History of Kune Kune Pigs: The Kune Kune (also spelled Kunekune or Kune-Kune, it's pronounced cooney cooney and the word means "plump" in Maori) is a cute, diminutive pig from New Zealand. Since pigs aren't native to the lands Down Under, it's anybody's guess how they got there. The best of several theories, especially since recent tests have confirmed that the little pigs are of Asian origin, is that sealers and whalers released them to naturalize the islands and serve as easily harvested meat supplies on future occasions. However they got there, the Maori, New Zealand's aboriginal people, adopted them and they thrived. By the 1970's, their numbers were dwindling and it seemed the breed could become extinct. In 1984, a pair of wildlife park owners gathered a remnant population of 18 pigs and soon the New Zealand herdbook formed. Kune Kunes arrived in Britain in 1992 and the United States in 1994.
Conformation: Kune Kunes are larger than Vietnamese Pot-Bellied pigs but smaller than commercial porkers. They rarely grow taller than 24 inches or weigh more than 250 pounds. There is a good deal of genetic diversity in the breed but the typical Kune Kune is stocky and solid, with short, thick legs, and a short, upturned snout. Ears stand or flop. Pigs can be shorthaired or bristly. Colors include black, tortoiseshell, ginger, and blue, with or without spots. A distinctive feature of the breed is piri piri (wattles; sometimes called tassels) on their lower jaws; some have them, others don't.
Special Consideration/Notes on Kune Kune Pigs: Kune Kunes' winsome looks, sweet temperaments, and amazing intelligence make them the crème de la crème of pet pigs. They are equally easy to care for as house pigs or as outdoor pets. Kune Kunes are grazers, so (as a rule) they don't root the way other breeds do. They make interesting organic lawnmowers and weed-trimmers in orchards as they don't tend to harm trees and shrubs.