RED ROOF KUNEKUNES
What color combinations do KuneKunes come in and what color KuneKunes do we breed?
KuneKunes come in many colors!
Ginger / Black - more Ginger than Black
Ginger / Brown
Brown / Ginger - more Brown than Ginger
Black / Ginger - more Black than Ginger
Black / White - more Black than White
White / Black - more White than Black
Brown / White - more Brown than White
White / Brown - more White than Brown
Tri - Ginger, Black with white underbelly and feet
Red Roof KuneKunes breeds all of the recognized colors of KuneKunes with the exception of the Gold Tip as there are no registered ones known in the United States.
The brown piglets can sometimes have juvenile striping called Agouti in their coats. This striping looks like ginger is in their coats. While the striping is beautiful, the stripes fade and are often gone as early as 8 weeks.
Often it is very difficult to tell the difference between brown and black when the piglets reach one year of age and beyond!
AKKPS color chart http://www.americankunekunepigsociety.com/page-1861804
What do I feed my KuneKunes and how much?
I feed Blue Seal Pig and Sow but I will sub out with Purina Nature's Match occasionally.
Winter / Fall Feeding
2 cups twice a day along with green hay for bedding which they will eat
Fruites and Veggies as available
Spring / Summer
1.5 cups twice a day along with green hay for bedding which they will eat
Fruites and Veggies as available
1 cup = 8 ounces
1 quart = 4 8oz cups
What are the NO's for KuneKunes?
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 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.
Below is a video of one of my sows in labor and nesting.
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 :)
There are many types of fencing that work great for KuneKune pigs. Here at Red Rood KuneKunes we use hog panels, t-posts, pulled wire and wooden posts. I have not experimented with electric fencing only because all of my land is already fenced.
EMERGENCY FENCING MUST HAVES
ASSORTMENT OF ZIP TIES
PEN & PAPER
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, Companion for other Kunes & Harvesting
Barrows are neutered boars. Usually I neuter boars when their conformation does not meet my personal breeding standards and I will offer them for sale as pets or for harvesting.
Barrows have 3 main purposes in my herd.
1 - Pets
2- Companionship for another KuneKune
3- Harvesting for Meat
I use barrows in my boar paddocks as a companion for each of my boars when they do not have a female in with them. They can also be used as a companion for sows/gilts if you only have one female!
HOW to get YOUR NEW PIG HOME
There are 3 options for getting your Pig home.
1- Pick Up at Red Roof KuneKunes - I arrange a date and time for you to come pick up your pig. Piglets are ready to go home between 8 and 10 weeks of age. Please bring a large dog crate with you with hay bedding when you pick your piglet up as I do not supply hay or crates.
2-Shipping Via Airline - If you choose Air, I will get your closest airport which is a United PetSafe Airport. I make reservations for your pig and deliver the pig to the airport. The cost for shipping is about $350 for 1 piglet and $440 for 2 piglets around 8 weeks of age. This cost includes a crate, water/food dishes and their airline ticket. If a CVI is required there is an additional cost that is billed at cost. I do not charge to transport your piglet to the airport. Air transport is very safe and fast way to get your piglet. The airline assures that the piglets are in the appropriate temperature and they are in the cargo portion of the plane that is pressurized the same as for humans.
3- Ground Transport - I have several people that I use for ground transport within 4 hours of Red Roof KuneKunes and I arrange these transports. The cost to the buyer for this transport is dependent on the number of pigs and if you are sharing transport with another client of mine. I also have names of cross country transporters that I can put clients in touch with and also can help clients arrange the transport.
Understanding AKKPS Pedigrees and How KunesKunes are named
A Pedigree holds all the information that you will need to have on your pig in order to run a COI, compare a pedigree to a potential mate, enter a litter notification, inout a DNA request with UC Davis and much more.
Notice on the Pedigree that the sex of the pig determines its line. For Example a Wilson's Gina Sow and a Mahia Love Boar - all the gilts born in this litter will be Wilson's Ginas and all the boars born in the litter will be Mahia Loves.
The AKKPS Registrar issues a litter notification assigning names and numbers (the breeder does not do this) based on the information provided by the breeder when they litter notify with AKKPS.
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 many 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.
A REGISTERED KUNEKUNE BREEDERS RESPONSIBLITIES - MANDATORY AND BY CHOICE
By: Caroline Malott
When I first began breeding KuneKunes I was fortunate enough to have a truly great mentor. Six plus years later we are great friends and often bounce issues, ideas and questions off of each other. Without a mentor I would have been lost when I first started breeding KuneKunes. This is the reason I am writing this article in hopes that others will have the experience that I have had from the start. I quickly learned my breeder went above and beyond her required responsibilities and offered a lot of extra help which was a bonus that I never expected! No book or internet chat room can replace the personal knowledge that comes from someone with experience - especially when it is a one on one conversation.
A breeder is more than someone who sells you a cute piglet! There are many responsibilities that are required of them by the registry to get you a registered KuneKune pig. There are other responsibilities which are not required by the registry but many breeders including myself require it of themselves.
A good first step for someone looking to purchase a KuneKune is to join the registry. There is a lot of great information as well as access to the herd book and a COI feature that is offered. The COI (Coefficient of Inbreeding) feature allows you to run a trial breeding for the two pigs that you choose. Your breeder can help you learn to work this herd book feature or run the breeding for you. You do not have to be a current KuneKune owner to join!
When looking for a piglet look within and outside of your area for a reputable breeder. Look at both the breeders list and the membership list to verify that the breeder is a current member. If you choose a breeder that is not close to you there are a lot of transportation options if you can not personally pick your piglet up - ground shipping and air. The breeder should be more than happy to help you set up transportation within their schedule. Purchasing your KuneKune is a big investment - close and/or cheap will not necessarily get you the piglet that you will be happy with long term! Communicate with the breeders that you are considering. Ask lots and lots of questions. Ask for pictures and videos of both the piglet you are considering and also of the parents. Ask to see the parents pedigrees. If a breeder is not willing to spend time talking and emailing with you move on to another breeder. The breeder you choose is going to be the key to succeeding with your KuneKunes when you are first getting started! Remember you are trusting them to register your pig for you as well as take care of it properly.
Another great step before purchasing a pig is to set up a farm visit to personally visit KuneKunes if you have never been around them in person. Even if this involves travel it is well worth not only meeting KuneKunes in person but seeing a farms set up for them. You will be very surprised by the number of questions you will have during this visit and how many ideas you come up with for your own farm!
Okay so lets talk about the minimum required of a breeder to register a piglet.
- The breeder must own pigs that are fully registered (not pet registered) within the same registry.
- The breeder must own the sow at the time of farrowing. The breeder is not required to own the boar of the litter.
- Only the breeder/owner of the sow at the time of farrowing can register the piglets.
- The breeder must first do a litter notification either on line or via mail. Once this has been submitted the registrar will return the submission with assigned names and numbers which will be used during the rest of the registration process.
- The breeder pulls hairs and submits them to UC Davis for DNA Parent verification.
- The breeder must microchip/tattoo/ear tag the piglets.
- The final step once all of the above is done is to register the piglets to the new owner.
Wow! Those are quite a few steps and a lot of organized dedication to get a piglet registered but that is the required responsibility of a breeder! All of this should be done is a very timely manner. I try to have papers mailed to my clients with in a month of pig delivery!
In the case of transferring a pig the current owner must transfer the pig on line or via mail or there is the option of the owner filling out the transfer form found on the AKKPS website and attaching the original registration pedigree and the new owner can submit via regular mail.
So those are the minimum / basic requirements of a breeder to sell a registered piglet but what about all of the other services and responsibilities that go along with selling a piglet but are not necessarily a requirement but the choice of the breeder.
A reputable breeder should help you with pedigrees and choosing pigs that will compliment each other and your program. The breeder should ask you questions about your goals - not assume their goals are your goals. This piglet purchase is about what you want to accomplish within your herd. The breeder should listen to you and offer helpful solutions and suggestions. The breeder may or may not use the COI feature of the herd book but should explain to you that this is an optional feature. There are many different farm goals such as breeding for meat animals, breeding for breeding/show stock, breeding for grazing animals/pets, etc. The breeder should be knowledgable of the different lines of KuneKunes as well as the breed standards. They should be able to explain to you how to read a pedigree and what each portion of it means.
Once you have picked a breeder and then in turn picked a piglet make sure that you get a contract. Contracts are very important to make sure agreements are extremely clear. The excitement of getting a new pig can make it easy to forget pertinent information and a contract will contain that information for both you and the breeder to refer back to. My contract is multi purpose. I call it the Take Home Form. This form contains all of the information needed - the clients information, the sale price, the deposit amount and method, the parents information, the piglets information, shot record, feed information, notes from the client, and transportation information. The form is started as soon as the deposit is placed on the pig and is constantly updated until the piglet goes home. I email a copy of this form with in 24 hours of receiving a deposit. It is a great reference for the breeder and gives the client reassurance on their purchase.
A reputable breeder should be more than willing to help you after the piglets go to your home if you choose to take advantage of this help. They should check in with you periodically to make sure everything is going smoothly and ask if you need any questions answered. During these conversations the breeder should verify that you have received your registration papers. The breeder should be available to answer questions when it is time to breed your pigs if that is part of your plan. They should be willing to help you walk through the registration process for the first time if help is needed.
Not every breeder has the same practices and not all breeders have the same amount of time to devote to clients. Make sue that when you pick a breeder you are picking one that works for you! There are a lot of great breeders and finding the one that clicks with you will be your most valuable tool in being successful with your KuneKunes. I hope that this article will help new KuneKune owners find a reputable, dependable breeder and I also hope this will help current breeders with new and fresh ideas for their clients.
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
You should check your KuneKunes hooves every 6 months and trim when necessary. We use goat hoof trimmers from Tractor Supply. It is helpful to have someone give a good belly rub while you do the hoof trimming. I have attached links to 2 great videos on hoof trimming!
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.
Boar - Intact Male
Gilt - Female Pig that has never had piglets
Sow - Female Pig that has had a litter of piglets
Barrow - Neutered Male
In Pig - Pregnant Pig
Farrowing - The act of Pigs having piglets
Split Litter - More than one Sire to a litter
Co-Farrowing - Two or More moms raising a litter of piglets together
Line Breeding / In Breeding - Breeding animals that are closely related
COI - a mathematical technique to determine how closely pigs are related
In Heat - the 3 day time frame in a sow/gilts cycle where she is ovulating
Standing Heat - the 24 hour time frame when a sow/gilt will stand for a boar to breed her
Wattles - KuneKunes have 0,1 or 2 of these hanging under their chins
Top Line - the top part of the pigs back
Tail Set - the height of the tail
Snout - nose
Pet Pig - a pig that does not meet confirmation requirements and is deemed pet quality
Breeding / Show Pig - a pig that meets confirmation standards
Homesteading Pig - a pig which is close to meeting confirmation standards but is used for pork production from its offspring