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Old April 22, 2013, 12:50 AM   #1
justplainpossum
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Question for hog hunters, please

I have a new, smaller sounder that showed up on my ranch today, and I have a concern: in the mix is a young sow, black, who has stiff hair sticking up on her back like a mohawk. I've seen pictures of pigs like this, but the sows on my place are usually multi-colored, and fairly smooth. Is this an indication of more of the "Russian" type, as opposed to a domesticated one, and if so, would she be more aggressive? Or are they all pretty much the same wild/domesticate blends in the U.S., with differing coat types? Here's the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulbp-snN1zY
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Old April 22, 2013, 06:56 PM   #2
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Nobody knows?
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Old April 22, 2013, 08:01 PM   #3
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I've always thought the "razorback" was a sign of Russian bloodlines but I can't say for sure. It will probably be more aggressive due to the little ones.
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Old April 22, 2013, 08:25 PM   #4
justplainpossum
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But is that hair that's sticking up, is that what's considered a razorback? Or is it just a bad haircut?
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Old April 23, 2013, 04:43 PM   #5
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Many hogs in this area have that characteristic. This is an ugly hog.

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Old April 23, 2013, 07:39 PM   #6
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Feral hawgs revert back to mean black piggy in 3-4 generations. These animals pack some serious survival genes, and only the captive breeding program gave them their obviously unnatural properties, like being pink or spotted.
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Old April 23, 2013, 09:46 PM   #7
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I have read that also, they revert back in a few generations.
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Old April 23, 2013, 11:53 PM   #8
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I named the black one "Shirley", because I decided that calling her Butt Ugly was just mean (actually, she's so funny-looking she's kind of cute). But if Shirley knows what's good for her, she'll get while the gettin's good.

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Old April 24, 2013, 08:53 AM   #9
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No, the mohawk does not indicate that the hog is Russian. It is not a diagnostic trait of being part of the "Russian boars."

Phenotypic expressions (e.g., visually identifiable traits) of genotypes (in this case, "Russian" hogs) is not reliable in hogs except in very limited circumstances.

Part of this problem is that the domestic hogs from which our ferals are primarily derived are domesticated from "Russian" boars (more aptly called Eurasian hogs). These are the same species - feral, domestic, and Eurasian. There are distinctions at the subspecies level.

Identifying Eurasian hogs based on phenotypic traits cannot be done on a singular trait, such as the mohawk, but must be done using a variety of traits, such as specifically a whole series of craniometric measurements.

Things like the mohawk, thick hair, split hair, straight tail, etc. simply are not diagnostic and can be found in domestic hogs of some varieties, feral hogs, or Eurasian.

To listen to everyone's stories from all over the country, there are countless tales of all the "Russians" brought in and either turned loose or that got away. No doubt there have been plenty. No doubt their genetic contributions have been widely spread across the population. You could pretty well argue that any 2nd or 3rd generation feral hog likely has some "Russian" in it. Of course, you could argue that your Berkshire domesticated hog does as well since most domesticated hogs are derived from Eurasian stock. The question is then really one of how long ago it was.

A lot of people worry about the "Russians" being more aggressive. Maybe they are, but you probably have some "Russian" in you as well based on genetic admixture of the population. Do you feel aggressive? I make this point as a joke, and for good reason. Generally speaking having some genetic variation in your background isn't likely to casue you to have significantly different behavior than your peers in the rest of the population. People will often attribute aggressiveness in a hog to being "Russian," but if "non-Russian" domestic pigs get upset and kill humans every year or so, injuring a lot more. There is plenty of aggression in the pig population without the need for attributing it to being some mythical superpig blood line as done on the "documentary" called "Pig Bomb." Any feral/wild animal is potentially dangerous, but by and large, dangerous pigs are the one that you are activily trying to hunt, are cornered, wounded, or you are trying to handle them (such as after catching them with chase dogs). In these circumstances, the "aggressive" hogs are only defending themselves. Outside of those circumstances, "attacks" by hogs are virtually non-existent in the wild.
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Old April 24, 2013, 11:26 AM   #10
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First of all, thank you very much for all that info! That is very kind of you to share. There's a lot of confusing information out there.

One thing: this past fall my neighbor and his friend were going across his ranch in this golf cart that he uses, and a black boar (not a sow) came tearing out of the woods, ran across the field, and rammed their cart.
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Old April 24, 2013, 12:45 PM   #11
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this will help you identify a Russian vs European or American hog.

http://www.suwanneeriverranch.com/wi...appearance.htm
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Old April 24, 2013, 02:31 PM   #12
1tfl
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Here at my place in Florida about 40% of hogs have that Mohawk.
Another characteristic we see is black hoof vs. white hoof.
About 20% of hogs have white hoof around here.
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Old April 24, 2013, 02:36 PM   #13
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And unfortunately, this says that some of the claims noted are bogus at best and unreliable at worst. They have actually researched the specific traits and their usefulness in identification.
http://agrilife.org/texnatwildlife/f...ced-wild-boar/

For example, the Suwanee River Ranch folks claim
Quote:
A boar's Russian ancestry is prized by many hunters, and inaccurately assessed by about as many. The single most reliable indicator of a European ancestry is the bristle...the bristle tips will be a lighter, usually cream, color.
I emphasized the key statement in bold. However, the folks in the Texas Natural Wildlife article note
Quote:
Bristles - Differences in bristle or guard hair size, shape and color among the three types of wild swine have been studied extensively (Hansen et al 1972, Feder 1978, Mayer and Brisbin 1991). Bristles of the Eurasian wild boar are the longest and thickest of the three types. Feral hogs have the shortest mean bristle length, while hybrids have the smallest average bristle shaft diameter. Substantial overlap in these measurements exists among the three types (Mayer and Brisbin 1991). Henry (1969) had stated that the bristles of wild boar had split tips while those of domestic (or feral) swine did not. Subsequent studies have shown that all three wild types of Sus scrofa have split-tipped bristles (Marchinton et al. 1974, Feder 1978, Mayer and Brisbin 1991). Bristle coloration in wild boar is primarily brown/black with light tips. However, pure wild boar also have some bristles that are all brown/black, and even a few bristles that are brown/black with a white band and a black tip. Feral hogs have solid colored bristles that are black, red/brown or white. Hybrids can exhibit any of the above bristle coloration patterns (Mayer and Brisbin 1991). Hess et al. (1985) reported that bristles of domestic swine could be distinguished from those wild boar on the basis of internal morphology. However, the wild boar sample used in that study consisted of hairs collected from only one animal.
So bristles are not reliably diagnostic even though they are claimed to be the best indicator. Y'all can compare and contrast the other traits as well.
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Old April 24, 2013, 03:49 PM   #14
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Just wondering

I have never seen a "feral" pig, except of course through the media, and once in Ft. Benning. We did have a javlina problem here at a local farm, and the tags we're year round over the counter. In about a month they were GONE. Everybody I spoke to said now in this particular area they are very hard to find. Why are javelina so different? Is it from generations of being wild? I can only assume many many geneations ago javelina were pigs from mexico, have absoluetely no research or credibiliy to back that up btw and dont mind whatsoever being told I'm wrong.I am completely ignorant of the type of pigs ya'll have to deal with. I just can't help but wonder why they are in CA, and similar environments in TX and not out here in AZ. Why do feral pigs breed like rabbits and javelina so scarcely? I'm not trying to turn this thread into one about javelina, just trying to understand y'alls problem a little better.
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Old April 24, 2013, 07:07 PM   #15
thallub
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Quote:
Why do feral pigs breed like rabbits and javelina so scarcely?
They are different species.

Wild hogs really don't breed like rabbits. Some fish and game biologists make wild claims about wild hog breeding habits. They take statistics from domestic hog operations and apply them to hogs in the wild.

i'm not a fish and game biologist: i have spent untold thousands of hours hunting, trapping and simply observing wild hogs. Wild hogs very seldom have more than one litter per year.

After shooting and trapping many hundreds of wild hogs, i can say that wild sows seldom breed before one year old. Most of the one year old sows i trap have never had a litter and are not pregnant. It's quite common in SW OK to kill sows 2-3 years old that never had pigs. The average litter size is 4-7 pigs. Seldom are more than seven pigs encountered while field dressing pregnant sows. In a year when theres a bumper crop of pecans and acorns the sows get fat and have large spring litters.

If a wild sow raises half her pigs to 20 pounds shes a fine mother. The coyotes and bobcats get some pigs. Heck: 10-15 percent of domestic pigs die.

A wild hog has a hard scrabble time finding enough to eat. The javelina in a desert environment have a harder time.

Last edited by thallub; April 25, 2013 at 09:11 AM.
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Old April 24, 2013, 10:30 PM   #16
justplainpossum
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Yes, I just learned that javelina are peccaries, and are related to hippos! They are also a native species in Texas, unlike our wild boar. I've never seen one in person, but they look pretty cool, and are a part of the ecosystem.

Thallub, that's interesting! We had a great pecan season this past fall, and our sounder had something like six or seven sows, and at least thirty babies!
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Old April 24, 2013, 10:36 PM   #17
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Double Naught, I think I've got it figured out now; if the boar chases you up a hill, it's a Eurasian.
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Old April 24, 2013, 10:39 PM   #18
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Game Warden told me "anythings that`s not solid red in color is escaped domestic"& "is not regulated by the state of NC."

So , if not red lookin their fair game !!
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Old April 25, 2013, 05:29 AM   #19
theblakester
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Question for hog hunters, please

To the OP. I officially have a strong dislike towards you. I clicked on your video from my phone, turning down the volume. When the video started playing, it played with full volume, waking up my girlfriend.
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Old April 25, 2013, 09:17 AM   #20
thallub
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This very old boar hog is a genuine (pick one) Eurasian, Russian, German boar. There was a small disk in his ear from a game farm in Bavaria.

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Old April 25, 2013, 06:18 PM   #21
justplainpossum
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Blake, I'm tellin' ya, youtube will be the destruction of our civilization.
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