Other common names: Kunekune
The Kune Kune pig is a small breed of domestic pig from New Zealand. The Kune Kune are believed to be descended from an Asian domestic breed introduced to New Zealand in the early 1800s by whalers or traders. Kune Kune are quite different from the feral pig known in New Zealand as a "Captain Cooker". Kune Kune were traditionally kept by the native Maori people, and kunekune means "chubby" in the Maori language.
According to the New Zealand Kunekune Association, "Following the steady arrival of European settlers in New Zealand, the Kune Kune population began to plunge. Many of the Maori tribes that had before relied on the pigs for meat and fat were turning to European ways of feeding themselves instead, and the kune population subsequently decreased. Until recently the few remaining specimens lived on small farms in Te Kuiti and the Waharoa district in Northland. Luckily for the breed, in the early 1980's Michael Willis and John Simister, two wildlife park owners, realised the serious danger of extinction the Kune population faced. As there were only about fifty purebred pigs left in the country, the breeders searched the country for kune kunes, buying ten sows and four boars off various breeders and farmers and brought the pigs to live in the South Island to breed.
With the help of the continually growing number of breeders and owners outside New Zealand kune kunes are now living all over the world from Guatemala to North America and in Britain where, after their arrival in 1992, the pigs have become very popular."
Appearance / health:
Kune Kune pigs are a hairy, short-legged, short-snouted pig with a very rounded body. They can have tassels (or pire pire) hanging from their lower jaw. Their colors include black and white, ginger, white, gold, tan and brown. The tassels, or pire pire, are about 4cm long and hang from the lower jaw.
Despite their energy and gregarious nature, Pigs are sensitive animals. They are easily stressed by travel, vaccinations, extreme temperatures, and new surroundings. Stress makes them susceptible to ailments like pneumonia and bronchitis (due also to their small lungs relative to their size). They are also susceptible to animal viruses like influenza. Pigs commonly suffer from mad itch (or pseudo rabies), dysentery, and parasites (lice, ticks, and ascarid worms).
Healthy pigs have shiny hair, bright eyes, strong appetites, and high energy. Their normal temperature is 102.5F. Deviations from the normal temperature and other signs of poor health including diarrhea and coughing should promptly be brought to the attention of a veterinarian.
Behavior / temperament:
The Kune Kune Pig is intelligent, resourceful, and affectionate.
Housing / diet:
Pigs are active, curious animals that require room to explore, exercise, and just be their natural energetic selves. Sufficient space, relative to their size and weight, is a primary consideration because pigs that are crowded or confined to small spaces become stressed, and healthy growth and development is hindered.
Although constantly roaming and appreciative of open yards and fresh air, pigs also require a shed or housing that will let them sleep on a dry and clean area at night. Ideal ambient temperatures are 60-70F. Warm shelters with wood chip bedding are a must during cold months; water misters are recommended for the hottest months.
Pig housing should also include a feeder and a drinking water dispenser (usually a water barrel). Access to a water source makes it convenient to clean or hose out the pig shelters (and the pigs) as needed. Chain link fencing, shade trees, and a pond are recommended for backyard habitats.
Pig owners are advised to check with local authorities for legislation regarding the ownership and keeping of pigs in their homes and backyards.
As omnivores that eat plants and animals, pigs will consume almost anything that is edible like fruits, roots, flowers, grass, insects, worms, all types of meat, and even leftover scraps from the dinner table.
Unlike ruminant animals (cattle and goats), pigs have a single stomach. For healthy and fast growth, pigs require a high-energy diet composed of grain (corn, oats, wheat, barley), plus protein and vitamin supplements. Most commercially available feed for pigs combine various farm grains and the necessary supplements to ensure rapid and efficient development.
Pigs are best allowed to self-feed or eat as much as they want during the day to enable them to grow as fast as they normally can. Feeding should always include a good supply of clean, fresh drinking water.
docile temperaments, cutest things, gorgeous little characters, Kune Kune personality, good meat
fun loving animals, perfect little rototiller, small heritage breed, nice soft mud
Elanor the Kunekune pig
Elanor would always be waiting by the gate of my property each evening to lead me to the house. She would climb onto the veranda and lean on me as I removes my boots. I might add that a 300 pound pig moves you when she leans against you and my veranda was wooden, I found it necessary to start removing my boots inside the house so I didn't need to remove splinters from my butt. Elanor was the most affectionate of pets and would sit beside me as long as my arm was around her. When i removed it she would try to snag my sleeve in her teeth to place it back around her. Unfortunately her gluttony brought about her demise. She could put her snubbed snout under the bottom wire of any fence and just push, her powerful legs would drive the wire up over her back and she was through. I even strained those bottom wires with a tractor, to no avail. She escaped once too often and tore the bottom sheets off a neighbors wheat silo and gorged half a tone of wheat in the three days she was missing. It was a remote silo and not visited often, the wheat swelled in her belly and by the time I found her she was so distressed and in excruciating pain and had to be destroyed..
From AustraliaKel Jun 25 2015 6:30PM
Spot the pig/dog
We got out little spot as a piglet. In NZ Kune Kune pigs are often in the wild, and hunters hunt for them. We had a hunter friend who had killed a couple of them in the bush that night, and turned up at 11pm and said he found a piglet, and didn't want to just leave it there and did we want it. Of course being kind hearted people we said yes. He was so small, and spotty, and my little brother named him 'spot' after the dog, those books were popular at the time. They grow to about half the size of a normal sized meat pig, or the big pink kind most people have here.
Spot had a great personality, very similar to a dog, he could fetch, roll over, sit, ate dog food (and most other kinds of food) and slept for a while in a dog kennel.
He was allowed inside up until he was a bout a year old and got a bit big. A lot of people keep this breed of pig as an inside pet though, i've seen it plenty of time in NZ, because they are so friendly and quite small (for a pig). They have good personalities and can be trained. I doubt they'd be that great to sell as meat, because they are small, and their legs are very stubby, I don't think the quantity or quality would be that great, also they get fat quite easily, especially if you spoil them, they'll just keep eating and eating until the food runs out, but then again, bear in mind, it is a pig, gotta expect a bit of pigginess.
* Easy to train
* Friendly personality, great with kids and other animals
* Small enough to have as a pet, and bring inside when it's freezing etc
* They have a nice coat, good patterns and colours, not boring at all
* Good health, no well known common problems or anything
* Not usually expensive to buy, you can often get them for free if you want one, from the rescue farms, hunters, or friends.
*They're not a meat pig, and wouldn't make much being sold for that reason
* They think they are dogs, and are very social, and will be lonely if you just have one and don't spend enough time with it, so if you get two, or it can play with a dog, that would be better.
* They are considered a bush pest in a way, and hunted, so people probably will think you're a bit weird if you decide to keep one as a pet or breed them.
* It's not going to make you any money, there's a very small market for them.
Overall, as a pet it's great, or just for having around a farm so you can say check out my cute little pig, but for actual farmers, trying to make a profit, this is not the breed for you. It's more a companion pig, if such a thing exists :).
From Christina_ruth Sep 19 2015 10:56PM