Why raise wild pigs?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Laura Workman, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    This was posted by Americanbulldog in another thread. I thought it might not get proper attention there since it's an entirely new series of questions, so have taken it upon myself to move it to its own thread. Hope nobody minds.

     
  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The meat from wild hogs sell for a preimum. Theyalso are resitant to a few things that the domestic is not. They can and will utilize forage to a larger degree, Hence forth pasture usage.They are a hardier type that tyere barn yard brethern. and in some areas theyare sold to game farms for big bucks.
     

  3. creekfreak

    creekfreak jack of all master of...?

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    ? arent they merely feral domestic pigs? russians mainly i think
     
  4. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    I guess it depends on what you call a "wild pig" too. The true wild pig is something called a Euro (sp?) which in this country has never been a wild pig as such and is considered a rare breed. For most of us, the wild pig is a domestic breed gone feral and over the years has adapted very well to it's environment. They typically show the longer face, broad shoulders, narrow hips and don't usually grow to the size of the domestic pig. They are also hardier and more disease resistant as has been mentioned.

    I have only ever reared one wild pig through for domestic purposes and she was a corker. She was supposed to go into the freezer but her personality was such that nobody had the heart to do it so she became a breeding sow. She was put to a Large White boar and consistantly farrowed 15 piglets and reared all of them on 12 teats! The meat of her progeny was darker and had a subtle flavour halfway between wild pork and domestic pork no matter what I fed them. Most of her litters were sold as weaners and people would order weaners from that particular sow. In the 13 years of her life she was never once wormed or treated for mange or lice. And that's why some people keep wild pigs :)
     
  5. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

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    This is turning into a really interesting thread for me. As I get some good replies (thank you by the way) it is raising more questions.
    Like when you guys say they are a tougher brand of pig and they don't get sick as often I am left to wonder how much more often the domestics get sick. Is that a serious problem for domestic pigs?
    Who do you sell "wild pig meat" to for big money? I wouldn't even know where to start. How do these people know that they are really buying wild pig meat? The game farms, are they buying full grown pigs or are they buying little pigs?
    So these wild pigs help to feed themselves? What are they normally eating in their penned in area? Curious if anyone noticed.
    Ronney, It sounds like you had a good pig there. I thought wild pigs were, well, wild. You make it sound like your female was really nice and so no one wanted to kill her because you all really liked her. I thought they were nasty buggers .... smashing fences and tearing things up. No? Also, how do you know when a pig NEEDS to be treated for lice, mange, worms, etc.? I thought that was something that you just did on a regular basis like we give our dogs heartworm treatment. No?
    Sorry for my simple questions which must sound silly to you experienced guys. As you can see I know almost nothing about raising pigs, but it does sound interesting.
    Thanks for the information in advance.
     
  6. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I don't have much time to follow threads closely anymore so I'm entering this discussion without having read the other replies - sorry. Wild pigs come in several shapes and sizes LOL. The Piney Woods Rooter alluded to in the original thread is aname for a pig which has eveolved in the South and is a mixture of domestic and European or Russian swine. Most wild pigs you find in the south are, to an extent, inbred because of their habitat restrictions and habits. The wild pigs you will find in Florida, for instance, will be a little different than the ones you will find in Texas. Basically we can only generalize about the wild pig except to make a sharp distinction between the feral pig, which is mostly domestic and has reverted to the wild and the mostly wild pig which has much more european blood.

    The wild pig gives red meat not white meat. It is juicy and flavorful when properly cooked (so many dry the heck out of it that it is unappealing). The wild pig is very hardy and stays on the small size, under 350 for Boars and under 250 for sows. It is a much better pig for a small family who doesn't need or can't deal with a market size hog. In my experience, domestic were harder to fence in than my wild pigs but I have a unique system of fencing. I took 4 x 4 posts and cemented them into the ground. I framed hog panels with 2 x 4's and nailed those to the posts. I also ran two additional 2 x 4 over the hog panels. That said, I provided a lot of grass and diversion (no ringing, no castration, no ear notching, no eye teeth clipping, no tail docking, etc. ) They stayed in natural sounders (family groups composed of females with their piglets). The piglets were allowed to wander freely and they returned to their pen every night. When the sows got out, they stayed on my property. They know where home is. They are very strong and stubborn but not more so than domestics in my experience. Treat them well and they will treat you well.

    I always enter these discussions knowing that there are many different ways to raise pigs to butcher weight. Some cram 100 pigs in a pen and let them wallow in their own body wastes, some give them garbage to eat or ring their snouts to prohibit rooting or keep them on concrete, etc. I can't and won't enter a manner of keeping debate - the last one was useless. All I can say is that my wild pigs were not harder to keep in any way than my domestics. Actually their smaller size made them easier to keep and less expensive to feed well, their habits and family bonding made them an addiction to observe and interact with, and their meat made it a very delicious endeavor over all. I'll never go back to domestic pigs, not even heritage breeds. Wildpigs can be raised and vaccinated the same as domestics. I sold my wild pigs in FL before I moved and am waiting fencing in 4 acres to start over. I can;t wait. I really miss them.
     
  7. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    If you trap a wild animal and put it in a pen it will act wild. So will a wild pig when it is caught and put in a pen. If you raise them formpiglets, they will treat you according to the way you treat them, same as most other animals.

    You can put them on a worming and vaccination schedule just like a domestic pig if you wantedto. IMO, regular schedules are too much for even domestic animals so I use my own observations, methods, and discretions when I vaccinate and worm.
     
  8. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The reason that most domestic pigs get sick is . Confinement housing , and the sows have little to No room to move around but they make the bucks..
     
  9. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    James and Tango (et al) make excellent points. I have wild potbellies, meaning I got my stock from someone who crossed trapped wild (more likely feral) local pigs with some purchased potbellies. I got my stock when they were getting out of the "pet pig market". I've raised mine initially as an attempt at true pasture, now as a fence out proposition. Build them a nice house, keep it stocked with hay for the winter, make available water, and every evening toss a coffee can or two of corn out for them in a particular spot and let them be. I've culled first for behavior and then for size and have produced lean, "fend for yourself" potbellied size / conformation pigs. The sickly ones will wean themselves out of the herd. Those who are bad parents will make themselves known, and you can invite them to the dinnertable sooner than later. Before long (like 3 years) you will have your own breed/ size/ appearance of your own farm pig which takes care of itself and its young, and shows up on the days you plan on butchering. Pigs are EXTREME CREATURES OF HABIT, watch them and make use of that.

    Back to yoru original question... A lot less work for me, to get ample volumes of tastey organic pork
     
  10. TedH71

    TedH71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, alot of hog hunters keep a few around for training their dogs on and also to sell. The pure russian ones are imported from russia where they run wild and based on my experience they run alot longer than the domestic crosses and are much more nastier in tempermanent. They're often called the poor man's grizzly and that's not a joke either. The ones that have alot of Russian influence are the ones with alot of hair usually solid black and alot of teeth. The ones under 200 lbs are more dangerous than the ones over 300 lbs because they move faster. They can slash, stab, and bite and even day old ones will try to do this if they can't run away. End result is that you have to have a very smart dog with alot of balls to face them and fight with them and keep them occupied before you come there with a rope or a catch dog or a gun. Those baying dogs usually don't do well in suburban enviroments and are being given away which is dumb because they are bred to be smarter than your average urban dog.
     
  11. HogEmAll

    HogEmAll Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing that story with us, JoyKelley. I'm curious...how big was your hog when you first got him? And how big is he now? If you could give me a close estimate if his "before and after" weight, that would be great. I'm trying to establish the rate of growth for Piney Woods. They develope slower than most domestic. My 8-month old boar is right around 130 lbs, while my 6 month old barr is right around 110 lbs. My 8 month old Russian boar is closer to 175 lbs.
     
  12. JoyKelley

    JoyKelley Well-Known Member

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  13. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

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    Thanks for that post Joy. I got a good laugh about the donkey. :) Sometimes those crazy animals ---- I just can't figure them out! The donkey likes to hear the pig squeal? Must be music to her ears. Are you sure that donkey isn't part bulldog? :D
     
  14. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

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    Does that mean that even the Boars will be nice? Will a male Russian type of pig attack you when it gets big or will it still be nice if you are nice? I don't mean to ask the same question a different way but I just want to make sure that it is the same for the males and females.
    I have seen domestic pigs that were quite mean. I can't say I even know why. Maybe the people were not nice to them? I have no idea but I can't help but wonder at how a wild type of pig might be if the domestic's can get so nasty. Long and short of it -- Would they be safe around kids?
    Thanks.
     
  15. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Hi ABD :)
    Yes, this wild sow was an absolute pearler and I doubt that she had a bad bone in her body - if she did, I never saw it. We got her at around 3 months of age and she was a very frightened little pig. She dug a hole in her straw and disappeared into it and I didn't see her for a week. The only reason I knew she was alive was that the food I left out for her disappeared and the straw would sometimes move, but I always talked when I went into her pen and she gradually started to appear - first the nose, then a pair of eyes, then a pair of ears and hey presto, one evening she was waiting at the gate.
    She was named Duchess and she was a great lady.

    I've owned many pigs, both sows and boars, over the years and can in all honesty say I've never had a mean one. But I can say that too for my cows, bulls and sheep and then I look around at the amount of wildlife that creeps in here - and stays - and wonder if much of it has to do with attitude. So yes, if you are "nice", treat the animal with respect and care, and let it get on with what it's doing, the chances are very high they will pay you back in kind.

    About a year ago, I looked out of my cowshed door and into the yard and asked myself if I was running some sort of zoo. In the yard were my four cows and the bull, two working dogs, the big black cat, the 9 resident Pukekoes (I think you call them Swamp Hen), the goose, two Muscovey ducks, three wild ducks, six hens, the lamb I was rearing and three piglets one of which was swinging off the bulls tail. I felt that this mish-mash of domestic animals coupled with the domestic and wild fowl and all quite happy in each others company was a huge compliment. I think what I'm trying to say here is that you too are part of the animal world and if you don't come across as threatening and calmly go about your business, they will come to accept you.

    I'm not too sure that I'm making sense here :p

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  16. HogEmAll

    HogEmAll Well-Known Member

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    My Russian boar is about 8 or 9 months old right now, and he's "nice". When I got him at about 2 months old, he wanted nothing to do with me. He would always keep his distance, but he never charged at me. Now that he been around me for 6 months or better, he's comfortable in my presence. Mind you, I'm NEVER mean to my pigs in any way! I start talking as I approach their enclosure, then continue talking while working with and around them. I only have one pig, a boar, that will allow me to pet him. But I've had him since he was just a few days old and I bottle fed him. He's extremely tame. The othes just kinda hang out. If I get too close, they simply walk a few feet so I'm no longer in their comfort zone.

    My Russian boar, whom I've named "Trouble", has gotten to the point where he'll allow me to pet his nose and forehead, but only for a few seconds. Remember, pigs are VERY smart. They will quickly learn what your intentions are with them, and they will also realize that you're the boss. Keep it that way. If any of the pigs, especially the boars, get the feeling that you're no longer the boss, they will certainly treat you like the rest of the "lesser" pigs.

    If you really want to raise wild hogs as opposed to domestic ones, I suggest you get them as young as possible. Once you have them on your property, spend a lot of time with them. Do a lot of talking,...no sudden movements. Before too long, your pigs will loose most of that shyness and come around. Be aware that if you aquire pigs that have spent a considerable amount of time in the wild, it's going to be MUCH harder to tame them. Good Luck with everything! Feel free to ask more questions, be it here or in PMs. We can even swap phone numbers to chat.

    Regards,
    Axel
     
  17. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I missed this question, I have very limited time online. There are variables in disposition that one can't account for so no, it is not a 100% certainty that if one hand raises a wild boar, he will be nice. Mine were. I hand raised them, treated them well, gave them penty of fresh water, wallowing places, fresh grass with roots, and good food. I also interacte with them a couple of times a day from the time they were orphaned at 2 weeks. I've also raised trapped piglets from about 6 weeks of age and found the same true for them. They like interaction and attention. I think there is a cut off age though. After they start getting used to being wild, I've had some beautiful razorbacks that Iwanted to keep for breeders but was unable to. ONe looked about 4-5 months. He would charge me. In my experience the females have been the same as the males. There is a cut off for them too. If you get themby 6 weeks, you have a better chance. Older gilts can be aggressive. I would never put a child in a pig pen with any pig. Even playing around a pig can knock a child down and trample them. I got knocked downin a food frenzy last year and got hurt and those sows were hand raised tame beasts which would come up to me for scratching (insist on scratching I should say). As for pigs and meanness, I think some pigs are just that way but imo, more meanness is due to the way they are handled by people. Time andtime again I can say this and it applies, we are a varied lot here. We might think we are all caring for our livestock in a very good way but we vary in methods andapproaches. What I consider good care might be considered stupid and wasteful by another and what someone else considers good care, I might consider borderline neglect or inhumane.

     
  18. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

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    If I did want to raise wild pigs who could I trust to buy them from? I hear people say that they bought a pure Russian on one thread and then someone tells them it isn't pure and it makes me think that the person might have been cheated.
    Who can I trust? What do I need to look for in a good wild pig breeder?
    Should I be concerned if it is a "pure" Russian? How do I get good healthy pigs without feeling cheated?
    Thanks for all your help with a person that really doesn't know much about pigs.
     
  19. HogEmAll

    HogEmAll Well-Known Member

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    If you're wanting to raise pigs to eat, I would just find some feral hogs. Ask around the local Hunting Community. As for Russian hogs. Those are expensive. People mostly breed them so they can sell the piglets to Hunt Clubs n such.

    As for Pure Russian Hogs,...it's a debate. Some think that pure is almost impossible to find, that those are kept in Zoos, which I can't confirm as I've never seen one in a zoo. If you want to buy anything "pure", wether it's a pig, horse, dog, cat, whatever, you'll have to shell out some big bucks and the "pureness" will be validated with the proper papers. However, down here where I'm at, noone that has seen my two Russians has questioned me. They believe them to be as pure as we need them to be. Worth quite a bit of money, these are. There are Game Reserves selling them for several hundred dollars a head.

    But like I said, you best bet is to find someone who is selling wild hogs. Just be sure to get them when they're very young.
     
  20. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

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    HogEmAll,
    Are you selling piglets? Who is that I can trust?