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Pig losing weight

Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:12 pm
by TrogMoog
Hi, We have 5 pigs, all Kunes or Kune x. Two of them we rehomed from a sanctuary the year before last. We were told they were about 18 years old when we had them, but I can't be sure about this. One of the two didn't put on much weight over the summer and has lost weight over the winter and is now very thin. He still seems to have plenty of energy and is eating and foraging normally, but I'm getting worried about him.
Could this just be him getting old? (Our elderly cat has got a lot thinner over the last year or so as well). The other older pig who came with him is still keeping his weight well, as are our three young pigs. They are all eating the same diet of all-stock mix with soaked beet, plus they have access to hay/haylage and 7 acres of grazing (mostly dug-over and muddy atm). They share the field with our horses and goats. Any ideas? I have a huge vet-bill already this month, so I'm trying not to call him out unncessarily, but I will get him out if need be.

Re: Pig losing weight

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:34 pm
by The Rushbury Pig
I think it is very likely that the weight loss you are seeing is linked to old age but Wendy is the specialist on older kunekune so i'll let her know about your question.

Re: Pig losing weight

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:49 pm
by wendy scu
as the owner of a lot of oldies myself, i have noticed that their teeth deteriorate dramatically with age and they tend to eat very slowly. consequently they actually get far less food than the other pigs even though no fighting occurs. I would definitely be feeding the high protein pig food in addition to anything else. Pigs need copper and other minerals in their diet and particularly if they are old. My oldies are on around 3-4lbs of pig food a day and also have ad lib hay/straw/haylage
i usually group the old slow feeders together and watch them eat to make sure they do get their share. if they are having difficulty chewing i always soak their pig food in hot water to make a mash and then feed it in bowls so it doesn't soak into the ground.
hope this helps

Re: Pig losing weight

Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:22 pm
by TrogMoog
Thanks Wendy,

We have started feeding him some Copra to himself on top of his usual feed (it's baked coconut, so high in calories and good fats - we bought it for the horses, but the pigs love it!). We'll get some pig nuts as well and see how he goes. He's still running around fast enough so obviously not lacking in energy!