Status of the European Wild Boar Project
Management Report No. 6
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Swine have a very narrow tolerance range for immobilizing drugs. Rompon is the suggested drug for use on swine by the Palmer Chemical and Equipment Co., Atlanta, Georgia. M-99 is the most desirable drug due to its quick action and antagonist (R. Conley pers. corres.), but the drug can be hard to obtain.

Matschke (1962) reported that 500 mg per 15 lbs. of body weight of Cap-Chur-Barb (Palmer Chemical and Equipment Co.) will immobilize a hog within 20-40 minutes, rendering immobilization for a minimum of 3 hours. A total of 105 trapped hogs were immobilized without mortality. Succinylcholine chloride has a very narrow safety margin for European wild hogs; in only 35 percent of the experimental cases were hogs successfully immobilized (Matschke and Henry 1969).


Crown-rump length and weight are the most useful aging techniques for the fetus (Giong 1973; Henry 1968). Field indications of fetal age are provided in Table 1 (Henry 1968). The number of teats in use is a good indicator of the number of young which a sow has (Sludski 1956).


30 Appendages present, mouth open, eye apparent
33 Toes present, small underdeveloped ear present with opening.
40 Nostrils open, ear still small and underdeveloped, embryonic appearance lost.
50 Hooves present, eyelids present, teats visible, ear very small in proportion to body, but all other external structures present in same proportion as when born, embryonic paunch gone.
60 Ears proportioned to body; hooves long and upturned; hair follicles apparent around snout, eyebrows, and chin.
70 Hair on chin and eyebrows 1-2 mm long and white; dark pigmentation around snout and legs.
80 Teeth present; hair on chin, snout, eyebrows, and cheek 3 mm or less in length and dark in color; hair on end of tail; ears and mid-line of back darkly pigmented.
90 Hair on chin, snout, eyebrows and cheek 6-10 mm long; hair follicles apparent over entire body; mid-line of back heavily pigmented; teeth readily apparent.
100 Scantily haired over entire body, longitudinal body stripes present.
110 Fully haired over entire body, body stripes readily apparent.

Table l. Field indicators for age of fetus in the European wild boar (Henry 1968; 968).

The time and order of tooth eruption and replacement is a reliable indicator of age for wild boar under 26 months of age (Matschke 1967; Giong 1973) (Figure 4). Animals over 26 months are more difficult to age. Russian workers establish age through tooth wear patterns similar to techniques used on white-tailed deer and elk in North America. Keiss (1969), however, found only 50 percent agreement between the elk wear and eruption technique when compared to the more accurate cementum annuli technique.

Figure 4. Dental characteristics of wild board up to 26 months of age (Matschke 1967).

Eye lens weight shows the greatest possible for aging animals over 26 months (Henson 1975), but it may be altered by nutritional levels (Matschke 1963). Cementum annuli were not detected in tooth sections (Henson 1975).

A combination of tooth wear patterns and eye lens weight will be employed in this study to age boar older than 26 months, until better techniques are developed. Long-term marking of boar in conjunction with the control program should provide a base of known-age animals for further refinement of techniques. All jaws of animals over 26 months in age will be collected and retained.

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Last Updated: 24-Aug-2009