STATUS IN THE WILD: Not evaluated but is considered a rare breed
RANGE: Thought to be originally from Asia, introduced to New Zealand in the 1800’s
PHYSICAL FEATURES AND CHARACTERISTICS
“Kunekune” in the New Zealand native Maori language means “fat and round,” which aptly describes this pig. Adults stand about twenty-four inches tall and weigh between one hundred forty-two and four hundred forty pounds. Some boars (adult males) can grow even larger. They have a short to medium snout, and their bodies are covered in hair, which can grow long or short, straight, wavy or curly. Colors can be brown, black, golden cream, ginger, white, and spotted combinations. Males and females may have two tassels underneath their chin (“piri piri” in Maori), but not all do.
Kunekune pigs, as with other breeds of pigs, do not have sweat glands. To regulate body temperature they soak in mud, which also prevents sunburn, or shallow ponds and nap in the shade when possible. They are not active animals and spend most of their time sleeping.
LIFESTYLE AND REPRODUCTION
Boars become sexually mature at six to seven months, while gilts (young females) can become pregnant at five months. Modern breeding practices prefer to wait until the gilts are one year old. The gestation period is one hundred sixteen days and litter size averages around seven piglets. As many as twelve piglets have been documented from one litter.
Originally native to New Zealand, they are now found in the United Kingdom and the United States.
The pigs are equally at home in woodlands and open pastureland.
Although pigs are considered to be omnivores, the Kunekune pig has adapted to thriving on a simple diet of grass.