First time owners to Kune Kune's

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4 years 3 months ago #549809 by RachelE
Hi there!
After many years of wanting Kune Kune's, we finally have 2 x 12 week old ones. They are living in our wee orchard. I have found, surprisingly, that vets & rural traders don't seem to know a lot about them as pets. When we collected them, the breeder stated she noticed they were itchy and gave us some powder, which hasn't helped. Can't see lice on them but they are constantly scratching. Been to vets but before they give me Ivomec, they need their exact weights, which I will attempt over the weekend. Any other remedies people use? What about any other regular 'maintenance' or advice about them would be appreciated. We are looking at castrating them and considering ringing them, but not sure if I want to do this.
Thank you.
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4 years 3 months ago #549810 by tonybaker
My Kunes had itchy skin too, I think it is symptomatic of the breed? They rub on everything and destroy it as they are so strong. I tried injections from vet and broke several needles I Also used diatomaceous earth powder. As season cools off it goes away. If you are thinking of yummy bacon - forget it. They have a different taste to normal pigs as they tend to eat more vegetation.
They are friendly and mine allowed a stray cat to have her litter in their shelter. In the winter, the cat used to sleep on the kune's back, very cute. I kept mine in four farm gates tied together and moved it from time to time. They make a mess of the paddock. Fences won't keep them in unless VERY well made! In the end they used to move the cage to a new patch of grass themselves. They need heaps of food and that was my main problem, finding enough scraps for them. Whatever you put in their enclosure, they will destroy it. I rigged up a pig nipple drinker and connected it to a 50 gallon water barrel. If you want meat, go for the conventional breeds.
No doubt you will get contrary advice from others on here, together with warnings about feeding scraps. I would leave them whole and butcher them this winter.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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4 years 3 months ago #549811 by RachelE
Thanks, they are purely pets! We have 'reasonable' fencing but we are running an electric fence on the inside, just in case, which is working. Their paddock would be would be about 1/4 to 1/3 acre with a number of fruit trees, so the fallen fruit is all theirs as well as the grass, which they are doing well at eating. Was concerned about them rooting up the ground, but maybe they wont with enough space? Maybe I don't need to stress about the scratching then? So hard to know!

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4 years 3 months ago #549813 by tonybaker
they dig for amusement so be prepared for some rough pasture. The advantage of the 4 gates system is that you can work the ground after you move the cage and resow. If you just let the grass grow again, you will have a very rough paddock.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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4 years 3 months ago #549927 by cottonbush
Hi there. we have two brothers who we got castrated at about 10 weeks old. They are the friendliest, coolest pets. They have never dug and are pretty much like sheep and just cruise around eating grass. We supplement thier diet with scraps and pig nuts sometimes. They dont need to be nose ringed if they have enough grass and food. They start digging if they are not getting enough nutrients etc.

Lucie :)
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4 years 3 months ago #549938 by linrae
Get them nutted otherwise you wont have any control over them.
Hope you have patience they can be a .... to tame sometime.My neighbour just sold and had to get rid of his it was a boar and only way they got to move it was with a bit of CAC if u know what I mean

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4 years 3 months ago #550026 by Julie_Smith
We had our pet Kune Kune sow, Charlotte, for 18 years & she was so smart & cheeky!

Definitely use the Ivomec vaccination as it gets rid of the microscopic mites you can't see but which make them scratch & rub on things. We used to do it six monthly & Charlotte had a beautiful, full, glossy coat because of it.

Pig nuts are good too as bribery is a great way to train them to go where you need etc...

We didn't ring our girl & occasionally she would do a bit of ploughing if the ground was damp but good nutrition meant she wasn't looking for extra food.

Watch out for neighbourhood dogs & make sure they have somewhere very secure to sleep at night.

Kunes are very smart & the boars make better pets than sows as the females can be a bit hormonally moody at times. The tusks can eventually grow quite long & can be a bit sharp.

Charlotte was super affectionate & got on with our dogs & would even make a barking noise when she was chatting to them... She was a much loved family member & gave us many years of joy.
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4 years 3 months ago #550027 by Julie_Smith
Just watch out if there is too much fruit dropping or it is fermenting as you can end up with a drunk piggy with a sore stomach & then a piggy with a HANGOVER, lol : )

Charlotte's patch included some plum trees she was very partial to but we had an out of season hail storm that split the fruit & lots dropped off all in one night... The next morning Charlotte had pigged out & was groaning in a quiet spot.

Another year she scoffed a secret stash of over ripe plums, got drunk & then had a visible hangover the next day...

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4 years 3 months ago #550035 by RachelE
Good to know about the fruit! Sounds like your girl was one of a kind. Ours have started rooting since we had some rain. Next thing to try sort out is not be mobbed at feeding time.
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4 years 3 months ago #550044 by Julie_Smith
We taught Charlotte to sit before we'd give her her nuts. She was very quick to learn.

We used the same technique as teaching a dog... nuts in bowl, held over her head so she was looking up & then moved backwards which shifts their weight backwards. Quick reward & lots of praise for positive attempts.

You can use individual grapes as a training treat. The more training you put in at the start the better. Pigs have fantastic memories so once they've learnt a trick they don't forget it : )

An example of how amazing their memories are... The first time we had to move Charlotte we had to coax & bribe her up a ramp on to a trailer. Three years later we were on the move so we got the trailer out, put down the ramp & I went to get the nuts... Well, before I'd gotten back Charlotte had ambled up the ramp & was sitting on the trailer waiting for her reward! She'd only been on that trailer that once before : )

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4 years 3 months ago #550045 by Julie_Smith
Here's a picture of Charlotte : )
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4 years 2 months ago #550126 by RachelE
She is lovely. Ours are very good at sitting but being young I guess that is why they are a bit bolshy. Hopefully as they get older they will settle down a bit more. We just had the big one castrated this morning, other one had retained testicles so he has a reprieve, but man, it was horrible. But its done. They will hate me now :-(
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4 years 2 months ago #550136 by Mudlerk
I should say 'fear', rather than hate...much less worse having an animal run away. Things that 'hate' you attack...and fear and respect are allied characteristics.

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4 years 2 months ago - 4 years 2 months ago #550139 by kate28
We breed meat pigs. Good chice getting them castrated. They will make good pets. Pigs should not be scratching as much as you say. I always know when ours need doing as they keep me awake at night scratching against their houses. A jab of ivomec or dectomax is what they need & it goes behind the ear in the soft skin. It should not be hard to inject or breaking needles. I recommend getting them nose ringed. They can plow your whole paddock in a matter of days if they desire then u have no grazing left. Winter will be when you really notice it & it will turn to mud. Kunes dont need heaps of food. They do quite well on grazing & a little supplemental pig nuts. They can have a small amount of scraps but not too many. They will probably get tusks one day which can be lethal especially towards other animals if foods involved. You may want to consider getting the vet to detusk them once they appear & get big(it can be an ongoing thing)
Last edit: 4 years 2 months ago by kate28.

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4 years 2 months ago #550146 by RachelE
Thanks for that. We got them ringed yesterday, felt bad since, but since reading your post, I feel better. I had noticed the day we had rain, they were in there turning it over so it does make sense to do, just doesn't look nice! There scratching has greatly reduced now as well.

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