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Wooly Wonders

August 2, 2012

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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7 Comments
  1. i steamed two large atrichokes last night, freshly harvested from my garden. what a treat. i do regret seeing the growing season slow and fizzle but fortunately the central california coast weather allows for a continuation of lettuce, possibility of cabbage and brussel sprouts, etc. we don’t suffer the frost here.enjoy reading your post.

  2. TQ at Q Gardens permalink

    My other half refused my request to get a wooly wonder…so I may have to settle for a goat instead.

  3. They love mud and water as most pigs do! Rotating them into our large pond area on a regular basis would be mandatory I suspect! The mangalicas and pigs with long snouts like this also eat grubs, shoots, corn, hog feed, veggie scraps…you name it! The other breed I’m researching are Kune kunes which have much shorter snouts, are smaller in size and are a great fit for compact pastured environments.

  4. Anonymous permalink

    What goofy little (big?) animals! Are you going to need to create a mud pit for them to enjoy?

  5. Anonymous permalink

    What magnificent beasts the wooly’s are! Do they feed on anything else besides the grass?

  6. TQ at Q Gardens permalink

    oops, posted before I could say “when do we pick them up” LOL…

  7. Anonymous permalink

    Ok, love it already…what a great idea. Can the pigs and sheep co-habitate? Then you can have both grazing together…they are really cute by the way…were the ones you saw friendly, tame? Pigs I’ve been told are the smartest in the barnyard and can be trained like dogs. Heck, some people even keep them as pets. Can’t wait to hear more on the wooly wonders.

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