OMG she's such a pig!
We're starting a fun new activity: we're going to raise a litter of kunekune piglets! NOPE, no "teacup" pigs here--the kunekune is a medium-sized (80-120 lbs) and carefully bred breed of pig from New Zealand. The Maori people, who likely obtained a related breed through trade with sailors from Asia, established the friendly, calm and easygoing kunekune as an important source of food.
They remain the easy keepers that the Maori bred--their unique traits are very desirable to farmers. For one, the kunekune's nutritional needs are in large part met by simply grazing on grass rather than foods that must be purchased or otherwise sought after. Also, they don't dig to excess and tear up their living spaces (except to make nice napping places). they're very social with humans.
Through careful breeding programs worldwide, the kunekune has been brought back from near extinction in less than thirty years. Just eighteen pigs were brought out of New Zealand in the 1980s; and now that the breed has been deemed safe from extinction, kunekune breeders are focused on diversifying bloodlines, for biology's sake!
And HERE is our first little gilt (young female)! She is just wonderful: sweet, friendly, funny, daring...and SMART! She'll grow to a good 70 pounds by next spring, and will reach her full adult size in about three years. That's slow growth for a hog, which makes kunekunes extremely expensive charcuterie, and secretly for this we are glad. Even if they weren't expensive compared to the standard farm hog breeds, they're just...well, they're wonderful to be around, to see and live with around the pasture/yard, to pass the time with the whole family. NB - All pigs are awesome.
Today we finally, finally found a name for our "little" girl. It's helpful to have a theme for animal naming, as you likely know. So it turns out that theme for the Moon Ruby kunekune sounder is kind of something like "opposite of pig".
Here's our baby Tinkerbell!