The Kune Kune, pronounced Cooney Cooney, is a Maori pig from New Zealand. They were kept by the Maoris as pets but were nevertheless eaten on special occasions. They were allowed to wander freely in Maori villages, scavenging for food around and inside the houses and it is probably this longstanding close association with man which has made them so friendly and docile.
They come in a variety of colours, black, brown, ginger, white and spotty combinations of white and any other colour. We produce two litters of Kune Kunes each year and they are all sold as pets to people who like pigs and have the facilities for keeping them properly. Like any pig, they are not suitable as house pets. They are however quite charming, very curious and, when they are small, they love to wander all around the farm finding out what is going on.
The Middle White was known as the London pork pig as it was raised in large numbers to supply the capital with excellent quality pork. The Middle White is thought to have been developed by crossing the Large White with the Small White, a breed which is now extinct. Both the Emperor of Japan and Anthony Worral Thompson, the restaurant owning TV chef, keep herds of Middle Whites as they believe that the breed is unbeatable in the quality and flavour of the pork that it produces. The Middle White is currently classed as being an Endangered breed.
The Berkshire is the smallest of the native British breeds of pig. In the 19th Century both Chinese and Neapolitan pigs were imported to be crossed with the native British breeds in an attempt to create pigs with improved commercial qualities. By and large, these newly created pigs failed to meet the needs of the commercial market at the time and by 1900 they had all died out with the exception of what had become known as the Berkshire. The Berkshire survived because it established a reputation for producing quality pork and bacon with excellent texture and flavour. The Berkshire is currently classified as being a vulnerable breed.
There were originally two distinct strains of a large, black, British pig, one in Devon and Cornwall and one in Essex and Suffolk. These two strains were amalgamated into what became the large black breed and, at the time of the herd book creation in 1989, it was the most numerous breed of pig in the country.
Large Blacks were popular and profitable because they are excellent mothers, have a gentle temperament, are suited to small scale production, do well when kept outside and can be used either as a pork or a bacon pig. By 1966, swine fever had been eradicated in the UK and for the first time it became possible to breed and rear pigs in large scale intensive units. The lean white varieties of pig were far better suited to this new industry and the decline of the Large Black began. The breed is currently in Category 3 (vulnerable) on the British Rare Breeds Register.