Well, the number cruncher in me is happy there might be some real way a carnivorous pack of gargun of 1000 or so could live withuot competely destroying the ecology of the area.
And to not sidetrack the "Gargun Behavior" thread, I started a new one.
Found an article of "organic pig raising". Looks as though pigs can live off a small forested area for a long period of time, actually making the soil very rich.
I'd think the pigs would be kept in one "field" or area for a while (a good year), move on to a new one, and cycle through some fields this way, by the time they got back to original field in a few years it would be lush with vegetation.
I'd also think a swarm of pigs and a handful of gargun would quickly drive away the natural denizens of the area, so other wildlife would be rather scarce in the immediate area.
It looks as though a Pig could feed a gargun for 45 days or so if strictly eating the pig for sustenance.
I thik pigs make the most sense for gargun - the don't need meadow or good grazing area - woodlands are absolutely fine for them.
I could see goats as well, they seem to be easy to provide forage for:
Goats are reputed to be willing to eat almost anything, including tin cans and cardboard boxes. While goats will not actually eat inedible material, they are browsing animals, not grazers like cattle and sheep, and (coupled with their natural curiosity) will chew on and taste just about anything resembling plant matter in order to decide whether it is good to eat, including cardboard and paper labels from tin cans. Another possibility is that the goats are curious about the unusual smells of leftover food in discarded cans or boxes.
A domestic goat feeding in a field of capeweed, a weed which is toxic to most stock animalsAside from sampling many things, goats are quite particular in what they actually consume, preferring to browse on the tips of woody shrubs and trees, as well as the occasional broad-leaved plant. However, it can fairly be said that their plant diet is extremely varied, and includes some species which are otherwise toxic. They will seldom consume soiled food or contaminated water unless facing starvation. This is one reason goat rearing is most often free ranging, since stall-fed goat rearing involves extensive upkeep and is seldom commercially viable.
A mixture of goats and pigs would work well IMO for Gargun, they produce more young than cows.
Goats also provide milk, more goats milk is consumed in the world than cows milk. For Gargun, this gives them a somewhat renewable source of food.
Only problem with goats is that they are diurnal, not nocturnal, so herding goats is something the gargun may not be the best at, most likley this job falls to the Arak if part of a hybrid gagrgun complex.
A modern goat though produces about 4 cups of milk a day. If we make production less for a middle ages gargun goat may 2 cups, the goats are producing about 320 calories a day, lactating abut 300 days per year, so if you have 100 goats they provide sustenenance by milk for about 4800 "gargun days", or enough to fully feed 13 gargun for a year.
Add these animal to hunting and you have a pretty good food supply for the gargun.
One thought - A gargun population of 1000 would need to slaughter about 8000 pigs/goats per year if existing strictly on the meat of these animals. A herd of 2000 female goats would provide milk for about 30% of the caloric needs of a complex of 1000 gargun.
If you have Hunters providing 35% of the needed food as per Mr. Watson's article, you know have provided for 65% of the needs of the complex, so they would need to slaughter about 2800 pigs or goats a year.
Not sure how much of a herd you need to slaughter this many and keep the population steady, I'd guess at least double? Or about 5600 animals?
One thought I have here - the Gargun would likley drive the pigs out at night, bring them back to pens out of the sun during the day, ot at least where the watchers would be out of the sun, very close to the cave complex.
I would think the pens might be like the modern mass produced pig farms. I read that a pig gets about a 6 square foot pen in some of these, so a 60' by 100' roughly pen area could hold 1000 pigs.
Gargun might be the inventors of modern industrial farming
I could also see the gargun having the constitution to eat spoiled meat with little ill effect - may not taste great to them, but they can eat it without a problem. Makes those nasty little buggers more gargun like to me
Another thought - Mac's "gargun beer" would be a major production if giving the gargun 4 cups of it a day on average. Daily consumption of a lair of 1000 would need to produce 250 gallons of this stuff a day to meet those requirements.
I almost see the interior of a gargun lair like the interior of a pirate ship - with the sailors drinking their rum or grog in their spare time.....maybe that's why gargun ML's are kind of low - they are always drunk
I think it might be of interest though to come up with something along the lines of Harn manor for the requirements in labor and kind to sustain a gargun population in this manner.
The one big difference I see between a gargun complex and a human village - very high centralized concentration of gargun and their foodstuffs compared to humans. The livestock, even with the low acreage requirements of pigs and sheep would probably need 1000 acres+ to forage, and with a "rotational system" because of the pigs destruction of the habitat (though they make it a great area for new plant growth), you are probably looking at a few thousand acres around a gargun lair at various stages of deforestation and regrowth.
I would think the approach to a gargun lair though if designed like this would be interesting. You get to the "pastureland" areas, in the day no pigs out, but some gargun goat herders, with pig plowed fields in various stages, then well before you get to the lair you smell the pig pens, with a huge amount of pigs in a small area, the manure and other gasses almost giving it a toxic smell.
Sounds good for gargun!