Over-weight kunekunes

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Badgers
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:44 pm

Over-weight kunekunes

Post by Badgers » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:51 pm

I have 4 kunekunes (1 castrated male and 3 girlies) which I have had for 7 yrs since piglets. 3 of them are vastly overweight and I don't know what to do! The male has trouble seeing as his eyes are so closed. During the summer they have grass only. During the Autumn I put them in the orchard so they have plenty of apples. During winter I feed them sow breeder nuts and oranges, apples, bananas, parsnips, swede, tomatoes - all mixed in a large bucket between them. 2 of them have great trouble walking up the hill to be fed. The 4th one however is smaller than the others and I think the right weight - she is always hungry and I can't stop feeding them because of her. I would be so so grateful for any advice anyone can give me. Thank you

simon
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Re: Over-weight kunekunes

Post by simon » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:28 pm

The first thing to tackle is feeding them separately so that you can give each pig a set amount. If you feed them together then the biggest pigs will get most food. So separate pens that they trot into for meal times would be best.

'Sow breeder nuts' sound like they have a high protein content. Ask your supplier for the lowest protein feed - which is likely to be called 'dry sow' or suchlike. The biggest pigs will need to go on quite a severe diet, which might seem cruel at first but its the only way for them to lose weight. This will be easier in winter and you can feed them virtually no pig nuts and give them constant access to hay. If you do have enough fruit & veg then you can just give them a few nuts as a treat - which will help when you need to move them around. Next autumn restrict access to the apples - maybe buy a freezer or make some cider.

I am sure they will complain like mad and accuse you of all sorts - but you need to do this for their good.

Hope that helps.

Badgers
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:44 pm

Re: Over-weight kunekunes

Post by Badgers » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:38 am

Oh Simon - thank you so much - I really appreciate your help. I've never fed them hay and didn't know that was an option! Will change the nuts immediately and feed the smaller one separately from the "big 3" as there is a pen by the gate I can use. Thank you thank you thank you!

simon
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Re: Over-weight kunekunes

Post by simon » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:58 pm

Like anyone offered greens I am sure they will turn their nose up at the hay and demand the nice high protein nuts. But if they are hungry enough they will eat it. Be wary of feeding the big three together as the same thing will happen - one of them will continue to get bigger.

Badgers
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Re: Over-weight kunekunes

Post by Badgers » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:59 am

Guess what - no-one ate the hay - they just lay on it and went to sleep! But I will persist! I fed the smaller one separately but actually although she is smaller she is also overweight - so I'm thinking I should stop the nuts entirely if you really feed that is the best thing. I used sow breeder nuts as that was what the breeder told me to feed them on. With regard to the fresh fruit etc. my supermarket bill each week is enormous and find it hard to believe that all kunekune owners are spending this type of money on their piggies. Presumably I need to continue feeding the fruit and veg but no nuts. What fruit and veg do other owners feed their pigs? Thank you again for your help - I just really want to get this right for their sakes.

toni
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Re: Over-weight kunekunes

Post by toni » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:40 pm

Hello, as Simon has suggested, I think you must separate all four of them at feeding time so you can be sure of who is eating what.

Have you explored the pot-bellied pig food from Allan and Page, which is specifically for pet pigs and although labelled for pot-bellied pigs, is good for Kunes.

My castrates are the same age as yours and I feed them each 250g of nuts soaked in water and 250g of green vegetables twice a day. They also have hay in the winter but have no other food at all. They are both a good weight. I know that generally you should try and feed by eye but I think it may be best if you measure precisely so that you can be absolutely sure of what they are eating. I think Simon is right, you should put the three obese ones on a crash diet and perhaps only feed them hay for a bit and once they've started losing weight then introduce a small amount of nuts/green vegetables.

Do you have a market near you? It is much cheaper than shopping in a supermarket. I buy my veg from my local market and always at the end of the day so that it's considerably cheaper than at the beginning of the day! My pigs have broccoli, greens, pak choi, green peppers, avocados, kale, chard, cauliflower - whatever is on offer and the market sellers will give me for a decent price. I wouldn't feed them any fruit at all because of the sugar content.

Do they get much exercise? If they are so food-orientated maybe you could make them run with you if you carry a small piece of carrot. I exercise both of my pigs like this on a regular basis and it keeps them (and me!) reasonably fit.

I hope these ideas may help and good luck! Toni

Badgers
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Re: Over-weight kunekunes

Post by Badgers » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:43 am

Hi Toni - it seems as if I've been doing it all wrong the whole time but was just going on what the breeder told me originally. I buy bananas, oranges, apples, tomatoes, swede and parsnips in massive quantities for them - didn't realise that I didn't need to be doing this all these years. Even the little one is overweight - I just thought she wasn't as she is much smaller than the other 3 - so I'm putting all 4 on a crash diet and trying the hay thing. Sadly where I am with no help I cannot separate them for feeding - have only one catching pen by the gate and I'm too old to start construction myself! I live on a hill and they have 2 big fields that I move them from one to the other from time to time. Both are sloping but they have trouble walking let alone running! However, I will start their exercise routine when they have lost some weight! Both you and Simon have been very helpful - thank you

Badgers
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:44 pm

Re: Over-weight kunekunes

Post by Badgers » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:43 am

Thank you guys for your help. All 4 have lost some weight thank goodness and I can see through under their tummies now! I've tried putting down hay but it either gets wet or blows away. I can't put any in their ark as it's just the exact size for them all to get in and snuggle up. There is no cover in the field - any ideas anyone on how to put hay in the field and keep it dry? Looked online for hay feeders but can't find any that has the hay at ground level. Thanks

simon
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Re: Over-weight kunekunes

Post by simon » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:58 pm

Glad to hear things are going well.

Theres a 4ft covered hay rack you could use to keep the hay in.

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