Feral swine have become a concern across Oklahoma because of their expanding numbers and the damage they inflict to the landscape. Feral swine have been detected in 70 of the state's 77 counties, but they are most prevalent across the southern parts of Oklahoma. They are also most active at night.
Feral hogs congregate in "sounders," as the large groups are called. Each sounder can tear up several acres every night looking for food, which can include cropland, pastures, golf courses and even residential lawns. They will eat about 4 percent of their body weight daily.
Besides destruction of property, other concerns about feral swine are:
- Population growth. Feral swine have high reproductive potential, and piglets become sexually active at about 6 months old. An estimated 600,000 to 1.5 million feral swine are in Oklahoma.
- Disease transmission. Feral swine can be infected with brucellosis and leptospirosis, which can be passed to people. Pseudorabies is found in about one-third of the feral swine population. This disease can spread to dogs, cattle, goats and sheep. Feral hogs also can carry and transmit many other diseases.
- Threat to wildlife: Native species are being stressed by the activities of feral swine. They compete for food resources that also support deer, raccoons, black bears and opossums. Wildlife can contract many diseases from feral swine. Feral swine have few natural predators, and in some cases, the feral swine have begun pursuing wild animals as prey items.
The Feral Hog in Oklahoma: Table of Contents
- Biological Characteristics
- Home Range, Reproduction and Activity Periods
- Food Habits
- Competition and Environmental Concerns
- Habitat Preferences
- Feral Hog Sign
- Depredation and Disease
- Disease and Parasites
- Online Resources
The Feral Hog in Oklahoma
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, Oklahoma