HOGHOPPER™ bait delivery system
HOGHOPPER™ bait delivery system
The HOGHOPPER™ is designed specifically to prevent non-target animal access. All access points require an animal to lift several kilograms from a prone position. Then whilst holding that position, have a reach of 15cm. Pigs are the only animals in Australia which have that capacity. The HOGHOPPER™ is otherwise sealed, so not even a mouse can enter it.
The pig uses its snout as a shovel, wedge and ram and can lift heavy weights. It is these specific traits that have enabled the HOGHOPPER™ to be used for deployment of toxic material in sensitive ecosystems.
Pig feeding behaviour amenable to HOGHOPPER™ deployment
Pigs have unique attributes that are not possessed by native species. Pigs have reach, snout strength and a natural lifting behaviour, which when coupled with their height and strength, were exploited to design the HOGHOPPER™ bait delivery station. The sliding access door is weighted so that pigs remain the only species in the Australian landscape to access baits from the HOGHOPPER™.
The communal feeding behaviour of pigs is also advantageous when designing a baiting program, especially where a novel feed substrate and delivery mechanism is to be introduced. Pigs are highly neophobic, which means that they avoid new objects and experiences. Using the HOGHOPPER™ requires only one pig from a mob to become familiar and comfortable with it, then the remainder of the group will learn very quickly.
As the door of the HOGHOPPER™ can be locked in an ‘open’ (free-feed) position, pigs easily access non-toxic baits and become familiar with feeding from the HOGHOPPER™. After the door is closed, pigs learn to lift the door to access the baits. The natural curiosity of a pig results in a thorough investigation of the closed door HOGHOPPER™ until the mob has mastered how to lift and access the feed.
The HOGHOPPER™ holds enough bait for several days of baiting, making it suitable for baiting more remote, environmentally sensitive areas with minimal maintenance.
The HOGHOPPER™ was subjected to extensive pen and field testing during its development to ensure an optimum final design. HOGHOPPERS™ were shown to reduce the population of feeding feral pigs by 90-100 percent when delivering either 1080 laced grain or PIGOUT® Feral Pig Bait, respectively. Moreover, the HOGHOPPER™ successfully prevented all non-target species, including even small rodents, from accessing toxic bait.
What is the HOGHOPPER™ made from?
The HOGHOPPER™ is constructed from lightweight aluminium and powder coated. The bolt holes are pre-drilled and door rails reinforced to withstand constant and rough use in the tough Australian environment.
The HOGHOPPER™ consists of two vertically lifted doors on either end, from which the pigs access the bait. These doors have perforations throughout to allow airflow into the bait chamber, so the baits don’t sweat or ferment. On the top, there is a third door opening into a central hopper, where the bait/feed is poured. The central hopper fills both sides of the HOGHOPPER™.
The HOGHOPPER™ is rodent proof as long as all the doors are securely closed.
How heavy is the HOGHOPPER™?
The HOGHOPPER™ weighs about 27kg when empty. It is still vital to ensure the HOGHOPPER™ is appropriately secured to the ground, as pigs (and other livestock) can knock hoppers around or tip them while searching for baits. There are four securing points at ground level through which a star picket or any other type of securing peg can be inserted.
What are the HOGHOPPER™ dimensions?
The HOGHOPPER™ is delivered in a cardboard ‘flat pack’ (72 x 75 x 15 cm). Up to 10 HOGHOPPERS™ fit on a pallet. When constructed, the HOGHOPPER™ is 70cm long x 70cm high x 60cm wide.
How many baits fit in each HOGHOPPER™?
Four pails of PIGOUT® Feral Pig Bait (256 x 250g baits – 64kg of bait material) or 60kg of grain will fit into the hopper of the HOGHOPPER™. The feed chamber slopes to gravity feed baits into each side of the HOGHOPPER™. There should be no sticking of baits to the chamber walls – baits should freely flow.