Kunekune Pig: A New Zealand Pig Breed

The Kunekune pig breed is produced nowadays in New Zealand. Although this race comes from the Asian world, and this was obtained by some tests that were performed with their DNA. For many years this race has been distributed by New Zealand, it is even the country with the largest number of this species.

This race was mainly maintained by the Maori communities, and for many years this race was not known in Europe. In addition, this race arrived at the European continent through merchants, at the beginning of 1800. By the mid-1980s there were wild reserves that translated and cared for this species, and they ran a captive breeding program with around 20 specimens.

Kunekune Pig

The Kunekune pigs that are appreciated today are direct descendants of the specimens that were bred in the captivity program. Now they are widespread throughout New Zealand, with an active society and support for them. You may also like to read Mangalitsa Pig.

In 2004 it was estimated that there were some 5,000 animals in the country, both registered and unregistered. Kunekunes pigs have also been exported to the United Kingdom, the United States, and also to the European continent.

Characteristics of Kunekune Pig

Kunekune pig is relatively small and highly distinctive. They are physically characterized by short legs, a potbelly type “plump”. The nose of this upturned species cuts, and usually the fat. “Kunekune” is a word of Polynesian origin that means simply “fat”.

A unique feature of the kunekune pig is the fringes that hang from its lower jaw which are about 4 cm long. But not all purebred pigs have tassels. Their legs are short and their bodies are short and round. The range of colors includes Black, white and black, white, gold, beige and brown.

They are delightful, placid, very friendly and easy to maintain. They grow in human company, and they are very popular as pets. The ears are straight and lie forward. Its measurements in adult ages range from 53.3 centimeters to 76.2 centimeters high and its weight from 60 to 200 kilos. 


The great value of this piglet is that the lawn fattens easily. They only need to be fed during the winter months in Southern California. They like soaked or crushed grains, potatoes. Even household waste, in fact, is all that is required in the winter. Some Kunekunes feed on the roots of the earth in winter.

Kunekune pigs are ideal lawn mowers for planting since they do not damage trees and shrubs. It is not recommended that these piglets remain in a barn and fatten them up with great. Since they have too much fat and are slower to mature. You may also like to read Hampshire Pig.


Kunekune pig is used mainly for the production of its meat. And this is because the pig grows and develops meat quickly. The best thing is that the feed conversion is quite high. And farmers prefer this breed because of that and because the spending on food is not that high.

Special Features

Kunekune pigs both males and females are fertile at 6-7 months of age. The piglets can be “pregnant” at about 5 months of age. But it is recommended that they should not mate until they are at least one year old, giving them time to grow. Infertility is rare but sometimes it is caused by boars and sows if they are too fat.

If a male and a female were raising together, they can not mate until they have been separated for a couple of weeks. And then put them back together again. Piglets need access to a heat lamp in cold climates for better results.

The piglets can be weaned at six weeks and the sow is ready or in heat again after one week of weaning. The Kunekuns have an excellent ratio of meat to fat. The best pork is obtained from those who die before one year of age.

Also, the Kunekunes are considering as the fastest growing commercial pig to be consumed later. This breed can be raised in open spaces. However, they need a small shed or a drum to protect themselves from humidity and cold. Losses due to pneumonia occur if it is not planning.

Initially, you can put some hay in your shed, but they will soon make their own nest. This pig breed really enjoys the company of humans. The sows usually give birth to 3 to 14 piglets. The female of this species makes an excellent mother and diligently cares for her piglets. Vaccines and deworming will be required to ensure their health and the future health of the piglets.


If you’re looking for a small breed of domestic pig with an interesting history and appearance, the Kunekune may be right up your alley. The KuneKune is native to New Zealand, where it has been bred since 1859! They are raised primarily as pets and livestock on farms in Europe and North America today. A lot of people might not know this about these pigs but they have wattles hanging from their lower jaws which can range from black-and-white to ginger or cream coloring. Their coat also comes in many colors such as gold tip, black, brown or tricolored. This guide should help you learn more about what makes them so special – now go out there and find yourself one

As a reference: Wikipedia

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top