KuneKune Pigs are rare, small, wattled, colorful, and extremely friendly. The standard calls for a wide head, dished face, short snout which becomes increasingly upturned as the pig matures, and short legged with a thick even body. Known as the "Maori Pig", these pigs were developed by the first people of New Zealand and can be found on both the North and South Islands being very hardy, small pigs and adaptable to many different types of climates.
Adult Kunes are small in stature with gilts/sows weighing as little as 100 pounds and up to approximately 185 pounds. Boars are heavier being that they develop "armor" as a secondary sex characteristic and, like most males in the species, are generally larger than females. Boars can get up to 250 pounds and more, however, folks that claim that Kunes boars can tip the scales at 400 pounds are in error. These pigs are consider as a lard breed.
In the past, many pig breeds were "wattled" or "tasseled" with fleshy appendages hanging from the lower jaw near the neck, but this characteristic is considered to be very rare in the present day. Kunekunes are a wattled breed, but many purebred Kunekunes do not have wattles or many have only one. Sometimes, kunes are born with one or two wattles that are not well attached and, not having the proper blood flow, will fall off. Rarely, a wattle may be pulled off in a fight or in an accident. The Maori term for wattles is "pire pire".
Another unusual characteristic of the breed is the variety of coats types and color. The kune coat can be silky or coarse, straight or curly, and be of colors as varied as cream, black, ginger (red), or brown with spots, patches, or solid.
Ears are large and can be erect or semi-lop. Lopped ears are not acceptable.
Kunekune Pigs may have a straight or curly tail, however, points are given for a tail held in a curl. Most kunes will curl their tail when excited or frightened, however, many will allow the tail to fall straight when relaxed. Most rare is the kune whose tail is always kept in a tight curl.
Most notable is the attribute of the Kunekune Pig's temperament being very docile, brave, and extremely friendly. There is no other breed of swine that can compare to the Kune in this area. Kunekune piglets are curious and love the attention of people and the companionship of other species of animals. Only second to their drive for food, the love of a belly rub or a scratch reigns supreme. Kunes are easy on fencing and do not tend to roam.
Kunekunes make great pasture pigs being unique in their ability to graze and to do well on grass alone. There is no need to "supplement" them with commercial pig chow if they are on pasture enough to sustain them meeting their nutritional requirements. Pasture need not be of the highest quality and can consist solely of natural grasses, legumes and weeds. The typical short, up-turned snout speaks to their ability to graze and the fact that they are not prone to root. There is a niche market for "grass fed", "pasture raised", "free ranging" pork that is waiting to be tapped into. In an effort to preserve the Kunekune Pig breed, registered breeders are promoting the Kunekune Pig for it's meat which will insure a viable future for this small, heritage breed. While kunes are known for their great meat quality and taste, the pigs have many additional uses within the sustainable systems of small farms, hobby farms, and for folks who keep other livestock on their acreages. Kunes can be used for weeding vineyards and orchards. They will clean up fallen fruit. The small size and gentle nature of the breed would make them great pigs for finding truffles. Kunes are the "grazing element" to small intensive grazing systems.