What Do Boars Eat?

Written by Volia Schubiger
Published: February 11, 2022
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Wild boars are one of the most widespread animals on the planet. This is because boars have an amazing capacity to adapt to a wide range of conditions and habitats. They have a native range that includes Western Europe, eastern Japan, and Indonesian rainforests. Northern Africa and western Asia are all also home to wild boars. While they are native to Europe and Asia, they are not to America. This makes them an invasive species. 

The global number of wild boars, often known as feral pigs, is unknown. In the United States, wild boars can be found in roughly 35 different states. 

As an invasive species in the United States, you may be wondering, so what do boars eat? Throughout this post, we will look at the food of wild boars as well as other interesting facts about these feral pigs. 

What Do Boars Eat?

What Do Boars Eat

A Wild Boar

©Richard Bartz, Munich Makro Freak / CC BY-SA 2.5, Wikimedia Commons – License

Wild boars eat a diet that consists of plants, vegetables, insects, and other foods. They are predominately omnivores, more specifically omnivorous opportunists. This is because they will feed on both plants and animals. Having had to live in drastically changing surroundings, wild boars have had to adapt to eating many different types of flowers and plants. They are definitely not what you would call a picky eater. They are happy to snack on anything that might pass by them. It’s not out of character for them to eat a lizard, rodent, insect, or even snake

Here is a list of some of the plants, fruits, and crops a wild boar will consume:

  • Grass
  • Acorns
  • Roots
  • Bulbs
  • Fungi
  • Potatoes
  • Cantaloupe
  • Wheat
  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Oats

When it comes to animals, these are the most common ones a wild boar will eat:

Boars will consume tree bark and mushrooms, as well as visit planted potato and artichoke fields if usual wild foods become limited. It has been observed that boar soil disturbance and foraging accelerate the spread of invasive plants. Although it does not happen often, there has been at least one recorded case of a pack of wild boars attacking, killing, and eating an adult, healthy female axis deer

As we can see, the diversity of foods that wild boars will consume helps them to adapt and thrive practically anyplace.

How Much Do Boars Need To Eat?

A wild boar’s stomach can accommodate 5 to 8 quarts of food, and they consume roughly 5% of their whole body weight when they feed. Boars may adjust to being diurnal or nocturnal depending on their environment. During the summer, boars begin their quest for food at dawn and dusk, as they shift to become nocturnal in order to avoid the intense sun rays. Because wild boars lack sweat glands, they prefer to sleep during the day and hunt at night in the summertime.

How Do Wild Boars Forage for Food?

Baby wild boars are called piglets.

©Hajotthu, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License

Now that we understand what boars eat, let’s take a look at how they go about finding their food. 

Their snouts have an excellent sense of smell, which they utilize to burrow and scavenge underground for a variety of foods. They are regarded as pests in certain locations around the world because they use their rubber-like snouts as miniature digging tools. This in turn ruins the farmlands and fields as they consume all the flora. Wild boars communicate with one another using a variety of grunts and chirps, almost as if they had their own language. During eating, they tend to grunt a lot.

What Are The Wild Boars Predators?

The wild boar has an extremely long list of predators based on the region. 

Here is a list to name a few:

Humans are one of the most dangerous predators of wild boars. Boar hunting is a very popular activity that many people from various countries and regions enjoy. Wild boars are hunted for their meat, but they are also slaughtered because they damage ecosystems and are invasive species in certain locations. Hunting dogs are a typical method employed by people to catch wild boars.

Are Wild Boars Dangerous To People?

Wild boars can attack humans and in some cases, such attacks are fatal.

©4028mdk09, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License

Wild boars are unquestionably dangerous to humans. Approximately 15% of wild boar assaults over the years were deadly. Not only are wild boars extremely violent, but they may also transmit illnesses such as TB, hepatitis, and influenza to people. They have extremely short-fused tempers. A wild boar will remain calm if you are watching from a distance, but if the pig feels intimidated by your presence, they will attack.

Female boars, in particular, are known to have exceptionally short tempers because they are fiercely protective of their young. Wild boars may weigh anywhere from 100 pounds to over 400 pounds. They have razor-sharp tusks that they employ to protect themselves against predators, in addition to their enormous size and power. Wild boars will charge you repeatedly, using their enormous tusks to smash you until you are on the ground.

How Do Boars Impact Other Species And The Ecosystem?

Wild boars are considered an invasive species, particularly in the United States. Since they are opportunists and will eat practically anything, they greatly impact endangered species by rummaging through their nests. 

They will eat the eggs of birds, reptiles, and other endangered creatures. In addition to impacting endangered species and their habitats, wild boars also carry diseases they inherit from wallowing in mud to control their body temperature. They then pass these diseases onto these other animals. Wallowing also contributes to the damage of shrubs and trees because wild boars brush and toss bugs onto them.

One of the most significant ways that wild boars impact the ecology is that they may physically change the environment. Boars are a disadvantage in a variety of ways, including affecting water quality, modifying plant composition, and influencing forest development, resulting in a drop in the number of trees. When wild boars trample, root, and destroy for food, they contribute to the extinction of over 100 species of animals and plants.

Feral boars also have an influence on farmers and fields, rooting and digging up nearly all crops and eating whatever they can find. When they dig up dirt with their snouts, they disturb the regular chemistry of nutrient cycling in the soil, causing it to change. This rooting might also have a negative impact on soil quality. Animals native to certain places may suffer as well, as wild boars will begin to compete with them for food and water, disturbing the entire food chain balance.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © vlod007 / CC BY 2.0, Flickr – License / Original

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About the Author

Volia Schubiger is a freelance copywriter and content editor with a passion and expertise in content creation, branding, and marketing. She has a background in Broadcast Journalism & Political Science from CUNY Brooklyn College. When she's not writing she loves traveling, perusing used book stores, and hanging out with her other half.

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