Similar to pot bellied pigs, this breed is very commonly sold as a pet. In fact we sell our papered Kunes for around 500.00-750.00 all day long. They are super laid back, have a great personality, excellent with people and other animals. And believe me there's nothing wrong with having a pig for a pet. Really very cool and I will be happy to sell you one.
But what about homesteading?
What about a sustainable food source?
A very easily managed herd?
Hardy and well tempered that require limited maintenance?
Efficiency in the feed dept?
Easier to process?
Excellent meat quality?
Yes to all of the above.
The Kune is all of that and more. They require much less feed, have a better feed to meat ratio and can be finished off on grass alone. In fact the Kune is the only pig I have ever seen as a true pasture animal and can be fed and happy on grass just fine. The Kunes take a bit longer to grow out and finish, say 11 months or so and don't grow as fast as some of the larger commercial breeds. To me that is a bonus.
The bigger breeds cost more, consume more, destroy more, are ridiculously hard to handle once they are 400-500lbs , require a lot more time and consideration and cost more to process.
I have a saying.... Live food does not spoil. Which in this case means that having a small efficient 5-6 pig herd will enable you to manage them much longer, have a plentiful resource, and come processing time plenty of meat for your family and friends. I have always been amazed at folks processing a 400lb pig only to find out that they don't have room in the freezer and in the event of a disaster tend to loose a good portion of it. Remember that... Live food does not spoil and it doesn't require refrigeration.
There is one aspect of having a Kunekune herd that many folks must understand if they are going to raise healthy pets and/or a meat resource. You must manage how you feed them. A common belief is that the Kunes are very fatty, which is true only if you over feed them. It's a knee jerk response for us to over feed in the hopes of not having to spend the extra 10 minutes in the morning and the evening properly tending to the animal. If that's too much effort, I won't sell ya one. Period.
As always I welcome the discussion, drop me an email and I will be more than happy to keep the conversation going.
Behold the Beasts! (well, ok, they aren't really all that beastly...)