August 26, 2014
There are two new four-footed residents at Tilly Foster Farm. The latest additions, a pair of Kunekune piglets, were picked up and delivered by veterinary technician Teresa Delahanty on Monday. The yet to be named mini pigs join the flock of chickens presently residing at the 199-acre county-owned property on Route 312 in Brewster.
“The arrival of the piglets reaffirms Putnam County’s commitment to housing a variety of animals at Tilly Foster Farm for the public to enjoy,” said Deputy County Executive Bruce Walker. “As we move forward with plans to make the farm financially viable through public-private partnerships with organizations such as Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES, we are cognizant that the farm is a local treasure that brings joy to our residents both young and old.”
The Kunekune are considered a small heritage breed of pigs. While still rare in this country, they were a popular breed centuries ago. According to the Livestock Conservancy, Kunekune were among the “livestock breeds that were raised by our forefathers . . . breeds of a bygone era before industrial agriculture . . .” Kunekune were “carefully selected and bred over time to develop traits that made them well-adapted to the local environment. . .” The Kunekune were first introduced to the United Kingdom in 1992 and it wasn’t until 1996 that these friendly grazers were imported to the United States.
Delahanty confirmed that Kunekune (pronounced “Cooney- Cooney”) were chosen for Tilly Foster Farm because of their friendly dispositions, their mini-esque size and their non-rooting and non-roaming characteristics. Delahanty and her friend, Lisa Walker, who raised the farm chicks until they were old enough to be placed at the farm, made the round trip drive to Bel Canto Farm just outside of Ithaca on Monday.
“Kunekune are very friendly, easy to manage little pigs,” said Delahanty “and they will be able to feed mostly on pasture grass unlike other breeds. They won’t grow to be taller than 24 inches, very child-friendly.”
The pair, both female, is only eight weeks old. They will be placed in the enclosed pen directly across from the hand-made chicken coop near the end of the farm’s entryway.
With the Putnam County Antique Machinery Association holding their Antique Tractor, Gas Engine and Farm Implements Show, which include antique cars and trucks, on Sept. 13 and 14, visitors will be able to view the old farm equipment, visit the growing chicks and welcome the new piglets to Tilly Foster Farm.
Tilly Foster Farm, located at 100 Route 312 in Brewster, is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
PHOTO CAPTION: Lisa Walker (left) and Teresa Delahanty (right) hold the two new Kunekune piglets before bringing them to Tilly Foster Farm.