Where to see them:
Outback Station Petting Zoo
- Kunekunes are grazers, not foragers like most pigs, and therefore, can live on grass alone.
- Kunekune (pronounced cooney cooney) means “fat and round” in Maori.
- They have an unusual feature – fleshy tassels on the side of their faces called piri piri; not all individuals have them, but they are common among the breed.
Kunekunes are considered miniature pigs. Males weigh 200-240 pounds and can be 30 inches tall; females weigh 120-200 pounds and can be 24 inches tall.
Originally discovered in New Zealand; possibly originated in southeast Asia.
Kunekune pigs were originally discovered in association with the Maori tribes of New Zealand. They were kept by those people as a food source and have never been considered “wild” pigs. They love to wallow in mud to keep cool.
Unlike most pigs, Kunekunes can survive on a diet of grass and do very little foraging. They were seen by the Maori as easy to maintain since they fattened easily on a simple diet of grass and roughage. They seldom root in the ground like most other pig species.
Females (sows) are sexually mature at 10 months of age and cycle every 18 – 24 days. Males (boars) are sexually mature at 12 months of age. Gestation is 116 days. The average litter size for a Kunekune mom is six to eight piglets, but can be up to 12 piglets. Piglets are fully weaned at 4 months.
Some of My Neighbors (IN THE WILD)
Kunekune pigs are a domesticated breed and not found in the wild.
Population Status & Threats
Kunekune pigs were almost extinct by the early 1970s. Some wildlife biologists gathered up the 17 pigs that were left on the island and began a breeding program in the attempt to save the breed. The captive breeding programs were successful and today, Kunekunes pigs are popular pets throughout Europe. Still considered a unique and distinct domestic pig, the Kunekune pig is classified as a rare breed.