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RED ROOF KUNEKUNES
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What CAN Kunes eat? What Can Kunes NOT eat?
November 23, 2021
November 16, 2021
Getting Ready for Winter at Red Roof KuneKunes - Part 2
Today was all about getting ready for winter!
Taking SHADE TARPS down - there are a lot of them! I counted 20! I marked each one for next year so I know which field they go in and then left the t-posts up - hopefully this will make getting ready for spring a bit easier lol
Next was setting up a pick up day for hay for the winter - I use it mostly for bedding but the pigs also eat it so it is multi purpose.
Next on my list is stuffing huts with hay and then flaps on the huts!
Stay tuned for more!
NOVEMBER 3, 2021
Getting Ready for Winter at Red Roof KuneKunes - PART 1
I always kind of dread the winter because I am not outside nearly as much with the Kunes but honestly the Kunes love the Fall and Winter. They are much hardier than most people think!
I am often asked how the KuneKunes do with the winter - specifically the cold temperatures and snow/ice. They do GREAT as long as they have what they need.
So what do they need?
1 - SHELTER - A draft free shelter that is dry and stuffed with a lot of bedding so the Kunes can burrow in the hay for warmth. For bedding I use hay. Hay is multi purpose - Kunes will also eat the hay and they rarely use their shelters as a bathroom. I hear form clients often about their Kunes not eating hay. Try to get good quality hay that is on the greener side and not full of debris. I do NOT use alfalfa hay due to the cost but it also puts weight on my pigs that is not needed. I do not use straw due to the mildew that can be present and I do not use shaving as the Kunes can not burrow into the shavings to get warm.
2 - WATER - Fresh clean water is a must. Winter temps often bring on frozen water troughs which can honestly be a pain in the wazoo I know! Each Kune owner needs to figure out what works best for them as far as how to keep water clean and not frozen. I had hydrants put in near each field and I drain my hoses each night so that I can provide fresh unfrozen drinking water each morning. I know for many this is not possible and hauling water is the only option. I do have clients that break water up so that there is unfrozen drinking water. I also have clients that use submersible heaters.
3 - FEED - A good 16 or 17 percent feed specifically developed for pigs is a must. They need all the minerals and nutrients formulated in the feed. I feed each Kune 2 heaping 8ounce measuring cups twice a day and. this keeps the appropriate weight on them. I also feed vegetable and fruit as available but honestly it is not often. Mine do eat a lot of their bedding hay.
My Kunes venture out in all types of weather - rain, snow, cold etc. They are super happy!
MALACHI - HOG PANEL - BOLT CUTTERS….. WHO WON?
Imagine getting up early on a fall Tuesday morning. The weather is awesome and a light hoodie and shorts are the perfect attire with tall muck boots.
The KuneKunes are all grazing and barely notice I am there to feed them. I even have the luxury of taking a few pictures without the pigs noticing and running towards me.
I take my time feeding each paddock and inspect every pig side to side and front to back making any necessary notes on my iPhone.
I get to the last of 10 paddocks of KuneKunes where Malachi my black 350 pound 5 year old Mahia Love Boar resides.
There is Malachi his mouth stuck in a hog panel. Not only are his tusks through the panel but his jaw is tangled in the panel. In addition he has pulled so hard he has unattached the panel from the wooden post. He is just standing there patiently waiting for me to get him out of the predicament he has gotten himself into.
I go into panic mode and drop to my knees in tears as I am home alone with no-one to help me. I quickly pull myself together. I have no choice but to get Malachi out of this situation by myself. I will admit I called my husband and brother screaming that I needed help but they were both 30 minutes away and I do not think understood what I was even saying.
I run up to the feed barn and grab my bolt cutters. Lets be clear these are MY bolt cutters and are always kept in the exact same spot in the feed barn for this very situation. No-one an I mean no-one is allowed to borrow or use them as I need to know exactly where they are in case of an emergency like this one.
I snap a quick picture so that I can see the exact placement of Malachi’s tusks and jaw. It is bad and I know it when I look at the picture. I make a plan of where to best cut the hog panel without cutting him.
I talk to Malachi calmly begging him to continue to hold perfectly still so that I can cut the panels with the bolt cutters and release him from the now flopping panel without cutting him.
I succeed in cutting him out of the panel after 5 cuts and when he is free he just stands there looking at me. It was like he was saying thank you. I do notice he has a few missing teeth but his tusks remained.
At this point I am very proud of myself but immediately thinking about any damage he could have done to his mouth. I decide to administer antibiotics for 3 days and check on him 3 or 4 times as day over the next few days.
Malachi bounced back like nothing had happened!
Gotta Love A KuneKune Boar!
MORE ABOUT FEEDING KUNEKUNES PUMPKINS
I have had several clients call or text me about feeding their KuneKunes Pumpkins. Most of the questions are related to the quantity to feed and if pumpkins can temporarily replace pellets. I can only advise on what we do at Red Roof KuneKunes. I only feed pumpkins that are not carved, show no signs of mold and are not painted. I do break off the stems to prevent any choking hazards and to prevent a possible intestinal blockage. I feed 1/4 of a large pumpkin a day to each pig. If there are multiple Kunes in a field I smash the pumpkin hard on the ground to break it into pieces. It is so fun to watch the pigs grab a piece of pumpkin and run off with it to eat so that no one else tries to steal it! As discussed earlier pumpkin seeds are known to be a natural dewormer. How do I find pumpkins for my KuneKunes? I post on my personal and farm facebook page as well as my Instagram. I have several hotels and restaurants that over the years have happily donated their pumpkins. A lot friends and family drop off pumpkins after Halloween and Thanksgiving and love seeing and feeding the pigs! My biggest advice would be to make sure the KuneKunes are still getting their designation ration on a good 16 to 17 percent swine feed. KuneKunes need to the added minerals and nutrients that are in the swine feed.
Mentoring Clients Through a Gilts Farrowing
Alyssa & Jeremiah Smith of Catlett Acres located in NorthernVirginia are my clients but also good friends. They purchased Kathy Petersens/Virginia KuneKunes herd the first part of 2021. The Smiths have had several litters with seasoned sows but this was their first time farrowing a gilt. Many breeders hold their breath to speak during a gilts farrowing. Alyssa and Jeremiah knew that Cookie was in labor - she had all the typical signs (nesting, leaking colostrum, breathing heavy, restless and right around her due date). I was asked to log into their farrowing stall cameras to observe. The Smiths were worried that Cookie had started leaking fluid at 8:30 but she was not pushing at all and it was 10:00. We went through several options and decided to give Cookie some space. They turned the lights down and were totally hands off. Almost immediately Cookie went into full blown pushing and farrowed 6 piglets in 1 hour. I truly enjoyed walking the Smiths through this gilt farrowing and loved watching on the cameras!
KuneKunes Love To Eat Pumpkins
OCTOBER IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE MONTHS BECAUSE THE PIGS LOVE ALL THE PUMPKINS WE FEED THEM IN MODERATION OF COURSE! WE HAVE SEVERAL RESTAURANTS AND HOTELS THAT DONATE THEIR DECORATIVE PUMPKINS TO RED ROOF KUNEKUNES ALONG WITH FRIENDS WHO DROP OFF THEIR UN-CARVED UN-PAINTED PUMPKINS! BEFORE JACK WENT TO COLLEGE AT OLE MISS HE USED TO HELP ME COLLECT THEM! BOY WILL I MISS HIM THIS YEAR DURING PUMPKIN PICK UP! THERE IS RESEARCH THAT SUPPORTS PUMPKIN SEEDS ARE A NATURAL DEWORMER FOR PIGS. I DO STILL DEWORM WITH IVOMEC TRICE A YEAR THOUGH.
Late Winter / Early Spring KuneKune Breedings
THIS WEEK I MOVED GILTS AND SOWS TO THEIR APPROPRIATE BOAR FIELD FOR LATE WINTER AND EARLY SPRING FARROWING. I HAVE ALREADY WITNESSED SEVERAL OF THE SOWS AND GILTS IN HEAT AND WITNESSED ANDY AND LIZZIE BREEDING! I HAVE SEVERAL MORE GILTS AND SOWS TO MOVE FOR BREEDING BUT AM GOING TO STAGGER THE BREEDINGS OVER THE NEXT MONTH OR SO. I AM SUPER EXCITED ABOUT THE PAIRINGS I HAVE COMING UP. I HAVE SEVERAL SPOTS LEFT FOR DEPOSITS ON THESE LITTERS. CHECK OUT THE UPCOMING BREEDING PAGE TO SEE WHICH RED ROOF KUNEKUNES ARE BEING PAIRED TOGETHER! WE OFFER KUNEKUNES FOR SALE IN VIRGINIA AND ARE ABLE TO HELP SECURE TRANSPORT THROUGHOUT THE USA.