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Old September 22, 2005, 12:55 AM   #1
kjm
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Feeding hogs: I need information

An acquantance of mine at work trapped six hogs last night and has given me two. I will pick them up tomorrow (just before Rita smacks us!). He has told me that neither pig is more than 20lbs. In preparation, I have purchased a bag of sweet-feed (grain coated w/ molasses), and some chicken-wire and a wooden crate to put them in for now. What next?

Specifically, I want to feed them out to about 60-80 lbs each and butcher them. I will likely castrate the boar as soon as I get them and I have performed this operation on domestic swine, so I assume the same applies to feral swine (with a bit more protests). I will then feed them, but what should I feed them?

How long will it take for them to achieve the target weight of 80lbs? What will I require in the way of fencing? Vaccinations?

I figured that somebody else will have done this here. I've been looking forward to doing this but this is my first opportunity. Once I butcher them, I plan on butchering one for consumption, and roasting the other one whole at work for my crews.

As an aside, We'll be spending the weekend with three dogs, nine people a cat and two pigs in our house until the hurricane stops. What a party!
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Old September 22, 2005, 02:41 AM   #2
AndrewTB
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What benefit do you get out of castrating? Im new to hunting and getting my own food etc... lol im sure you know what I mean. I just don't understand how doing that will benefit you. Please explain seeing as how im pretty new to all of this.

BTW if I were you id leave depending where you are. This one is going to be a record breaker!
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Old September 22, 2005, 09:24 AM   #3
Byron Quick
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Castration will make the meat of the boar taste better. It will make to boar somewhat more docile. It's a domestic livestock thing. You don't have to worry about it hunting

I'd ask a veternarian about the vaccinations.

I'd killed a large boar a couple of years ago. I take my big game to a butcher who also butchers game. The meat tasted fine. Personally, I think that the care taken in cleaning, processing, aging, and packaging has more effect on the final taste than any other factor.
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Old September 22, 2005, 09:56 AM   #4
mete
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My father was given a piglet so he took it to my grandfather and it was fed on left over pasta and polenta to fatten up. In Italy going back to ancient times they put pigs out to the forest to fatten on acorns gives them a nice sweet nutty flavor. Castrating ? I don't know if it would be old enough to matter.
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Old September 22, 2005, 11:44 AM   #5
20cows
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Castrating ? I don't know if it would be old enough to matter.
It would if you're dealing with beef. I imagine the same is true for pork.
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Old September 22, 2005, 12:59 PM   #6
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Castration definitely works on feral pigs to "sweeten" the meat.

However, it takes time to have effect... let him get to about 125 lbs before you butcher him.

Hunting guides for feral pigs will catch and castrate the little ones and let them go... And then come back and hunt them when they mature.

You can also sweeten the meat by feeding them with things already mentioned above and feed corn and rotten fruit and fallen walnuts and acorns and plain old "slop".

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Old September 22, 2005, 01:45 PM   #7
Art Eatman
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Hey, you're right there with a whole university full of experts on raising any animal there is! (I heard about an Aggie who was majoring in animal husbandry, until they caught him at it...) Oughta be a lot of hog dieticians around the Farm.

, Art
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Old September 22, 2005, 03:23 PM   #8
T. O'Heir
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Is it legal to own native game animals in Texas? To castrate wild animals? If you did that up here, you'd be arrested in a heart beat. No bothering the game unless you're legally hunting. Just curious.
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Old September 22, 2005, 03:37 PM   #9
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Feral hogs aren't game animals in TX AFAIK. They're not javelina.
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Old September 22, 2005, 04:59 PM   #10
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KJM, Castration will "sweeten" the meat but will probably not be obvious till they are over 100#. Feed them what ever they will eat, if you are a student or know one, you can talk to the food services folks at Sabesta or any other dining hall about getting scraps/trash. When I was down there we used to use that to bait our hog traps.
I wouldnt worry about Vaccinations, cook thourough. And for fencing, they can become pretty domestic pretty fast if you have the time to handel them, at that age anyway. I'd but some T-posts and hog pannel and make a round pen to keep em in. e-mail me if you have any more questions, I'll be down there in a few weeks to do a bit of hog hunting myself.
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Old September 22, 2005, 09:01 PM   #11
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The quickest way to put weight on a hog is to soak corn in water to form a mash. Feed them all they will eat. They will gain weight like you won't believe. I raised 500 every year from feeder pigs to top hogs, this is not a theory.
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Old September 22, 2005, 09:17 PM   #12
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You do want to be careful in butchering and eating feral hogs. They can and may be carriers of several diseases that are transmittable to humans. The rule of thumb is to not butcher if you have cuts or scratches, and when you do butcher clean yourself and your cutting instruments completely afterwards. For cooking, always cook the meat thoroughly. Don't eat wild pig that is undercooked.
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Old September 23, 2005, 10:03 AM   #13
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Is it legal to own native game animals in Texas? To castrate wild animals? If you did that up here, you'd be arrested in a heart beat. No bothering the game unless you're legally hunting. Just curious.
Haw.

Feral hogs are 100% man-introduced in Texas. They are something of a pest, and Texas Parks and Wildlife actually puts out a brochure on how to effectively trap and kill them.
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Old September 23, 2005, 10:55 AM   #14
Harley Quinn
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Texas is it true

I want to live and die in Texas?

I was in the Corps many moons ago and we had this guy from Texas (we had others also but this guy was so in love with Texas that is all he talked about)

So we would ask why are you in the Corps? He was drafted and did not want to go in the Army! I am giving my age away. He was a good shot and a hell of a Marine and how he loved Texas. Liked to fight also, hey, just a good Marine.

So to keep on topic I will say (from experience) Go to a good feed store and buy the stuff they recommend. If you are in corn country it is corn, If you are in rice country it is rice etc. Why, usually it is the cheapest and sweet feed is what most corn is about anyway. We got lots and lots of sweetners from corn on the market Cheap oil is another good additive. High in fat and helps them grow. Some like to give them beer LOL.

Go to the feed lots ask them. Heck check it out on google, but by all means castrate the dude (now) he will grow faster. True...

Harley

PS since I am not from Texas I love those little Armadillos. Is it true they taste like chicken LOL.
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Old September 23, 2005, 01:38 PM   #15
zeisloft
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they taste like opossum on the 1/2 shell. Honestly, not too bad.
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Old September 24, 2005, 01:36 PM   #16
kjm
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We made it through the hurricane with maximum sustained winds at less than 30 MPH and not enough rain to keep the dust down. The pigs are still at the guy's house and I'll be picking them up in a few hours I think. I'll castrate today. Then I'll keep 'em in the backyard until they're too big and then I'll run them down to the ranch. I may let them go to 200 if they behave and don't cause problems.

Sbisa (dining hall) will give me slop for them. I can also feed corn so we'll see what works and what doesn't.

I would have thought that they would have some kind of Purina Hog Chow or something.

Either way, I think I'm in for a treat in November or whenever I decide to butcher (whenever it gets somewhat cold).

If I can find a butcher nearby that will do hogs, I might have it done professionally so my wife will be more inclined to eat it too.

Thanks.
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Old September 24, 2005, 03:02 PM   #17
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I'm just browsing through this post...gosh I miss hog hunting

Anyhow, my response to HQ, everybody wants to live and die in Texas There's is something in the water and when you're born and raised here, its* just in your blood.

* No one knows what "it" is, but it is something special that only Texans have, are proud of, and will never let go of
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Old October 9, 2005, 12:32 AM   #18
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I'm a little late on this thread but when I used to buy feeder pigs and raise them to butchering size (150lbs) I fed them pig feed from the local co-op. This was better than just ground corn because it had vits and minerals in it. Also it would be wise to worm your pigs, they'll grow faster if you do. Also very important is to make sure they have access to clean water (nipple waterers work very well for this since the pigs can't foul the water)
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Old October 9, 2005, 07:55 PM   #19
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Yep, pig feed from the feed store. Also, as a great source of protein and a treat they really love, ol'roy dog food from wal-mart. But only as a treat.
This time of year I also pick acorns up and throw them in their pen.
Chicken wire as a permanent residence outsid will not do, go with goat wire and you will be okay, just make sure the bottoms are securely staked in the ground.
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Old October 10, 2005, 07:04 AM   #20
Art Eatman
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If you're gonna build a fence-wire pen, chicken wire sure won't do. Hog wire or sheep&goat wire. And run one strand of barbed wire flat on the ground.

Best is to fold the net wire so that about a foot of it is flat on the ground on the inside of the pen. When they try to root under, they can't. Works for dogs, too.

, Art
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Old October 18, 2005, 12:55 PM   #21
kjm
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I thought I'd follow up. I picked the hogs up. They were considerably bigger and so I brought them home in a large dog kennel. They were a bit more athletic than I recall of domestic pigs. Rooting under the pen wasn't the problem, they leapt the 3' hog-panel pen that I had built them and did so with almost no effort at all. They then began to chase my dog so I let her in the house. I had to shoot them while they cowered in the corner of the yard.

Tasty meat. I'm satisfied.
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Old October 18, 2005, 01:59 PM   #22
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LOL!!!!

That's gotta be one of the best endings to a thread that I've ever seen.

Thanks! That was really funny! It made my day.
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Old October 18, 2005, 02:08 PM   #23
Gary Conner
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Quote: Is it legal to own native game animals in Texas? To castrate wild animals? If

I am am very late on this also, but I had to put in my two cents worth.

I figure if a guy is determined enough to cut the juevos off a wild pig, the TP&W guys probably wouldn't bother him too much.

If you are going to cook him when he gets to be 50 or 60 pounds on the hoof, so he will be about twenty five in the cooker, I bet you probably wouldn't need to castrate him.

Because he will gain one pound a day, for three pounds of feed, just like a domestic. So he will only be about two months old when he hits fifty pound.

Anyway, "Gig 'em Aggies!"
(Then get out the way!)

GMC
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Old October 18, 2005, 08:02 PM   #24
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My 2 cents, 30 years after the last time I helped in pig farming.

If you get any more, the best thing to do is talk to the guy behind the counter at your local Farmer's Co-op store or feed store. Wild pigs carry lots of worms and parasites so they'll need worming. I'm not sure what vaccinations they need these days. I'd use a band castrator instead of cutting them as you probably won't get the cut right without practice. Use hog feed instead of horse feed.
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Old October 19, 2005, 10:59 AM   #25
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Meek, I'm pretty sure you can not band hogs. However, cutting them is pretty easy, two cuts in and about the right area. On a 60-80# hog, the family jewly are pretty easy to find, They are the two oblong baseball sized items under the skin. Honestly, I would not worry about the shots/ wormer/ etc. Of the feral hogs I have shot and eaten, I dont believe any had been to the vet. If you wanted to spend that kinda time and $ on it, next time buy from a hog farm.
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