by Brenda Eldridge
The Popularity of KuneKune Pastured Pork
Kunekune pastured pork is gaining popularity across the country. These “grazing pigs” have the ability to thrive on little more than grass and yet still provide delicious marbled pork surrounded by beautiful white lard. Their short upturned snouts make them suitable grazers and less prone to root than other breeds of swine.
Characteristics and Advantages
Since kunekunes are a small, docile breed of swine with laid back, friendly personalities, they are perfect for the first-time pig owner. Why not enjoy raising the animal that will sustain your family rather than fighting a thousand pound pig! They are disinclined to roam and do not test fencing; they will follow you anywhere on the farm or calmly walk up the trailer ramp to load. All in all, they are a very hardy heritage breed that is able to acclimate to any climate or region.
Finding Your Niche in the Market
Many breeders have discovered their own niche marketing for this pastured pork in Farmers Markets, Restaurants, or their own home butchery, perfect for charcuterie. Put them in your orchard to clean up all dead fruit but leaving your trees unharmed!
Introducing Radar, the Livestock Guardian
This is Radar, our Karakachan, a livestock guardian dog from Bulgaria. Protecting your livestock from predators and most especially from your neighbors' dogs should be a number one priority.
Considering Pig Farming?
Commitments and Considerations
Thinking of becoming a pig farmer? Rearing pigs is an undertaking that should not be taken lightly. It will involve not only a financial commitment but also a large part of your time. The first thing you need to ask yourself is what do you plan to do with them? Are you prepared to keep them if you are unable to sell them?
Breeding Stock and Sales
If your plan is to sell some as breeding stock, you need to keep in mind that only a percentage of the litter will be breeder quality. All stock sold as breeders will require DNA testing and registration by the breeder.
Raising Healthy KuneKunes
If the others are to be sold or kept at your farm for food, then you will need to make sure you have adequate pasture to raise them to market weight. Kunekunes are grazing pigs and deserve and require enough grass to keep them fit and healthy.