Wooly Wonders

Swallow bellied mangalica pig

We’re currently re-evaluating the silvopasture component of our agroforestry project. Originally we though we’d bring back Dorper/St. Croix sheep since we enjoyed them so much last year and they did a great job grazing the pasture. Now I’m finding myself researching a breed of pig that originates from Austria/Hungary that is a real workhorse and makes me smile – the traditional Mangalica pig. I was lucky enough to tag along on a field trip to Chilliwack to see the only Mangalica’s in Canada and they are just as crazy looking in real life as they are in photos, with ‘wooly’ coats that make them look like plump little sheep. They are hardy grazers that can be rotated and confined to turn compost and fertilize pasture with single strand electric fencing. They are practical, fun to look at and smaller than the Tamworth or Old Spot heritage varieties of pigs that can weight in at 600 lbs. My partner-in-crime is slightly wary of my piggy research, but I think there is room for a few of these wooly wonders at the weed patch…

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