KuneKunes are a friendly breed of pig, they do not tend to roam, or test fences. Their upturned snout and short faces make them the only breed of pig not prone to rooting. They are extremely docile and have mellow temperaments, making them a great choice for beginner/hobby farmers. Their super personalities make them easy for kids to love and also us Adults lol. They even seem to be more lovey than some of our Goats and want all the attention!!
KuneKunes are a medium sized pig ranging from 150-350 lbs on average, they are extremely intelligent and highly trainable. Just like our goats they are an all around wonderful animal, they are easy keepers, make great pets, can be used as therapy animals, petting zoos, for hobby farms to even larger scale farming operations.
KuneKunes are known for their highly flavourful pork with deeply marbled red meat that is intense with rich and delicious flavour highly sought after by high end chefs and restaurants, once you have tasted this pasture pork you will never go back. KuneKune pork is exceptional for roasting and charcuterie meats.
KuneKunes produce clean lard and adds tons of flavor in baking and cooking, You can also make soaps and it also has lots of other great uses.
History of the KUNEKUNES
The history of the breed is one of a close association with the Maori people of New Zealand, and in the early 1900’s were usually only found associated with Maori settlements. In early times the KuneKune were prized for their placid nature and their tendency not to roam, as they have always been a domesticated pig.
In the late 1970’s the breed was ‘rediscovered’ and at that time it was estimated that there were only about 50 purebred KuneKunes left in New Zealand. From purebred base stock of only 6 sows and 3 boars in 1978, the KuneKune conservation program was created by wildlife park owners Michael Willis and John Simister. These two gentlemen single handedly saved the breed from extinction. Once more herds were established in New Zealand, it became clear that exporting of the breed was important. They were afraid that if disease or other natural disasters struck in New Zealand this would wipe the breed out completely. In 1992 the first KuneKunes left New Zealand to go to the UK. Additional stock was sent to the UK in 1993 & 1996.
All KuneKunes in the United States go back to either direct New Zealand or UK imported stock. There have been five importations of KuneKune pigs into the USA occurring in 1996, 2005, 2010, and 2012. The first importation of KuneKunes occurring into Canada in 2012 – making them a relatively new breed of heritage pig across the Canadian Nation.
The KuneKunes are known for their extremely docile and friendly personality which is unmatched by any other breed of swine. They are extremely outgoing and love human interaction. They are a grazing breed of swine and as such prefer to graze on grass. Their short and upturned snouts make them suitable grazers and less prone to rooting found in other breeds. KuneKunes are known for having 2 wattles (much like goats) found under their chin. They have little to no desire to roam and do not test fencing. KuneKunes are still fairly rare in the USA, but are gaining popularity very quickly, finding their niche in many different markets.
Reference: American Kunekune Pig Society AKKPS
The Kunekune Pig (pronounced "cooney cooney") is a breed known as the "Maori Pig" having been developed by the first people of New Zealand. Being near extinction in their homeland during the 1970's, two animal preservationists, Michael Willis and John Simister, are credited with their conservation. Since that time, the breed has gained recognition on both the North and South islands of New Zealand, in Great Britian and Europe, the United States, and, most recently, in Canada. The Kunekune Pig in America is finding a serious niche market for small farms, in sustainable farming systems, for permaculture, and with chefs, charcutiers, caterers, and in home butchery.
UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS - Kunekune Pigs are a smaller size hog with boars reaching up to 500 pounds and sows 400 pounds. They are varied in hair color and hair texture with ears that are pricked or semi-lop. Extremely docile in temperament, the breed is suitable for first time pig growers. For a comprehensive description of physical characteristics, see BREED STANDARD.
FEEDING - Kunekune are known to many as "the Grazing Pig" being extremely efficient on grass and not prone to root or roam. Pasture grasses work well with supplementation to satisfy dietary needs for appropriate protein intake as well as vitamins and minerals. Hay can be fed when pasture is scarce or unavailable.
Commercial pig feeds, organic or proprietary feeds, along with garden excess all work to guarantee your pig's optimum condition. Gestating and lactating sows as well as piglets should always get a daily ration in addition to any pasture and/or hay.
When feeding out meat pigs for sale or for your family's table, consider the reason behind the niche market for those who practice excellent husbandry. The "alternative system" of rearing your pigs out-of-doors in an open-air piggery and feeding them from the orchard and garden not only speaks to buyers, but produces exceptional quality and taste in the pork that you produce.
HOUSING - Pigs need housing and shade in order to thrive in any environment. Depending upon the climate and conditions, producers will need to provide a relatively draft free space with clean bedding and protection from sun, wind and rain. In the coldest climates, deep straw or hay, perhaps with a layer of wood shavings underneath, will be required to keep pigs warm and dry.