The perfect homestead pig
The kunekune (cooney-cooney) are a small breed of pig that was first imported here to the U.S. from New Zealand in 1996.
Females typically average 100 to 175 pounds, while males reach the 200-250+ range. However the longer we have kept our pigs, the more we have discovered that these weight ranges can vary between the different lines. For instance, a Jenny gilt may be shorter but heavier while a Tapeka is more dense and has substantial length. Even in our own herds lineage - our sow Dahlia's sire was 300+ lbs, abnormal from the "average" breed description. The kunekune breed is constantly changing and evolving as more and more breeders breed for faster growing and heavier pigs for meat production programs. This is part of our own goal in this program - to produce beautiful and substantial pigs for homesteaders. These pigs of have short, upturned snouts that discourage them from rooting (I have found that they only root if they aren't being fed enough). Kunekunes are also grazing pigs and thrive on a good grassy pasture. During the winter months it is easy enough to provide them with a good alfalfa hay and a commercial pellet. They also go crazy for fresh fruits and veggies! They have found that, true to their breed description, they do not test fences and are overall pretty easy keepers.
Our favorite part about the kunekune breed is that they are just the sweetest pigs. They are quite literally as affectionate as dogs! Our boarling, Branch, loves to follow us around and scoop up fruit that has dropped off the trees. Each of our gilts will flop over the second you start scratching their bellies and grunt in complaint if you stop. When Eric told me he wanted to get pigs for the farm, I was anything but happy. Everything I knew about pigs was unpleasant... but they quickly changed my mind about owning pigs. It's hard for your heart not to melt when they start nudging you with their little noses to get more scratches.
Their smaller size, easygoing nature, and friendly personality makes for pleasant animals to breed if you're looking for your own sustainable source of pork!