How large do feral hogs get?

The average adult body weight of a feral hog is approximately 180 lb.  Males are slightly bigger, with the comparable body weights for adults of each sex as follows: 150-170 lb for females; and 200-220 lb for males.  Exceptional specimens have been reported to exceed 500 lb.  In all instances of these exceptional weights, the animals were males.  Adult feral hogs average 5-6 ft in length (tip of nose to end of tail) and 2.5-3 ft in shoulder height.  Exceptionally …

What kinds of feral hogs are found in the United States?

All of the feral hogs (wild pigs) found in the United States belong to the same genus and species, Sus scrofa.  Two types of Sus scrofa, Eurasian wild boar and domestic swine, were introduced into the United States. Because these two types belong to the same species interbreeding has occurred.  Presently, there are three types of wild Sus scrofa in the United States: Eurasian wild boar, feral hogs (i.e., wild pigs that are solely of domestic ancestry), and …

Coat Coloration in Feral Hogs

The coat coloration patterns observed among populations of feral hogs (also called wild hogs; Sus scrofa) are extremely diverse (Fig. 1).  Much of this variation stems from the varied ancestral origins of these populations (History of Feral Hogs in the United States).  In general, feral hog coat coloration varies from solid to mixed patterns. 

The simplest of these is the solid coloration.  This can be expressed as any of the basic colors (that is, black, red-brown, or …

Feral Hog Tusk Characteristics

The tusks of feral hogs (also called wild hogs; Sus scrofa) have long been a physical feature of these animals that has garnered significant interest from both the sport-hunting and general publics.  These teeth, technically called canine teeth (as they are in all mammals that have them), have both deciduous (i.e., temporary, “baby” or “milk”) and permanent sets.  The permanent tusks, especially in boars, represent a major element of the trophy quality of a feral hog.  It is also …

Neck Wattles in Feral Hogs

Similar to “mule-footed” hooves (Mule-Footed Feral Hogs), neck wattles are uncommon physical features that have been reported in feral hogs (also called wild hogs; Sus scrofa).  The presence of neck wattles (also called “waddles” or “tassels”) in these animals is neither widespread nor frequently observed even where they are known to occur. 

Analogous to the bell on the throat region of a moose’s neck, these structures are gristle protuberances or tubular appendages in the hog’s skin.  Neck …

“Mule-Footed” Feral Hogs

One uncommon feature that has been reported in feral hogs (also called wild hogs; Sus scrofa) is the presence of syndactylous or “mule-footed” hooves.  The mule-footed condition in swine is structurally only a slight variation from the normal cloven-hoofed condition.  Internally, it is caused by a developmental fusion of the last pair of bones of the two middle toes or digits of the foot (Fig. 1).  In some cases, the next to the last toe bones can also …

Shoulder Shields in Feral Hogs

Sexually-mature male feral hogs (also called wild hogs; Sus scrofa) possess a thickened subcutaneous layer of tissue, commonly referred to as the “shield” or “shoulder plate,” which overlies the outermost muscles in the boar’s lateral shoulder region (Fig. 1).  This unique anatomical structure, a secondary sexual characteristic found in this species, serves a reported protective function for boars fighting for breeding opportunities with estrous sows (Feral Hog Behavior).

Figure 1. Illustration of the general location of the …