Supplemental Feeding

Supplemental feeding of many species of wildlife is done more and more everyday by animal lovers including outdoorsman. The feeding, whether by automatic feeders, troughs or spreading feed on the groung can have a positive effect on wildlife, even those that the feed is not intended for. The use of supplemental feeding increases life span, body weight, growth rate and also improves overall health and increases reproductive productivity. With the increase in food supply also comes the benefit of an increased carrying capacity of the area.

If you are a boar hunter who is planning to begin a year round supplemental Silverbackfeeding program, you need to consider a few key points first. Wild hogs are more of a browser than a grazer and have an extremely varied diet. Although food plots aren't technically supplemental feeding when it comes to deer, we will still discuss it here. Deciding what to plant for hogs doesn't mean just throwing out seed that you would for deer. When planning a food plot that is designed to supplementally feed swild boars and sows protein content should be the number one consideration. Plants such as peas, soybeans and corn are all good choices for wild boars. These plants are high in protein and will provide good high quality feed for a whole host of wildlife species.

Another crop to consider is peanuts. They are a lot harder to plant but hogs love them and they are high in protein and fats. Peanuts also have the big advantage in that the hogs don't have to share them. Most other animals can't really get to the peanuts nearly as efficiently as rooting hogs can.

Food plots can be as big or as small as you like and cost and available equipment will be the limiting factors for most. But generally speaking the more the better but don't take it to the extreme because the surrounding woods will have to support the hogs between crops.

While some choose food plots, many others choose find it easier to simply build feeding stations. Dropping feed straight from the bag. This can and should be done year round but you can cut back when other natural food sources are at their peaks, usually in the spring and fall. Corn is probably the most popular supplemental feed used for wild boars because it is relatively cheap, easy to spread and super easy to get.

Altough corn is a good choice you might want to consider some other grains that are better from a nutrietional stand point like grains such as as peas or soybeans. Another newer choice is commercial feed pellets that are developed with supplemental feeding in mind. Yet another choice you may not have thought of is cheap dry dog food which is an excellent choice.

Yet another consideration is how to distribute the feed. Best is the spin type feeders. They are best because they can regulate the amount of feed put out each day. This allows the hunter to know how long it is likely to be before he must return to fill the feeder. This prevents a feeding station from going through feed dry spells and can bring down the cost.

Low troughs can also be used but care must be taken to set them up so that the younger hogs can feed from the trough as well as the adult hogs.

Finally, there is the long term management practice of planting or transplanting trees that will produce mast that will benefit hogs in the future. Trees such as pecans, oak, almond, and walnut will all add incredibly to the protein intake of any wild boar sounder. Fruit trees such as apple, pear, peach, persimmon, or plum will also provide hogs with many pounds of food throughout the years to come. They will also act as an attractant for wild game as the smell of their ripening fruits are carried away by the breeze. Planting trees may take many years to see results that greatly benefit your boars, but measures taken today will benefit the trophy boars of tomorrow.

If you want to grow mega size boars with mega size tusk, then supplemental feeding is a basic building block. Adding an extra food source to your boars' diet will increase both body weight, herd size and will improve overall trophy numbers.

Article Courtesy of Cody Weiser

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