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KuneKune Boars

KuneKune Boars - Marking Territory

What does it mean for a KuneKune Boar to mark his territory?

KuneKune Boar

Did you know that KuneKune boars mark their territory?

First, have you ever seen your boar with white foam all over their mouth? It can be quite scary if you are not aware of what is happening.

Likewise, when I first introduced my second pig into my herd, my first pig Ziggy a boar, began to foam at the mouth and paw the ground. It really scared me, and I immediately removed him from the area. So, you know what my first thought was right? Rabies! lol Well, how was I to know! When you are new to the breed without a mentor, you may remember thinking some crazy things like this. Thus, this is one of the reasons that education is so vital to your success as a KuneKune breeder and KuneKune enthusiast.

So, boars (male pigs) will mark territory. They do this when they are moved to a new area and when introduced to a new pig. When they can see another boar or smell another boar that too can trigger the need to mark territory. Let's say that you have kept one boar in a certain area for a while and you have moved him to another area and now you want a mature boar to enter that area. This is a fitting example of when you will see this marking behavior. When you first put in a female for breeding and the boar does not know yet that this is a female, he may display this behavior as well.

How do they mark territory?

First, they will begin working their mouths and a foam will appear. It can be alarming if you do not know what it is. So, this happens because males have scent glands in their mouth (mandible scent glands), around their male parts (perineal gland), around their eyes (preorbital glands) and on the forelegs (metacarpal glands). Most importantly, the foam has a strong odor. Some boars have a stronger scent that others. 

As a result of marking territory, my Tuahuru was the worse as far as the odor. So, he felt the need to "scent" his area more than any of my other boars. To clarify, it is not a pleasant smell to humans. Likewise, it is way of advising other boars he is the top pig in his area. However, if you are a pig, it is a warning sign much like a dog growling. Most importantly, it is also a part of a mating ritual and appeals to females.

Things you will observe

First, they will run along fence lines, and it can be beautiful to watch them move like that. Above all, they will mark is gates, trees, water dishes and feed bowls, housing and anything that is in their fenced in area. As a result, it is a bit comical to see all the foam hung into the fencing. Certainly, it almost looks like it snowed. He will mouth fencing as well and this is a time to be cautious of as they can get their tusk hung into the fencing. Likewise, it is very scary to have this happen.

Consequently, they are pulling their heads back and screaming. Likewise, you are in a state of panic. Meanwhile, this happened to me 3-4 times during my 10 years of breeding. Thus, I kept bolt cutters always close by. I did not trim my tusk on any of my nine boars. (That is another article all by itself). Boars are very docile and trimming tusk is a personal preference but, please watch for them to get caught in the fencing depending on the type of fencing you use. 

Behavioral Changes

First, some of the behavioral things you will notice is raised hair up along their neckline standing straight up. Likewise, his head may be down making it look like he is going to charge. It is just him making himself look scary but, rarely would the boar charge a human.

Second, he will be pawing at the ground. This is all normal behavior and can even be a part of his mating ritual. This is another reason it is recommended to move the sow you wish to be bred to the boar. Consequently, he has already marked this territory. Thus, it will keep them from going through all this all over. As a result, he can focus on his new mate instead. Also, by moving the sow to the boar area, he is more confident his own area and this can really help for more dominate females.

In conclusion

Well, I hope that this will help you understand a boar's behavior better and unlike me, you won't think that your KuneKune boar has rabies. If you have funny stories about the first time that you saw this behavior and would like to share it, please feel free to email me at IKKPSinfo@gmail.com and we will add it to a newsletter or even a blog post so that others too can learn from your experiences.

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