What We Feed Our Kunekunes

I didn’t receive a lot of guidance when I began this journey. The only info I got was that kunekunes need 1% lysine, about 16% protein, and a couple cups a day. Oh what I have learned! Here is the nitty gritty on what we feed our Kunekune herd, how much, and what we recommend. As our suggestions change we will edit this post.

Our Feed

We purchase our feed from Hillandale Feed Mill in Lake Butler Florida. We currently purchase their 16% Hog Feed and their 20% Pig Feed. I could have them make a custom blend but honestly I like having control over the amount of protein each pen gets.

This feed is a dry mash type of feed. We do soak it in buckets with water for fermenting. Here in Florida it doesn’t take long. Our buckets soak only about 24 hours before feeding. PS. We just use 5 gallon Lowes buckets. We put about 10 lbs of dry feed in each bucket and then top with water until it’s a thick oatmeal consistency.

We also purchase Timothy/Alfalfa Pellets and Black Oil Sunflower Seeds as mix-ins for the feed buckets. The Timothy/Alfalfa pellets more so in the winter when grazing is lower. The sunflower seeds add lysine and help with coat condition.

The adult herd gets the 16% Feed while my nursing mamas and growing piglets get a mix of both, averaging around 18% protein.

There are many feed mills around the US with quality pig feed that meets the needs of Kunekunes. You can also find Dumor Hog or Purina Pig & Sow at your local tractor supply that will work perfectly.

How Much Feed

If you have heard the words minimal feed or 1-2 cups. Those are both so far from the truth and Im going to tell you why. If you are keeping kunekunes to raise for meat or a breeding herd you are going to want them at their optimal health. They will not reach their full potential on minimal feed no matter how hardy someone tries to tell you their pigs are.

Piglets – 40lbs = 3lbs per piglet per day free fed (Pick it up at night) – 18% Pig Feed Blend (Small babies fed in creep so mama doesn’t take it)

40 – 80 lbs = 3 lbs of 16% pig feed daily divided into 2 meals

80 lb + growing = Start at 3 – 4 lbs of 16% Feed daily and adjust up or down based on pigs needs.

Maintenance = Adults that are no longer physically growing get a maintenance ration of around 2lb + a day. Really dependent on body condition.

Nursing Moms = 6 lbs + 0.5 lb per piglet nursing – 18% pig feed

We monitor and feed depending on their body condition. If they are looking thin we up it, if they are putting on too much we lower it. To see what your kunekunes body condition should be please check this Body condition chart from the AKKPS.

*cold winter temps cause an increase in demand for feed.


Black Oil Sunflower Seeds – We love to add in black oil sunflower seeds year round for several reasons. One is coat condition, the other is upping their lysine intake. I can see a huge difference when I skip sunflower seeds for a month or two.

Timothy/Alflafa Pellets – I add these to their buckets of feed in the winter & early spring when the grass is down. These must be soaked but add bulk and fiber to the feed mix. I use blended pellets because Alfalfa can be high in calcium and cause kidney stones. So I use these sparingly. Probably 1 cup per 10 lb bucket of feed.

Fruits & Veggies – As we have them we love to give the pigs fresh fruits and veggies. If it’s from our trees and garden or a fridge clean out, they love them all.

Hard Boiled Eggs – This is a big one around here. We actually keep our chickens to supply us with eggs and clean up after the pigs. The hard boiled eggs provide the pigs with additional protein and lysine. We give them as treats once a week or as we have extras.

Calf Manna– I save calf manna for a special treat, for my nursing mamas as a mix-in, for my growing piglets as a mix-in, and if I have a pig that I am trying to get some weight on. It has 25% protein and a ton of vitamins and minerals. If fed exclusively or too much it can cause stomach upset because of its richness. I haven’t met a pig that doesn’t love it and it can help so much with milk supply and nourishing an underweight pig.

Making Adjustments

Spending time with your animals and monitoring their physical condition will help you make adjustments to their feed. If you have several pigs you may need to separate at feed times based on how fast or aggressively some of them eat.


I have some of my pigs that love hay and others that just lay in it. I have found that if their mama taught them to eat it, they love it! I make it a point to offer fresh coastal hay in all my pigs houses for snacks/bedding. The boars seem to enjoy it more than the sows, but I have a handful that go crazy for it. This is a wonderful way to supplement when pastures aren’t available or low.

Once or Twice a Day

This comes down to your personal preference. We have found twice a day works best for our herd. We are able to put them in their houses at night with dinner, and feed them breakfast before we let them out to graze in the morning. This ensures everyone is getting the proper portions.

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