Determining the age of wild pigs
The age of pigs can be estimated by the eruption sequence of the molar teeth up to 42 months, with a
good degree of accuracy. This is fortunate because, in most situations, between 60-80 per cent of the wild
pig harvest will be less than 48 months of age.
For older pigs age can be determined by wear estimations,
while these are less accurate, they can still provide good survey information.
The tooth eruption sequence in New Zealand’s wild pigs is described in a Land care Research paper
published in 1992, A Comparison of Tooth Eruption and Wear and Dental Cementum Techniques in Age
Determination of New Zealand Feral Pigs.
Some 2000 pig jaws were examined in this comprehensive study.
Elements of this paper and the authors’ field experience are presented here in a photographic chart form
to assist field workers to age pig jaws for wildlife survey work.