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What makes KuneKunes so special

What are KuneKunes are used for?

KuneKunes - What Makes Them So Special

What are KuneKune used for and what makes them so special? We will discover that and more in this post.

What are KuneKune used for?

KuneKunes are gaining in popularity across the country. No more is the rare breed that was near extinction that they once were. These little multi-purpose pigs are being used in several niche markets from pets, to breeding stock to pork production for small scale farming operations that want a friendly, docile little pig that is easy for the first-time pig buyers to handle. They are used as therapy animals in nursing homes and emotional support animals as well as petting zoos. Overall, you can use this breed for many purposes. KuneKune Breeders will utilize them sell breeding pigs that are the best of their litters and finally, they will utilize them in a meat production program. Not all pigs are suited for breeding.

Furthermore, let's talk about some of the areas that they fit into more in detail below.

Do KuneKunes make good pets?

KuneKunes are wonderful pets and are trustworthy with children. If you have ever been around big commercial breeds, you may not feel this is honest but, it is for Kunes. This pig is a smaller breed of pig that come up to your knee or just above if you are short like I am. They are short and fat! Thus, the name the Māori tribes in New Zealand named them – KuneKune which means short and fat. In fact, the Māori tribes kept the pigs free ranging, and they stayed near the tribal homes. Therefore, it is believed that is why they have remained so friendly.

Raising livestock with children can teach them so much you have pig for a pet, companion animal, therapy animal or just to clean up orchards. Raising livestock will teach children responsibility, about life and death, and to care about something other than themselves. Getting children away from electronics and into farming livestock is a wonderful way to raise a child for them and for you.

KuneKune Pigs for meat

Homesteaders across the nation are finding that this breed make great homesteading pigs as they can fatten on almost grazing alone. Therefore, they are cost efficient pigs. First, grazing is amazing for these pigs and with little in the way of supplementation, you are not investing as much to get your pig to market weight. At the same time, they do take a bit longer to get to harvest weight.

Furthermore, they are not prone to rooting and destroying pastures the way that commercial hogs do. This breed prefers to graze the land instead of destroying it. In fact, most of their rooting is done in the confines of their mud puddles. You will find they even tend to poop along fence line and in front of gates to leave more land for grazing.

KuneKune meat is wrapped in a layer of fat. In fact, this is why the meat is so flavorful. It has locked the flavor into the rich red marbled meat.

Do KuneKunesRoot?

This breed pigs are not prone to rooting provided you manage them correctly. One important thing to note is that they want to graze the land and therefore, are not as likely to root. As mentioned above they will root in their puddles. This breed does not need a ring in their snouts to prevent rooting.

Therapy Animals

I have heard of many that use this breed as a therapy animal. Indeed, I find this a bit difficult to believe really with their size that you could load them up as adults and travel to say a nursing home with them. Generally, I believe when this is said, it means that they consider after a long exhausting day at the office or work that they find caring for and taking the time to spend with their livestock animals is therapeutic to them. Therefore, when I hear "therapy pig", I do believe they mean the latter part.

In fact, when I was raising this heritage pig after a distressing day, I found some quiet time with the animals to re-generate my mood and was therapeutic to me.

What is a KuneKunes temperament like?

This heritage breed of grazing pigs has an amazing personality and are affectionate, curious, happy, and humorous little creatures.    What makes them so incredibly special is they can graze and not destroy the land. They do not want to tear up the grass they want to eat it!   In fact, they also are not prone to test fencing or be hard on fencing like the bigger breeds. In addition, they are also easy to handle, allow you to watch babies be born, interact with the babies and even a full intact boar is as docile as a puppy. It truly is amazing, and it provides such a great learning environment for children. 

Grazing pigs are minimal maintenance as they are a very hardy breed that do well in warm and cold temperatures. They do not require much in the way of feed as they are true grazers and can fatten on grass alone if the pasture is rich enough. We give our pigs two cups of grain twice a day more because we choose to then we must. Piglets growing during their first year will of course need grain but, after that they can maintain their weight on pasture. They have a short-upturned snout which is why they are efficient grazers.


In conclusion: you can see that KuneKune pigs can fit into many niches. So, it is easy to find the right fit for several reasons with this incredible breed.

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