Kunekune Management

Kunekune Management

Pigs are bossy when it comes to socialising with other pigs, so try to avoid mixing strange pigs together unnecessarily. They have a definite social hierarchy in a group situation and don’t readily welcome newcomers to the group, although given the chance they will forget their differences and all sleep cuddled together on a cold night!

Kunekunes will usually graze quite happily with other types of animals in a paddock, although feeding time can be a bit chaotic. Pigs are very social animals and are happier kept in pairs or groups. Many breeders run the boar and sows together for long periods of time and only separate them at farrowing time.

Pigs will often eat afterbirths from other animals and may sometimes also take baby lambs/goats, so don’t run Kunekunes in with other stock at birthing time.

Good netting fences or electric fences are often needed to keep pigs confined, although a single hot wire can control a well-trained pig.

Sometimes Kunekunes need to be nose ringed if they have bouts of rooting up the ground, particularly when there is soft ground after some rain or if there are grass grubs present. Young pigs can be ringed by using a number of metal pig clips in the top border of the nose. These clips may come out after a while but the pig may have gotten out of the rooting habit and the clips may not necessarily need to be replaced. In pigs over 8 months that persistently carry on rooting it is often better to use a more permanent solution by putting a proper small sized pig ring through the cartilage in the middle of the nose.

Pigs are not heat tolerant and so need an area of shade or a well-ventilated shelter in summer. Given the chance, they will make a mud wallow to keep themselves cool and keep the flies off. If the pigs are having problems with biting flies in summer, use a fly repellent.

The ideal pig shelter is one that is big enough to hold all the pigs with some room to spare, is well ventilated but not draughty, and will keep out the rain. A solid floor is best, and bedding such as shavings or sawdust can be added for warmth.