This spring I acquired a purebred Kunekune boar and two pregnant 1/2 kunekune cross sows. The sows are 1 year old and weigh 40-50 lbs. Shortly after I brought them home I found myself with 11 new piglets!
I am very excited about this line of small, friendly pigs. Because of the kunekune blood they are excellent grazers with little to no rooting. They are very thrifty to keep. I graze them on pasture and in a peach orchard which is under sown with grass and clover. In addition to grazing they eat kitchen scraps, extra veggies from the garden, comfrey, walnuts, and offal from rabbit butchering.
The piglets are now 11 weeks old and weigh 15-20 lbs. I expect they will reach 50-60 lbs, a very manageable size for one person to harvest and easy to keep on the hoof for meat as needed. I have sold some of them as pets and am keeping some as a meat crop to be processed this fall.
I may be biased but I think this could be the perfect permie pig. They fit beautifully into a small farm setting, get along with other animals including dogs, don't root up the ground, don't bother trees and shrubs (except blackberry vines which they love), are very friendly and best of all turn all your leftovers into delicious pork. They also make outstanding pets which can be a source of income on the side.
I am retaining two of my young females as my breeding stock and so am offering for sale the two 1/2 kunekune sows that got me started. I would love for these pigs to go to permaculture homes.
Below is the list of what I have to offer. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions.
La Grande, OR (northeast corner of Oregon)
Two kunekune x mini pig sows, 1 year old. $500 each. If you would like them bred to my registered Kunekune boar add $100.
How are your pigs doing this spring? Will you be selling some extras again this year?
And are you still happy with the breed?
Thanks for the update....
Location: NE Oregon
posted 7 years ago
Yes! I am very happy with these little pigs. They fit beautifully into my permaculture systems. There are two litters due in early May and likely one more litter due sometime in June. I expect to have some available for sale when they reach 6 weeks of age. I will be asking $500 for breeding stock and $250 for neutered males.
thanks for checking in...
Do you have an idea of how much pasture should be set aside for grazers? I know that there are a lot of variables, but a good guess would help. I'd like to have a couple pigs, but I'm worried that I won't have enough room.
You're right when you say there are many variables. Maybe if you told us a little about your pasture it would help. Size of the area, type of grass and length of grazing season, irrigated or not, type of animals you would like to put on it, zone/location, anything else you can think of.
I'm in NE Oregon, zone 5 and currently keep breeding stock of 4 pigs and 2 sheep on two acres-- plus offspring in season. It is a pasture and food forest system. I irrigate some areas to keep the grass growing past July. As the diversity of plant species continues to improve my need for watering should go down and my stocking rate will be able to go up.
In the winter I feed the kunekunes fermented local grain, stockpiled pumpkins, apples, beets, walnuts and alfalfa hay (they eat the leaves but not the stems). They don't care much for grass hay and being monogastrics like us it doesn't seem to me they could extract much nutrition from grass hay. I could be wrong about that but my preference is to give them what they will eat with enthusiasm.
all the best,
My place is northwest of Spokane, zone 5 as well and the precipitation is about the same--I think it was 18 inches this year.
I have some chickens and would like to make paddocks out of 3 acres. I plan on running the chickens through the paddocks as well as pigs. I'm not sure what the grazing season is here, but I bet it's longer than yours--LaGrande gets snow earlier and holds onto it longer than my area.
I don't have irrigation right now, but it's coming in June. The picture at the top of my blog looks down on the area I would use... http://thishappyhomestead.com/ You can see that I need to irrigate. I'm fortunate to have a good source of water.
Your land is beautiful Jeremey. Looks like lots of native plants mixed with the grasses? Pigs like many forbs too. Mine readily eat clover, plantain, dandelions, bindweed, comfrey, etc. You probably have many more that they would make use of too that would provide really important nutrition. Keep in mind that pigs want to graze on vegetation that is lush and growing. They don't care for grass when it becomes tough and stemmy. If you can keep the forage green it looks to me like you have plenty of ground to add pigs to your mix. Later in the summer I have found that I can gather lots of fruit from old orchards and also people start leaving zuchinni and other excess produce on your doorstep once they know you can use it. Keep up posted on how your system evolves.
Those are all good choices. I grow sunchokes as well but haven't given many to the pigs at one time. They give me digestive problems so I'm not sure if pigs can tolerate them in large quantity or not. I'd like to hear from someone who uses them regularly.
Put in a bunch of comfrey too if you can get it. It survives under all conditions, produces lots of greenery and the pigs love it. I'd be glad to mail you some roots if you don't have a good source. I divide some of my clumps every year and disperse them around the property. Pigs also love the amaranth/pigweed family if you have space for annuals. The common weedy variety is a good one but I also grow a tall red one that is very prolific.