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Kunekune Hair Loss. What's up with that?

Kunekune lose hair for a number of different reasons. To determine the cause of hair loss you need to thoroughly analyze their living conditions, do a physical exam of their skin and hair and observe their behavior.

  1. Mange: Sarcoptic mange is a parasitic skin disease that causes discomfort in pig. The most obvious sign of mange is itching and rubbing. Transmission can occur through direct contact with another pig, transmission through pen furnishings were eggs, nymphs or adults have been rubbed off and can infect others for up to 3 weeks. Infestation can also occur from introduction of new pigs to the farm or from contaminated clothing.

  2. Seasonal shedding: at some point most pigs shed their hair. I have noticed shedding in my herd during spring or during the hottest days of summer, and occasionally in a sow after weaning a litter. It usually starts shedding along their top line and will continue down to the belly.

  3. Zinc Deficiency: if on commercial feed this is very unlikely. Zinc deficient pigs have poor appetite, reduced growth, and unthriftiness.

How to tell the difference: examine the skin and hair.

If the pig has normal behaviors, healthy looking skin and is not rubbing then it is most likely natural shedding. Here is a photo of Phoebe with her blown coat and in full coat. Her hair is thinning across her entire body, starting up at the head and has made it's way down to the belly. She has healthy skin, no lesions, redness or rubbing.

If you notice blackening behind the ears, in the ears, on the face, in the crevices of the legs and on thinner skinned areas it is most likely mange. The pig will be uncomfortable and have bald spots where they are rubbing to help relieve the itching.

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