Kunekune pigs are a small domestic breed of pig that originated in New Zealand. The first kunekune pigs were imported to the United States in 1994, and the American Kunekune Breeders Association was formed in 2006. Since then, the breed has become increasingly popular in the USA as a small, friendly pig that is easy(ish) to raise and care for.
Kunekune pigs were originally raised by the Maori people of New Zealand as a source of meat, but they were almost extinct by the 1980s. The pigs were rescued by a small group of enthusiasts who started a breeding program to save the breed.
Kunekune pigs were officially recognized by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy in 2006 as a "recovering" breed. This means that while the breed is still considered rare, their numbers are increasing, and they are no longer in danger of extinction.
Kunekune pigs are a small breed, with adults weighing between 100 and 250 pounds. They have a round, compact body, short legs, and a short snout. Their coat can be a variety of colors, including black, brown, white, ginger, and spotted.
Kunekune pigs are known for their friendly and docile personalities, making them popular as pets. They are also easy to care for, require minimal maintenance, and are resistant to many diseases. They are grazing animals and are often used to clear land or as lawn mowers. They are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods, including grass, vegetables, fruits, and grains.
Kunekune pigs are known for their slow growth rate, which makes them well-suited for small farms and backyard homesteads. They are also known for their ability to forage for food, making them a sustainable option for meat production.
The meat of kunekune pigs is flavorful and tender, with a good balance of fat and meat. It is also a RED meat; marbled and gamier than what you would recognize as pork from a grocery store.
Kunekune pigs are also used in conservation efforts to help restore native habitats and control invasive plant species. Their ability to forage for food makes them ideal for this purpose.
Kunekune pigs are social animals and prefer to live in groups. They are intelligent and can be trained to perform a variety of tasks, such as searching for truffles.
Despite their small size, kunekune pigs are surprisingly strong and can move heavy objects with ease. They are also known for their adaptability and can thrive in a variety of climates and environments. Kunekune pigs have a lifespan of around 15 years, which is longer than many other breeds of pigs.
Would you consider kunekunes for your farm?