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"Sheep pig" redirects here. For the novel by Dick King-Smith, see The Sheep-Pig.
20101119 Mangalica 003.jpg
Other names
  • Mangalitza
  • Mangalitsa
Country of origin Hungary
Weight Male: 150-170 pounds
  Female: 140-160 pounds
  • Blonde Mangalica - yellow to yellowish-red
  • Swallow-bellied Mangalica - black
  • Red Mangalica - reddish-brown[1]
Sus scrofa domesticus
A swallow-bellied Mangalica in the gardens of the Franciscan monastery at Kadaň, Czech Republic
Piglets of Mangalica pig (about one month old) in Münsterland, Germany
The curly blonde coat of a Mangalica pig at Budapest Zoo, Hungary

The Mangalica (sometimes spelled Mangalitsa in the UK or Mangalitza in the USA) is a Hungarian breed of domestic pig. It was developed in the mid-19th century by crossbreeding Hungarian breeds from Szalonta and Bakony with the Serbian Šumadija breed.[2] The Mangalica pig grows a thick, wooly coat similar to that of a sheep. The only other pig breed noted for having a long coat is the extinct Lincolnshire Curly-coated pig of England.

The pigs were originally bred for their lard in the 1830s by Austrian Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary. After the collapse of Austria-Hungary, the breed slowly disappeared, reaching a low point under Hungarian communism, where government policy combined with changing dietary habits brought it to near-extinction. The breed was revived in the early 1990s by a series of breeders, including the Hungarian Peter Toth.[3]

More recently, the pigs have been imported to the United States by a series of breeders, including Heath Putnam, Wilhelm W. Kohl, and Mosefund Farms.[4][5]


The blonde Mangalica was developed from older, hardy types of Hungarian pig (Bakonyi and Szalontai) crossed with the European wild boar and a Serbian breed (and later others like Alföldi[6]) in Austro-Hungary (1833).[7] The development took place in Austro-Hungary (present-day Arad County in Romania) in the early 19th century.[7] The new, quick-growing, "fat-type" hog did not require any special care, so became very popular in Hungary. In 1927, the National Society of Fat-Type Hog Breeders (Mangalicatenyésztők Országos Egyesülete) was established, with the objective of improving the breed.[7] Mangalica was the most prominent swine breed in the region until 1950 (30,000 of them were in Hungary in 1943).[7] Since then, the popularity, as well as the population, of Mangalica has been decreasing, with the rising availability of food from farther away and refrigeration.[8] Nowadays, the keeping of Mangalicas has become a popular hobby.[7] Slightly over 7,000 Mangalica sows in Hungary are producing around 60,000 piglets a year.[9]

In March 2006, 17 Mangalicas were imported from Austria into the UK. These are registered with the British Pig Association (BPA) and the pedigrees are being maintained on the BPA Mangalitza Herd Book. Three of the animals are at Tropical Wings Zoo in Essex.[10]

The Swallow-bellied Mangalica breed was produced by crossing the blonde Mangalica and the Black (which has gone extinct).[7]

The Mangalica in the United States[edit]

In 2007, the first Swallow-bellied Mangalicas were imported to the United States by Heath Putnam.[11] Putnam raised several thousand pigs on a variety of farms before selling his operation to Mosefund Farms in 2012.[12]

In 2010, Wilhelm W. Kohl and his partner Marc Santucci were the first to import the blonde variety from Kohl's native Austria. They have since distributed breeding stock throughout the United States through their company Pure Mangalitsa.[3] Shortly thereafter, Auburn University in cooperation with Mosefund Farm also imported the same blonde variety to the United States.


Mangalica meat
Mangalica, good prepared for winter

The Mangalica produces too little lean meat, so it has been gradually replaced by modern domestic breeds. It is usually fed with a mix of wild pasture, supplemented with potatoes and pumpkins produced on the farm.[7]

The primary product made from this pig is sausage, usually packed in the pig's duodenum. The minced meat is seasoned with salt, pepper, sweet paprika, and other spices. It is then eaten in slices with pickled vegetables. The pork is also served braised with sauerkraut, potatoes, and stuffed peppers as a side dish. Farmers also produce smoked hams.[13] The fresh meat tastes strong and juicy; the suckling pigs are much preferred for their good fresh meat qualities.[14]

In the UK, the breed is kept free-range, fed on standard sow and weanling feeds. The higher quality and protein levels of this feed results in a slightly larger, stockier pig.

In Hungary, most Mangalica pigs are raised semi-intensively or intensively.

Mangalicas can rear their young (which are born striped like wild boars) in outside arks all year round without the need for additional heat and light.

Killing weight (for meat production) is generally achieved beyond 12 months of age;[15] much longer and the additional fat gained becomes too excessive for the UK market.

Meat from Mangalica can be easily found in Hungary, as Hungarian farmers produce about 60,000 animals each year.[16]


The three Mangalica breeds are: Blonde, Swallow-bellied, and Red. They all have the same behavior; the only difference is the colour. The Blonde Mangalica is blonde, the Swallow-bellied (originally produced by crossing the Blonde Mangalica with the extinct Black Mangalica)[7] has a blonde belly and feet with a black body, and the red (produced by crossing the Blonde Mangalica with the Szalonta breed)[7] is ginger. Other breeds (Black, Wolf, and Baris) have died out as pure-bred forms, though their reconstruction from selective breeding of mixed varieties is being debated in Hungary.[7]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Kohl, Wilhelm; Toth, Peter (2014). The Mangalitsa Pig: Royalty is Coming to America (Hardcover). United States: Boook Publishing Hungary. ISBN 6155417040. Retrieved 6 July 2015 – via Amazon. 
  3. ^ a b Kohl, Wilhelm; Toth, Peter (2014). The Mangalitsa Pig: Royalty is Coming to America (Hardcover). United States: Boook Publishing Hungary. ISBN 6155417040. Retrieved 9 July 2015 – via Amazon. 
  4. ^ "An Old Breed of Hungarian Pig Is Back in Favor". New York Times. 26 March 2009. 
  5. ^ "Meet the Mangalitsa, the Hairy Pig That's the Kobe Beef of Pork". Modern Farmer. 14 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "Interessensgemeinschaft der Wollschweinzüchter Österreichs" (in German). 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Dr. Radnóczi László. "The Hungarian Mangalica". Archived from the original on February 10, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Salvan breed of pig-like Hungarian Iberian – translated article". 
  9. ^ "Megjelent a mangalica Angliában: megmentett hobbiállat vagy régi magyar fajta". :. 1999-01-31. Retrieved 2013-06-12. 
  10. ^ "Rare pigs are mistaken for sheep". BBC News. 19 April 2010. 
  11. ^ "Is Mangalitsa the next 'it' pig?". Seattle Times. 8 January 2011. 
  12. ^ "Gentleman Pig Farmer". Barron's. 14 September 2013. 
  13. ^ "The Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity". 
  14. ^ "Breeds of Livestock – Switzerland". 
  15. ^ Sanders, Michael S. (1 April 2009). "An Old Breed of Hungarian Pig Is Back in Favor". The New York Times. 
  16. ^ "Hungarian mangalica is introduced in the U.K" (in Hungarian). 

External links[edit]