Wild Hogs: Some Thoughts on the Different Breeds

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by HogEmAll, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. HogEmAll

    HogEmAll Well-Known Member

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    I know there aren't a lot of us here on this MB that deal with wild hogs, but I've come up with a few thoughts and ideas that I'd like to share with you nonetheless.

    Here in the south-east, there are generally 3 kinds of wild hogs. We've got the Piney Woods Rooter, which is the most abundant, the Razorback, and the Russian. You'd think that it should be easy to classify a wild hog into one of these groups, but it's not. It seems that every person that I talk to around here has their own opinion about what makes a Piney Woods Rooter, a Razorback, or a Russian.

    Some of the Old Timers considder any wild boar to be a Razorback. This can't be correct since not all wild boars have bristles on their back. Others considder all wild hogs found in the south-east to be Piney Woods Rooters. Well, I guess you could lump them all together, since they all hang out in the Piney Woods of the south-east US, but for the sake of this discussion, I wanted to be more precise. The one that I've had the biggest problem with is the Russian Hog! Talk to a group of hunters down here and chances are, a few of them will tell you that they've shot a Russian at least once in their life. Hunt Clubs and Outfitters will offer Special Hunts for Russian Boars, while a few Game Preserves will actually offer Purebred Russian Hogs and semen for AI. I don't think we have many Russians here in the US. Here's why...

    Pigs are incredible survivors and reproducers. Dump a dozen hogs into the woods and 10 years later, you'll have an infestation. In some areas it may not even take that long! Pigs are great at crossbreeding. Russians can mix with Piney Woods, which in turn can mix with domestic, which again can mix with Razorbacks and so on and so forth. When looking at a pig, there's really no way of naming it's ancestry with any degree of certainty. Sure, the pig may have a look like a Piney Woods Rooter, but it may well have some other influences that don't appear on the surface. This has to do with Dominant and Recessive Genes.

    From what I've read and learned, the Russian traits are generally dominant. This means that the offspring will usually display some form of Russian character....even several generations down the road.

    I'll add more to this thread when I get home from work this evening, including a list of the various Wild Hog breeds that I'm familiar with.

    Added at 6:15pm
    Ok, let me talk about the various breeds of wild hogs that I'm familiar with. This may be inaccurate information, so don't quote me on any of this. These are just my own thoughts, opinions, and info that I've gathered as a result of experience and research.

    1.) Piney Woods Rooter: These hogs can trace their ancestry back to the domestic hog. Back in the days of Free Ranging, some hogs would run off, never to be found again. These hogs began to adapt to their environment and became feral. Also, early spanish settlers brought pigs with them. I'm not sure what breed these pigs were, but I'm certain that they bred with the free ranging domestics. Piney Woods Rooters are usually black, brown, or a combination of the two. Their body shape is very similar to a domestic hog, but smaller. Their skin pigmentation is also very dark. I believe that their metabolism and immune systems differ from a domestic hog. They seem to be more hardy and don't gain weight as fast as their domestic ancesters. I have six of these...2 barrows, 2 gilts, a sow, and a boar.

    2.) Russian: I believe that there are several breeds of hogs that are lump together in this group. The Pure Russians were imported decades ago to a private game preserve. They are beautiful animals, with a bison-like build. Their ears are very short and their tails are straight. Their fur is dark brown to gray, and very thick. The bristles on their back can exceed 5 inches in length. After doing some research, I found there to be a few more breeds that may be mistaken for Russian. I was born and raised in germany, and in the Black Forrest region, there are wild hogs that are identical to Russians. However, their tails have a slight curl to them and they don't seem to get quite as big as Russians. Further west in the forrests of Poland and Czech Republic is another wild hog that is also similar to both the german and russian strains. As a group, most refere to these as Eurasian Hogs...a mix of Europian and Russian influences blended together to make a nice variety of hog. I believe I have two hogs with lots of german influence in them...a boar and a gilt.

    3.) Razorback: These are a magnifiscant mix of Piney Woods Rooter and Eurasian influences. Most are dark in color and display a varying degree of similarity with both. Some look more like a Piney Woods Rooter with only the addition of long bristles, hence the name "Razorback". Old Timers say that you can take one of these hogs, turn them on their back, and saw logs with them lol. Some Razorbacks look more Eurasian...these are the hogs sought by Trophy Hunters. Razorbacks also tend to be more aggressive than the other two.

    I'll add more to this as I learn. This doesn't have to be a discussion(although everyone is more than welcome to chime in)...but I bet some folks out there looking for info on wild hogs will appritiate it. :)
     
  2. SDjulieinSC

    SDjulieinSC Well-Known Member

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    I have what the folks around here (Upstate South Carolina) call a "river bottom boar". No idea wht he is! He's got a good bit of hair the long face and a nice set of tusks. Story is his parents were feral hogs trapped on one of the local vets land. He has been hand raised and I had him cut when he was a little guy. All in all a pretty good pet if you don't mind feeding a lawn orniment. He loves and is rather protective of his Mommy but is very uncomfortable with anyone other than myself in his pen. Loves everyone outside the pen as long as they are feeding or scratching him. Any guess as to what he might be?
     

  3. HogEmAll

    HogEmAll Well-Known Member

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    Well, a picture of him would certainly go a long way to help identify his breed, but from your description, I'd say he is probably a Razorback. Since you castrated him, he is no longer considered a boar. Instead, he's a barrow, or barr for short. How big is he? And how long have you had him?
     
  4. SDjulieinSC

    SDjulieinSC Well-Known Member

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    Oh to be skilled enough to post a picture! I'd guess he weighs 200lbs??? Just a girl guess. He stands a bit above my knee. Not much help I know................ I have had him for three years now. He was smaller than my cat when I first brought him home. He stayed in the house untill he decided he liked the couch better than the dog bed. Not so good for the fabric. He graduated to the outside lot where he has lived with a donkey, several goats and 2 mini horses. His most recent pal was another pig. A much nastier uncut pig who is now a dead pig. Many people have told me that "Rudy" will become mean and aggressive as he matures.....he's 3 and I'm still waiting. Don't get me wrong I have much respect for his size and strenght as well as his potential to cause injury. However I work hard to not put him or myself in that position. Do you feel that he could become "dangerous"? Another question....should I get him a buddy? And thanks for the info on the correct name.....I'd at least like to sound like I know what I'm talking about! Oh just thought of this...he's a pretty picky eater...is this odd for a pig? I wouldn't call him spoiled, he does get some table scrapps but will even turn his nose up at those sometimes. When I serve him something that really excites him he rolls in it before he eats it...normal? Bet youre going to wish you had ignored me, seems you are fast becoming my pig mentor! I need one! :bow:
     
  5. HogEmAll

    HogEmAll Well-Known Member

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    You better believe it. I'm not saying that he'll charge at you or anything, but his weight alone can be a hazard for you. He could easily injure your knee without even meaning to. As long as you pay attention to his and your surroundings, and his body language, everything should be ok though. Just don't let your guard down.


    No, you don't have to. That's your choice. Females do better in groups, since this is how they live in the wild. But adult males are solitary animals and only join the groups when one or more females is in heat.

    Not at all. My pigs love the Hog Meal that I give them, but certain types of veggies and fruits are ignored. Sometimes I throw a bunch of veggies in a big pot of water and boil it. This makes it a slop and then they dig in lol.

    Definately! My hogs do it everytime I feed them sour mash(whole corn soaked in water till it stinks). Certain table scraps are also bathed in. It's funny to watch.

    Keep the questions coming. I don't mind helping people out.

    Regards,
    Axel
     
  6. HogEmAll

    HogEmAll Well-Known Member

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    Hahahaha....man that was funny. Thanks for the laugh, I kinda needed it after a bad day at work. But on a serious note, make sure you wear long jeans when you're around him. I'm not sure how long his tusks and wethers are, but he could easily injure you while brushing up against your leg. Again, just be alert and you should be fine.

    Since he's an adult, I'd feed him a Hog Finisher with no more than 12% protein. You can also mix it with cracked corn on a 50/50 basis. Feed him your table scraps and veggie peelings, just watch his weight. If he seems to be getting fat, cut back a little. An overweight hog can develope premature artheritis.


    Yeah, my Eurasian boar likes to tip the wash tub over and wallow around in it. Don't use the water-additive. It's a waste of money. I recomend Ivomec Double Impact. You can get this at the Vet. You can either inject it into his neck, or squirt it on top of his feed. 1cc treats 75lbs, but I always give mine a little extra. It's hard to overdose on this stuff, so better safe than sorry. You can also buy a pelleted wormer that you add to his feed. I'd worm him every 2-3 months. 1-3 days after worming, look at his droppings. If he had worms, there will be dead ones in his droppings....plain as day.

    Yep! It's called an Automatic Waterer. It's a medium-sized bowl with a float in the back. You mount that securly to a post or through the fence, then hook a water hose to it. The float will regulate the water level....he'll have fresh water at all times. The bowl is big enough to roughly hold 0.75 gallons of water. He can't knock it over, nor can he climb into it. I love mine! The one I have is made of galvanized steel. Very sturdy!!!

    Regards,
    Axel
     
  7. SDjulieinSC

    SDjulieinSC Well-Known Member

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    Let me begin this morning by saying thank you for ripping the scab off of my automatic waterer experience memory...........thanks.
    I'm sure that by now you have figured out that I am no genius! Case in point:
    I had a thought (my first mistake). This thought involved me installing an automatic waterer for my dear pig during our first summer together. I went to the Mecca known as Tractor Supply, purchased said waterer, along with 2 4x4's, a bag of cement, a varied supply of water hose hooker upper thingers, and a sampeling of great magnitude from the nut/bolt/screw/nail/tack asile (hey a girl never knows what she might need). I proudly took my purchases home and set to work with the post hole diggers.
    Got the waterer attached to the wood,an elephant won't get that sucker loose, put the whole contraption in the leg depth hole, I measure things in body parts, dumped in the quick crete, added water, backfilled and stood back to admire my creation. Looked great! Checked to see how it set the next day....perfect! Not EVER going anywhere! Now for the hose hook up portion.
    None of the stuff I bought would fit! Finally pulled a hose off of the washing machine that would fit both the waterer and the hose,score! Turned on the water and it worked! Well sort of...ok maybe not so much...............the hose looked like a snake that had swallowed a cat and was ready to blow at any second. No ammount of adjusting the water pressure would remedy the problem. Also could not get the connection to the waterer to quit leaking, no matter how many washers I tried. Got mad and haven't used it since! Rudy thinks its a great place to scratch on though so its not a total loss!
    I have tried feeding the hog feeds and he hates them. Does like whole corn. You mentioned cracked corn, is that better? Should I be soaking all of his food? I have not been doing so. Right now I'm feeding him sweet feed and (don't laugh 'cause I'm not sure I'm calling this the right thing) bran & shorts. I also give him a few pieces if dried corn still on the cob. I'm afraid you are going to yell at me now! Sometimes I give him a flake of hay but he usually just throws it around then puts it in his mud hole...smart pig...I think he's making adobe bricks to build an addition on his barn.
    So this brings us to housing........your words of guidence please O'Prince of Pork..................................................
     
  8. HogEmAll

    HogEmAll Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry about your bad experience with the Waterer. Mine has worked flawlessly since day 1. Maybe give it another go with a better hose and fittings.

    I'm still going to recomend Hog Feed and Cracked Corn. Just give it to him....trust me...after a few days of being stubborn, his stomach will convince him to eat the hog feed. The reason I don't like using Sweet Feed or other stuff is because it tends to make hogs too fat. As for Corn,...it's easier to digest when it's been cracked open....even more easily digested if soaked in water for 12 hours or more.

    :nono: There is no such thing as a stupid question. You're doing the right thing by asking all these questions and learning more about pigs. Besides, even with your lack of pig-knowledge, you seem to have done quite well these past few years with Rudy.

    Yep, perfectly normal. I give my pigs hay and grass clippings. They play with it, use it for bedding, and eat some of it.

    Rudy needs a roof over his head and walls on 3 sides to help block those cold winter winds. Line the ground beneath the shelter with plenty of hay. When it gets cold, he'll have a place to bundle up. Also, when it rains, he may want to get out of the weather. The shelter doesn't have to be very big. Since you only have one pig, make it big enough for him to comfortably lay down. I'm thinking 4'x4' should be enough.

    Regards,
    Axel
     
  9. SDjulieinSC

    SDjulieinSC Well-Known Member

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    Yippie for me!!!!!! SOMETHING I have done right! I have a little "barn" more like a shed in Rudys pen. Big enough that he and my 2 mini horses could all fit in together. He has a good thick covering of straw in 1 corner, I just throw it out a bale at a time and let him make his own bed. This being his 1st winter alone I was worried that he might get cold so I got an old plastic storage tank of some sort. I filled this with straw as well and put it inside his barn. I thought he'd stay a little warmer in that than than just in the barn. He has since shoved it out into the middle of the pen...guess he was not impressed.
    I figure I'll wait till it gets a bit colder then try it again, if he wants it it's there and I won't feel guilty worrying about him being a pigsicle- it will be his fault.
    When you say hog feed what kind do you mean? Starter, grower, finisher is what they ask me at the feed store when I ask for hog feed. should this be soaked as well?
    You have advised me to watch his weight but if anything I wonder if he may be a bit underweight. Of course armed with my newfound worming knowlegde it may no longer be an issue.
    What kind of hose do you have for your waterer?
    You deserve a rest so have a good weekend! I'm sure I'll have a whole new round of questions Monday! Thanks for all the help so far!
     
  10. HogEmAll

    HogEmAll Well-Known Member

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    He needs Hog Finisher. It should be about 12% protein. You do not need to soak this in water.

    I have a regular garden hose. No special fittings or extra washers.