The articles below cover a number of topics about pig health and farming. There are more articles in The Basics section too. If you're looking for something in particular then use the search box above. If not, then browse the article titles and see what there is to help you. If you can't find an answer here then why not ask in our discussion forums? One of the very friendly and helpful members is sure to be able to help you.
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Q & A on Foot & Mouth disease
Foot & Mouth disease (FMD) is in many countries but thankfully not in NZ. If it reaches our islands it is likely that there will be a cull of animals to try to prevent it's spread. We need to do everything we can to protect ourselves. One protection is the regulation on feeding scraps to pigs.
The kunekune is unique to NZ. It means ‘fat and round’ in Te Reo Māori. It is smaller than other breeds, although an overweight Kunekune can still be quite a large pig.
Help protect New Zealand’s pigs
Lifestylers are being urged to help protect New Zealand’s pigs from a deadly swine disease that is spreading overseas and kills about 80 percent of the pigs it infects.
Lifestylers urged to stay alert for severe pig virus
If you have seen the news lately you have probably heard about a highly contagious virus that affects pigs, African swine fever (ASF). It does not affect other animals or humans.
The breeding cycle in male pigs
Boars reach maturity around 6 months of age although this can depend on feeding levels and management.
PMWS - pig wasting disease
Pig wasting disease initially called post-weaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) is a devastating pig disease.
News Alert for all owners of pigs: Influenza A (H1N1) - initially called swine flu
NZPork, the organisation funded by New Zealand pork producers has important information for all owners of pigs.
Which breed of pig to choose
Feral pigs (Captain Cookers) are farmed on small blocks and the Kunekune is also popular.
It’s tempting to think that you can make money from pigs by feeding them kitchen scraps and garbage.
Housing costs money, and to reduce costs, many pig farmers build their own, ending up with eyesores that annoy and stink out the neighbours.
Moving and transporting pigs
Pigs are den-living, home-loving individuals with a poor herding response.
Health and disease in pigs
If you have pigs on your lifestyle farm and they are well fed with a comfortable free-range lifestyle, they are likely to be relatively healthy and content.
Routine procedures in pigs
Pigs should be handled quietly to avoid stress. Electric prodders, plastic pipes, and dogs must not be used on pigs.
The profit comes from keeping a productive sow that regularly weans good litters that grow well to slaughter weight with no deaths.
The breeding cycle in female pigs
Most gilts (young females) show their first oestrus between 170-220 days old, which is usually around 90kg liveweight.
Artificial insemination and castration in pigs
AI in pigs is now regularly used around the world. The advantage for small pig breeders is that it avoids the costs and inconvenience of keeping a boar.
Most lifestyle farmers use outdoor huts for farrowing sows. Huts should be situated in a sheltered spot and made airtight to retain the sow's body heat.
Introduction to pigs
Pigs are very social animals that prefer to live in small groups. They are very clean animals not dunging in their eating/lying area.
Mixing pigs can cause a lot of stress, especially if they start fighting. Mix 3-4 sows and their litters before weaning.
Behaviour problems in pigs
Pigs urinate and defaecate at regular intervals during the day, except for a lengthy rest period between 7 pm and 6 am when their day starts.
Slaughter and euthanasia of pigs
The time may come when you are faced with having to kill a pig, whether slaughtering for food or euthanising an old or sick animal.