Mangalista pigs originate from Hungary, gaining popularity steadily until the 1990s when demand increased significantly thanks to several breeding programs encouraged by Peter Toth. The breed made their debut in the United States in 2007, bringing a new and unique flavor to the market. Mangalista popularity is echoed in the US due to distinct differences from average market hog breeds. Commercial production of pork often selects for low fat and fast-growing stock to meet demand. Mangalistas on the other hand are quite the opposite, focus is placed on the promotion of superior flavor instead of rapid weight gain.
Mangalistas are prized for their higher fat content and lard production, resulting in a rich flavor that stands out in products such as bacon and ham. The fat content of this breed can be as high as 65-70% as compared to the average commercial fat percentage of 50% or less. This exceptional and delicious end product comes with the need for patience. Mangalistas take over a year to reach market weight, over double the amount of time for typical commercial pork production. Trust us – its worth the wait!
The peculiarities of this breed don’t end with their final product. Mangalistas spend much of their day foraging in grass and woodland areas as the only remaining breed of wooly pigs. This gives them a very unique appearance! Their wool, which comes in a variety of colors ranging from light blonde to red and even black (though blonde is the most common), doesn’t have a use outside of providing the animals with protection from the sun and cold temperatures.
The temperament of this breed is calm and docile, in fact, when we brought home our first Mangalistas they regularly rolled over wanting their bellies scratched! They are very social animals and do best with one (or more) companions. They don’t typically need much assistance giving birth, however, as with many pig breeds nursing sows should be watched closely to ensure the safety of the piglets. We recommend having a separate area for the piglets that the sow cannot access.
Kesabe Farms brought home our first Mangalistas in 2019, a gilt named Maggie and a barrow named Marvin. We later introduced Maggie to our first boar, Oliver, and welcomed a litter of piglets in 2021! We are excited to help promote this heritage breed and are looking forward to our next litter. We are always eager to share information and learn from fellow breeders, please contact us with any questions and check out our For Sale page if you are in the market for this unique breed!