Integration Issue!

General chat about kunekune pigs
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DeniseDulson
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Integration Issue!

Post by DeniseDulson » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:50 am

Hello all - am new to the board but have had our 2 pet kunekune's for over 2 years. Our boys (Fred & Ginger - castrate boars aged just under 3yrs) are very docile/gentle and an absolute breeze to look after so I guess we've had a pretty easy ride.... until now!

We were recently contacted about re-homing a couple of gilts who's owners were having to move and had nowhere to keep them anymore. The two gilts have a very lovely temperament and were in good condition so we agreed... and the previous owner bought them over yesterday.....but when we put them in with the boys - they have turned into ASBO pigs!

After a few "face-offs" and a few cuts and scratches yesterday - the girls (who we've now nicknamed "Thelma & Louise" - aged 14mths) have taken over and moved into the ark and keep chasing the boys away - and the boys seem petrified of them (despite being much bigger)!

We've now separated them but could really do with some advice on how best to integrate them. Both sets of pigs are lovely natured - just not to eachother at the mo!

Please Help!

simon
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Re: Integration Issue!

Post by simon » Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:21 pm

This is fairly normal. If you left them to it for a few days things would settle down.

To make the transition easier if you can give them plenty of feed to get the girls content. Maybe some hay, or something else to keep them occupied. You will need to give the boys somewhere to sleep until they get used to each other.

Feed them separately to make sure everyone gets fed.

DeniseDulson
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Re: Integration Issue!

Post by DeniseDulson » Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:48 pm

Thanks for the advice - we've built another shelter in the meantime so everyone is warm and dry. There in about an acre of land so they're not bumping into eachother the whole time and so also have plenty of grass to eat, but we are also feeding them pig nuts and fruit/veg whilst the grass isn't so good.

We have a connecting gate between them which is closed for now - would you suggest we keep it closed so that they can get to know eachother through the fence, or open and let them roam/come across eachother naturally?

simon
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Re: Integration Issue!

Post by simon » Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:58 pm

Personally I would open the gate. I'm sure after a few days you'll find them all asleep in the same shelter.

DeniseDulson
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Re: Integration Issue!

Post by DeniseDulson » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:29 pm

Thanks - will see what happens!

The Rushbury Pig
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Re: Integration Issue!

Post by The Rushbury Pig » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:07 pm

Fully agree with what Simon has said, quite normal but upsetting to watch. What you've done should work well but be prepared to still see them scrapping at times until they sort a pecking order out.

Good luck and I hope they all settle down soon! :D
Cheerio for now, Sam Jones :-)

BKKPS Chairperson
Email : samjonesbkkps@aol.com
Tel: 0845 489 5863, leaving a message for the secretary who will forward to me.

DeniseDulson
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Re: Integration Issue!

Post by DeniseDulson » Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:58 pm

Thanks both - really appreciate your advice - we're going to give it a try - although as you say, quite horrid to watch at times.

Will keep you posted!

Cheers

Denise.

DeniseDulson
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Re: Integration Issue!

Post by DeniseDulson » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:42 pm

Thank you Simon & Sam for your advice - it's definitely working!

On Friday morning I found one of the girls asleep with Fred & Ginger in the temporary ark and fed all 4 of them together for the first time without too much nipping and chasing!

So, on to my next dilemma - whilst all 4 pigs now seem to be "friends", the 3 who seem to have bonded the most are now sleeping in the temporary ark, but the remaining gilt is sleeping on her own in the main ark - can anyone give me any suggestions of how to get the other 3 to move into the main ark?

All advice greatly appreciated!

Thanks again for all suggestions to date!

Denise.

pedro1
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Re: Integration Issue!

Post by pedro1 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:20 pm

Hi Denise this same problem happened to me when I introduced my new sow to my existing boar and 2 sows. It was exactly the same as what happened to you because the 3 existing pigs got kicked out into our tempory shelter whilst the new sow had the main shelter. Anyway what I did was give them more food so they spent more time together and less space so they be forced to make each other more often. I also took away the tempory shelter so that if the pigs wanted to stay warm and dry they would have to get on and for the first 3 days it did not work but once the pigs had enough of sleeping out side in the cold they all were sleeping together and being friendly. Some people may say that this technique is cruel or harsh on the pigs but sometimes you need to be cruel to be kind and also it's not like there was no shelter there for them it was them who chose to sleep outside instead of share with the new pig anyway I hope this helps from pedro

wendy scu
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Re: Integration Issue!

Post by wendy scu » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:27 am

i agree with Pedro, if you remove the temp ark they will sahre - provided there is plenty of room in the other one.

DeniseDulson
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Re: Integration Issue!

Post by DeniseDulson » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:34 pm

Thanks both! Tried it tonight for the first time and closed the gate so they're all together again in the same paddock as the main ark - boys were then first in to the main ark (which the girls originally turfed them out of!) then a little bit of jostling from the girls but all now snuggled down together for the night (I hope!).

Thanks again everyone for your advice - very reassuring to have you all there! :D :D

pedro1
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Re: Integration Issue!

Post by pedro1 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:55 pm

That's good that they are all in the shelter together and when I was doing it with my pigs once they had fallen asleep together they stayed like that and I when I was introducing them to each other I would check on the during them through the night just to make sure everyone was ok from pedro

DeniseDulson
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:36 am

Re: Integration Issue!

Post by DeniseDulson » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:38 pm

Thanks Pedro - have to say I had the torch out a few times in the night to check no-one had been chased out but all OK.

Have taken down the spare shelter tonight to "encourage" them even further and not too cold overnight so will see how we go!

Thanks again for your advice - greatly appreciated

Denise

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