“Miniature” Kunekune Pigs

“Miniature” Kunekune Pigs

The Association is receiving a lot of queries regarding miniature Kunekune pigs, or what have been called in the media ‘teacup pigs’. The Committee of the Association is working towards a policy and standard as to what might constitute a ‘miniature’ Kunekune pig, since there are clearly different established breeding lines that are, on average, smaller than the norm. However, while not wanting to prejudge any policy that might result, it is fair to say that the Committee is of the view that there is no such thing as a miniature or teacup Kunekune in the sense the term has been hyped in the media.

There are a number of points being taken into consideration.

First, and technically speaking, all Kunekunes are ‘miniature’ pigs when compared to commercial pigs, which can weigh up to 400+ kilos. Kunekunes tend to come in between 60 and 200 kg at adulthood.

Second, Kunekunes take a long time to reach adult size compared to other breeds, and their growth rates are quite variable. What many of us might consider a small pig at two- or three- years can suddenly spurt and become quite large at four-years old.

Third, the final size of a pig is determined both genetically and by its feeding regime. Pigs deprived of sufficient food in the growing years will end up smaller than they could have been. But to end up with a healthy pig around the size reported by the media at adulthood would probably be impossible.

In present discussions, the Committee is considering a standard that defines a miniature as under 50cms at the shoulder. This is way outside what the media talks about as ‘miniature’. However, it is necessary to understand that kunes of this height can still vary quite substantially. Consider the following three pigs, all of which would class as ‘miniature’ within the height standard (50cms) the Committee is considering:

This two year old boar is the previous pig’s litter mate.  He is 49.5 cms at the shoulder, but 130 cms long, and comparing him to a pig of known weight (his father) is going to be around 150kg at present.

This six year old sow is the mother of the previous two.  She is 49cms at the shoulder, 105 cms long, and likely weighing around 100kg.

None of these pigs would class as miniatures or teacups, but may be around the adult size you could expect for a piglet advertised as a ‘miniature’ Kunekune.

North American breeders of pot-bellied pigs take a similar view, and we offer this advice from the USA National Potbellied Pig Registry

Should you hear of pigs significantly out of this range, ask the breeder for 5 references of pet owners who have their pigs over the age of 3 years. 

Call these people and ask the height of their pig and approximate weight.