Babe (Feral Cross Hog)

Babe is about 7 1/2 years old. He had a wild mother who decided my husband and I were OK and actually would let us pet her. It was during a bad drought in our area, and she was starving. Water was scarce, so we fed and watered about 8 sows and 3 small boars. Then Babe was born. From the day he was born, he thought his place was with us. When the sows moved on, he stayed. We brought him home and had him tested by the state along with 2 other shoats; one was blind and the other one just friendly.

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They eat soaked whole corn (1 cup 2 times a day) and a bat of hay a day. They have their own pens, because we don't want pigs all the time. The blind sow likes to be in a pen by herself. They make very good pets and actually love attention.

Babe's tusks make him formidable looking, but he just wants attention and doesn't even realize he could hurt you with sling of his head. You cannot tell that he is 7 and 1/2 years old. He won't hurt anything that comes into his pen, not even a kitten. Gentle giant and very laid back. Babe plays with the water hose and likes bath time in his private wallow where we keep his pool for cooling. He loves having his belly scratched.

My husband had cancer this last fall. We thought because nobody would come take care of them, we would have to do away with them, but God was gracious to us all. I was able to feed and care for them, and God took care of my husband. Now he is healed and feeding our babies himself.

We keep hearing so much about sustainable homesteading and raising your own. Well we do, but we keep the parents as pets and use the babies as our food source. What we don't need, we sell to pay for the feed.

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Oh by the way, Babe is a wild cross with a Landrace. Both parents were wild born and raised. A feral cross is a very tidy hog and a gentle pet, easier to handle than domestic breeds and much easier to care for. I have a gift with animals, and the wild hogs after a few days will trust me and come to me. I know this is different, but our home until 16 years ago was on 3 thousand acres of woods.

Animals are great therapy and people could learn so much from them. What you read about feral hogs is what people who want to kill or get rid of them want you to know and is not true. Our feral crosses are tagged by the state. The man at the time stated that he had never seen a wild boar get his tusks cleaned until then. We know one day we will lose our 3 darlings, but for now they are a pleasure to have.

When Babe and the girls are in the same pen, you don't even go near him. A water hose and a 10 foot stick is how you handle him. We choose when that is and how long the girls stay. Once he cools down, he is OK again. That is the wild in him and understanding that is what keeps us safe with him.

By gbk from South GA

July 19, 20110 found this helpful

This is so amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story!

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July 19, 20110 found this helpful

Hogs are extremely dangerous, even raised from youngsters. They have the capability to easily kill other animals, and people. What you are told about hogs is true, they are very dangerous. I don't recommend having one as a pet for anyone.

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July 19, 20110 found this helpful

Hope you enjoy your statement as you obviously don't know what you are talking about. I was raised with pet hogs all my life and even had one that did tricks for everyone. Ignorance is why they are so misrepresented today as many other animals and have a bad rap.

Some people feel the same as you do about dogs and cows and horses but that is just their opinion again.

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Like.

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July 22, 20110 found this helpful

I enjoy story about hogs,it goes show what love, caring can do for animal. People own animal knows how handle them what their likes & dislikes are.Most pigs mean but looks like they have 3 not. Just take care of them ok. But be careful any wild animal will turn on you. Ok...Cookie17

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July 24, 20110 found this helpful

Cookie17, you're right about wild animals always have to be treated as wild animals and very seldom are they totally tamed so you live with their wild side too. That is why we do so well with them. I surely don't recommend them to a novice. Not to keep for sure but to raise for meat they are better. The ones we raise for meat we only keep till the following spring or maybe their 2nd year and none of them are even slightly aggressive raised in good conditions. Even when babies they know what not to eat.

Regular hog feed is something Babe has never ate and refuses to eat if you give it to him. We can learn a lot from them. We see hog pens all over the nation and world and usually they are small cramped wet places with their food the waste from our tables but with these we find that only makes them turn to mush. A hog needs shelter also just as he would find in the wild when the weather is bad a hog will, just as any other animal find a safe place to go, but not in a pen we have to give it to them.

With these feral hogs I have found that in their pen they are tidy and poo in one corner unless you don't keep it up. Rooting is a minimum as they are happy. The most rooting is done during the normal cold weather breeding season and he knows the girls are over there. At that time we give him a wide birth but he still requires his petting and care, just have to be cautious.

People don't understand things they don't know so they are afraid of them. That makes for a very bad situation both for the humans and for the animals as humans feel that what they don't know must be killed instead of understanding. I wouldn't recommend that you go get a rattlesnake for a pet but some people do and my dear hubby used to hunt and sell them with his grandfather for money when he was younger. Not me, but he said feral hogs were useless till he met me and I changed his thinking with one little black totally wild sow and her 6 pigs.

Everybody doesn't like these things and that is ok with me but even in their wildest state we can learn from them and thankfully we have. Thanks for all the comments and I am very cautious of our boar because he is who he is. Please also note that I was raised on 160 acres in Florida and we sometimes had 100 or more domestic hogs and my father cared for them like we do so maybe it is in my blood.

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