IKKPS an official KuneKune Registry
Get Newsletter

Sign Up

Want to receive a newsletter to learn more about KuneKune pigs and other educational information? Sign up to have them delivered right to your inbox.

We look forwarded to sending you some great info.

Farrowing KuneKunes

Raising & Farrowing KuneKunes

Farrowing KuneKunes

Farrowing KuneKunes is a rewarding experience but, it can also go horribly wrong. In sharing this story, it is our hope someone can learn from it.


The life of a farmer is always a difficult one and the life of a livestock farmer is extremely hard as well. We tend to talk about all the wonderful times and share such great happy post but, what you rarely hear about is the heartache and pain. I think in every heartache there is something by sharing it others may learn or become more aware of. Therefore, today I am sharing the heartache and hole in my heart today for others to be more aware and cautious of.

Some Background

First, BH Rebecca Gina bloodline was one that I did not really want. Bringing in other piglets at the same time, I made the decision to purchase the BH Rebecca Gina piglet from my dear friends and mentors at Goose Meadow. Consequently, I could not have known this bloodline would be the signature line of our farm. As a result, I dearly loved this bloodline. Who Knew this ugly piglet, and she was ugly as a piglet, would steal my heart away.

Chris-see was named after Christopher Rowley of Goose Meadow. Afterall, I had named by Ru boar after Matt Burton. The import had passed away after only producing eight gilts and Chris-see was the 3rd born. Therefore, it was my responsibility to carry this line forward for them.

All was well till it wasn't with farrowing Kunekunes

Last night, we lost a huge love in our farm.... Chris-see who died quite tragically and unexpectedly. Chris-see has given us beautiful and outstanding babies and now leaves behind four more. For our buyers that have their offspring, you know what I mean. She will never be forgotten and will forever be missed. I will cling very tightly to her daughter forever and I am so extremely glad that I have that piece of her. Rest in peace Chris-see and thank you so much for being a part of our daily lives.

Last night after feeding the dogs, I went in to check on the newest arrivals to our farm again and make sure all was well. I noticed that the mom was eating something. My first thought was the piglet we were having some concerns about one, so I am busy counting the five piglets. Nope all there. I petted her and she seemed fine and had been fine two days since her birth.

What Happened next, I will never forget

Gathering up everything and was heading out the door. I then heard some strange noise like she was slamming into the farrowing walls. I dropped everything in

my arms right there and went back in the farrowing quarters. She was spinning around and frantic. I ran to the piglets and tossed them under the guard rails,

and one had been stepped on. I tried to figure out what was happening and saw her gasping for breath like she was choking.

I was trying to figure out how to go down her throat but, she was clashing her teeth and of course I had to keep tossing the piglets under the rails to keep them safe as well. It all happened so fast. Down she went, I tried the Heimlich maneuver over and over and literally in seconds she was gone.

The Heart Ache

Of course, I was home alone! I was really lost it in grief and pain and just could not think straight, I was in pain. I don't even know how long I sat there afterwards. My husband came home and called a friend to come help and called the vet. My vet is a wonderful guy and at 7:00 pm last night he was there. What he believes happened was she had retained a piglet even after all the afterbirth I cleaned up and got rid of looked like it was all of it.

She had passed more afterbirth (2 days later) and she ate it and she strangled on it. (Waiting on the necropsy to see if there was a piglet in there) During the 2 days after her piglets, she was eating, drinking, nursing the piglets fine and had plenty of milk. No signs of distress. Another friend was here yesterday, and she too never saw any signs of distress while we were hanging out with the piglets.

The sow is gone! What to do with the piglets?

As a result, Chris-see has four piglets here now that have been orphaned. Luckily, another mom has taken them in but, there is an age difference in the piglets, so I am switching them back and forth every 2 hours. Deciding this was the best path as so mom is not overwhelmed by eight trying to nurse. Ironically, this was another BH Rebecca Gina sow, Gabriella.

Efforts to syringe feed did not go well. Their new adopted mom was sniffing around them but very accepting. They were looking for their mom and rejected her at first until they got hungry. Mom has been very generous of her time and efforts and rewarded in extra food for her efforts. I will continue to try to supplement them and have gotten the older gang to eat some piglet crumbles which will help fill their tummies and take some pressure off mom. She is a first-time mother as well.

Around the clock, I switched them out every two hours for what seemed like months. However, I know it was only a few weeks. I was truly blessed though that she accepted the piglets. That is not easy to do at times.

In Conclusion

For those of you that allow your pigs to eat their afterbirth (and most of mine don't excluding 2 moms in the past but, never this one), please be careful. Had I just tried to figure out what she was eating and take it from her......this story may have been different.

Additional Articles on this topic



Registry Office

17500 Hamilton Arms Court Dewitt, VA 23840

Mailing Address

Call Us Now

+1 804-931-7454

Customer Service

Exceptional Customer Service

Scroll to Top