Here you can find helpful information about
the pure breed Mangalitsa and Mangalitsa Crosses.
It is not easy but essential to know the differences.
Not every pig with curly hair is a Mangalitsa!
When you want to be 100% sure you are buying a Pure Mangalitsa, you can send us an email, contact us on Facebook, go to the section "International Breeders" on this website or contact the Mangalitsa Breed Organization and registry MBOAR.
On this page we will give you information concerning the meat/fat when it comes to Mangalitsa, Mangalitsa Crosses and Meat-type breeds.
For the ones that want to look into the different breeds and its meat yields here an amazing study from Bob Perry, with lots of picture! Sadly the Mangalitsa was not a part of this study, but it will give you an idea of the differences between some American Heritage pig breeds:
The differences in phenotype and how to determine if a pig/piglet is pure of breed or has signs of crossbreeding, will be covered on the next page:
Mangalitsa & Mangalisa Crosses
The difference in Phenotype
The 30 pages educational PDF
"The Mangalitsa - The perfect Pig?"
We especially created this 'book' to help you understand the differences between pure breed Mangalitsa and Mangalitsa-crosses. It is not so much about the differences in phenotype or how to determine if a pig is pure of breed, but goes more in detail where the difference is in finishing time, feed costs and those subjects.
Feel free to download or share this file. Make sure when you use information from this file to mention the source.
Klick on the image and the PDF will open:
Difference between meat type hogs & Pure Mangalitsa
We would like to share these images with you so you get a better idea between the differences between the faster growing "Meat-type" pig breeds and the slower growing "Lard-type" pigs breeds.
Most heritage breeds belong to the Meat-type pigs:
Berkshire, Large Black, Old Spot, Duroc, Hampshire, Large White, Yorkshire, Red Wattle, Tamworth, Gloucestershire Old Spots, Hereford. We are not looking at Show-Pigs as those genetics do not really suit pasture raising and the goal to produce exceptional meat / fat.
The Lard-Type pig breeds are in certain aspects similar to the Mangalitsa but only the Ossabaw and the Iberico are 'cousins' of the Mangalitsa as their far ancestors share partly the same genetic roots from the "Roman" pig.
Lard-Type breeds are:
Mangalitsa, Ossabaw, Iberico, Mulefoot, American Guinea Hog, Idaho Pasture Pigs, Meishan
The The Livestock Conservancy Quick Reference Guide to Heritage Pigs gives you some inside information on the character and size of some of the American Heritage pig breeds here is the link: The Livestock Conservancy Quick Reference Guide to Heritage Pigs
The Mangalitsa is not a recognised US breed as the first imports were in 2007.
Difference in carcass / Meat to Fat ratio:
Here you can see an x-ray of a regular 'Meat-type' hog/breed and at the right a 'Lard-Type' breed. The hams in the Lard breeds are way 'flatter' than in the meat breed and the amount of meat is significantly lower in the pig on the right. Also the fat % is way higher in the hog in right picture.
The file below shows you the same example only here we see the loin (red) in the first x-rays and the hams in the second picture.
When you would have a Mangalitsa cross (F1 - 50% Mangalitsa / 50% Meat breed) you will have less fat and more meat and the pigs will grow faster which means you can harvest them earlier. Mostly at 10-13 months. When fed a good diet, 16-18 % protein. Most Mangalitsa crosses will still tend to be more 'Mangalitsa-like' than meat type like pigs.
When you would go to 1/4 Mangalitsa & 3/4 meat breed your pigs and carcass will more be like the carcass of a meat heritage breed with a bit more fat.
In this picture you can see also very nicely the big difference in the meat to fat ration in a Mangalitsa and a Blue Butt pig.
Below some cuts of a pure Mangalitsa 15 month old
Difference between the meat
Amount, Size, Color, Taste & Fat
Let's look at some other aspects of the comparison between pure Mangalitsa, Mangalitsa crosses and "Meat-type" breed heritage pigs.
Below is a picture showing on the left an 18 month old Mangalitsa loin, in the middle you see a loin of a commercial pig, probably 5 month of age. And at the right from the same mangalitsa the 'T-bone' cut / Loin with bone and tenderloin attached.
The first thing which is quite impressive is the difference in color. The Mangalitsa almost looks like beef. Also there is way more (delicious healthy) fat on the Mangalitsa. Part of the fat cap is trimmed off the Mangalitsa chops to keep a good balance between meat and fat when fried.
The Mangalitsa will be sweeter and has way more flavour than the commercial pork.
Mangalitsa crosses and other heritage breeds that are kept outside and have a good diet, will always be more flavourful and darker than confinement pigs. Scientific studies show, that the meat of a pasture raised pigs will be healthier for the human body, than the confinement pig breeds that grow very fast and never see sunlight nor root around. Most people do not know that confinement pig breeds reach slaughter weight with 5 month of age! Mangalitsas take between 14 -18 months and Mangalitsa crosses reach slaughter weight around 10 - 12 month of age.
Carcasses of a Mangalitsa at the left and an German 'Meat-type' pig breed
In the picture above and below, you can see the difference between the Mangalitsa (Lard breed) and a normal meat breed. The Mangalitsa was around 20 months of age, the meat breed was around 7-9 months of age.
Look at the total different shapes of the carcasses:
1. Has wider shoulders because they needed to forage outside and find their own food in the days when they were “developed” in 1833. The neck is much more developed as you can see.
2. The ham is “flat” and not round as it is in meat breeds.
3. What we can’t see in the picture is that the loin (muscle) of a Mangalitsa will often only be 3/4 of the size of the loin of a meat heritage breed and often only 1/2 of the confinement pig breeds. And that’s not the length, but the thickness of the muscle.
The whole shape of the carcass of a Mangalitsa pig is totally different from the carcass of a meat breed, as you can see in the picture below.
When you would have a cross it would more show of the meat breed influence than the lard breed. The more % of a meat breed is in that cross the rounder will the hams be and the faster will the pig grow.
The shape of a Mangalitsa pig is more like a pear, small hind end and wide shoulders.
A scientific study Mangalitsa (barrows) compared to German Saddleback and German Landrace.
The German Saddleback is like the Hampshire, Berkshire, Duroc or those US heritage breeds and German Landrace is more like a confinement breed:
Examination of meat quality and fatty acid composition of Mangalitsa meat:
By: Hollo, G.; Seregi, J.; Ender, K.; Nürnberg, K.; Wegner, J.; Seeger, J., Hollo, I.; Repa, I.
In two experiments, the meat and fat quality as well the fatty acid composition of 22 Mangalitsa pigs (barrows) were examined.
Compared to the German Saddleback-considered also fatty- and the German Landrace, it was found out that the meat of the Mangalitsa had a darker colour, its fat was whiter and the intramuscular fat content of meat and thickness of back fat was considerably higher.
The high intramuscular fat content and its fine, equal dispersion is favourable from the point of view of palatability (flavour, juiciness, tenderness) and is of excellent steak quality overall.
The lower saturated fatty acid content and higher unsaturated fatty acid proportion is advantageous from a human- nutrition point of view. Because of the linoleic and linolenic acid ratio the oxidation capacity is lower, which declines the chance of rancidity.
The slaughter at smaller weight (90-115 kg) reduced the fat content of meat and had a significant effect on the protein content of loin and ham, as well as the fatty acid composition.
Comparing the fatty acid composition of back fat and bellies, the back fat contained more saturated and less monounsaturated fatty acids. The stearic acid content determining the hardness of lard was higher in the case of the back fat. It was concluded, on the base of the results, that the Mangalitsa hogs had higher meat quality traits, exploiting these advantages special or traditional products of high quality can be produced.
Acta Agraria Kaposvariensis (2003) 7: 19- 32
The pork chop below is from a Pure Mangalitsa 16 month of age
from some breeders
I would like to share some experiences of some people from my Mangalitsa Facebook group who raised Pure Mangalitsas & Mangalitsa Crosses. As I think those stories are very important:
Michael Parkot from Always Something Farm, Darien NY
I was asked by Barbara to discuss some of the attributes of the Mangalitsa crosses we raise.
Our goal with our cross breeding program was to raise finished carcasses that had outstanding quality fat, deep red color, increased intramuscular fat deposition (marbling), that matured slower than commercial hogs but didn’t take as long as a pure bred mangalitsa. Another way to look at this is we wanted to use the mangalitsa to improve the other heritage breeds more commonly found In our region.
Most of our crosses have been 50% mangalitsa which seems to provide the optimal meat to fat ratio for our restaurant chefs who embrace the fat and have charcuterie programs as part of their offerings. I will post pictures in the comments as to the crosses and percentages. We have also gone as far as 75% Mangalitsa and down to 25%, all with different but good results.
These chops below are off of two different hogs, the upper porterhouse and rib cuts were from a 25% Mangalitsa, 50% Berkshire 25% Hampshire at 15 months with a hanging weight of 308 lbs (skinned, no head). She was an attempted breeder who did not take so she was subsequently culled to the meat program.
The bottom porterhouse cuts are from a 50% Mangalitsa 50% Red Wattle aged 17 months, hanging weight of 315 lbs (skinned, no head). She was selected initially as a breeder along with a littermate who had better phenotype in my opinion (a more Mangalitsa style ham).
I also advise breeding a mangalitsa boar to your heritage breed sows for litter size as mangas tend to have smaller litters.
Hope this will be helpful for you,