Arapawa Pig Characteristics, Origin, Breeding

The Arapawa pig or Arapawa Island pig is a feral breed of domestic pig from New Zealand. It is actually found on the Arapaoa Island in the Marborough Sounds, New Zealand.

Some people suggests that these animals are descendants of the pigs introduced to the Island by James Cook in 1773 and 1777.

The animals apparently derive from Oxford Sandy and Black stock brought to the island by whalers of the Te Awaiti whaling station (established in 1827 by John Guard).

The Arapawa pigs are known to have inhabited the island since 1839. Four piglets were removed from the island in 1998, and have since bred successfully.

New Zealand Post issued a series of stamps in 2007 about notable pig breeds of New Zealand to commemorate the Chinese Year of the Pig.

And the Arapawa pig was featured in the $1.35 stamp. Read more information about the breed below.

Arapawa Pig Characteristics

The Arapawa pig is a small sized breed. It has reverted to a wild type that is quite hairy and has a mane.

It is larger and have shorter noses and tails compared to the Auckland Island pig which is another distinctive feral breed of pig deriving from many generations of insular isolation.

But Arapawa pigs are smaller with slower growth rate when compared to the non-feral domesticated pigs. They are usually sandy or tan in coloration.

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But they often have black patches. They have long faces and snouts with small and pricked ears. Their shoulders are wide and the boars have a heavy shield, and their skin is thick and hard.

Average height of the mature Arapawa sows vary from 80-100 kg. And the mature boars on average weight around 120 to 180 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.

Special Notes

The Arapawa pig is a very alert and active breed. It is usually of very good behavior and usually do not have an aggressive temperament.

Currently the breed is listed among the rare and minority breeds of livestock by the RBCS (Rare Breeds Conservation Society of New Zealand), with a priority conservation rating.

However, review full breed profile of the Arapawa pig in the following chart.

Breed NameArapawa
Other NameArapawa Island
Special NotesActive, very alert, good behavior, not have an aggressive temperament, pretty rare
Breed SizeSmall
Boars120-180 kg
Sows80-100 kg
Climate ToleranceNative climates
ColorMainly sandy or tan, often with black patches
RarityRare
Country/Place of OriginNew Zealand

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