KuneKune Pigs: Sacrifices and Joys


Kathy PetersenWe have been raising kunekunes for over five years now, and I must say that it has been quite the journey. I can honestly say that I never knew how this small heritage breed of grazing pig was going to enrich my life the way they have. They are just so friendly, easy to handle, docile, and comical; what is not to love?


I will never forget all the discussions I had when I was researching the breed, nor how I felt when I brought home my first piglet. My first litter was also a memory I will never forget. I get just as excited today as I did back then with my first litter. To watch a birth is to experience a miracle right in front of your eyes. Can you tell I am head over heels in love?

KuneKune Litter of Piglets

What you do not hear a lot is the commitment that you make when you are raising livestock of any kind. The hours of work, the loss of sleep, and the 365 days a year that the “job” entails. Most pig farmers — unless you are a large scale commercial farmer — also work full time. It is a tireless job to care for the animals, but so worth the joy that it brings. Caring for our farm and animals is very therapeutic for me.

During my first several years of our kunekune breeding program I managed a Marriott Hotel full time (and then some). My husband also worked full time. It is hard to stay up all night delivering piglets and then go to work the next day, however we managed to do it. Luckily, two years ago, I left the hotel world to begin my own home-based business. It is a decision I still do not regret, as it gives me the flexible schedule that I need to be on the farm and watch over my animals even better.

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