About the Breed
The Kunekune is a small heritage breed of swine traced back to the Maori natives of New Zealand. The origin of the breed prior to this is not known although believed to have Asian roots.
The Kunekune breed was nearing extinction in the late 1970's. With only about 50 Kunekunes remaining, wildlife park owners, Michael Willis and John Simister gathered 6 sows and 3 boars and began the process of reestablishing the breed. The first exports were sent to the United Kingdom in 1992, 1993 and 1996. The United States began to import Kunekune stock from the UK and New Zealand in 1996. Kunekune pigs are no longer in danger of extinction and herds are being developed throughout the USA and exported into Canada as well.
Two Kunekune Registries exist in the USA, the American Kunekune Pig Registry and the American Kunekune Pig Society. Through careful selection and preservation breeders are ensuring that the Kunekune numbers remain strong. For more information about the breed you can visit the AKPR and AKKPS registries.
What is so special about Kunekune?
People will often ask us why we chose the Kunekune to raise instead of another breed of swine. For our family they fit perfectly into our lifestyle, are very easy to keep and a joy to be around.
Kunekune are a smaller heritage meat pig that are true grazers. Their short, upturned broad snouts allow for ease of grazing pasture and minimal to no rooting of the fields. They are smaller and grow slower than their larger cousins but are extremely efficient and require less energy input to fatten. If given good pasture year round you will not need to provide much else. In colder regions hay, commercial feeds, vegetables and fruits can be supplements during the off-season.
The Kunekune is well known for their extremely docile nature. Piglets to adult boars and sows love attention and companionship. They are the perfect pig for families with children or for those wanting to raise pigs that are easy to manage with minimal intervention. The kunekune is a sturdy, healthy, hardy breed everyone loves to be around.
Kunekune are a lard breed of meat pig. They are known to produce succulent, moist pork products with rich marbling, beautiful lard and strong heritage pork taste. Kunekune are being introduced to chefs across the USA and into the homes of families raising their own meat.