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Basic Care of KuneKune Pigs

Below are some basic care tips. There is much that goes into keeping a healthy herd. As your breeder, I will provide you with personalized care instructions and always be available to advise and guide you. 


FEED: Pigs need access to green pastures. In the summer, supplement grazing with 1 cup of premium pig pellet twice a day. In the winter, increase to 2 cups twice daily. Black oil sunflower seeds are a great way to help with skin care. Fresh fruits and veggies are always welcome. They are pigs - you shouldn't have any food waste in your home anymore. 


WATER: Pigs drink a lot of water each day. Be sure to have large tubs and tanks available to pigs that they can reach with their little stumpy legs. You should provide clean drinking water every day to your pigs. In the summer, pigs need access to shade and a wallow - this can be a wet mud pit or a baby pool with water. Pigs use mud to keep them cool and protect their skin, so make sure you are up for mud baths! Sun shades or tree shade are important to help keep the temperatures down and keep water cool.  


SHELTER: Pigs need to be provided with a dry, draft-free shelter year round. Three-sided shelters can be okay if you don't have harsh winters. We made shelters out of pallets and then covered with plywood. They do not need to be lockable or fully enclosed, but they should shield pigs from the wind, rain, and snow. They should have deep hay that is kept fresh. 


HEALTH: For the most part, these pigs are very self sufficient and healthy. You will need to able to vaccinate your pigs regularly. Pigs need to be vaccinated against a variety of respiratory illnesses with Rhini Shield TX4. Breeding pigs should also be vaccinated with Farrowsure Gold. Pigs will also need to be dewormed with Ivermectin at least twice a year (or as incidents arise). Occasionally, you will need to trim hooves. Other supplies to have handy are BlueKote for minor wounds and a tub of Corona Ointment for bites, scrapes, and bumps. 


FARROWING: If you choose to breed your pigs, you will need establish farrowing quarters so your sow can farrow in a safe environment. This should have crush rails and a heat lamp for the piglets. Typically, you will separate the sow and her litter from the rest of your herd during this time, so be prepared to have additional shelters and paddocks in place. Piglets will need iron supplements on day 3 of life. There is much to learn when you breed pigs, but Mother Nature does an amazing job of taking care of mama and babies. Try to not be anxious or interfere unless it is absolutely needed. Be good to your pigs. Sows should only be bred once a year. 


FENCING: Most pigs will not test your fences, but there's always an escape artist in the herd. Typically, traditionally cattle fencing will be sufficient. Premier One electric netting can be used temporarily to create separate spaces and deter escape artists. We have also had success with free pallet fencing. Pigs are food motivated (shocking, I know), so if they can see food outside of their fence, they will likely test the fence. Additionally, make sure your fence is strong if you have a boar in your herd as he will attempt to get to his ladies if possible. 


SOCIALIZATION: Pigs are very social creatures. They must not be kept alone. All pigs need a pig friend. Be sure you can provide that. Introducing new pigs to an existing herd should be done carefully. Quarantine the new pig for 30 days with a shared fence line, then let them all work it out. There is a pecking order amongst pigs, and the occasional drama queen. They will work it out though. Try not to interfere, just be sure to give them plenty of feed spaced adequately apart. Additionally, you should visit your pigs often. The more you interact with them, pet them, feed them, the more they will love you. Pig belly rubs are the best - just be patient with new or young pigs, they'll love you once they trust you. Pigs that are malnourished or lonely can become aggressive. Keep them happy and loved and you won't regret it. 

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