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Feral hogs (Sus scrofa) are wild animals that are widespread in regions all over the planet, although they originally come from the Old World. The swine have opportunistic feeding patterns, and they aren't picky eaters at all. Feral hogs -- or wild boars -- enthusiastically dine on flesh and plants alike.
Feral hogs dine on a wide array of animals. Tiny mammals, snails, birds, insects, insect larvae, crayfish, reptiles, earthworms and amphibians all pop up on their menus. As far as mammals go, they occasionally consume young livestock, rabbits and deer. The livestock animals they prey on include sheep, goats and cows, notably individuals that are frail due to sickness. Feral hogs sometimes scavenge and munch on carrion -- the remains of animals killed beforehand. Eggs are typical foods for them as well, often from reptiles and birds. Although not meat, it isn't rare for feral hogs to feed on animal dung.
Plants for Dinner
Plants constitute big portions of the feral hog diet. Some of the many plants these wild pigs eat are acorns, forbs, grass, tubers, roots, bulbs and fungi. Acorns are a particular favorite for feral hogs. They also like eating a lot of herbaceous vegetation, including water hyssop (Bacopa monnieri).
Feral hogs are big on eating agricultural crops. They regularly dine on crops such as oats, wheat, rice, corn, cantaloupe, watermelons, potatoes, peanuts and soybeans. Feral hogs are frequently considered nuisances by farmers because of this ruinous feeding behavior.
Feral hogs are capable of living in many different types of habitats, all thanks to their broad eating patterns. They're regularly seen everywhere from deserts to damp woodlands. They typically select where they live based on access to sustenance. When feral hogs eat, they generally do so in the night. Damp and cold conditions sometimes cause them to eat in the day, however. Feral hogs have strong smelling skills -- a major benefit for successful hunting.
List of Animals That Eat Feral Hogs
Feral hogs eat practically anything they encounter, but they also have some predator concerns themselves. People sometimes prey on feral hogs, as do many kinds of animals, specifically bobcats, wolves, foxes, bears, raptors, big birds of prey and crocodiles. Predators are particularly big problems for youngsters.
- World Association of Zoos and Aquariums: Wild Boar
- Missouri Department of Conservation: Feral Hog
- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation: Eurasian Boar
- Texas Parks & Wildlife: Feral Hogs
- Wildlife Conflicts Information Website: Feral Hogs
- Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries: Feral Hogs
- Natural Science Research Laboratory: Feral Pig
- University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Sus Scrofa
- Young People's Trust for the Environment: Boar (Wild)
- IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Sus Scrofa
- Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images