once a female is pregnant, the pregnancy lasts a little under 4 months. During the last week she will build her nest from dirt and vegetation. The actual act of giving birth does not usually last too long. The maximum is usually about three hours, but most of the time it will be around two. The offspring will remain in the nest for at least four days. The litter size is not set in stone as it can be as little as 1 or as large as 14. The sex ratio of the offspring is usually equal or 1 to 1. Piglets develop their behavior early on, so if they are wild, they will more than likely remain so for the duration of their lives.
What Diseases Can Feral Pigs Give To People?
Feral pigs or hogs are a very common animal in some areas of the country and it is because of that reason that a lot of people want to know about the possibility of disease that they can bring. Feral pigs are known to carry diseases which can affect people so it is a good idea to keep an eye out for them as well as any symptoms that a person may show in order to know if they are ill. Before you learn about those symptoms you should learn about the most common diseases.
Some of the most common examples of diseases which wild pigs can give to humans include foot and mouth disease, melloidosis, leptospirosis, brucellosis and Japanese encephalitis. Because of the risk of these diseases efforts have been made to control the wild pig population in areas where they are commonly found. These diseases can be really hard and expensive to control if they enter the local pig population. Some of the before mentioned diseases have already affected the human population in other parts of the world. That is why special attention is given to wild pigs.
SOME SPECIFIC WILD PIG AREAS OF INTEREST:
How To Get Rid Of Feral Pigs In Your Yard
If you have ever had feral pigs close to your home or property then you already know that they can be destructive. Feral pigs are pigs that escaped captivity and have since become feral. Pigs can become feral pretty fast and as such they change their behavior. The problem with feral pigs is that trapping them may not be easy because their sizes can be very different. While some pigs stay small, some can get rather large. So how do you get the feral pigs out of your yard when they seem to always keep coming back?
The first thing you need to do is ensure that you do not leave any food outside. Leaving food in a location where feral pigs can get it is almost as leaving an invitation for dinner. That means that if you have a BBQ you should make sure that they yard is clean, and if you feed your pets outside of the home you should check for any small amounts that may have fallen off the bowl. Motion detectors hooked to your sprinkler system could also be a very effective way to keep the pigs out. Keep in mind that feral pigs can be dangerous so do not confront one.
How To Get Rid Of Feral Pigs In Your Garden
If you keep finding large turf chunks on your yard or garden and you live in a rural area, then you could be dealing with feral pigs. These animals can be some of the biggest nuisance animals when it comes to your garden and it is only natural that you will want to get rid of them. One thing that you should know is that feral pigs can be dangerous when they feel threatened so if you have tried to get rid of them and nothing seems to be working, then your best bet would be to call a wildlife control specialist.
As far as keeping the feral pigs out of your garden that is done by understanding what they are doing there in the first place. The pigs have limited but basic needs which are food, shelter and water. Your garden is very likely providing only the food (though in rare cases it can provide shelter). What you need to do is remove access to the food by building a fence. Make sure that you use fine plastic mesh for your fence as it prevents the pigs from coming in. Finally make sure that you do not live any food close to your garden that the pigs can scavenge.
How To Get Rid Of Feral Pigs In Your Woods
The woods in your property add beauty to it, but at the same time they make it more likely that you will have some sort of wildlife there. One of the animals that will be attracted to the woods is the feral pig. The reason the woods seem like a great place to them is that they can provide shelter and hiding place to the pigs. It is also a strategic point to hide until they can take some food from your garden or property. Feral pigs can be dangerous to you, your family and your pets so never attempt to get close to one.
The thing is that it is natural for feral pigs to choose the woods in your property as a place to live in. In the wild, hogs and pigs will live in the woods any time they have a chance. Because it is your property and you are concerned about safety you need to get the pigs out. If you check your local laws you may find that they are encouraging hunting of the animals. If that is so then you need to advertise for a hunter to get them off your property. You can also try sensors with lights, noises or sprinklers to scare away the feral pigs.
How To Get Rid Of Feral Pigs In Your Crops
When you have crops you want to make sure that there is no wildlife eating them and costing you money. In rural areas, one of the bigger concerns is the feral pig. These pigs eat a lot and they can also be destructive. It is realistic to think that a couple of feral pigs can cost you a few thousand dollars if they are left to roam freely in your crops. The crops do not even need to be produce for eating. People who plant flowers can also find that the pigs will dig and destroy a lot of your product.
You can use traps to capture the feral pigs, but know that it may take a few days to get the job done. You will also need to ensure that the bait is in the trap every day. The traps will need to be large because feral pigs can be very big and strong enough to insure they don’t break out. In some cases you may even have to build the trap or order one online as they are not readily available. Using electric fence around the area they keep coming into often works quite well, just make sure it is strong enough and that your pets don’t have access to it.