KuneKune Care

Farrowing Essentials

  • Dry Enclosure: You need a dry, draft-free enclosure to farrow your kunekunes in. It doesn't need to be fancy but your success could depend on your easy layout.
  • Creep: A corner of the barn can be blocked off for the piglets that the sow cannot get in.
  • Safety Heat Lamp: By hanging the lamp inside the creep the piglets have a safe zone to sleep in and stay warm without their dam accidentally sleeping or stepping on them. Recommended lamp: Prima Heat lamps from Premier One Fencing.
  • Crush Rails: Placing boards off the floor around the walls of the farrowing room will allow the piglets a place to escape to safely if the sow lies down fast. This is especially important in the first few days.
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    Vaccination and Medications

    Not everyone follows a vaccination protocol, but unless you have a closed herd without any pigs leaving and none coming in I would urge you to.

    Personal Protocol: The subsequent list shares what is used on my farm. Always consult with your local veterinarian for what works best in your area.



    • 2 or 3 days old: Iron Dextran Injection 200 (Ferrodex). Follow directions.
    • 5 & 7 weeks old: Rhino-Shield TX4 Swine Vaccine. 1ML at 5 weeks, 2 ML at 7 weeks.
    • Wormer (once at 5 weeks & again at 7 weeks, do not go over 14 days for the second dose): Dectomax or Ivomectin.

    Tools: For piglets, a 3ML syringe with a 22 gauge needle is used. For adults, an Allflex Repeater Syringe with a Slap Shot  using an 18 gauge needle is preferred.

    Suppliers: Orders are often placed through Valley Vet, QC Supply, or Jeffers Pet.

    Diet and Feed

    • Kunekune Requirements: KuneKunes have unique dietary requirements due to their slow maturing and thick hair. Customized feed from local stores may be used to address their needs.
    • Grass and Supplements: While kunekunes can survive on grass alone, supplements and grains can help in better body shaping.
    • Treats: Fruits like apples and pumpkins can be given as treats, but never meat or mixed table scraps.

    Iron Injections for Piglets

    Compiled by Debra Allen

    The Importance of Iron

    • Iron is vital for preventing anemia. Anemic conditions are identified by decreased hemoglobin in the blood, which affects oxygen transportation.
    • Symptoms: Signs of anemia can vary from poor growth to labored breathing post-exercise.

    Causes of Anemia in Piglets

    • Rapid iron deficiency can occur in pigs due to factors like low body storage of iron in newborns, low iron content in sow’s milk, absence of soil contact, and their rapid growth rate.

    Prevention of Iron Deficiency Anemia

    • Iron can be supplemented either orally or through injections. Each method has its advantages and concerns.
    • Oral Iron: Can be administered through soil, udder application, iron pills, or creep feeds. The effectiveness varies with each method.
    • Parenteral Iron: This is the method of injecting iron directly. Factors like form of iron, amount, and method of injection are critical. Sanitary procedures are essential.
    • Recommendation: Using 1 cc of Iron Dextran 100mg/ml injected into the neck at 3 days of age ensures that the piglets get the correct dose of iron.

    (Information sourced from Pork Information Gateway, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine.)

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