What do other breeders think?

All aspects of raising and using kunekunes for meat.
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Di
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What do other breeders think?

Post by Di » Mon May 31, 2010 7:46 pm

I have just got back from Sherborne Castle Country Fair where we did a KK stand. I was really surprised at the interest and intelligent questions being asked. All day we had a crowd around the stand and most seemed genuinely interested.

Something that did come up several times was the comment " They are the pet pigs aren't they?" I have to say that whilst I agreed they could be pet pigs equally they make excellent sausages and that some people make joints and chops as well. Most people seemed surprised that you could actually EAT kunekunes!

Do you think as a Society we should promote the use of kunekunes as a pig for eating more than, perhaps, is done now?

I would be interested to hear what other breeders think.

Di

Pandora
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Post by Pandora » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:44 pm

Good point Di.

My own feelings are that it may well be a reality that very small time breeders like myself, have never had to face yet. My philosophy with our chickens is: "if you can't dispatch... don't hatch"! There will always be a surplus of cockerels. This started as a small hobby, and has evolved into a more common sense approach.

I am not a vegetarian, and so people who throw up their arms in horror at the thought (then pop into KFC), are living in a hypocritical La-La Land! Unless they are VEGANS? I believe in a good life ~ and a good death, trouble is... for the smallholder, the rules & regs. and inconvenience of what is left of our abattoirs, is prohibitive unless you are extremely fortunate, not to mention the most important point... a GOOD death, not the terrible stress of that last journey, and being kept very often overnight with other strange animals, where horrendous fights break out, in a terrifying environment. It is that, which makes me shudder, when you consider a pigs intelligence. Bring back the mobile slaughtermen I say, for a quick, clean home kill in familiar territory.

Methinks anyone with the right qualifications wishing to set up such an enterprise, and franchise it around the country... would make a killing (.... oh, I couldn't help that one, sorry :roll: )
Never test the depth of the water with both feet!

Di
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What do other breeders think?

Post by Di » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:13 pm

I may be fortunate in that we live only 20 mins from a small, family run abbatoir. I take cattle, lambs and pigs there and have never had a problem. They have their own butchery attached which also makes life easier.

I agree that the first time (and probably the second and third) you take an animal for slaughter is not easy. However, as you say, reality is that you cannot sell all kunekunes for pets or breeding (too many boys!) I maintain that if you have given them a happy life and take them yourself to the slaughter house, making is a calm as possible, then you have done the best for your animals.

Would still be interested to hear other views.

simon
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Post by simon » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:02 pm

I agree.
Personally I've not had to sausage a kune yet, and buy other breeds for that. But I suppose its just a matter of time before we do.

One thing that smallholders forget when deciding which breed of pig to raise for meat is that kunes can do well on grass, hay and haylage with some supplement whereas other breeds will not.

One person I spoke to raised 2 castrates for 8months, feeding them veg scraps and just a single bag of feed each in that time. Total cost ?7.
They must have had better grass (& more veg) than us, but you can't argue with the maths even if the resulting pig was smaller than other breeds.

Darrell
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Post by Darrell » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:20 am

I only breed and sell my kunes as pets.I get ?150 each for them as pets,the going rate for a meat weaner round here is ?30 and plenty of people doing that with unregistered kunes already.So think I will stay as I am.

Di
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What do other breeders thing?

Post by Di » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:11 pm

I agree. If I can sell my piglets for pets or for others to breed from then of course I do. However when you have a lot of boars it is not possible to sell all of them.

The point I was trying to make was that you then do have the option of making them into sausages and selling them that way. I don't think its viable to sell them for ?35 for others to raise, but doing it yourself is definately worth while.

I feel that kunekunes have been promoted for a long time as pets only. Is it now time to point out to potential purchasers that they do have other uses?

wendy scu
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Post by wendy scu » Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:13 pm

I started promoting kunekunes at the Royal Show and several other large county shows in 2002.
I have always promoted them for meat as have the people who have helped me on the stands, namely Dean Horsley, Ann Stanier, Margaret Wolfendale and i believe Andy Case does too.

I don't eat them and neither does Dean as we are both veggies but we have always promoted them as a viable smallholders meat pig. this is also written on all of the literature that we hand out regarding kunes.

From a personal point of view, i have never had to keep any that i have bred - i always find good homes for them and also request that if they are move on, i have first refusal. so far i have had 4 back in 10 years.
i think there is a good market for them but i would advise people to slow down on the breeding if they are finding they can't sell them.
I have been to more than one place where i have seen people with several litters that they can't sell stacking up and they are STILL putting their sows to the boar. What for ??

CarolineB
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Post by CarolineB » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:36 pm

Hi Di
We had 15 or so piglets, we sold about 8 and the rest went into our freezer and other freezers in the area. I know it's not for everyone but I know those piggies had a very happy life which was ended in the nicest way we can do legally - local family run abbatoir.

Meat-wise this batch was way better tasting than our last. This lot were fed on breedsure nuts over winter - the last lot had sheep mix. Other than that, raised exactly the same.

We like the KK joints because they aren't enormous, there's only me, Dh and our 2yo daughter, so a KK joint is perfect for 2/3 meals. An Old Spot joint would last a week (too much imho). All joints have been lovely, including one entire boar (had a hernia) - no boar taint.

However, not sure I'd recommend them for meat, even for a smallholder as they do take such a long time to grow/mature. Ours grew noticeably quicker on breedsure nuts - but that's because we knew they'd be going for meat. I wouldn't normally feed a KK on BS nuts.

My message is that they do make good meat - can be fatty but no worse than other non-commercial pork I've bought. Just cut if off the chops before you cook them, and slow roast the joints. But it's not very cost efficient. We're goign to get some Middle White's next. I still have one KK, so need a pal for her.
Caroline

redgeorge
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Post by redgeorge » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:35 am

I am quite opposed to the term 'pet' being used for pigs. A pet to me is an animal that is domesticated and lies by your feet by the fireside: cats & dogs - but definately not a pig!!!

I don't eat my pigs either, but I regularly dispatch the excess of cockerals that I have too Pandora - much to my meat eating friends horror!!! as they say 'How can you do that when your a veggie!'which always amazes me - where do they think the meat on their plates comes from and why do they think I choose not to eat it!!! - ostriches with heads in the sand comes to mind :D

wendy scu
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Post by wendy scu » Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:45 pm

i agree redgeorge, the term 'pet' conjures up totally the wrong image and any piglets that i sell as 'pets'(!) have to go to a home with at least half an acre of dedicated ground (not the plot the house is built on!) and must go as pairs or to where there are other pigs present

I have no objection to others eating pork or their pigs if they choose to but it is not something i would consider with my kunekunes. having said that, i would sooner they went to heaven than to an inappopriate home

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