Morava Pig

Breeds and animal husbandry - Serbia

The Moravka is black breed of pig, with smooth, thin hair and lop ears. The body is relatively long and narrow, and the head is relatively large. The back line is straight or slightly convex. Shoulder blades and hams are poorly developed, with little muscle. Boars average 135 kg and sows 120 kg. Males average 71 cm tall at the withers, and 65 cm for females. This breed was first developed in extensive management conditions in the Morava Valley of central Serbia, and is known for its disease resistance and good fertility (often producing eight piglets per litter). Morava pigs are usually raised in free range, outdoor systems. Its production, along with its ancestor, the Sumadinka pig, is connected to variety of typical meat products, including the locally famous duvan cvarci and sprza. While the importance of rearing pigs has been documented in the area of Serbia as far back as the 14th century, pig breeding really developed at the beginning of the 19th century, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Pigs raised in Serbia were used locally and for export, mainly raised in acorn-rich oak and beech forests. A 20th century war between Serbia and Austria-Hungary over customs rates and pig imports became known as the “Pig War,” a critical period for the Serbian economy. The Morava pig was popular at the beginning of the 20th century, but by the late 1950s, a trend towards industrial or intensive pig farming began. Today, the breed is critically at risk, with an estimated local population of less than 100 pigs. Meat from this breed can no longer be found for sale commercially. Because pork form this breed is higher in fat content than pork from other breeds, it has become less popular with changes in consumer habits and diets. In addition, because it is a breed that yields less meat overall compared to industrially-developed breeds, producers prefer imported hybrids that reach a higher slaughter weight over a shorter period of time.