Feral hogs, also known as wild hogs, are becoming an increasingly significant cause of damage to both crops and livestock operations across the country. These animals have been known to kill and eat lamb, along with kid lambs. On occasions, they will prey on adult sheep and goats. Feral hogs pose a disease risk to livestock and humans through the transmission of brucellosis and pseudorabies.
Some signs of feral hogs on your property are:
- Cloven Hoofed Print Tracks
Preventing Feral Hogs
There are several fencing options for controlling feral hogs from entering crop fields and livestock pastures. "Pig-proof,” non-electric fences must be constructed of net wire or diamond mesh with spacing between vertical wires 6 inches or less. If using rectangular net wire for goats, spacing should be 4 to 10 inches between vertical wires to contain goats. Varieties of net wire and mesh fencing that can be electrified are also available.
A minimum fence height of 3 feet is advised. To keep out wild feral hogs, you need to stretch the fencing material. In some cases, burying the wire or mesh underground may be necessary to prevent hogs from burrowing underground. In areas where the terrain is hilly, it can be difficult to effectively keep out the hogs, which increases the cost considerably.
High-tensile fencing is by far the most effective means to exclude feral hogs. A 5 to 6 strand wire fence with wires spaced 8 to 10 inches is adequate. Zareba® low impedance chargers with a 25+ mile rating and voltage output recommended of at least 5,000 volts.
Use peanut butter or molasses on a pie tin or aluminum foil to bait the fence and attract feral hogs to slow down. The bait will prompt hogs to touch the fence with their nose or tongue, receiving a safe but powerful shock.
Note: In some circumstances, electric fencing will not be effective in deterring feral hogs. Ingenious animals will sometimes figure out ways to get through. In addition, the wild animal's drive to get to a food source can sometimes is stronger than their fear of a psychological barrier such as electric fencing.