The wild boar lives in a family party that has a territory of 10 - 20 sq km but in the autumn, family groups come together to form herds of up to 50 females and youngsters. 


Wild Boar Habits

Territory: the wild boar lives in a family party that has a territory of 10 - 20 sq km but in the autumn, family groups come together to form herds of up to 50 females and youngsters. The group is known as a sounder, led by an older sow, and its members feed, rest and sleep together. The young male forms a bachelor group but the older male remains solitary, joining up with females in the autumn mating season. Once mated, he will once again live alone.

Daily life: a wild boar searches for food mainly at dawn and dusk, rooting amongst the leaf litter and damp soil of open woodlands with its toughened snout. It has a keen sense of smell and will eat almost anything! Its main diet consists of plant material but it will happily gobble up any animals it can catch.

Wild boars like to live near mud wallows - a shallow muddy pool of water. This wallowing is an important routine, helping to remove parasites, keeping them cool in the heat and protecting the sensitive skin from the sun's harmful rays. Domestic pigs like to wallow, if allowed to do so.

A den is used for resting and sleeping. A boar often makes a shelter by cutting long grass and crawling under it to lift it so that it becomes entangled with the tall plants around to form canopies. Wild boars communicate with each other using a wide range of grunts, squeaks and chirrups. They grunt a lot when feeding - a loud grunt is a warning to others.

Breeding: wild boars are sexually mature at 18 months of age, but a male will not usually mate until he is about four years old. During the autumn mating season, the male joins a herd of females and fights any male who challenges his position. Fighting boars use their tusks to slash at each other's shoulders. Despite their thick skin and coarse layer of hair on the shoulders, deep wounds are sometimes inflicted. After mating, the boar leaves the herd, taking no part in rearing the young.

After a gestation period of 112 - 115 days a litter of 3 - 12 piglets is born in the spring. The sow prepares for the birth by constructing a nest of grass and the babies are born into this. The mother has 8 - 14 teats and each piglet has its own teat from which to suckle. The first piglets born choose a teat near their mother's head so that they have a better chance of attracting her attention and are less likely to be trodden on. The piglets are born with stripes and these help to camouflage them in the undergrowth. The litter stays in the nest for about 10 days and then the family moves off, joining up with previous litters. The young are suckled for about 12 weeks before they are completely weaned onto food which they find while rooting around with their mother. Their coats become a dull, dun colour at about 6 months and they will stay with their mother until at least the next litter is born. At one year old their coats are a rich black-brown and they reach full size at 5 - 6 years of age.

Read More: Wild Boars and Humans

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