Monday, December 22, 2008

Oink, Oink, Oink Merry Christmas

Hi! Well Christmas has arrived and great news, my mates on the farm have a fantastic Christmas present coming. The 'Fun Fundraising Themometer' has reached its final goal and we can now go ahead and start building three new magnificent shelters for my buddy 'Miss Moo' and her goat friends. A huge thank you to all that gave us donations and a special thank you to Western Heights School and CMC Markets NZ for their amazing contributions. Check out the chart and watch out for an update of the shelters once they are made.

All About Kune Kunes

In this blog, I thought I would tell you a little bit about my breed, thats the 'Kune Kune'. We are a very special breed of pig, very unique.The name 'Kune Kune' means ‘fat and round’ in Maori. Although our origin is not completely certain, one of the stories is that whalers operating in New Zealand waters brought the kune kune over, and traded them with the Maoris. There are similar pigs in other parts of the world such as Asia, South America and the Polynesian islands.

Kune kunes are known for their placid nature and have found their place as pet pigs. We have a unique appearance and love human contact, we are intelligent, resourceful and affectionate.

One of the Kune kune's physical characteristics is its tassels or pire pire. These are usually about 4cm long and hang from the lower jaw. Although not all Kune kune's have tassels and some may only have one, I infact have two!

The Kune Kune is smaller than other breeds, although we are a fatty breed and we do have a tendency to become obese if overfed.

One example of that is a Kune Kune we have living at the Auckland SPCA at the moment. His name is 'Wally', and only a year old he weighs even more than I do! He is so fat around his eyes, he can't even see! Even though his old owners loved him very much, they did not realise the poor diet he was getting. He often got alot of bakery food, like bread and loved to get into the chicken feed.


Kune kunes are grass grazers, and will graze quite happily with other types of animals in a paddock. They can live quite happily on grass alone. But as pasture quality varies their diet does need to be supplemented. Great types of supplement food is cabbage, carrots, apples and other fruit and veges. If Kune kunes do become overweight like 'Wally', we can suffer from diabetes and heart disease just like people. We also wouldn't be able to move much because we only have little legs and wouldn't be able to carry the weight.

Wally is now on a healthy eatting plan, and overtime should become a healthy weight for a Kune Kune.

Apart from our diet something else we love to do is lie in a lovely cool mud pool. All pigs love to do this, its not because we like to be dirty. In fact pigs are very clean animals, they can even be trained to use a litter tray just like a cat. I am a very clean boy, I sleep in my pen all night in the barn, and wait until the morning to be let outside until I go to the toilet, I don't like going in my bed! Now did you know that pigs don't sweat? This is why we like to lie in the mud, because we don't sweat we don't have a way to keep ourselves cool, so instead we lie in the mud which keeps us cool and the mud also protects our skin from getting sunburn, just like a sunblock!

Here is a pic of my mud pool, I LOVE IT!!

Education Team Foster Kittens

The Education Team is fostering some kittens at the moment, they are very cute. This is so they will be ready to play with the kids at the 'Auckland SPCA School Holiday Experience', cat day. If you still would like to book a place click here.

This is 'Peaches' one of our Education Team foster kittens.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My First Blog

Hi! My name is 'Chester' and I am the Team Leader of the Education Animals here at Auckland SPCA. I love living here, there’s lots of grass for me to eat, I have a fantastic mud pool to help keep me cool in the summer and a nice warm bed in 'Georges Barn' where I sleep every night. I’ll be telling you about what’s happening with the Auckland SPCA Education team as well as any new arrivals we might have down on the farm. Look out for tips on future blogs for ideas to keep your rats entertained, the importance of a good diet for pigs and watch out for any farm animals we might have for adoption.

The Auckland SPCA Education Programme

We have a number of different animals that live in 'Georges Barn' and in our Education barn yard, ranging from the very small 'Hannah and Montana' our two beautiful rats, up to our very large ‘Miss Moo’ our gorgeous cow. Whenever there is a group booked to visit, we get very excited. We love visitors! The rats, rabbits and guinea pigs are ready and waiting in their pens, and the goats, sheep and Miss Moo can't wait to come inside to greet their visitors. We love teaching groups about pet care and owner responsibility and we all have a story to tell. If you would like to learn more about our Education programme and perhaps book a visit click here. We even do birthday parties!

The Auckland SPCA School Holiday Experience

We love visitors so much we are even have our own school holiday programme, click here to see the programme and who to contact to book a place.

Fun Fundraising Thermometer

My mate 'Miss Moo' our beautiful education cow and several of her close friends - consisting of goats and sheep which are currently being housed at the Auckland Animal Village need new shelters. We are currently raising money to build three new large shelters for the goats and sheep on the education team and for the incoming rescued farm animals at the Animal Village. Check out the fun fundraising target thermometer on this blog and keep an eye on its progress towards the building of new farm animal shelters. You can also click here to view it on our website. If you would like to make a contribution please contact - Fiona Mcdonald Education Barn Supervisor, email her at or call on 09 256 7300 extn 824.