*Note: We are not veterinarians, and are not qualified to offer you medical advice for your animals. The following simply details the care regimen that we follow. It is your responsibility to seek professional medical care for your animals.
We worm our adult pigs two times a year. We use Dectomax 1% injectable, with the dosage based on weight. We inject using a 16 gauge needle into the shoulder muscle. However, you should ask your vet what she recommends.
- External Parasites:
In the summer our pigs are not especially bothered by flies. In fact, they tend to have very few buzzing around them, compared to our goats. This is probably due to Kunes having a fainter odor, and much thicker skin than our other animals. (That’s right. They are less smelly than goats and sheep. Forget the “stink like a pig” stereotype!) We have never seen a flea or lice on our Kunes. We do occasionally find ticks on them. They tend to attach around the more delicate snout, eyes and armpit areas. To help keep them at bay we dust all of our outdoor animals with Buck Mountain Botanicals Organic Parasite Dust that we purchase from The Pet Health & Nutrition Center. We also frequently spray all our outdoor animals with Shoo-Fly Spray from Molly’s Herbals, It’s safe to use on yourself too, though you’ll smell a little odd!
Kunes need to be vaccinated yearly. Usually a 3 way or 4 way shot for Bordetella, Atrophic Rhinitis, Erysipelas, Leptospirosis. They also may be vaccinated for rabies, parvo, and tetanus. Please ask your vet what he recommends.
- Hoof Trimming:
The day we first met our Kunes they each ambled out of their crate, munched a few mouthfuls of grass, took a quick dip in the pools, walked over to meet us, and promptly flopped on their sides for a belly rub. Bear in mind that we were complete novices at pig husbandry. During our Kune introduction, the breeder, Cyndi Berry, showed us how to trim their hooves. We were a bit nervous. However, it proved shockingly easy to do. The trick is to have one person dedicated to belly rubbing while the other clips. Our kunes have no problem at all having their feet handled. All four hooves and dew claws are done in no time. We use standard foot rot shears available from any farm store. Just be sure to not cut into the quick. If you do, and it starts to bleed, some styptic powder is nice to have on hand to stop the flow.
- Tusk Trimming:
This is a matter of personal choice. Some Kune owners like to leave their boar and barrow’s tusks intact, as it makes them look so macho. We admit to liking that look. However, our barrow, Alvin, chased one of our goats away from some food, caught the wether in the side with his tusk, and left a large gouge. Our small children regularly play in the pig and goat yard. His tusks had to go. His brother’s tusks were shorter, and grow more forward than outward. As he’s more patient with the goats, his tusks remain for the time being. The brothers are three years old, and their tusks only began to protrude in the last six months.
There are various methods of tusk trimming. Some use a serrated wire, and saw the tusks off. Our vet used a large pair of nippers, and cut them off. We had to catch Alvin in a nose noose to do this. The noose is attached to a long pole which John held to control Alvin’s movement. The noose also caused him to keep his mouth wide open which made the job faster and easier. The tusks do not have nerves like human teeth do. So no anesthesia is used. That sounds ghastly. Alvin didn’t much like the process, and squealed more than we have ever heard any Kune squeal. However, as soon as it was done, he let the vet give him a belly rub, and then resumed grazing as if nothing had happened. Such a good pig.
- Skin/Coat Care:
Our pigs LOVE to be brushed. During natural sloughing their thick skin flakes sometimes don’t easily fall off, and get stuck in their coat. They become itchy, and rub vigorously against the barn wall, trees... We first brushed them with a bristle finishing brush. They love that, but it doesn’t reach down to their skin. We bought the largest wire bristle dog brush that we could find. The first time we used it on Charlotte, who typically tires of being brushed pretty quickly, she fell asleep and began to snore loudly. We had to wake her up to get her to flip so we could do her other side. She promptly fell asleep again. We keep a fine toothed comb handy to slide the skin flakes out of the brush. It’s kind of gross, but it makes the pigs SO happy that I don’t mind. One other way to brush them is to get out your big push broom. Slide it up and down their back or side. Ahhh, heaven!
We have never bathed our Kunes, but you can. If you will do so infrequently use any animal shampoo. If you will bathe them often, you may want to use Baby Shampoo, as it is more gentle on their skin.
- Cyndi Berry - Kunekune Preserve USA
- Brian and Alana Schoffstall - Black Valley Farm
- Jim and Lori Enright - USA KuneKunes
- Gary and Shelly Farris - Rocky Mountain Kunekunes
- American Kunekune Breeders’ Association
- The New Zealand Kunekune Association
- British Kune Kune Pig Society
- Netherlands KuneKune Association
*Google’s Chrome browser translates this site from Dutch to English quite nicely.