Get to know Kunekune

 

Kunekune are a heritage breed of pig that originates from New Zealand.  There they lived among the local natives known as the Maori people which helped them evolve into the friendliest pig species around.  They are very loving and always happy when they get attention, and will even roll on their side for a belly rub.  The name kunekune means "fat and round" in the Maori language and that is certainly an accurate description.  The reason they are shaped so different than commercial hogs is because they are lard hogs.  Lard has been incredibly important for most of history and only fell out of favor in the last 100 years or so since alternatives have been developed.  Those alternatives were marketed as much healthier than lard and took over the market leading pigs to be bred leaner and leaner.  Many recent studies have shown the health benefits of lard over other cooking oils and more and more people are moving back to lard over unnatural cooking oils.  The lard is a true benefit to the pigs too.  With the extra insulation they are designed for the cold and handle winters surprisingly well.  

That's not all that's unique about kunekune though.  They also have long thick hair that can come in a variety of colors including ginger, cream, brown, black, ginger & black, black & white, brown & white, gold tip and tricolor.  This also makes them incredibly hardy, very tolerant and capable of dealing with cold weather as long as their basic needs are met.  Another typical trait is wattles or "piri piri" that hang on each side of their face under their jowl.  Not all kunekune have 2 wattles and not all have the same size of wattles.  Some are born without wattles and some are born with wattles and will lose one along the way which is okay because there is no know function of the wattles.  

The best trait of all though is there dished face with an upturned snout designed for grazing instead of rooting.  Kunekune are the only pig that can get fat on grass so easily which means they are perfect for pasture raised pork and can be raised much more economically than typical pigs.  You can truly set them out on pasture just like you would cattle and don't have to worry about them turning it into a dirt lot like most pigs.  They will graze it down but won't damage the roots so the plants can recover.

 

Another popular trait is their manageable size.  Though they are far from a mini pig as some irreputable breeders will call them they certainly aren't as big as most pigs.  They are usually between 24-30" tall and can range in weight from 125-250 pounds.  This manageable size paired with their friendly personality makes them the perfect pig for the small homestead, first time pig owner, or anyone who wants a pig for a pet.

Sovereign Farmstead