Cornerstone Acres Farm 

Sharing the cornerstones of good natural living and self sufficency. 

PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION AS WE HAVE TOTALLY REVAMPED OUR PIG BREEDING PROGRAM.    


See our Animals For Sale page for additional sales info.


Some candid photos of our pigs.  Photo Album HERE


We are a proud member of the AKPR

 

Often I am asked questions about Kunekunes.  Things like "Why chose the Kunekune breed?"  "Are Kunekunes for us?" "How is their meat?"  Below the info on our pigs I have added a section in which I will add these questions and my responses to them.  


Expected litters

Jafida (Jenny) X Jupiter (Mahia Love) - expected late September 2020

Our current KuneKunes

Our Sows and Gilts

Our Jenny (Mahia Love) sow - Jafida 

DOB: 7/22/2014

AKPR 2152

Black/White

Wattles - 2

Weight:  224# at 5 years of age. 


Photo album HERE (coming soon)


A Kereopa (Ru) sow - Rachel

DOB (approximate): 11/19/2017 

AKPR10252 and AKKPS8542

Ginger/Black

Wattles - 2


Photo album HERE


Rachel was purchased through Lead Me Farms Kunekunes

She is a sweet girl and we are looking forward to her first farrowing with us.  She came to us possibly bred to a few different boars. 

Although Rachel is DNA tested so we know her exact lineage, there were some issues prior to her registration so her birth date on file is actually her registration date.   Her actual birth date above is estimated. 


Jenny (Mahia Love) gilt - Glory
DOB: 7/4/2019
AKPR13340 
Black/White
Wattles  - 0

Our first "keeper" homegrown sow. 
Photo album HERE (coming soon)

Kereopa  (Andrew) - Pepa.  

Pepa is from a litter with three girls.  I named them Rock - Paper - Scissors but used the Maori words so we ended up with Kamaka, Pepa and Kutikuti.   


DOB 5/30/2020

AKPR and AKKPS pending

Ginger/black

Wattles - 0


Photo album HERE

Wilson's Gina (Andrew? - DNA pending) gilt coming soon!

Our Boars

Our Mahia Love (Wilson's Gina) boar - Jupiter

DOB 3/4/2018

AKPR 12048 and AKKPS 6754

Weight:  294# at 19.5 months of age. 

Wattles - 2

Photo album HERE

Axl is a Boris (Aria Giana) Boar. 

DOB: 1/19/2020

AKPR 16017

Ginger/Black Tri

Wattles - 2


Photo album HERE





(Picture and pig courtesy of Lead Me Farms - Kunekunes)

Coming soon, Tuahuru (Rebecca Gina) boar! 

Our pig raising experience. 

We started out 10 years ago with a pair of potbellies and a pair of York/Hamp cross pigs. We butchered out the larger pigs by about 7 months and kept the PB for breeding. I didn’t like the pushy larger pigs (I have a fairly irrational fear of pigs from an experience about 40 years ago). Hubby and I both disliked the pork on the York crosses. Not so much that it was bad, but it wasn’t any better than store bought and we had done our best to raise them better. Well about a year or so after that we processed our first PB pig and it was some of the best pork we’ve ever had. We liked the how easy they were to handle as well. But as we got into it a bit more, I did some research into slightly larger pigs that were still known for their wonderful delicious (and redder) meats. We went with Mulefoot and Mangalitsa crosses (not huge pigs, but bigger and faster growing than our PB). We slowly phased out our PB and for a few years had the larger crosses. I loved the meat and we sold a lot, but I hated the pigs themselves. They ate pasture and hay great, but tore it up.  They were GREAT mothers and farrowed without issues, even outside in February in Michigan! Heaven forbid though if I needed to do something with piglets. Our set up just wasn’t great for working with the piglets of super protective mothers! And to be honest, our old butts weren’t really set up well for doing that either! So for a few years I drooled and dreamed of getting Kunekunes. They were bigger than our original PB pigs, but smaller like we really wanted. I was blessed to one day be able to barter for a partially registered trio (one sow was registered). I kept that trio for just about 1 year before loading up every other pig on the farm and taking them to the processor! It’s taking a bit longer to get back to where we were with our breeding, but I don’t for one minute regret our choice.


Please note, other than a few bottle babies, we have never owned or raised a "house pig".  We just have no interest in keeping a pig inside.  It is our belief that even pet pigs are happiest outside and I think many pigs would agree.  All of our experience and advice is geared towards outside raising and primarily towards raising for meat purposes. We do feel that a total house pig is kept solely for the enjoyment of the human's and is not in the best interest of the pigs.  

Why choose Kunekunes over larger more traditional breeds?

Here is our personal pro/con list for both the “bigger pigs” and the Kunekunes. based on our experience and somewhat on researched info.


Larger "traditional" pigs:

Pros – 

  • Grow much faster
  • No problems with farrowing
  • We could keep all pigs together during farrowing since sows were protective enough to keep all other pigs away during the first few days
  • The cuts were closer to “normal” and what people wanted
  • Large litter sizes
  • The breeds we ended up breeding had great meat

Cons – 

  • Aggressive/protective mothers
  • Destructive (I once had one tear all the siding off a barn to make a nest!)
  • They root/dig holes you could part a VW bug in 
  • They could get too big to process easily at home pretty quickly
  • The first breeds we tried had white tasteless meat


Kunekunes:

Pros – 

  • Their temperaments allow me to work with them and the offspring and have no issues (even the 4 year old sows we purchased, I could never handle an unknown adult full sized breed of sow that weighed 800#!)
  • The pork is amazing
  • They don’t root (yes, this may not be true for all KK, but at the time of this writing, our group of 6 doesn’t root)
  • We can easily graze them with our other stock (we do avoid feeding together for the most part and we separate birthing mothers and newborns for a little bit)
  • They are great at turning hay/pasture into pork (although we do supplement with hog feed all year around).
  • Easy to process at home, no matter what age. 
  • We like lard!

Cons – NOTE: I found the following issues all things I can work with. While the pro list may look small, those things are HUGE and, for us, far outweigh any of the following cons.

  • Smaller litter sizes  (Note: this can be dependent on genetics, I have seen litter sizes of 10-12 from other breeders)
  • After years of allowing pigs to farrow together we found that for out KK this didn’t work as well. It wasn’t that anyone attacked or purposely hurt the babies, but all the other pigs did their usual snuggly pig pile with the sow giving birth and piglets were squished and/or unable to find teats. 
  • Our current sows also seem to be poorer nest makers than our previous pigs so we have opted to use heat lamps for a few days with litters born in the super cold months. ETA: Our newer sow, Rachel is a terrific nest maker.  We had to bring her sticks and branches to satisfy her nest making needs at farrowing!
  • They grow slower than most traditional breeds. 
  • While they are bigger than the PB we used to raise, if you take them to the processor at lower weights than you would a traditional pig if you processor has a flat kill or disposal fee that can bring up your overall per pound pricing on a smaller pig.  


Disclaimers:  

There are plenty of "traditional" large to medium breeds that may work well for you.  Temperament can be a heritable trait, so if it's important, find stock (no matter the breed) that has what you want. 

Rooting can be a learned behavior.  If one roots, it can teach the rest of your herd to do the same.


What to feed my Kunekunes? and Can Kunekunes live on pasture alone?

**still under construction**
Hay and pasture forages do make up a significant portion of our Kunekune's diet.   However prefer to supplement with commercial feeds to make sure all their nutritional needs are met. 

Fruits and vegetables are great for treats and as supplemental feed sources.  
Eggs and dairy products are also great for supplementing your pig's diet.  
Meats should be avoided (there are legal reasons for this in many states). 
Sugary, salty or carb filled foods (like doughnuts, breads, chips, snacks etc) should be avoided.  Remember, these are lard pigs, not your typical farm pig.


Caution should be used when feeding to avoid overfeeding.   Kunekunes do have a tendency to become overweight easily.   It is not advised to totally restrict the diet of an obese pig, be sure that the diet is still balanced, just reduced in calories.   Pigs will almost ALWAYS act like they are hungry, don't cave to their squeals!   

Do Kunekunes root?

Yes AND no.

To say a Kunekune pig won't root at all can be very misleading.  There are plenty of purebred Kunekune owners out there that can confirm that.  

Now if you asked me if MY Kunekunes root, I'd be able t say no.   So far the 6 adult pigs I have here on the farm have never rooted our pastures.  They have worked up their designated wallow however.  

Rooting can be a learned behavior.  If one pig in your herd roots it can and will often teach the others the joy of rooting.  

Due to their shorter nose, Kunekunes usually won't root, but if they do it often is very superficial in nature.  Not the deep, park a bus in it digging you will see with other pigs. 


So if your Kunekune is rooting what can you do about it?

Well there could be certain reasons they are doing it and you will need to address those reasons.  

1) Is pasture forage adequate?  Have they over grazed their area?   If so you may need to rotate them more, replant with better/different types of forage or increase their grazing area. 

2) Is there something enticing just below the surface? Grubs? Plant roots?   This is harder to take care of, but it may be necessary to do so if you don't want them to root.  If it's only a smaller area, maybe allowing that area as a sacrifice area would suffice.

3) Are they bored?  There may be enough grass, but perhaps they are alone or bored.  

4) Are they getting the nutrition they need?  It is usually recommended that pigs are not left to solely survive on pasture alone.  Some kind of supplementation is often required. 


How do you pronounce Kunekune?

Coo-knee Coo-knee

Kunekune bloodlines.   

**still under construction**


Boar Bloodline 
 Year Imported
Importer
 Imported From
Boris
1995
New Zealand
  Tonganui
1995
 
  New Zealand
  Andrew
2005
  United Kingdom
  Te Whangi
2005
 
  United Kingdom
Mahia Love
2010 
 
  New Zealand
Tutanekai (AKPR)
2010
 
  New Zealand
Tuahuru
2010
 
  New Zealand
Whakanui
2010  
 
  New Zealand
Tutaki
2010  
 
  United Kingdom
Ru
2011  
 
  United Kingdom
BH Tutaki
2011
 
 United Kingdom

There were some lines imported that never produced.  The Trish (sow) line imported in 2005 and the Manuhiri (sow) line imported in 2010 are two of them. 


**The information here is based solely on lines imported into the US. 


Some additional informative links:   https://www.virginiakunekunes.com/historyofthekunekunes.htm


Sow Bloodline
 Year Imported
 Importer
 Imported From
Rona
1995  
 
New Zealand
Wilson's Gina
1995  
 
New Zealand
 Jenny
2005  
 
United Kingdom
Aria Giana
2010
 
New Zealand
Tapeka
2010
 
New Zealand
Tarutaru
2010
 
New Zealand
Momona
2010
 
New Zealand
Haunene
2010
 
New Zealand  
Rebecca Gina
2010
 
United Kingdom
Kereopa
2011
 
United Kingdom
  Sally
2011
United Kingdom
Trish
2011  
 
United Kingdom
Awakino
2011  
 
United Kingdom  
BH Rebecca Gina
2011  
 
United Kingdom

How to understand Kunekune bloodlines and naming pigs. 

To put it simply, all boars take on their father's "name" (bloodline) and all sows take on their mother's "name" (bloodline).   


The first boar/gilt of each bloodline ever registered to a breeder would be given the NUMBER 1, the second ever boar/gilt of a bloodline registered to a breeder would be NUMBER 2 and so on.  This goes for all lines, both boar and sow.  

Let's assume this is the first Ru and first Jenny litter for this breeder. 


So a first litter of piglets born from a Ru boar and a Jenny sow and bred by a breeder who's farm prefix is CSA would be named like so.

CSA Ru 1 (first boar registered)   

CSA Ru 2 (second boar registered)

CSA Jenny 1 (first gilt/sow registered)

CSA Jenny 2 (second gilt/sow registered)

And so on.


All pigs also have an "also known as" (AKA) which is basically their call name or barn name.  (Like Sushi, or Glory, or Axl)


Mostly when you see a boar listed he will be listed with his paternal bloodline and then his maternal bloodline.  Following the example above a boar from that litter would be a Ru X Jenny or a Ru (Jenny) boar.   A sow would be described in the opposite manner, Jenny X Ru or Jenny (Ru) sow.  



There are a couple of links to the breed registry information on the subject. 

AKKPS Bloodlines info


AKPR Bloodlines and naming info

Will Kunekunes work for me?

Here is what they work very well for:

  • Grazing behind, with or instead of other livestock
  • In pasture or in woodlots 
  • Family farms
  • Lard production
  • Chartuerie  (pronounced:   "shaar·koo·tr·ee"  or “shar - koo - tuh - ree”   Charcuterie is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork. Charcuterie is part of the garde manger chef's repertoire.)
  • Being able to be part of the breed preservation of a very special breed. 
  • Home processing



Here is what they will NOT work well for.

  • Quick birth to freezer pork
  • Working up raw ground


Regarding vaccinations, shots and tusks. 

***still under construction***


I hope to get more in-depth on this subject soon but here is a quick note. 

As of this time,  we have never given vaccinations, iron shots or cut tusks or needle teeth.  

Why choose registered stock over unregistered stock?

***still under construction***

Both registered stock and unregistered stock can serve a producer well.  We've raised both.  We however made the choice to switch over to using only registered pigs as our breeding stock.   Of course we still offer unregistered stock for sale because your farm mascot or the meat you breed for your freezer doesn't require paperwork.  

Why do I prefer registered stock for our breeding program?  First let me tell you about what it takes to register a Kunekune.  When a litter of piglets is born you must notify the registry of birth date and all pertinent information about the litter (number of piglets, genders, colors, wattles, number of live/dead).  After you decide which one(s) to register you must send in a DNA sample (plucked hairs) to verify both parents.  Since all registered pigs are DNA verified (all the way down the line), you know you are getting a pure Kunekune and also know for sure who the parents are. 

How much pasture do I need for a Kunekune pig?

***still under construction***
The answer to this question has too many variables to give a generalized answer for everyone.  But I will take a moment to go over those variables so hopefully you can figure out the answer based on your situation.
Things to consider
  • Available forages in the area to be grazed?
  • Time of year? 
  • Location? 
  • Weather?
  • Size of the pigs?
  • Are pigs breeding (are there babies, will there be feeder pigs growing out)?
  • What do you expect your pigs to get from pasture?
  • Do your Kunekunes root?
  • What is your manure management protocol?
  • Are you utilizing some type of rotational grazing or multi species grazing program?

Here is what we do based on our answers to the above.
We can easily keep 4+ adult pigs on 1 acre of grassy pasture during our Michigan spring, summer and fall.  We also graze 6+ adult sheep on the same acre off and on to keep it grazed down a bit "neater".  In the winter our pigs have significantly smaller areas as they are kept in pens rather than out on pasture. 

  • Our 1 acre is heavily planted and includes mainly grasses but also contains a good assortment of plants like dandelion, plantain, chicory, kale, sunchokes and even comfrey.  
  • For us here in Michigan the heaviest growing time is usually spring (late April and May) and early summer.   So much depends on temperature and rainfall of course.  Most of our pastures have cooler season grasses so if we have a hot and dry summer we have to be cautious to not allow areas to be over grazed. 
  • We expect our pigs to get a large portion of their diet from pasture during the warmer seasons. This isn't our only goal of course, as we want to make sure they are provided with exercise, sunshine and enrichment.  If you are supplementing heavily with garden waste (fruits and veggies) or feeding a regular hog diet, how much they need to eat is reduced, but keep in mind the boredom issue and the fact that pigs are ALWAYS hungry. 
  • With the pasture we are able to provide, we haven't had rooting issues, but keep in mind if you have a very small, over grazed area you may find even more "damage" can be done by a bored, hungry pig.  A rooting pig, even on a good pasture may tear things up to make areas unfavorable. 
  • The pigs that are normally grazing the main 1 acre have an average adult size of 225#, piglets are not factored in.  Above, I say 4 PLUS adult pigs because it is normally about 2-3 adult sows and their unweaned offspring.   Then there are usually a few grow out piglets around as well.  

A good way to go is to use a total poundage to figure your minimum grazing area.   
Based on our experience and the factors (like soil fertility, plants, weather) we could keep approximately 900# of pig on our one acre.  For example, this could be a 400# boar, a 200# sow, a 200# grow out and a litter of unweaned piglets.  Or it could be three 200# sows, two 100# grow outs and a few litters of unweaned piglets.  
So to break it down a little more, it can be figured to about 50 Square feet per pound of pig.  This is for OUR pasture, your pasture most likely will vary quite a bit as many pastures are better than ours and I'm sure there are a few that are worse.  
I like to figure conservatively.  Keep in mind, even with the 900# of pig, we also keep other species on the same area (probably an added 900#) so without that you could probably go as high as 2000 lbs of pig per acre (or 10 200# pigs). That would be about 22 square feet per pound of pig.   I do however feel it is better to under stock than overstock when it comes to the health of the pigs and the land.  

And a final disclaimer.   The numbers I threw out above, like 10 pigs per acre, is what works for us in most years.   Even on the same farm things can change from year to year or even month to month.  There is NO real formula to figure what you can stock.  It can only be determined for you by using your common sense and some trial and error.  I would always recommend starting on the low side and increasing numbers only as you see it appropriate.  

**Note:  I do remember once reading that Joel Salatin raises approximately 10 pigs per acre as well.  I believe they would be feeder/grow out pigs up to 200# or so and raised using rotational grazing. 

Have a question?  

Feel free to ask us any questions you may have!