Mangulica Pig

Breeds and animal husbandry - Serbia

Mangulica is one of three primitive autochthonous pig breeds in Serbia and is considered endangered. The mangulica or mangalitsa pig is present many parts of Central and Eastern Europe. In Serbia, it is found in Sremska Mitrovica, Bela Crkva, Subotica, Macvanski Prnjavor, Pirot and Dimitrovgrad. Although pigs in Serbia have had a very significant role for ages, documented since the 14th century, real development of pig breeding started in the beginning of 19th century with an intensive pig industry starting in the late 1950s.On average, boars weigh 180 kg, and sows 150 kg. Boars' average height at the withers is 76 cm and sows average 68 cm. In Serbia there are three varieties: White, Swallow Bellied and Subotica. The breed is characterized by strong bones and strong muscles, a straight or slightly curved back and a curly tail. Its medium sized features ears that fall forward, covering space of the face around the eyes. A typical feature of this breed is thick, long, curled bristles that that protect the pig from the elements. Mangulica is late-maturing, slow-growing breed with a relatively high level of feed conversion. Feed requirements are modest, but feed diversity can be satisfied only through free range grazing.   The main advantages over other breeds are that it is very resistant when kept in extensive conditions in the pasture, forging on acorns in autumn. It is well adapted to continental climate conditions and resistant to certain diseases. Powerful legs with solid hoofs allow it roam from the lowlands of Pannonia to the mountains - the Carpathians, Alps and Old Mountains. Its meat is darker than the meat of other pig breeds, with a strong and pleasant smell and exceptional taste. Its unsaturated fat structure makes meat more tender than that of other pork breeds.   Cholesterol content in mangulica meat is 50-75% lower compared to other races: 42.5 mg of cholesterol in a sample of chop, and 45 mg in a sample of neck compared with 65-72 mg of other races. Meat is suitable for the production of all dried, smoked, baked and cooked pork meat products. Low productivity and high fat content compared to intensively raised commercial breeds are the main reason for its threatened extinction. Quality is high, yet the higher prices needed to cover the costs of raising the breed mean that the final product is often too expensive for local markets. Today, in the municipalities of Dimitrovgrad and Pirot four farms currently breed about 90 head of this rare pig.