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.
The kunekune breed is constantly changing and evolving as more and more breeders breed for faster growing and heavier pigs for meat production programs and so the breed standard has adapted to reflect this. When we first started, it was said that the average kunekune was around 200 or so pounds, but now their weights range all the way up to 400 for females and 500 for males! This is part of our own goal in this program - to produce beautiful and substantial pigs for homesteaders. Our program is still in its infancy, but we have been aiming to select only the largest, most correct piglets for registration and it's these piglets that prove to have the best average daily gains as well.
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. It is widely said that these pigs are the best breed for first time pig owners :)
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!