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!
After that shock I need a quick cuddle.
Dizzy has a white ear. Zelda doesn’t.
We needed a boar to breed them so we got Hercules! He loves his carrots!
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!
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.