Do woolly sheep pigs exist? Do they live on a farm or in the wild? We know you're curious and need answers to these questions. This article will feed your curiosity!
There are four types of pigs in the world- pygmy hogs, warthogs, domestic pigs, and wild boars. The hairy pig is a domestic pig. It is also known as the mangalitsa or mangalitza pig. This rare breed was developed during the 19th century. They were essentially crossbred between pigs found in Nagyszalonta and Bakony with the European wild boar species and the Serbian Šumadija breed. Soon after they were introduced in Hungary, they became one of the most popular pig breeds because they grow at a faster rate, are fatter, produce more meat, and do not need any special diet or care. Because of their popularity, the breed was constantly researched to improve it even more; the blonde mangalitsa pig was improved and developed by crossbreeding old, tough, hardy Bakonyi pigs with Serbian breeds and wild boars from Europe. Mangalitsa pigs gained maximum popularity during the '50s. The demand for its meat also increased drastically, and since the late '60s, the number of mangalitsa pigs began decreasing in Hungary. Mangalitsa pigs, if not the best, have the fattiest and most delicious meat compared to most pig breeds. Foods such as sausages and cured hams made from their meat are considered as one of the tastiest types of pork, with naturally rich and bold flavors. Despite their Hungarian origin, mangalitsa pigs can be found in the United States, Slovakia, Romania, Austria, Germany, England, Switzerland, and Canada.
There are three living hairy pig breeds, and they differ only by the color of their woolly fur. The hairy pig breed includes the swallow-bellied pig, the red pig, and the blonde pig. The swallow-bellied pig was developed when the blonde was crossed with the now-extinct black mangalitsa pig. Therefore, it is blonde and black. The red pig was developed when blonde Mangalica was crossed with the szalonta breed. The red pig, like its name suggests, is red-ginger colored. The blonde pig is a cross between a bakonyi pig and a European wild boar. Because there are no significant differences between them these pigs, some do not consider them as individual breeds but different varieties.
The hairy pig or the mangalitsa pig is a domestic furry pig, just like its name suggests.
The hairy pig is a mammal belonging to the Animalia kingdom, the Chordata phylum, the Suidae family, and the Artiodactyla order.
We do not have accurate data regarding their population size.
The hairy pig distribution occurs in Hungary, Austria, Germany, Canada, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, and the United States.
These pigs are real domestic animals that mainly live on farms. Wild hairy pigs can be found in swamps, moist forests, and woodlands. The ideal habitat for domestic pigs is an area with temperate climatic conditions, where they often live in pig barns with large outdoor yards, where they can spend their time. When a female gives birth to her offspring, she looks after her young ones in a place with sufficient amounts of straw or wood shavings to keep the newborns warm.
Hairy pigs live in herds. These domestic pigs have the same living habits as cows and sheep. They often socialize and gather in small groups. However, their behavior within a group or a herd is very similar to the behavioral patterns displayed by dogs.
A hairy pig or mangalitsa pig has a decent lifespan and lives up to 15-20 years.
A female pig who hasn't mated or given birth is called a gilt. Young gilts are generally introduced to boars when they are five to six months of age. Boars then make daily contact with the young gilts to ensure they are ready to mate. Exposure to boars is the most effective way to trigger their puberty or bring heat upon the gilts. Young gilts finally mate with boars after they enter the second phase of heat. They are approximately 34 weeks old during the second heat. Male pigs or boars reach sexual maturity when they are eight months of age. A female who has already given birth before is called a sow, and she can remain fertile for about 16-18 months. The sows send signals to the boars to mate now and then when they are not pregnant. Their gestation period lasts for 100-115 days. Almost every sow reproduces twice a year and births around four to eight piglets.
The IUNC Red List of Threatened Species has Not Evaluated the species. The Hungarian swine breed Mangalica nearly disappeared in the '70s due to its excessive and growing demand. The delicious swine or pig was on the verge of extinction because of communism. It happened because farmers and breeders had to put a lot of effort into the production of porcine, or pork. This affected the pigs' population drastically, and by the '90s, less than 200 pigs of the mangalitsa breed were found across Hungary. However, the mangalica pigs have made a remarkable return to the Hungarian farms over the past decade, and in recent years it has taken over the fine-dining section at restaurants. The name Kobe pork was given to their meat for its fatty and marbled texture.
Keeping a mangalica pig as a pet or a farm animal has become very popular in recent years. Farmers from Hungary alone bred about 7,000 mangalica sows that give birth to a total of 60,000 piglets every year.
The most remarkable physical characteristic of Mangalica is that its whole body is covered with thick hair, and thus it is known colloquially as the pig-sheep. In winter, their hair is long like fleece, thick and curly with a woolly undercoat, while in spring, the hair is blonde, shiny, and stiff. During the summer, their fur is thinner and smoother. The skin near their eyes and their nose is black and the color of their nails is also black. The mangalica breeds are differentiated based on one simple characteristic, the color of their woolly fur or hair. The swallow-bellied pig is blonde and black. The red pig, like its name suggests, is red-ginger colored. The blonde pig is blonde and partly brown. These rare pigs are often mistaken for sheep because of their fur coats
Mangalica pigs are peaceful, friendly and look really cute because of their curly sheep-like fur!
Pigs communicate through body language, vocal communication, and scent. The most common body language in pigs includes actions and gestures like tail wagging, erected ears, running fast, smiling, and nudging. To communicate vocally, pigs oink or grunt. Like any other animal, pigs communicate their emotions by using different tones; this could be a high-pitched sound made to convey aggressive and negative emotions. Mangalica pigs are usually quiet and do not vocalize around any animal or human they are not familiar with. Juvenile piglets tend to be more vocal than adults because they are still young and don't know how to use body language to communicate with others. When pigs oink loud you must understand that they are trying to send a warning and alert to people or animals near them about some sort of danger, such as the presence of a wild animal like a lynx.
A hairy pig is 35.4-37.4 in (90-95 cm) in length and 2.5 ft (78 cm) in height.
A reindeer is thrice the size of a mangalica pig
A hairy pig can run at the speed of 10.5 mph (17 kph).
An adult hairy pig weighs about 280-300 lb (127-136 kg).
The words pig, hog, and swine are terms used without regard to gender or breed. A male mangalitsa pig is called a boar. A female is called a gilt if she hasn't given birth yet and a sow if she has.
A baby hairy pig is called a piglet.
These animals maintain a herbivorous diet, which means that they consume food of plant origin, insects and worms are avoided in their diet as their meat is used for human consumption. The Hungarian breeds' regular diet includes corn, wheat, soy, or barley. Mangalica pigs that live on a small farm usually feed upon leftover food such as vegetable peels and fruit rinds.
Wild animals like the wolf prey on these pigs.
No, they are very friendly, peaceful and cause no harm to humans.
These pigs are usually bred on a farm for their meat and lard. They can be kept as pets but are very pricey. A piglet would cost you anywhere from $70-$300. They have great adaptability to various environments and housing conditions. Thus, they are easy to take care of and do not require any special diet either. They are very friendly and would make great pets!
Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.
The mangalitza is a rare breed of pig that was originally bred for its lard. Its meat is high in unsaturated fats, natural antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Berkshire pigs are one of the rarest and oldest pig breeds in the world.
While people may find it difficult to believe, wooly or furry pigs are very much real.
In Hungary, the mangalica breed has been officially registered as one of the country's national treasures. The main characteristics of mangalica, like resistance and excellent adaptability to extreme housing conditions, delicious meat taste, are recognized globally.
There are an estimate of more than 200 mangalica farmers in Hungary who sell the delicious swine meat in almost every marketplace, at prices about four times higher than normal pork.
Wallowing in the mud helps these pigs cool off and remove parasites from their skin.
A hairy pig is commonly known as the Hungarian pig, mangalica pig, or the woolly sheep-pig.
The most common pig breed is Yorkshire. These pigs are widely distributed across the world. Bred for their lean meat, pigs from northern England were cross-bred with white Chinese pigs to develop the commonly known large white pig breed. The primary products produced from their slaughter are sausage and bacon.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these elephant facts or American water spaniel facts pages.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring one of our free printable hairy pig coloring pages.