Farrowing Areas For Success - Barn Style

By AKKPS Member Caroline Malott of Red Roof KuneKunes

Carol Levine

Photo by AKKPS Member Carol Levine of Cedar Acres Farm


There are 2 types of farrowing set ups:

  1. Barn Style Farrowing - farrowing in a structure with the sow living in that area away from the herd with her piglets.  Generally no other pigs are in the sows area although this is not always the case and some breeders choose to co-mother or allow other pigs to live in the area.  While the later can work for some situations, itdoes come with some risks such as crushed piglets, slow growth rates (due to a sow nursing most of the piglets) and poor sow condition (due to a sow nursing most of the piglets).
  2. Field Farrowing - farrowing in a field not removed from the herd.  Multiple huts are typically used for the sows to choose from.  Co mothering is common.

This article focuses on Barn Style Farrowing.

Having a proper set up for farrowing increases a breeders success rate with raising healthy litters of KuneKunes. 

Farrowing areas do NOT need to be fancy but need the basics.

  • Stall - The area inside the structure where the sow lives with her piglets.  Ideal is 10 x 10 however anything 8 X 8 or bigger is advisable to give enough room for farrowing and then mom and piglets for 7-9 weeks.
  • Creep Area - Typically made of wood.  An area the piglets can access where the sow can not that provides a heat source and food/water can be places for piglets consumption.  The bottom rails is typically 10-12 inches of the ground at at least 2 feet tall which prevents the sow from access to the creep.
    • allows for heat lamps away from the sow which helps prevent piglets from seeking warmth from the sows body which can result in crushed piglets
    • allows for heat lamps to hang lower (sow can not bump them) providing the needed 95 degree area for the piglets
    • water and feed can be placed in this area for piglet consumption only
  • Piglet Warmth - Piglets need a 95 degree are the first 2 weeks of life.  As they get older the amount of heat needed decreases.
  • Bedding - The farrowing area should have a medium for the sow to nest in and to keep the piglets off the flooring of the stall.
    • should be shallow
      • 1-2 inches
      • prevents piglets from being crushed and getting tangled up in bedding
    •  Mediums
      • Hay
      • Straw
      • Shavings (no cedar)
  • Airflow - Windows or Fans help with a cross breeze in the hot summer months which keeps the sow from overheating.
    • Fans
      • should NOT be aimed directly at the piglets.
      • Corner placement
      • Window placement to draw hot air out
    • Windows across from one another are a great for a cross breeze
  • Flooring
    • Wood
    • Concrete
    • Dirt
    • Stall Mats can be placed over all types of flooring
      • makes cleaning easier
      • keep ridge side up for traction for piglets nursing
  • Crush Rail - Typically made of wood.  Used on the outside walls 8-10 inches off the floor on the walls sticking 8-12 inches out allowing piglets to scoot under when a sow lays down.
  • Outdoor Area - Attached to the farrowing stall to allow sow and piglets access to a bathroom area, fresh air, grass and dirt.



By AKKPS Members

Paula Toney 1
Paula 2

Photos by AKKPS Member Paula Toney of Liberty Farms


Photos by AKKPS Member Debra Allen of Allen's Acres


Photos by AKKPS Member Devona Hartskamp of Hart Acres KuneKunes


Photos by AKKPS Member Kelli Pettrey Hall of Hematite Homestead KuneKunes

Video by AKKPS Member Dan Tracy Crist of Hopewell Heritage Farm

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