HARP - British Improved Kunekunes
IT'S SIMPLE, REALLY.
Twenty years of breeding performance and production animals has taught me many valuable lessons. Chief among those? Selection is everything. And that begins with selection of the best foundation stock available.
Having first landed on those shores in 1992, these British import Kunekunes benefit from generations of improvement and selection over the direct NZ imports. Over the first three years of my association with this breed I owned, raised and observed examples of both New Zealand and British kunes as well as all manner of registered mixes between the two. During that time I came to develop a preference for the British. I prefer the physique and I prefer their temperaments. I believe them to be a much better representation of the simple, smaller, more manageable, roly-poly pig that we all identify as a kune. And I am personally aware of far fewer incidents of common genetic maladies in British improved kunes as compared to their cousins from down under. As a small acreage farmer on a minuscule budget the health and vitality of my animals outweigh the purely cosmetic flourish of a belt or a band.
To be certain... none of this preference stems from imagined self accomplishment or delusions of breeding grandeur. I am humbly indebted, all of us should be... to pioneering English breeders like Andy Case, Sam Jones and Wendy Scudamore who did the heavy lifting in advance. And further credit is due the American breeders and importers before me who used the best available with an eye toward improvement.
No animal is perfect... but I believe that if you select those with the least distance between them and your ultimate breeding goals... you'll get there sooner.
ISN'T THAT SIMPLE?
What are my breeding goals? Real preservation of both form and function, not constant change to keep buyers chasing fads and brightly colored trends.
I fell in love with the first kunes I saw. As it turns out, they were a pair of British imports named Middleton and Duchess Kate. A casual search of the online kune herdbook will show that pair in about as many pedigrees as any other. And with good reason. They are prime examples of a type of heritage pig that the Maori people of New Zealand lovingly referred to as "fat and round".
Fat and round because those were the two most obvious descriptors... even after some 150 years of keeping kunes they did not call them fat and long. Nor did they refer to them as round and belted.
Call me old fashioned, but I plan to continue breeding these fat, round pigs just as they were intended. I hope you'll join me. And together we can...
KEEP IT SIMPLE.
YOU DON'T NEED TO BREED PURE BRITISH
IN ORDER TO BUY PURE BRITISH!
If you're looking for the lowest COI% in the breed, SIMPLY cross British lines with NZ lines. They stem from breeding populations isolated from each other for nearly 30 years.
British Improved Boar Lines -
Andrew (imported in 2005)
Te Whangi (imported in 2005)
Tutaki (imported in 2010)
Ru (imported in 2012)
BH Tutaki (imported in 2012)
British Improved Sow Lines -
Jenny (imported in 2005)
Rebecca Gina (imported in 2010)
Kereopa (imported in 2012)
Sally (imported in 2012)
Trish (imported in 2012)
Awakino (imported in 2012)
BH Rebecca Gina (imported in 2012)