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Meant to be pigs – Raising Mangalitsa Hogs

There’s nothing like watching a pig do what it’s meant to do.  These Mangalitsa pigs are fun to watch, too, because they are so different from the standard hogs we’ve raised before.  They are like the heritage layer chickens we have compared to the broiler chickens.  The Mangalitsas are growing nicely on forage feed with only small amounts of grain thrown in to balance their diet.  They love going out in the snow to dig turnips.  And they eat acorns in the daintiest fashion imaginable.  The hogs in the pictures are nosing around for good acorns–no empty hulls or moldy ones, thank-you.  Then they’ll pick up that solitary acorn, crack it in they’re back teeth like a nutcracker.  The hull will pop out under his snout and they’ll happily munch the acorn nut while nosing around for another one.  These are all things that hogs were originally meant for.  Think feral pigs and you’re close to how these guys are able to not only survive, but live well.

Mangalitsa hog pursuing a frozen potato.

And now the first group of them is off the farm.  We said our goodbyes, clicked our heels in the air,  and waved them away.  Mark went along with them to ensure they were safely and securely tucked in at the processors.  They have an amazingly calm disposition such that a trailer ride doesn’t upset them much and they settle into new surroundings without fussing.  They are very easy going fellas, such that if they are handled gently, they don’t get “stressed out” about changes.  That’s good news as the government requires a USDA supervised kill in order for the next guy to transform them into prosciutto hams and such–a low stress kill situation is possible with good handling and the Mangalitsa’s laid back temperament.

We still have two batches of hogs on the farm.  They are happy, healthy fellows who are enjoying life as pigs were meant to live it.

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