In our search for the quintessential grazers we’ve begun seriously considering Kune Kune pigs. The Kune Kunes are a rare smaller heritage breed from Asia/New Zealand that are well suited to pasture grazing and small jobs like turning compost, mulch piles and cleaning up orchard wind fall.
A recent road trip to Washington State with my Jedi-in-training resulted in finally meeting the breed and the woman tasked with ensuring their local longevity. This trip resulted in a lot of smiles. The Kune Kunes are endearing, friendly, intelligent and practical little porkers whose name in Maori translates to “fat and round”.
Their short little snouts might be better suited to our silvopasture application, where deep trenching and uprooting would be a serious faux pas. Their preference for grazing pasture and growing slowly, versus fattening up on grains in short order is extremely appealing. The fact that I wouldn’t need to wrestle with a 400lb animal while maintaining hooves is a relief. Topping out at 150 lbs for the sows – Kune Kune pigs seem perfect for the weed patch.
While in the beautiful Olympic Penninsula we could not help detour to some of the best beaches on the coast to reflect on our piggy plans.
We came home pig-less but plan to introduce a handful of pastured pigs to roam the aisles of nut trees and help aerate our mountains of mulch and compost next spring. Although we’re still enamoured with the wooly wonders (Mangalicas), I’m beginning to think the Kune Kunes can do everything a standard sized pig can, while keeping their footprint on our land much lighter.