Updated: Apr 12
We often get asked if a pig needs a friend. Most of the time the answer is yes. Pigs are herd animals and enjoy each others company. They love to sleep together and pile together for warmth in the winter. Pigs often sleep nose to nose as it comforts them.
What if you want a house pig? Ripley decided for herself that she wanted to be a house pig. We never imagined having a pig live in the house with us. For some reason she prefers to live inside. Since then we have found homes for several house pigs. I prefer to sell house pigs as an only pig because having one pig in the house is a lot of work. I couldn't imagine having two full grown pigs. The wear and tear on your home alone is enough to really make you think twice about it. We are constantly cleaning dirty nose prints and mud tracked into the house. Thankfully Ripley is a very clean pig and not destructive at all but they still need constant supervision. Imagine having a toddler in your house all the time that lives for 20 years. This is what having a pig live in your house is like. Pigs even throw temper tantrums like 2 year old when they don't get their way. I tell people if the pig is going to be home alone for more than 4 hours a day than a house pig is not for you. If you work from home and the pig will be part of the family. They will be completely happy being an only pig.
If you need to keep your pig home alone for more than 4 hours a day I will not sell an only pig to you. They will get too lonely, bored, destructive, and depressed. They are going to need a friend. If you have 2 pet Kunekunes you'll need some land so they can graze. These are grazing pigs. Ripley spends about 8 - 10 hours a day outside grazing. They will not be happy being locked in a pen, kennel, room, inside the house. Ripley keeps our backyard very well manicured.
If you are breeding pigs, you are going to need four pigs! Boys can get a girl pregnant as early as 4 months and females can get pregnant as early as 6 month but you need to wait till they are 18 - 24 months before breeding. So, you will need 2 boy and 2 girls so each has a friend. You could also get barrows as companion pigs if you did not want to start with 2 breeding pairs. Barrows are castrated males. I recommend trying to get females first since they take longer to mature.
To recap this is the minimum amount of pigs to have if you are thinking of getting Kunekunes. These are my recommendations based on experience I have both with our house pig and our breeding herd.
1 Pig - Pet living inside with family 24/7 and no more than 4 hours alone
2 Pigs - If living outside or home alone for more than 4 hours a day
4 Pigs - If breeding, you will need to keep males and females separate and each will need a friend.