Pronounced – 'cooney cooney' The name itself means ‘round and fat’ and if you see a Kune, you will agree with that description. They are generally small in stature with short legs and a dished face. Kune’s come in many different colours , black, brown, white, ginger and cream and various combinations of all those colours. The coat is hairy and may be straight or curly, long or short. Many, but not all Kune’s have 2 tassels under their chin called pire pire.
These pigs were brought from New Zealand to the UK in 1992 although they are not indigenous to that country. In the 1970’s, just 18 Kune’s remained in New Zealand and they were nearly extinct. Thanks to the efforts of 2 Wildlife park owners, the remaining Kune’s were brought together and the herd was built up again.
As a pet, Kune’s are very desirable. They are the most sociable of all the pig breeds. Our Kune’s remind us of a cross between a pet dog and a pig, being so friendly, very clever and easy to train. They are capable of living outdoors in all weathers as long as they have a simple shelter. They do not need much feeding, surviving largely on grass. They can easily be kept in a large garden. Another advantage is that they tend not to do much rooting. They have short snouts so this limits their ability to root. They also co-exist happily with other livestock or pets.
A note about Micro Pigs- Minature pigs have seen a rise in popularity but do they actually exist? The accepted answer is 'no'- at least not in Ireland. Small pigs are produced by breeding the smaller 'runts' from litters with other 'runts'. We have come across many pig purchases that have been very disappointed with 'minature' pigs that they bought at markets and such-like. Many of the pigs grew to the full size of traditional breeds and were not suitable pets. We recommend that those who want a pet pig, purchase a registered Kunekune or other small pedigree breed. There is no surpassing the sociable Kunekune if you want a pet pig.
Pigs are very intelligent and learn quickly, They pick up tricks faster than dogs and rank #4 in animal intelligence behind chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants. Their cognitive ability is more than a 3 year old child