Kunekune Pigs – A Backyard Pig Breed

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With such a cute name, it’s appropriate that this breed of pigs is also cute in appearance. Kunekune pigs are a small breed and are perfect for a backyard farm.

What is a Kunekune pig: Small in stature but with rotund stomachs, Kunekune pigs come from New Zealand. They were close to extinction but thanks to breeding programs, they are no longer at risk. These pigs are highly intelligent and incredibly social. They make for excellent pets and because their size is smaller than other breeds, are great for hobby farms. You can breed Kunekune pigs, although the process can take longer than other breeds. You can also raise them for meat purposes. Their meat is a bit fattier than other breeds but there is still a good demand for their meat.

What are KuneKune pigs used for?

While Kunekune pigs are primarily raised as pets, they can also be bred and used for meat purposes.

History and Origin of Kunekune Pig

Kunekune pigs originate from Asia but became popular once they reached New Zealand, thanks to traders and whalers. The Indigenous people of New Zealand, the Maori, gave the pigs their name, which means fat and round.

Unfortunately, Kunekune pigs were almost hunted to extinction and it wasn’t until the 1980s that the problem was dire enough for action to be had. Thankfully, breeding programs were introduced and Kunekune pigs are no longer at risk of extinction.

Characteristics of Kunekune Pig


The Maori people were not wrong in deeming these pigs round and fat. In fact, that is one of their defining characteristics.

Kunekune pigs have round bodies that are short in size, as well as short legs. They may even have wattles under their chins due to excessive weight.

As for their snouts, they are slightly upturned and are often black in color. Their ears are usually pricked.


Unlike other breeds of pigs, Kunekunes have an abundance of hair that can be either long or short. It can also be straight or curly, depending on the animal.

You can find Kunkekune pigs of all colors, including black, ginger, cream, and brown.


Despite their round size, Kunekune pigs are smaller than other large breeds. They are about 2 feet tall and can weigh between 150 and 400 pounds. Females belong to the lower end of this spectrum as males can weigh almost twice their size.


What makes Kunekune pigs really stand out is their intelligence. They are able to learn quickly and if you want, be sure to teach your pig a few tricks.

Kunekune pigs also have great memory so once you teach them something, they will remember it for the rest of their life.

Kunekune Pig Care


One great and easy aspect about Kunekune pigs is that they can survive on a diet primarily made up of grass. If you have a large pasture, these pigs will happily help you mow your yard.

If the grass is not available, be sure to use pig and grass pellets for their diet. Expect them to eat two to three pounds a day.

For smaller piglets, you can add hot water to the pellets to create a mash that is easier to consume.

In addition to the pellets, be sure to add fresh vegetables. Apples and some fruit will provide nutrients and fiber but be careful as fruit contains a lot of natural sugars, which pigs shouldn’t have too much of.


Like other breeds, Kunekune pigs need both a sheltered area and a space to run around and dig in. Kunekune pigs need an area where they can be protected from weather such as the hot sun, rain, and snow.

Furthermore, Kunekune pigs need ample space to roam and forage. They will want to dig in the mud to help them cool down on a hot day.


As far as maintenance goes, Kunekune pigs are pretty easy to take care of. You should house them appropriately and have regular vet check-ups, but there are no serious diseases to be aware of.


Although you can breed Kunekune pigs, you will need to be patient. They are sexually mature at around five to seven months of age, but actual breeding can take another five or six months.

Males, in particular, are sometimes too shy to initiate breeding and need more experience and age before they are up to the job.

Still, if you are patient, you will be rewarded with a healthy, large litter of piglets. Sows are good mothers and will nurture their piglets until they are old enough to be weaned.

How big does a Kunekune pig get?

A male adult Kunekune pig can grow to be 300 to 400 pounds. As for a female adult, it can be 150 to 200 pounds.

Are Kunekune pigs good pets?

Kunekune pigs are definitely good as pets. First, their smaller size means you don’t have to dedicate as much space for them as you would with other, larger breeds.

While you still need to give them plenty of room to roam and dig, most hobby farms are able to accommodate their needs. Even their sheltered area can be a bit smaller than with full-size pigs.

In addition to their small size, Kunekune pigs are very social animals. They like to get close with their owners and have a natural curiosity.

It’s best to start with piglets as you can raise them and teach them at an early age. These pigs are smart so once they master the basics, you can start getting them into harder and more complicated tricks.

Do Kunekune pigs taste good?

If you plan on raising Kunekune pigs for meat, know that they do indeed taste good. While their meat is a bit fattier than other breeds, there is still a market for it.


Kunekune pigs became prominent in New Zealand but are now a popular breed all over the United States and Europe. Their round bodies are cute and they are incredibly smart, so they make for great pets.

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