Pigs

Joel and I have been researching pigs for the last year or so. We’ve visited several farms, and several different breeds and almost without fail I am impressed with: the size of the pig and the SIZE of the pigs. Many pigs are 600-800 lbs full grown. Not only is that a huge amount of pig to attempt to control, that pig is also going to eat a huge amount of food, root up a huge amount of pasture ect.

About 6-7 months ago we bought some little weanling American Guinea Hogs from a breeder near us. We liked them. They were small. They didn’t eat a lot. And they were friendly in a way. Whenever we would mention our little AGHs to farmers with larger hogs (American Guinea Hogs boars max out at about 250 lbs full grown. Sows are usually less.) they would scoff. Or call the meat to fatty. Or just laugh.

Yet, whenever I talked to American Guinea Hog breeders they had nothing but good things to say about their little black pigs. Breeders love their size, as it is less intimidating, and better on a small acreage. They loved their meat and temperaments too.

I started looking into other breeds or pigs, both big and small. In my quest to find the perfect pig that might root less than a normal pig I found the pig that stole my heart…the Kune Kune.

Kune Kune pigs are from New Zealand and were raised there by the Maori people. In the Maori language Kune Kune (pronounced Cooney Cooney) means “fat and round.” The pigs are known for their dished shaped faces and short snouts which makes them the least likely of any pig breed to root(although all pigs root.) Most Kune Kunes have wattles called “piri piri.”They come in all sorts of colors, black, ginger, cream, black and white spots, ginger and black and tri-colored. They are a slow growing pig, similar to the American Guinea Hog but perhaps a bit slower growing, and a bit smaller full grown.

The most attractive quality (to me) of the Kune Kune is there love for people. The pigs are very placid, very docile, and very people oriented.

We visited a farm that claimed to have Kune Kune crosses but their snouts were so long, and they were not friendly at all and perhaps there was Kune Kune blood in their veins but they didn’t have any of the traits I wanted. I fell into a Kune Kune-less pit of sadness.

Then opportunity knocked. I found a breeder with two pure blood Kune Kunes in Wisconsin!

The first morning I came to check on them they were burrowed in the straw and at first I thought they had escaped!

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After that shock I need a quick cuddle.

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Dizzy has a white ear. Zelda doesn’t.

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We needed a boar to breed them so we got Hercules! He loves his carrots!

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Hercules is very gentle. If you scratch him in the right spot he rolls on his side and begs for belly rubs.

He also got Duchess. Duchess wants to be the boss of the other pigs. She is a proven mother. She is a full blood American Guinea Hog. Her and Hercules should have babies in a few months!

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And last but not least, we were given Penny, a Kune Kune/Potbelly cross. Her previous owner was no longer able to keep her. Penny is very, very sweet. She loves scratches and belly rubs.

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16 responses to “Pigs

  1. Oh my goodness I’ve never seen such cut pigs!!!!!

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Very nice bacon on the hoof! I’m glad to see there aren’t any named Hamlet or Pork Chop. lol

  3. How adorable! Pigs are on my list for the near future. Are you going to pasture them? I’m not sure why, but keeping pigs seems so intimidating to me. Do you have to cut their teeth?

    • Hi Megan! Thanks for stopping by the blog. We are going to pasture them when there is pasture to be had! We pastured our barrows last summer and they did very well, although they rooted about an acre up in no time! Pigs seemed a bit intimidating to us too! So many breeds get to 700 lbs or more! That is why we like Kune Kunes/American Guinea Hogs. They top out at 300 lbs for boars which is a much more manageable size. When piglets are born they have what are called “needle teeth” the industry cuts them but we are not going to. Boars, over time develop tusks, which can be trimmed. We don’t plan on removing our boars tusk unless they become a problem.

      What animals do you currently raise?

      • I have a perfect spot for rooting pigs – an acre+ that is overrun with noxious weeds. Maybe I should move them up on the priority list!

        Right now we just have goats, rabbits and chickens. Kidding and kindling starting up in a couple days…here we come, spring!

      • Sounds like the perfect place for some small breed pigs? I should have piglets for sale in a few months (not sure where you live).. My sheep should be lambing in about a month and a half. So excited! I really do love lambs. I have a few rabbits that hopefully should be kindling soon as well. What breed of goats do you have? I keep thinking about getting two little Nigerians or Pygmys. Maybe some day!
        What breed of rabbits do you have? I have Silver Fox and French Angoras.

      • I’m in WA state, so that would be a little too far to travel.

        This is the best time of year, isn’t it? Everything getting warm, babies being born. I LOVE it!

        We raise Nigerians. Too bad we’re not closer, I could see a trade working out here! 🙂 I’ve got 8 does left to kid and 2 are due in a few days. Can’t wait either!

        I just have one breeding pair of rabbits right now, Satin Angoras. I want to get Chocolate Satins but that color is very hard to find. I almost got the Silver Fox. How do you like them?

      • This is a very fun time of the year, I agree. It can stop snowing anytime!!!

        Where do you live? A trade would have been awesome:( How do yo u like the Nigerians? Do you leave the kids with them or raise them on milk replacer?

      • I love the Silver Fox. I recommend them. They are big, docile and I think will be good eating although I have not had them long enoigh to know yet.

      • We’re in WA state. I love my Nigies. Just had a pair of bucks yesterday and have three more looking close. Exhausting, but fun! The kids stay with Mom and I’ll start milking when kids are about 2 weeks old, just separating at night and milking first thing before putting them together in the a.m.

        I found someone who has some chocolate Satins so I think I’m getting one soon. She also has a blue Satin…oooh!

        The Satin Angoras are good eating too. I just put a few in the freezer. They sell well also, so the ones sold help pay for the feed.

      • Neat! If I get goats I think I would want to do the same things.

        I thought the Satins were to small to eat? Interesting. I do the same thing with my French.

        ________________________________

      • 8-11 pounds adult weight. Speaking of, all this thinking of chocolate satins must be working, because I found not just one, but two breeders of chocolates nearby and the first offered to pick me up rabbits from the second who is far away. I’m so excited!

      • Awesome! They are the same size as French then. Dont know why I thought they were smaller. Getting new bunnies is always exciting!

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