BELBECK'S FAMILY FARM KUNEKUNES
WHERE DO KUNEKUNE PIGS COME FROM?
Kunekunes originally came from New Zealand. They were raised by the Maori people and kunekune (pronounced "coonie coonie") actually means "fat and round" in the Maori languange.
Kunekunes were very near extinction in the late 1970s, until a small base population was selected from which to re-establish the breed. Part of the preservation strategy was to export kunekune pigs out of New Zealand. They were exported to the UK in 1992, 1993 and 1996. Kunekunes were imported into the USA in 1996, 2005, 2010, and 2012. All kunekunes in Canada were imported from the USA.
WHAT DO KUNEKUNE PIGS LOOK LIKE?
Kunekune pigs are a smaller breed of domestic pig known for their short, sturdy, round physique. They come in a wide variety of colours. They have a short, upturned snout which makes them well equipped for grazing. Some kunekune pigs have characteristic wattles, also known as piri piri, that dangle from their jowl.
Click here to view the AKKPS breed standard.
HOW BIG DO KUNEKUNE PIGS GET?
Kunekune pigs are a small to medium size breed of pig. Females range in size from 150-250lbs and boars range from 250-400lbs at mature size.
WHAT DO KUNEKUNE PIGS EAT?
Kunekunes are a true grazing breed. With their short, upturned snout, they can effectively graze grasses, legumes, weeds etc. While forages can make up the bulk of a kunekune pig's diet, they do require a balanced swine ration with an appropriate vitamin and mineral composition to thrive. They also enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. It is illegal to feed meat products to pigs in Canada.
DO KUNEKUNES DO WELL IN COLD CLIMATES?
Kunekune pigs are very versatile and can thrive in a variety of climates. Our kunekune pigs do well in winter with just a pasture house and plenty of straw for warmth. In hot climates, kunekune pigs need plenty of cool, clean drinking water and a wallow or kiddie pool to cool off in.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RAISE KUNEKUNE PIGS?
There are a variety of factors that contribute to the growth rate in kunekunes so these are just generalizations. Kunekunes are typically old enough to breed after 1 year of age. Kunekunes reach butcher weight in approximately 14-16 months, though some can achieve this closer to 12 months of age. Kunekunes reach full mature size around 3-4 years of age.
ARE KUNEKUNE PIGS FRIENDLY?
Kunekune pigs are known for their docile, easy-going nature. They love interacting with people and especially enjoy belly rubs!
DO KUNEKUNE PIGS MAKE GOOD PETS?
Because of their smaller size and docile personality, kunekunes make great pets for small farms and homesteads. Some even keep kunekunes as house pigs but they can still grow to a substantial size!
ARE KUNEKUNE PIGS GOOD FOR MEAT?
Kunekune pork is a rich, dark, well-marbled premium pork. Although kunekune take longer to grow and reach a smaller overall size, this is countered by the reduced amount of feed they require. Kunekune pork is well suited to charcuterie meats. Kunekune lard is valued for cooking, baking and soap making.
DO KUNEKUNE PIGS ROOT?
While the kunekune pig is not prone to rooting due to its upturned snout, in certain conditions (extremely wet years for example), they may root. Kunekune rooting is better described as "sod flipping" as they don't seem inclined to root deeply into the soil like other breeds of pigs. It also seems to be more prevalent in "teenage" kunekunes and they outgrown the behaviour in favour of grazing. The vast majority of the pigs in our herd have no history of rooting.