Our Pigs - Alvin and Simon
Simon, along with his twin brother Alvin, joined our family on April 5, 2010. They are barrows from the Tonganui line. They were born on June 13th, 2008 at Cyndi Berry’s Kunekune Preserve in North Carolina. Cyndi named them Simon and Alvin because, when they were piglets, they both had brown stripes that ran down their backs. They looked like chipmunks. They are solid black now. (This color change seems to be common in black Kunes.) Their coats are straight, fairly thick and bristly. In the summer it becomes sparse, as they shed much of it. Their tails are usually straight, though they sometimes curl them. They both have two, well attached piri piri. Their very furry ears are erect with a slight forward flop.
Alvin and Simon look so much alike that we need to be within twenty feet of them to tell them apart. We keep saying that we are going to paint the tip of one of their ears white so that we will know who is who across the field, but we have yet to do so. Simon is more feminine, slightly smaller, and sweeter. He has beautiful deep brown eyes. One merely has to reach down toward his side, and he’ll flop over for a belly rub even before you touch him. He loves nothing better in the world than a good scratch. In fact, when our goats were small he allowed them to jump up on him and paw at his side as he lay resting. We think he enjoyed the sensation of their sharp little hooves. That stopped once they grew to full size.
Alvin is more masculine. He’s heavier through the shoulders, and has hackles that always stand up. A day or two after he arrived I recall sitting on the grass near him. He stood up, and began to walk toward me. I saw those raised hackles, and leaped to my feet, sure that he was about to charge me. I was a nervous, novice pig farmer back then. The notion of any Kune charging anyone really makes me chuckle now, a year later. Alvin has gold eyes which make him appear a bit sinister. However, he is as sweet as Simon, just a bit more dominant and stand-offish.
Cyndi was so pleased and relieved when we purchased them both. The demand for all black Kunes is low, and neither of these guys have the most ideal conformation. However, we just adore our boys. They provide good companionship for our gilt, they get along well with our sheep and goats with which they live (and cozy together with at night), and they are gentle with our small children. There’s only one farm member that doesn’t know what to think of them. When they amble over and touch snouts with our dog, Buddy, it is evident that he’s thinking “What the heck are these things?!”