Feral Hogs



Feral hogs are not native to the United States . These hogs have evolved from swine introduced to Florida by Spanish explorers, from domestic swine that have escaped from farms and from true Eurasian wild boars released by hunters. Feral hogs pose a threat to the environment, wildlife, agricultural crops and livestock. They damage pasture and crops through eating, rooting, digging and trampling. Feral hogs also compete with native wildlife and destroy native plants. One of the greatest concerns, however, is the potential spread of disease to humans, pets and domestic livestock.


  • Feral hogs vary greatly in shape, size and coloration, usually with a thick coat of coarse, bristly fur.
  • The hogs can reach a size of 3 feet in height by 5 feet in length and weigh over 400 pounds. On average, sows weigh 110 pounds and boars weigh 130 pounds.
  • Males have larger heads and tusks than females.
  • Feral hogs reproduce rapidly; females begin breeding at about eight months and can produce two litters (of four to 12 piglets) every 12-15 months.
  • Feral hogs prefer moist bottomland, are usually nocturnal and tend to travel in family groups

    Signs of Feral Hogs:

  • Feral hogs root or dig in the ground to find food. Rooted areas can be extensive and cover several acres.
  • Look for tracks in the mud near springs, ponds and streams where feral hogs may have passed through.
  • Feral hogs leave scat that resembles the shape and consistency of dog droppings that can contain acorn, grain and the scales or feathers of their prey.
  • In warmer months, feral hogs create wallows in moist areas. After wallowing, they rub on nearby trees, leaving mud and hair on the bark.


    Report sighting, rooting evidence or other signs of feral hogs to:
    USDA APHIS Wildlife Services: 908-735-5654 x2

    Deer hunters must report the harvest of feral hogs to:
    New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife: 609-748-2044

    There will also be information posted soon on the Dept. of Agriculture site at www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/ah/prog/feralhogs.html.

    © State of New Jersey, 2015