Cultivator of Heritage & Rare Livestock: Including Breeding & Homestead Quality Kunekune Pigs
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Itemized list of kunekune pig's uniqueness, sustainability, and multi-purpose uses. Craig, Lonesome Star Farm
These categories below only serve to help readability since
all kunekune pigs will cross over into every category.
Homestead Pig Benefits
- The only pig that can fatten mostly on good quality grass alone. Pretty much any fresh vegetables, fruit, and clean hay too. Some breeders use grain and commercial bags of feed while others do not.
- Since they are relatively easy to care for, they are a good place to start raising livestock. They do their part and get along with other livestock too.
- Their snout is very short and turned up which is why kunekune’s are known as “the grazing pig” and not the rooting pig with their turned up and longer nose. Kune’s will occasionally dig some but not deep. Major rooting is not common and could be a vitamin or protein deficiency.
- They are very easy on fencing and rarely challenge them and do not tend to roam. They probably don't roam since their night vision is not very good and they are a naturally domestic livestock too.
- On average, kune’s grow to a manageable 150 pounds and 2 feet tall.
- Not much food is more enjoyable for kune's then raiding dropped goodies from the nut and fruit orchards.
- They do not eat bramble or trees. Interesting enough, kunekune’s are not able to lift their head up to eat or see anything.
- As a heritage breed of livestock, they are naturally hearty to the cold & heat, disease resistant, and are usually good mothers to their piglets.
- Does need a mud pond (wallow) during the hot summer months. Therefore, most months they will not need the mud pond nor do they want it. They cannot sweat so mud helps to cool them off, although their noses do sweat.
- Kunekune feces do not smell in the pasture, even with no wind. Although if they're traveling in a car, you better roll the windows down! They have a part of the pasture for sleeping and different sections for their waste. A tidy pig that most other livestock could learn from as we clean the stalls.
Country Cottage “Pet” Pig Benefits
- Their temperament is usually fun-loving and will walk up to greet you. Same goes for a majority of the boars too.
- A peculiar trait. If you rub them on their jowl for a bit they will typically fall over with their legs sticking straight out, as if in a trance. Great moments of fun there. Or, they'll fall down right next to you as their subtle hint for a rub.
- Cute, smart, and will never doubt that your leftover fruit & vegetables are a delicacy.
- The unique “tassels” (piri piri) some kune’s have hanging by their lower jaw is of unknown use. Similar tassels are on LaMancha goats. They look a little like dangling ear rings. It is an important trait in the kunekune show pig arena.
- Some are the life of the party or shy. Either way, a great conversation starter with friends and family.
- They get to know the meaning of your words so don't accidentally say the word for "snack" unless you mean it.
- Odorless although they don't have sweat glands which is why they must have access to mud when it's hot.
- Kunekune boars don't usually need nose rings since they don't root much. These painful nose rings are best left for bulls or today’s youth…
- Their hides can come in different colors, textures, and patterns. The hide can be smooth, rough, long or short. Appearances aside, all kunekunes have more similarities than differences.
- More possible uses: Breeding stock, zoos, petting zoos, birthday parties, school classroom show and tell, state fair show, and AKBA sanctioned kunekune shows. The AKBA’s annual conference and show is this August, 2013! Email a breeder for details and come on out!
- Unlike large or commercial-sized swine, kunes don’t work against you by damaging fencing, land, and maybe even you!
- Like all herd livestock, most kunekunes need social time with humans, a fellow kunekune(s), or both if at all possible.
- Their main downside is that these docile creatures can still shrill like the lady showering in the movie Psycho. You’ll figure out ways to decrease that as you get to know their personalities. Usually, just a soft head rub and a chat for 2 seconds will settle them. Further proof that interaction and touch is their "love language."
- Some kunekune's are better for processing than others. A more muscular, taller, and less fat (for a lard pig) is available.
- Like most heritage breeds of livestock, they do appear to grow slower and are smaller than the commercial and over-sized farm pig. In actuality, kunekunes grow at a normal rate so their body has the time, energy, and strength to do something besides gain weight and sleep. That’s why kunekunes are heartier and more disease/heat/cold/worm resistant than many other pigs. What was considered normal growth rates for thousands of years still applies today. Therefore, the “too slow” argument should be turned around. Many commercial pigs are biotech bred, GMO fed, and medicated to grow too fast.******
- These heritage livestock make a great addition to working farms, homesteaders, personal meat buyers, and investors. They fatten in around 9-12 months on grass and ideally finishes on grass/acorns/pecans too.
- Like any quality product, the small farm's pork price will be more than the supermarket. Although, it's hard to compare the two since their differences start from their DNA, on to their bloodlines, birth, and ways of life like stress levels, health, food consumed, and the freedom to be a pig.
- Studies show that pork fat/lard can increase your “good cholesterol“.
- Suckling pigs, weaned pigs, etc. to butcher for ethnic celebrations or special occasions. (If available)
- A sweeter meat, darker in color than the low fat white pork from the grocery store. Fine restaurants are ordering this pork. Experienced butchers recommend slow cooking this pork like most heritage livestock breeds.
- Knowing where your meat comes from to nourish your family.
- Quality charcuterie (dry curing & salting salami, prosciutto, etc) for your family
- For your special event parties like a luau, tiki, bachelor party, and Philippine style.
*** This document is free to make your own in all cases. Just please mention our farm's name at the bottom of your blog or online article. Thank you! Contact us for a soft copy of this article to be emailed to you.
****** The writer among many others actually support commercial farmers. These large farm owners need to support their families like all of us. Government regulations, corporation's changing rules, and the public's desire for "cheap" meat does not leave much room to consider alternatives... until the public says "Enough!" Last, if more natural and pasture-based ideas take hold, these farmer's large ranches will be pivotal to meet the increase in demand.
Posted by Craig
@ 03:29 PM CDT