First off, what is a KuneKune pig? And how do you pronounce it? These are some of the most common questions I get
KuneKune (pronounced: “cooney cooney” pigs originated from New Zealand. They were almost extinct, but fortunately they were brought back to a healthy population by some breeders that chose to preserve this great breed. Several lines have been imported from New Zealand and the UK over the years. So if you hear the terms “Jenny gilt” or “BH Tutaki boar” etc that is in reference to the “line” that they came from. Gilt (female pigs that haven’t give birth yet) take on their dam’s (mom’s) line name; and boarlings (young boars/males) take on their sire’s (dad’s) line name. The line names become part of the pigs registered name, along with the herd name of the farm they were born on. This all helps keep track of where they come from.
KuneKune pigs are an old fashion lard type grazing pig. Most pigs raised on commercial farms are much larger lean type breeds. KuneKune are very different than the pigs raised commercially. They are much much smaller, they rarely root because of their short upturned snouts, easier on fences, really friendly, slow growing, and graze on pasture all day. Because they are constantly grazing and slow growing, they require a lot less feed than other breeds of pig, and convert the feed that they are given into meat really well. They produce a dark meat with lots of marbling, and also provide a lot of leaf fat that can be rendered into lard. These are all reasons we chose to raise this amazing breed. We wanted a friendly breed that we wouldn’t have to be afraid of, a breed that we wouldn’t have to worry about being around our daughter. These pigs are so friendly, they love being pet and will follow me around even without feed. Most of them will roll over and let me rub their bellies, even our male breeding boar is so friendly and loves his belly rubbed too. We wanted a smaller homestead breed that would be easy to manage on our small farm and that wouldn’t require elaborate fencing or facilities. We wanted a breed that would graze and not root up pasture and also convert grass into meat with minimal purchased feed. The KuneKune fulfilled all our wants and more! We are so excited to be raising these pigs on our farmstead.
Another aspect that I love about raising registered KuneKune pigs in particular is that the AKKPS (one of the two KuneKune registries) does such a great job of keeping track of the breed’s lines and genetics, and sets a breed standard, which helps ensure you are getting an actual 100% KuneKune pig that has been bred to keep its special traits. It’s also great to know that we are contributing to keeping the genetic legacy of the KuneKune alive and well.
We are exited to start breeding our KuneKune gilts for spring and summer 2021 babies, so stay tuned for updates on that. And please reach out to me if you have any questions or might be interested in raising your own KuneKune pigs.
You can also visit our KuneKune page to see what pig we have available or upcoming litters