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BREEDING KUNEKUNE PIGS
Prima Safety Heat Lamps are GREAT! You can literally hold them by the bottom in your hand after they have been on for days! Prima heat lamps need to be hung lower than traditional heat lamps, please keep this in mind. We hang ours with a chain and eye hooks as well a secure the cord. This enables two levels of handing safety.
In the warmer months, we leave heat lamps on 24 hours a day for the first week and then only at night for anther 2 weeks. Starting at 3 weeks of age we do not use heat lamps unless the temperature is 65 or under. By 4 weeks old we do not use heat lamps at all.
In the colder months, we use heat lamps for the first 3 weeks 24 hours a day and then only at night until the piglets are 6 weeks old. Starting at 6 weeks old we do not use hear lamps but instead use a heaping mound of hay for the piglets to burrow into.
At Red Roof KuneKunes we QUARANTINE all new KuneKunes that come to the farm for 6 weeks. We have a separate area set up with shelter, a mud wallow and additional shade. The quarantine area is totally separate from other areas so there in no nose touching or contact. We feed this area last as to not walk into the other areas.
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. You can also take vaseline and apply to ears, tails and wattles.
PREGNANT SOWS & GILTS
KuneKunes go into standing heat approximately every 21 days - you will notice that their vulvas swell slightly and sometimes you can see a slight discharge.
KuneKunes are in pig for approximately 116 days instead of the traditional 114 days of the average swine.
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 cold turkey between 7 and 9 weeks of age depending on how the piglets are eating, the piglets size and the sows condition.
NESTING SOW VIDEO
BREEDING AGE FOR KUNEKUNES
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.
CONTACT Caroline Malott at Red Roof KuneKunes
An AKKPS KuneKune Breeder Since 2013 Offering Quality KuneKune Pigs For Sale in Virginia & throughout the USA.