The History of KuneKune Pigs


| 9/30/2014 1:54:00 PM


Tags: History Of KuneKune Pigs, Virginia KuneKunes, Kune Kunes, Grazing Pigs, Maori, New Zealand, Kathy Petersen,

Kathy PetersenWhen I was researching a different venture for our small acre farm, I looked at several different animals. I had considered Alpacas, goats, miniature cattle and pigs. In researching different breeds of pigs, I ran across a picture of a KuneKune pig. I thought these little creatures were adorable. Never once, had I considered raising pigs. Now, I am totally and completely in love with this breed of pigs.

kunekune 

Once of the things that intrigued me was the history of this breed. I found very little information here in the US about them and did most of my research through the New Zealand KuneKune Society and the British KuneKune society. That is where my passion began ... with the history.

These little pigs were almost extinct. No one really knows exactly how they came to New Zealand, but several theories exist from whalers bringing them over to New Zealand to the Maori tribes bringing them back in their canoes. The Maori tribes used to keep KuneKunes as a meat pig and for their lard. Maybe saying “keep” is the wrong word since they allowed them to roam free, but they stayed closed to the tribal homes. Some say this is how they became so domesticated and friendly.

Virginia KuneKunes

Two gentleman, Michael Willis and John Simister, began searching out these little pigs to begin a recovery program when they found out there were less than 50 of them left. They encountered difficulty in finding just 18, and they acquired them through gifts and purchasing them. They were very successful in their recovery breeding program and basically brought the breed back from the brink of extinction.

nebraskadave
10/1/2014 8:32:03 AM

Kathy, cute pigs. Many of the smaller breeds of animals seem to be the perfect fit for homesteads. They are not as productive as the larger breeds but the smaller breeds eat less, take less space to raise, and are easier to manage. In my youth days between college years, I raised pigs to have spending money for college. My choice was Duroc reds. We milked 13 cows and separated the cream to sell at the creamery in town. All of the skim milk was fed to the hogs over the summer and by fall they were slick and shiny market weight hogs. I never seen hogs grow so fast and stay so healthy as those did. ***** Have a great KuneKune pig day.


nebraskadave
10/1/2014 8:16:03 AM

Kathy, cute pigs. Many of the smaller breeds of animals seem to be the perfect fit for homesteads. They are not as productive as the larger breeds but the smaller breeds eat less, take less space to raise, and are easier to manage. In my youth days between college years, I raised pigs to have spending money for college. My choice was Duroc reds. We milked 13 cows and separated the cream to sell at the creamery in town. All of the skim milk was fed to the hogs over the summer and by fall they were slick and shiny market weight hogs. I never seen hogs grow so fast and stay so healthy as those did. ***** Have a great KuneKune pig day.





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