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My neighbor trapped two young feral pigs that were rooting up his yard. They were about 20lbs when trapped. We now have them in a pen in the garden. We are using an old chicken coop as a house and we've been feeding them corn, hog feed from Tractor Supply and kitchen scraps for about a month now. The idea is that they will till and fertilize the garden for me, then provide meat for the family. We plan on taking them to the slaughter house in about 9 months.

We know absolutely nothing about pigs! I've read a few books from the library.

My questions are,
Is this a horrible idea?
Dangerous?
Irresponsible?
Will the meat taste horrible?
How do I know if they have a disease?

We live in Central Texas and the pigs are mostly all black but one has white feet. They are female. (Sow?)

I apologize in advance for my ignorance regarding pigs!

Thank you!

Almosta Farmer
 

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My neighbor trapped two young feral pigs that were rooting up his yard. They were about 20lbs when trapped. We now have them in a pen in the garden. We are using an old chicken coop as a house and we've been feeding them corn, hog feed from Tractor Supply and kitchen scraps for about a month now. The idea is that they will till and fertilize the garden for me, then provide meat for the family. We plan on taking them to the slaughter house in about 9 months.

We know absolutely nothing about pigs! I've read a few books from the library.

My questions are,
Is this a horrible idea?
Dangerous?
Irresponsible?
Will the meat taste horrible?
How do I know if they have a disease?

We live in Central Texas and the pigs are mostly all black but one has white feet. They are female. (Sow?)

I apologize in advance for my ignorance regarding pigs!

Thank you!

Almosta Farmer
I would keep them in a very strong pen so they can/t get out. In your garden most times they just root where they want and dig holes. I wouldn't want them in my garden.
Feed them all they can eat for 6 or so mos. Keep feed before them all the time with fresh water all the time. Weight depends on what breed hog they are. The large black wild hogs i have seen in Fl. get big 400-500 lbs. I don't know how big the ones you got will get. They should get to weigh about 300 lbs 7-8 mos. That would be the time i would butcher them or you could have roast pig at anytime. :)

I use a donut or roll that has jelly or such in it and insert a little shot of Ivermectin in it and the pigs will like that. Save some of the ivermectin Paste 1.8 % and repeat in 2 weeks. The ivermectin will kill any worms they have. Also spray them for lice.
They will be lean without much fat. Should be good meat. \

You have had them for 30 days and they are eating good they should be ok to eat.
 

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******** in my neck of the woods trap feral hogs all the time. Mind you I'm a ******* so I'm not denigrating that!


A couple of things to keep in mind...

99% chance they have worms. You need a plan of attack for that or after 9 months you will have 100 pound pigs instead of what they should be..

They won't get as big as domestic pigs most likely. At nine months my pigs would be 350 pounds or more. Yours probably won't get that big, but hey they where free!!

Females (they are called gilts until after they give birth to their first litter) shouldn't have any "taint" issues if they are reasonably managed.

If they have diseases most likely these will be obvious in a month or less. I would never put feral pigs in with domestic pigs as they could infect them with something but in your case that isn't an issue.


I would stress worm treatment. There is other posts about worm treatment on here so you can make your choice regarding treatment based on that.

I'm sure others will think of things - but if you have had them for a month then you are already well along the way.

one final note...I gave a weaned gilt to a friend of mine who had three feral pigs. I raised her brothers and sisters and slaughtered them at around 250 pounds (six months). Found out that at six months she was about 125-150 pounds. You know why? The feral hogs had worms. The gilt got the worms from her pals. Kept her growth down. They probably didn't feed them quite enough either but it was mostly the worms.

Keith


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http://www.permaculturefreedom.com
 

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Texas takes a seriously dim view on the transporting and holding live feral hogs with out the proper paper work. I doubt if a butcher will even let you unload them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks so much for your replies!
I found this product Ivomec Premix for Swine but now just need to find a place to buy it.

Regarding slaughtering, I found this information.

"The Texas Animal Health Commission has enacted regulations requiring all feral hogs in Texas to be tested and certified to be disease free before being released into the wild for whatever purposes. They may however, be legally transported to slaughter or livestock sale for slaughter. "

I think I may call The Texas Animal Health Commission to see if I can get them tested for any diseases for my own piece of mind. Maybe they know where to find this Ivomec Premix for Swine.

Thanks again!

Almosta Farmer
Central Texaa
 

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Thanks so much for your replies!
I found this product Ivomec Premix for Swine but now just need to find a place to buy it.

Regarding slaughtering, I found this information.

"The Texas Animal Health Commission has enacted regulations requiring all feral hogs in Texas to be tested and certified to be disease free before being released into the wild for whatever purposes. They may however, be legally transported to slaughter or livestock sale for slaughter. "

I think I may call The Texas Animal Health Commission to see if I can get them tested for any diseases for my own piece of mind. Maybe they know where to find this Ivomec Premix for Swine.

Thanks again!

Almosta Farmer
Central Texaa

You'll find the ivermectin at your tractor supply. I've shot and eaten many feral hogs and have never seen any sign of worms. Perhaps this is because of their continuous movement. I've also raised many feral pigs and have found that their growth is so slow and their fat to meat ratio so high that the "free" aspect gets wiped out. There is one thing that you will get from them though, and that is some delicious pork.
 

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Personally, I would keep it quiet, feed them for a short while then butcher them at home and eat them. We have similar laws here in Arkansas. Keeping wild hogs in a pen at home and raising them is not the same as "Transporting for slaughter" Game and Fish officers have heard many times from people raising pigs to release that they are just "Raising them to eat themselves", so many are leery of such claims. What I am saying is it is a grey area, under the law. After all, how easy would it be for you to feed them for a while, bring in a boar to breed them, then have lots of little wild piglets?? I am in no way saying you are doing this, just saying it can be viewed in many different ways. This is why the G&F agents usually take a dim view to raising wild pigs at home. They want them all GONE, period!
 

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Thanks so much for your replies!
I found this product Ivomec Premix for Swine but now just need to find a place to buy it.

Regarding slaughtering, I found this information.

"The Texas Animal Health Commission has enacted regulations requiring all feral hogs in Texas to be tested and certified to be disease free before being released into the wild for whatever purposes. They may however, be legally transported to slaughter or livestock sale for slaughter. "

I think I may call The Texas Animal Health Commission to see if I can get them tested for any diseases for my own piece of mind. Maybe they know where to find this Ivomec Premix for Swine.

Thanks again!

Almosta Farmer
Central Texaa
Local farm store should have ivermectin. I use the one for horses.
I think i would not go to any state office about your pigs. They really do not like wild pigs. :) in most cases. The law is the law but some in the state offices will tell you to get rid of them pigs.
 

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feral swine carry brucella and can infect humans. In the 1950s, brucella was used in experimental biological warfare weapons. It is highly unlikely to kill you, but you can get a persistent fever, headaches, painful arthritic joints, etc.

When they go to slaughter, you need to wear good gloves, not have any open cuts, use a face shield so that there is zero chance of pig blood splattering in your mouth, eyes, or nose. As long as the meat is cooked, it is no problem hunters in Florida have been dealing with this for a lot of years. It is not a big deal, just use proper precautions.

Brucella suis
 

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feral swine carry brucella and can infect humans. In the 1950s, brucella was used in experimental biological warfare weapons. It is highly unlikely to kill you, but you can get a persistent fever, headaches, painful arthritic joints, etc.

When they go to slaughter, you need to wear good gloves, not have any open cuts, use a face shield so that there is zero chance of pig blood splattering in your mouth, eyes, or nose. As long as the meat is cooked, it is no problem hunters in Florida have been dealing with this for a lot of years. It is not a big deal, just use proper precautions.

Brucella suis

Oh man, if that were really a problem they'd be thousands of sick and dead hunters in California. All pigs and other animals carry a bunch of bacteria, so it is always advisable to wear gloves when butchering and keep things as clean as possible.
 

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I hunt feral hogs with dogs. The thing is if you have a 300 lb feral hog..most likely it's a 3 or 4 year old hog. Mean as sin. In Texas, they really don't have any regulations on keeping them or not because you do have to have some around for training on the hog dogs. Their meat is very lean so basically more healthy to eat than your domestic hogs. Now about the worm issue. Really isn't a problem because they're not confined.
 

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Yeah, those are some nasty looking hogs! While there are some areas that have them similar to that, we also have a lot that are more domestic looking. We tend to hunt more in the fall or early winter when they've had a chance to fatten up on acorns.
 

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Oh man, if that were really a problem they'd be thousands of sick and dead hunters in California. All pigs and other animals carry a bunch of bacteria, so it is always advisable to wear gloves when butchering and keep things as clean as possible.
so you disagree but you agree.

I see.

Thanks for your comment.
 

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I think what is is saying is that yes, pigs can carry disease, but no more than any other animal in the wild. The G&F here give out much of the same information, but there has never been a case of anyone getting sick here from the pigs.
 

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so you disagree but you agree.



I see.



Thanks for your comment.

What I'm saying is that I've never heard of anyone getting sick as you suggest. I do know that a cut while butchering any kind of meat can lead to a wicked infection. Like I said, I live in an area that's overrun by literally thousands of feral pigs and virtually every rancher either hunts or rents to hunters or traps and slaughters for food. I'm not saying that brucellosis doesn't exist, I just don't believe it's worth worrying about...at least not here.
 

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A cursory Google showed there were fatal cases in 2009 and in Florida in 2012. Like I said, fatalities are rare. And maybe the UF made a big deal out of it because the wild hog butcher class I attended was in late 2012 soon after the local fatality.

As I said previously, it is not a big deal, just take basic precautions. Brucella may not exist in California, it might just be a southern thing. I'll leave it up to you to research that.
 
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