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Courtesy of the American KuneKune Pig Registry
The Kunekune Pig (pronounced "cooney cooney") is one of the smallest breeds of pigs. It was developed by the first people of New Zealand. Adult Kunes- still growing in their third to fourth year - are small in stature with gilts/sows weighing as little as 100 pounds and up to approximately 185 pounds. Boars are heavier being that they develop "armor" as a secondary sex characteristic and, like most males in the species, are generally larger than females. Boars can get up to 200 pounds and more, but a boar weighing 250 is considered to be on the high end. In the past, many pig breeds were "wattled" or "tasseled" with fleshy appendages hanging from the lower jaw near the neck, but this characteristic is considered to be very rare in the present day. Kunekunes are a wattled breed, but many purebred Kunekunes do not have wattles and some have only one.
The most notable attribute of the Kunekune Pig is that their temperament is very docile. Boars are generally very gentle and amenable to keepers, sows, and piglets. Boars quickly resolve their power struggle with each other and can be housed together in small or large groups. Sows have strong mothering tendencies without aggression toward handlers. Squealing piglets may concern sows, however, they will "call" to the distressed piglet rather than become protective in an aggressive manner.
Kunekunes make great pasture pigs being unique in their ability to graze and do well on grass with little needed in the way of supplementation. Their short, upturned snout speaks to their ability to graze and to the fact that they are not prone to root. They also do not challenge fences so they are easier to confine than commercial pigs. There is a niche market for "grass fed", "pasture raised", "free ranging" pork. The Kunekune Pigs have fabulous well-marbled meat which insures a viable future for this small, heritage breed. The pigs have many additional uses within the sustainable systems of small farms, for educational farms, and in agritourism.