The Choctaw hog is a breed of domestic pig that originated in the United States of America after Spaniards brought livestock to the area in the sixteenth century. The breed was used by Native Americans and European settlers as well as many others for over three hundred years. During the nineteenth century, the Choctaw people moved into the Oklahoma Territory and in 1830 the government forcibly removed the people of the Five Civilized Tribes into Oklahoma, who brought with them more hogs. The Choctaw hog as it is known today is descended from these pigs and it has undergone little change since the nineteenth century.
The Choctaw hog is slightly small for a domesticated pig breed, reaching an average weight of 120 pounds, and it is distinguished by its toes, which are usually fused together to form a hoof similar to that of a mule. It is thought to share a similar ancestry with the mulefoot breed because of this trait. This breed can also be distinguished by the wattles that often occur on the sides of the neck. It is typically black in color, although many individuals have white markings, and is athletic in build.
Although feral ancestors of Spanish pigs are common, the Choctaw hog is a pure Spanish breed, so it is not classified with feral hogs in the Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge area. The breed is still bred and by the Choctaw people in Oklahoma and are allowed to roam free. It does not require much care from humans and feeds on a variety of food types including acorns, roots, berries, invertebrates, and vegetables.
Choctaw hogs are managed by using trained dogs, typically Catahoula leopard dogs, which round up the pigs for the purpose of earmarking and sorting. Pigs that are chosen to be sold in the market are fed corn to improve the quality of their meat, although the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy does not consider it to be valuable in the meat industry. Because of this, there are no commercial incentives to help conserve the breed, although it is considered to be a rare breed that needs conservation intervention.
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