Kunekunes are slow-growing and take their time before getting saddled with a bunch of piglets. While they are sexually mature, between five to eight months, they may not be up to reproduction for another six months. It takes some time before the males build up confidence in their seduction. Initially it sounds like, “excuse me madam, but your aroma is quite alluring. You wouldn’t consider, no no, of course not, I am so sorry. Please forgive me. I’ll just take a nap over here … so sorry.” With time and maturity, he will chatter nonstop in her ear and roar frequently, sounding like a grizzly bear.
We finally heard our boar, Newton, tell this story just right to our gilt Shiva. (Shiva is named after the world-famous Vandana Shiva, a physicist and an agronomist from India. If you haven’t read any of her books, I highly recommend Soil Not Oil and Stolen Harvest.) My husband and I were in the barn one morning helping our goat deliver her first kids when we heard a lot of passionate pig conversation. Three and half months later, Shiva gave birth to seven gorgeous piglets.
Left on pasture till the end of gestation, a sow will build a beautiful nest from grass and tree branches. She will stay under the nest two days prior to delivery and several days after the piglets are born.