Kunekune as companion for our GOS gilt?

General chat about kunekune pigs
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repatexpat
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:37 am

Kunekune as companion for our GOS gilt?

Post by repatexpat » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:12 pm

New member/first post, hope okay to start fresh (related to the "Mangalitza as companion for my kunekune" thread).

:?: : Is it feasible to pair a kunekune with a Gloucester Old Spot (GOS) gilt intended for breeding? Would the size differential be a problem?

Background:
We are a co-operative community in our third year of raising GOS weaners for meat (free-range). This year we bought three birth-notified GOS gilts with the idea that we might keep on the best one for breeding, partly so that we don't have to source weaners every year but also so that we can experience the entire cycle, including piglets from birth (a founder of a our community has bred pigs here in the past, including doing A-I herself). Our current gilts have good temperaments and are now at 20 weeks so we are a month or two away from making the final decision. I'm looking at the practical issues of breeding and keeping pigs year-round.

Uppermost is the concern for pig welfare, including finding a suitable companion to satisfy their social nature. I, personally, am especially interested in kunekunes and would like, eventually, to breed. I wouldn't mind switching over from GOS to kunekunes, but I think the group will take some convincing. On both counts, it occurs to me that a good way to start would be to provide a home for a rescue kunekune.

In order to give the kunekune more opportunities for grazing, I'm wondering about separating the pigs for part-days, putting the kunekune in with our mini-flock of Shetland sheep. I realise that this is a rather time-intensive solution, but I'm up for that (would it have to be daily?). Perhaps the GOS could extra grain at that time (so separation is a positive experience for both animals).

TIA for opinions/experiences.

Cheers!

simon
Posts: 374
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Location: Yorkshire Dales
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Re: Kunekune as companion for our GOS gilt?

Post by simon » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:41 pm

You would have to be able to feed them separately otherwise the bigger pig would dominate and the kunekune would go hungry.

Di
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:47 pm
Location: Somerset

Re: Kunekune as companion for our GOS gilt?

Post by Di » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:34 am

You would also have the problem that the GOS would root up the ground and there would be no grass for the KK to graze.

You could not feed the KK when in with the sheep as sheep must not eat pig nuts (too much copper).

The Rushbury Pig
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Re: Kunekune as companion for our GOS gilt?

Post by The Rushbury Pig » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:41 pm

Hello there,

I currently keep and breed both Berkshires and kunekunes. Over the years I have kept practically all of the traditional pedigree rare breed pigs including GOS selling the weaners and raising just a small number for meat.

I wanted to mix my breeds and wanted it to work but sadly it didn't, separating them became difficult and a chore. I found it to be very difficult as they are incompatible in terms of feed and as my kunekune don't root, also in behaviour. The size difference and welfare angle maybe no problem except when first introducing them then the kunekune can be at a distinct disadvantage which can result in unpleasant fighting and wounds although one of my current kunekune sows would sort out all my Berkshires put together :)

My advice would be to decide what you want your pigs for and work from that point......why do you want the kunekune?!!!(not trying to put you off as I think they are wonderful :lol: ) Are you intending to raise them purely for meat or will they just be pets?? Are you going to sell weaners for profit?? Does the co-operative purely function to produce meat?? You also need to consider some kunekune root as much as traditional breeds.....would this go down well??

I am particularly interested in what has drawn you to the kunekune as a breed, perhaps we can provide you with the ammunition to persuade the rest of the co-operative that they should be your pig of choice :lol:
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.

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