What is in this article?:
- Some Texas landowners profiting from feral hog invasion
- Europeans like the taste
• A few Texas property owners are discovering that, like turning lemons into lemonade, feral swine problems can be turned inside out to become a source of non-traditional farm or ranch income.
Europeans like the taste
A taste for this meat remains in Europe. Therefore, Europe is a targeted market for the distribution and sale of Texas feral swine meat.
In the United States, wild boar meat is viewed as an exotic meat served at game meat restaurants, or as a source meat for sausage and jerky products. Therefore, meat brokers catering to the game meat restaurant trade and producers who make a further processed added value meat product are targets for sales efforts.
A fledgling marketing opportunity also exists in the United States. Direct marketing of wild boar meats through select grocery store chains is being tried in a few test markets to gauge the interest for direct sale of individually packaged branded name wild boar meat.
The laboratory testing of the meat derived from the Texas feral swine indicates that on average it tends to carry less fat than normal domestic swine, making the nutritional information labels look more inviting to a health conscious consumer.
By using large slaughter and cutting plants such as Frontier Meats in north Texas and Southern Wild Game in Devine (south Texas), the quality of the meat and the cuts can be monitored more closely and presented to the customer in a pleasing format that makes the product more appealing to a final consumer.
It’s interesting to note that wild game meat processors who market wild swine meat are subject to both stringent USDA and European Union rules and inspections.
As far as how profitable trapping feral swine can be for property owners, the latest available numbers indicate the average price per pound for live animals ranges greatly from 20 cents a pound for animals under 100 pounds to as much as 60 cents a pound for larger swine.
If the animal is being purchased by an exotic game ranch for hunting purposes, only boars are allowed by state law.
And it should be noted that the Texas Animal health Commission (TAHC) requires all holding pens to meet strict guidelines to prevent feral swine from escaping and/or mixing with domestic swine, and strict record keeping is required on all trapped feral swine. Only disease free animals can be sold.
Already, nearly 50 farms and ranches have received permits for TAHC approved holding pens, so it appears that many farms and ranches are beginning to embrace the idea of turning lemons into lemonade — or in this case, wild swine into bacon and sausage.
For more information about approved holding pen requirements, click here.