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Kune kune Pigs

Updated on October 12, 2012
Kunekune pigs
Kunekune pigs

What are kunekune pigs?

Many people mistake their name. Actually their correct spelling is Kunekune and not Kune Kune as l have written above! Kunekunes are a breed of pigs started from New Zealand, which faced extinction by the 1980s. Thanks to Michael Willis and John Simister who set out to protect kune kune pigs from going extinct, we still have around us these little piglets.

When they first set out to breed them, there was an estimated 50 purebred kune kune still around. So, they started breeding them and after a while, they joined forces with other breeders who shared their passion and by now, kune kune pigs no longer face extinction.

These micro pigs were first introduced in New Zealand during the 19th century, most probably by Asian traders. The Maori people who inhabited New Zealand, took on these little guys and gave them the name Kunekune which means "fat and round"!

This kind of mini pigs was then exported from New Zealand to UK. During 1995, Katie Rigby started importing the first kunekune pigs in USA. Recently, Canada also started breeding them. Now these breeding operations, along with American Knekune Breeding Association, have become the main respectful player for importing Kunekune pigs, right from UK and New Zealand.

A very sweet and funny video :)


Generally Kunekune pigs are pretty cute (probably due to their short snout and head) and totally different from other wild boars like the feral European pig, known as "Captain Cooker". They are much bigger than teacup piglets.

Generally speaking, their characteristics are a very cute rounded body outline, interesting mixing of colors, fat belly and short legs! They are covered in either short or long hair (usually straight). Their colors are usually mixes of orange, ginger, gold, cream, black and grey. However, you can find Kunekune piglets of only one color.

Some of them have two tassels (also called piri piri) under their chin, whereas others do not. It depends on a specific gene whether they will have them or not. Some Kunekunes might be born with 1 or both tassels, but if they are weakly attached, they are easy to be lost upon injury or a similar event.

Breeders have started to breed only tasseled Kunekune in order to remove via somewhat "natural selection", the ones who have not tassels. However, if a Kunekune is bred with another micro pig (without tassels), the offspring will have tassels, so it is not an accurate predictor of Kunekune pigs.


Kunekunes are some amazing piglets! They love being on the outside, whether it is rainy or sunny. They are made to survive and enjoy a wide range of climatic changes. If you have a big garden you might be interesting in getting one or two of them, although you will probably need an arch. Arch is a house especially designed for the piglets.

Their friendly and adorable attitude towards humans, make them ideal for a novice owner. They are very clever, so you can train them pretty easily. They love human company, so you will have a great time around them!

Unlike big boars, they have no inclination to roam, so this makes thems somewhat more docile..

Their fertility lasts from 6 to 7 months and they can start getting pregnant from 5 months.

USA Association and breeders

If you want to buy one from the USA, check the website of the American Kunekune Breeders Association (AKBA). It has much more in depth information and technicalities, along with a very useful list of registered breeders!

A pretty KuneKune!



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