From east to west, the Southern United States is home to wild hogs that disrupt and destruct ranching operations. These invasive animals aren’t predators, but they are a nuisance. Hogs are opportunistic feeders. They travel in herds and exhibit destructive behaviors that can damage pasturelands, making it more difficult to sustain healthy livestock.
A farmer’s first line of defense against wild hogs is fencing. A good fence does a lot more than keep livestock contained–it also keeps unwanted animals out. What kind of fencing keeps wild hogs out?
Wild Hogs: What are They and Where do They Come From?
Wild hogs are actually feral hogs. This non-native species was introduced to the US from Europe and Russia in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The first of these hogs to come to the US were kept for livestock purposes on fenced farms, but many were eventually turned loose where they thrived in the wild.
You’ll find feral boars in most rural areas throughout the US, but the largest (and most problematic) concentration of these animals is in southern states–particularly Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, and the Carolinas.
Wild hogs are transient. They are on the move, which means that you can suddenly develop a wild hog problem even if you’ve never had problems before. They are also most active at night, so you’re unlikely to see the animals. However, there will be plenty of signs left behind.
Wild hogs are a problem because they are destructive. The presence of hogs on a farm can harm water quality, pasture quality, and ultimately the health and production of livestock herds. Common signs of wild hogs include:
- Pig Tracks (Cloven Hoof)
- Wallows (depressions in mud)
- Nests or Beds
- Rubbed Trees or Posts
- Boar Scat
Pigs of all kinds, including wild boars, habitually root around with their snouts. This means that they repeatedly push or nudge with their snout. When a herd of wild boars gets ahold of a pasture, this rooting behavior can tear grass and other plants from the soil, causing permanent damage that doesn’t grow back without being replanted.
The best fencing materials to keep wild hogs out of your pastures are often the same materials that keep your livestock in. The size of the pasture, budget, and the type of livestock on the farm all factor into the fencing material choices. Some of the best options for deterring wild hogs include:
- Woven Wire Field Fence: Tight grid construction creates a wire mesh that provides a durable, solid fence line that relies on tensioning for strength.
- High-Tensile Electric Wire: Strands of smooth wire that use tension for strength and electricity to reinforce the boundary.
- Barbed Wire: Smooth wire strands with sharp-edged knots or barbs every few inches.
Each fencing material has its purpose. However, feral hogs are incredibly destructive and known for exploiting opportunities. These animals easily go under fence lines. While electric wire or barbed wire might deter some animals, the best choice for feral hogs is woven wire field fencing which provides a solid barrier that doesn’t allow any room to get under the fence.
Proper fencing erected to be at least four feet tall can provide a barrier that deters wild hogs from entering or returning to your property. Once you discover these invasive animals on your property, it’s important to take action to prevent further property damage and threat to your livestock.
Wild hogs are mobile but may not move on easily if they’ve found the resources they need, like food and water. If you find these animals on your property, most state conservation departments recommend a combination of spreading wild hog scram around the perimeter of your property and live trapping the animals for relocation. In addition to these measures, erecting a good fence to keep wild hogs out can prevent them from returning.
Many farmers think about erecting fences to keep their animals contained. Fencing is also a common choice to protect animals from predators like coyotes or bears. But one use that is commonly overlooked is the opportunity to keep wild hogs out of pastures and away from the food and water sources that you provide for your livestock.
Red Brand is a premium agriculture fencing brand that has been providing farmers with high-quality steel wire fencing solutions for several decades. When it comes to choosing fencing materials that meet all of your needs, Red Brand has the experience that you need to get it right. Shop our field fencing solutions today.