All About KuneKunes
What Vaccines Do I Give my KuneKunes? What size needles do I use? Where do I give the shots?
I use Ivomec Injectable for Swine for a wormer every 6 months.
I use RhiniShield TX4 injectable every 6 months which covers an array of diseases.
I follow the directions on the label for dosage amounts.
I give piglets their shots at 5 and 7 weeks of age.
What do I use for KuneKune shelter?
My father builds all of my pig shelters.
Each are filled with green hay which not only serves as bedding but also a food source.
I use plastic carpet protectors and mattress pads to keep the wind and rain out.
What do I clean my fields with and how often?
Kunekunes mostly defecate around the fence lines of their enclosures and rarely defecate in their shelters.
In my small fields I clean up every other day using a small rake, handled garbage container and muck bucket.
In my large fields, I allow the manure to fertilize.
What type of heat lamps do I use for my piglets and for how long?
I use Safety Heat Lamps. You can literally hold them by the bottom in your hand!
I use heat lamps for the first 3 days all of the time. If the outside temperature is 80 or above I turn them off. I drop 10 degrees a week until 6 weeks and then use them only at night until 7 weeks.
How do I introduce new piglet/sows/gilts to my current herd?
First of all I quarantine ALL new pigs coming onto my property for 30 days. This means no nose touching and no walking through my current pig paddocks. I use a quarantine lot.
I also re-vaccinate and deworm before their feet hit the ground of my property.
After the quarantine period I allow them on a fence line together and after 3 days I put the pigs together. This is for sows and piglets. There will be some tussling but generally it is over with pretty fast. I try to make the area as large as possible and feed during introduction for distraction purposes. I also take vaseline and apply to ears, tails and waddles.
Pregnant Gilts / Sows
Kunekunes go into standing heat approximately every 21 days - you will notice that their vulvas swell slightly.
Kunekunes are in pig for approximately 116 days instead of the traditional 114 days of the average hog.
I use an app on my phone and also a gestation wheel to calculate approximate due dates. When using these tools remember to add 2 days to the due date due to Kunekunes 116 gestation.
There are times when I do not actually see a breeding but know the date the sow was in heat and I use this date as the conception date as long as the pig misses the next heat cycle.
Sow/Gilts tend to get a Half Moon Shape to underside of their bellies about 2 1/2 to 3 months into their pregnancies.
I move my girls into the farrowing quarters 1 to 2 weeks prior to their due date so that they can get used to their new surroundings.
About 2 weeks or so before farrowing, the pigs vulva will begin to swell and continue to get larger the closer she gets to farrowing. To me right before farrowing it looks the size of a tennis ball cut in half. You will notice her teats getting elongated and a milk line starting to form during this time as well. A few days before farrowing you will notice that her muscles are relaxing and the babies have dropped. At about this time the sides of her vulva will relax as well and almost look raisin like - wrinkly. 12 to 24 hours before farrowing most but not all Sows/Gilts will have milk that can be expressed.
You will know when the Sow is starting labor by her breathing as well as pawing the straw and making a nest. She might also bite and the crush rails. They tend to be restless at first but then they will settle down and begin to push. There will be fluid leaking from their vulvas an hour to six hours prior to the arrival of the first piglet. I have girls that lay down for all of their piglets and I have girls that get up between every piglet. I have girls that will farrow an entire litter in an hour and others that have a piglet every 30 minutes or so. Every labor and every sow is different.
After all the piglets are born, the afterbirth will come. This can take up to 2 hours in my experience. Pigs have to horns to their uterus and each horn has an inner and outer sac so there potentially can be 4 afterbirths if the sacs separate. I remove the afterbirth due moms eating it and I feel it is a choking hazard. To make removing afterbirth easier, I place a dust pan under the moms vulva to catch the afterbirth and I then inspect and discard it.
You will notice when the piglets are born that the mom will be very vocal talking to them. This is normal behavior she is communicating with her piglets. This continues until weaning.
I do not cut baby teeth. I do cut umbilical cords at 6 hours of age.
I do a shot of 1/2 cc of iron at 3 days old IF the piglets are not outside rooting around.
I use shallow water bowls so that there is no chance of a piglet drowning and water dishes are outside. This also allows that piglets to start drinking water with no danger when they are ready.
I increase feed immediately after farrowing to 6 8oz cups twice a day. I increase a cup a week starting at 3 weeks of age. The sow also has access to green hay for bedding which she will also eat as well as grass.
At 3 weeks of age I put a small bowl with pellets in the piglets area with the heat lamp so that they can begin to eat pellets. They will also eat pellets with their mom at feeding times.
I wean dry turkey between 7 and 9 weeks of age depending on how the piglets are eating, the piglets size and the sows condition.
Keeping Kunekunes Cool because they do not sweat
KuneKunes do not sweat. It is very important to provide them with shade and a mud hole. I do use some baby pools but mud is better for protection against insects and provides protection against the sun. If your Kunekunes try to drink out to the mud holes you can add vinegar - this will also keep the bugs down in the mud holes. For shade I use Wind Sails and also fruit trees! The fruit trees are multi purpose :)
BOARS HOUSING & TUSK TRIMMING
I get a lot of question about whether or not i house my boars together.
I started out keeping my boars in separate fields with a barrow for companionship. As my herd started to grow and I added new boar lines, I started fielding boars together. I did this when they were young and had not bred so that they would grow up together and this eliminated fighting. When I breed I have an adjoining field that I put the boar I am breeding in with the sow/gilt. It is for this reason that I also keep a barrow in the field that I house more than one boar in. I personally do not put sow/gilts in with more than one boar - I have planned breedings and do not wish to have split litters.
I do not trim tusks but if you choose to your vet can do this for you.
BARROWS - Pets & Harvesting
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HOW to get YOUR NEW PIG HOME
Understanding AKKPS Pedigrees and How KunesKunes are named
What are my responsibilities as a breeder?
I take my responsibility of a breeder very seriously. It is my duty to my clients to be there to help them DURING the sale AND AFTER. I am a mentor to several of my clients which I am told is extremely helpful.
I send weekly pictures and or videos.
Following the rules of AKKPS, it is my responsibility to register and transfer all pigs in a timely manner which includes DNA and microchipping as well as the actual registration / transfer paperwork.
WATER & FOOD BOWLS
What Guards My KuneKunes?
Tango and Magnet my two mini donkeys guard and live with my herd. I do not have a guardian dog at this time but that will be a possibility in the future.
WHY the name RED ROOF KUNEKUNES?
Our home has a bright metal Red Roof and was built in 1798.
Trimming Hooves & Belly Rubs
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What are NO NO NO for KuneKunes - Food and Behaviors
NO NO NO FOOD
Any fruit or veggie that is moldy
NO NO NO BEHAVIOR
Feeding from your hand
Allowing a Boar to Rub Against you or be pushy
Screaming for Feed
What is the breeding age for KuneKunes? Gilts & Boars
Gilts - I start to CONSIDER breeding gilts at 1 year of age. I consider their maturity and size and make my decision. Gilts come into their first heat cycle around 8 months of age and are capable of breeding at that point.
Boars - Boars can breed as early as 6 or 7 months but typically they have it all together around a year old. Boars testicles sometimes do not fully drop until 1 1/2 years old.
I separate any gilts and boars at 6 month old to be on the safe side.