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Getting Kune Kunes today! I have questions!

 
Miranda Converse
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We are picking up two Kune Kunes today, one male and one female, two months old. I have never had pigs before so I have lots of questions! And for some reason most of the websites that have info on kune kune specifically are blocked from work (sadly the only time I have to do research is at work).

So here are my questions:
How long will a grassy area of 40x40ft sustain two kune kunes? Do I need to supplement them if they have plenty of grass?
How do you train them to electric fence? The fence I have now is rated for bears, will this be too much and/or is there a way I can turn it down (forgive me I do not know much about electric fences).
Can I keep them with my 6 goats temporarily (like until this weekend)?
Can I give them sweet feed until I can get them proper pig feed (should be this weekend)? The grass is really short in the goat pen so I'm not sure there will be enough to eat. We might mow and give them cut grass but I believe it's going to rain today so we might not be able to mow...
Is it really bad to give them any kind of meat (eggs included)? I've read that it's fine and I've read that it will make them mean, what's your experience?
Anything else that I should know?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Miranda Converse wrote:We are picking up two Kune Kunes today, one male and one female, two months old. I have never had pigs before so I have lots of questions! And for some reason most of the websites that have info on kune kune specifically are blocked from work (sadly the only time I have to do research is at work).

So here are my questions:

How long will a grassy area of 40x40ft sustain two kune kunes? Do I need to supplement them if they have plenty of grass?

OK, first off I breed American Guinea Hogs which are very similar to kune kunes in needs.
40 X 40 is 1600 sq. ft. it might last a week tops before they start rooting from boredom and for grubs and roots.
My First and biggest concern is that you say they are 8 weeks old, which is not good, they most likely are not fully weaned, weaning is usually finished at 12 weeks old.
They will need a wallow and a place to sleep, at 8 weeks old they will like a roof overhead, fresh water is going to be very necessary too.
I'm surprised the breeder is letting you take them before they are fully weaned though. That is not the sign of a good breeder.
We don't release a shoat or gilt before they are 12 weeks old, that way we know they are ready for a new home.
Also check (if they are registered) for the ear notch or ear tag, if one or the other isn't there, the breeder should be questioned about it.


How do you train them to electric fence? The fence I have now is rated for bears, will this be too much and/or is there a way I can turn it down (forgive me I do not know much about electric fences).

with an energized electric fence, they will train themselves as long as you have enough shock to deter them from just going through. If bears are deterred, then your hogs will be deterred quickly.
proper hog wires are set at @ 6" from ground and then a second and third at 8" apart (for little ones, you need smaller spacing like this), once they are growing up you can spread them further apart and eventually you won't need these energized all the time.
the other choice is to just go with a welded or twisted wire fence. We use 2" X4" welded wire with boards along the bottom edge that overlap the T-posts so they can't push the fence and go under. We have guard dogs so haven't needed to use the elec. tapes for quite a while now. (the dogs keep the coyote pack far away, so far at least) 


Can I keep them with my 6 goats temporarily (like until this weekend)?

They can stay with the goats for a short period since you are getting them too young, they will quickly get to know the goats and they may never bully the goats over food.
Food is THE motivator for hogs, not enough (ours seem to think there is never enough without their pasture to fall back on) and other animals will be shoved out of the way forcefully. I have seen hogs get along with goats, we keep ours separated for the goats sake since we have breeding hogs, chickens are fine with hogs though.
If the hogs are going to be in short grass pasture with the goats, rooting is probably inevitable since there won't be enough grass to eat for long.


Can I give them sweet feed until I can get them proper pig feed (should be this weekend)? The grass is really short in the goat pen so I'm not sure there will be enough to eat. We might mow and give them cut grass but I believe it's going to rain today so we might not be able to mow...

I would recommend a pig/hog feed such as power sow, sweet feed will work very short term. You will need to get more pasture areas ready for them so you can rotate them around otherwise you will end up with totally ruined pasture that needs to be re-seeded.

Is it really bad to give them any kind of meat (eggs included)? I've read that it's fine and I've read that it will make them mean, what's your experience?

our hogs eat just about anything, including chicken, beef and goat left overs/ scraps but we do not feed them any pork at all, ever. They are gentle as can be expected from a hog. They love eggs, milk mixed with oatmeal and any table scraps, do not feed them raw potatoes, those need to be cooked first.

Anything else that I should know?

Your new hogs will benefit greatly from contact, they will love being given a good scratching and belly rubs (this keeps them happy and docile towards you). Do Not Hand Feed Them! In a year the boar will start developing his incisors (tusks) just be aware of this for now. AGH and KK (like all breeds) do best with a multi planted pasture so there are grasses, veggies and root veggies to keep them occupied, tomatoes and apples are great treats as are squashes, curcubits, etc. You will find that the more variety of foods you plant in their pastures, the happier they will be. (they love clovers, brassicas and grains)

Redhawk
 
Miranda Converse
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Thank you so much!

Should we be giving them milk then for the next couple weeks? I have been contemplating keeping them in the kitchen until we can get them situated, so we could keep a better eye on them. I've been wanting this breed for a while and the opportunity just presented itself so I may have rushed a bit :/

I would like to eventually build them pens to rotate through but I figured the electric fence would be easy to move for now. Might not be too feasible if I have to do it every week though...

I have a lot to work out...
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Kune Kune is a great breed, we chose the AGH simply because of the cost here for the KK breed.
The big difference in the two breeds is snout length (AGH look more like the larger breeds in the snout where the KK looks more like a Vietnamese pot belly in the snout).

If they eat the solid food well, then I would supplement with some "Slop" (the milk mixed with oatmeal), you will be surprised at how they will slurp that stuff down (and at any age they will do this).
I would not bring them into the house, it is very much like a bull in a china closet scenario.


We have some "hog fencing" that we keep moveable and can set up paddocks that enclose 600-800 sq. ft. three yearling hogs can mow that space down in two days, as reference for you.

Walter Jefferies comes here some, but he has a huge amount of information on general hog raising on his website.  sugar mtn farm
He has been a huge help to us in getting our operation started right.

Redhawk
 
Miranda Converse
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Well we did keep them in the kitchen last night. They are so small (around 5 lbs now, give or take), I didn't feel comfortable leaving them with the goats or any of the other options we have outside. There's nothing they can get into in the kitchen, they just stink. Well, they don't stink, their poo does!! It's soo potent! I don't know how people keep pigs inside lol I am glad we have them inside for now though because it gives us more opportunity to get them used to us. They will come up to us for food but they run away if we try to pet them.

They are eating solid food, we gave them grapes, carrots, rolled oats, apple, and some grass. I'm pretty sure they did not eat any of the grass but they ate everything else very enthusiastically. They even tried to eat my toes because my toenails are painted blue! This morning we gave them some all stock feed. The feed store closest to us has a very limited selection of food. We have to drive about an hour away to get to a feed store that has more options so we will do that this weekend.

I wasn't there to pick them up but my boyfriend said the guy told him they are actually around 3 months old. The female is definitely bigger than the male so I believe she is a bit older. The guy said he would e-mail their birthdates so we will know exactly how old they are...


 
Bryant RedHawk
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That's great that they are older than first thought.  Once you can get them eating grasses the stench of their poo will go down in intensity.
Welcome to the adventure of hog raising, it will keep you both entertained and in wonder.

The real key will be getting enough paddock areas set up for rotating them around.
That will make keeping them a real pleasure since the poo will be incorporated into the soil after you move them.

I talked to another hog farmer here last night who also has goats, chickens and a few cows. He said that if babies grow up with the goats, they seem to do ok.
He does not put hogs and cows together though and his chickens go where they please.
While that appears to work for him, I'm still keeping our animals segregated and rotating them through the paddocks one behind the other.
 
Miranda Converse
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So I'm looking into using hog panels to make a moveable pasture. The panels seem like they would be super easy to move because they are lightweight (we actually inherited a few cattle panels when we got the house and move them around for different garden things) but still rigid.  What I'm wondering though, is how to move the parts that are used to hold up the panels? If you use t-posts, do you just leave the posts in the ground? Are there any alternatives to t-posts?

Also, what would be the best, movable shelter? There are times when our land is saturated with water and, while I know pigs like mud, I assume they would like a way to get somewhere dry off the ground. Best way to do that in a moveable shelter?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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I now have some A frame looking "posts" with U bolts to hook the panels to. I use heavy zip ties to attach the panels to these self standing posts, once you get several hooked together, they seem to stand up pretty well, can be shuffled around to get just the shape you want too. When I was using T posts I had to pound them in, then remove them and pound them in the new spots, to much work for my old body. You could use 2 t posts to make what I did with 2x4's but the 2x4's are easier to use and you can add a gate easily. If you want sturdier, try a 4x4 upright with a 2x4 angled support piece the only real difference is the weight of that 4x4. Some of our areas are convoluted enough that these would not stand up nicely. I have added some 1.2 inch conduit supports (two in line, on opposite sides of the upright 2x4) allow me to drive a piece of rebar into the ground and by using this on both sides of the A frame support they stay in place very well. The difference between a hog panel and cattle panel are the spaces at the bottom of the panel and the height of the panel. you can baby pig proof a cattle panel by using some chicken wire or 1/2 inch hardware cloth wired to the bottom two spaces so the little ones can't just slip through.
 
Miranda Converse
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Update and another question...I love these pigs! They are so funny! I am surprised at how easy it is to get them to move from one place to another, they just run after us like puppies! Right now, here are their living arrangements: We have an 8x24ft pen that they stay in at night or when we aren't home. The we constructed a very simple hog panel pen, 16x16ft that they go in during the day. The hog panel pen is situated where there is plenty of grass/weeds for them to eat and a portion of it is in our little pond so they can roll around in the mud. We give them fruit/veggies and a small scoop of All stock (no pig feed available near us, need to make a trip to get some) for breakfast and dinner. They have pasture for most of the day in between.

So my question: Come to find out, they are both the same age (11 weeks now) but the female is significantly bigger than the male and she even seems to have gotten bigger since we got her but he doesn't look much different (hard to tell since I see them every day though, I'm going to start weighing them, no idea how to get them to stay on a scale though). They both eat voraciously and have plenty of energy. I questioned the breeder and was told that he was the runt of his litter. I'm just not convinced and am wondering what I should be looking out for and also, does it sound like I am giving them everything they need?

I would like to take him to the vet soon but I know that no matter what animal I take to them, every single time, they say they have coccidia and try to give me an insanely expensive medicine for it (fun fact: every animal naturally has coccidia to some degree, even people, only matters if they are overwhelmed by it, usually happens to immune compromised/very young animals). I will still take him, but I like to be prepared so I have a reason to deny the coccidia medicine (they really are a great vet other than this one flaw), my poor boyfriend got duped the last time he took our dog and I forgot to warn him...
 
Miranda Converse
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Oh, and one other question: We were letting them run around the yard and they found one of our dog's bones (looks like some kind of leg bone or something, not a rawhide type thing) and they went crazy for it. Are dog bones ok to give to pigs?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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yes those are ok for hogs.
 
Kelly Smith
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i would say it sounds like the feed requirements are being met.
we raise kune kunes without any grain during the growing season. they graze our pastures using electric netting along with 3-4 other species. during the winter we will feed a small amount of grain and a lot of alfalfa hay

sorry i cant help with the coccidia question.

 
Miranda Converse
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Thank you, that's good to hear!

Oh, and I wasn't asking about coccidia, I was just saying that's one of the reasons I am hesitating taking them to my vet, because I know that will be one of her diagnoses. I'm mostly concerned with why the male doesn't appear to be gaining much weight...
 
Miranda Converse
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:yes those are ok for hogs.


Thank you Bryant! Did you see my post above that one? That's the one I'm more concerned with...You always have so much information to provide!
 
Bryant RedHawk
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The male will catch up and pass her in time, if he truly was the runt, some "milk slop" (milk and oats stirred up to a semi thick mush) will help "fill him out", it will be cherished by both, so separate feeding of this is highly recommended to keep fighting from happening.
Our boar seems to let the girls eat their fill and even lets the babies eat right next to him, but he will make sure he eats his fill.
I think this is the nature of well kept hogs since he is definitely the protector of his females and babies. He knows there is enough food for all of them so he stays pretty laid back about eating. (Hogs are all about the food, always)
Our boar was older than our gilts when we got them but only by two weeks for one of the females.

On that "All Stock feed" we had to get some recently and I will never use it again. It smells sickly sweet to my nose and I've noticed not good changes in their fat content (our hogs are lard hogs so I watch close their fat layers since to much is bad for their joints).
I would recommend that you use corn chops over that all stock feed, hay (Clover, Bermuda, are usually favored) is also good, if you can get it.
For supplemental feed we use a product called Power Sow made by ADM, Purina feeds also makes a similar product that is good.

If you can, get the grocery store manager to save their "out of date/ to old to sell" produce for you. Just be sure to be there on the time and day arranged with them.
This gives great variety of vegetables for your hogs and will be a special treat feeding too.
We get ours on Saturdays and Sundays, but we compete with another breeder so it's first come is the winner that day.
We usually try to be nice and if we get there first (and there is enough) we leave some for the other guy. (He, so far has not been that nice to us, but that's on him.)

If you have to travel to buy the feed, build a good "feed shed" and buy enough to last between trips. We use a 14' enclosed trailer and normally have at least a months worth of feed stored there.
We use Metal Trash Cans with tight fitting lids (some I had to adjust the fit with slip pliers and hammer and dolly) to store the "in use" feed, they eliminate rodents for the most part.
All our feed is kept far from the hogs home base area. (I tried keeping it inside their area for a week and had to hammer out the cans after that mistake, they knocked them over and crushed them while eating a weeks worth of feed)

Redhawk
 
Miranda Converse
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We had been giving him some of the milk slop you describe but we have run out of oats, another thing we need to pick up at the feed store that's some ways away. I'll make sure to get out there this weekend!

I really wish we could get the waste food from our grocery store but it is absolutely against their policy.  I even offered to sign a waiver of liability and they still don't even want to mess with it. They would rather just throw it all away.  I would have to resort to dumpster diving and, while I have considered it, my boyfriend is not ok with that.  Considering I'm pregnant now, I should probably stay out of the trash anyway Hoping someday I will just grow enough food where we can have enough to feed the animals too. First we need to grow enough to feed ourselves...

I'm not sure we have the same kind of all stock feed you are referring to. Here we can get either "All Stock" or "All Stock, Sweet". Sounds like you are talking about the sweet variety. The kind we got has more of an earthy smell and is greenish/tan colored. Our sweet feed smells like molasses and is the color of molasses...Still, we will get the hog feed when we can. The one place we can go carries Purina so I will look for that. I think the other brand they carry is locally produced but seems pretty high quality...



 
Bryant RedHawk
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You have to use what is available!! It's great that you are paying attention to quality, usually a local feed mill will produce very good feeds that are designed for the animals in their area.
I don't think you can do better than that.

To bad about the grocer's policy but I guess I can understand their thinking since they are worried about liability.

Yes the "all stock feed here is "sweet" (molasses)" I gave it a go but it isn't quite right for our hogs so now it is out.
I think everything that seems like it could be good should be given a trial, then you know if it is something you can use, or not.

Reading the label can really help with determining quality feed vrs not so great feed. We try to keep protein at 14% with good fiber and fat contents as well.
Minerals in the feed are a nice bonus. Just watch out for feeds that contain things like antibiotics or other things that you don't want to use unless absolutely necessary.
We do have a bottle of antibiotic, it was needed for one of our sows when she got sick and we only used enough to get her over the hump, now she is doing fine.
 
Miranda Converse
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Oh yea, we go out of our way to make sure there is no antibiotics in our feed! Not so easy around here. Nobody seems to care about those kinds of things in this area. I have to buy game bird starter for my chicks because they only sell non-medicated chick starter in 5lb bags that cost almost as much as the 25lb bag! When I first started looking, the people at the feed stores couldn't comprehend why I wouldn't want to just feed the medicated stuff. I've even heard some say "Oh they'll all get sick and die if they don't get the medicated stuff!"  Weird, there must have been antibiotics in the bugs and grass before we came along and put it in a bag for them!
 
Liz Hoxie
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Garlic will kill cocci. You give them 1 large clove per 50# of body weight. If you're on Facebook, join Totally Natural Goats and More. Kristie Miller runs the group. She helped edit Katherine A. Drovdahl's book The Accessible Pet, Equine,and Livestock Herbal. Raw apple cider vinegar in their water helps too. Use at the rate of 1/2 cup for 100 gallons of water. The way I look at it, most things I can grow myself. They both use Dr. Christopher's formulas and the files on TNG will help you narrow down what to plant. You can use my name to get on the group.
 
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