What is in this article?:
• Many states are struggling with the rampant spread of feral hog-related problems and a few are considering drastic measures to control an escalating problem that threatens to bring serious economic hardships, a potential for uncontrolled spread of animal diseases and even a threat to human safety.
Contact your veterinarian if your pets or livestock come in contact with feral swine and show any of the following clinical signs:
• Sudden change in behavior;
• Excessive salivation;
• Difficulty breathing;
• Depression/reluctance to move;
• Difficult walking/poor coordination;
• Intense itching or self mutilation;
• Sudden death.
In addition to the risks of disease, experts estimate the annual agricultural damage from feral swine to be in excess of $52 million. On top of that landowner annual expense to control feral hogs exceeds $7 million.
But of most concern perhaps is the rapid propagation of the feral hog population.
The natural life expectancy of a free roaming swine ranges between 6 to 8 years. A sow reaches breeding age at 7 to 8 months and can be responsible for large numbers of offspring in a 5-year period.
The average size of feral hogs ranges between 100 and 150 pounds, but, depending on the region, some suggest feral hogs can weigh in excess of 500 pounds. In Texas, the average feral hog weighs less than 200 pounds.