Pig Paradise Farm

The Home of all the Rare Pig Breeds


 

 

 

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE UK SINCE 1972 - A TRUE CURLY COATED PIG

Are they sheep or are they pigs?

Two young Blonde Mangalitza Gilts'

Background History - The 'Lincolnshire Curly Coat'

 

One of our most spectacular Rare Breed pigs, the 'Lincolnshire Curly Coat', sadly became extinct in 1972 just one year before the formation of the 'RARE BREEDS SURVIVAL TRUST' (RBST). This was a pig famous for its hardiness as well as its wonderful curly coat and became a very popular breed in Hungary and Austria where the demand for hardy stock capable of surviving the harsh winters was extremely high.

In the early 1900's we exported many 'Lincolnshire Curly Coats' to Hungary and during the 1920's they won many of the top awards at the Budapest show and acquired the coveted 'Gold medal' in 1925. The Hungarians used the 'Lincolnshire Curly Coat' to cross with their 'Mangalitza' (A very similar curly coated pig) and the resultant cross was nicknamed the 'Lincolista'.

For many years now 'Pig Paradise' has been trying to acquire some of these amazing 'Curly Coated Mangalitza' pigs in order to try and establish some herds in this country but unfortunately until now it has not been possible ............. numbers were very low in both Hungary and Austria ..............export and import restrictions did not make life easy..............prices were extremely high and transportation costs even higher and it looked unlikely that we would ever be able to achieve this goal. However they say that the older you get the more likely you are to experience bouts of insanity so this year (2006) we decided to make one final effort..........sell the family jewels ........throw caution to the wind ............and in the knowledge that we had the support of the British Pig Association (BPA) who would operate a new 'Mangalitza' herd book we travelled to Austria to start negotiations. In February, accompanied by our veterinary surgeon (Jenkin O Davies), we flew to Vienna where we were met by the Breed Society Secretary who had arranged for us to visit farms throughout the area with the aim of buying enough good breeding stock from both Hungary and Austria to establish all three Mangalitza breed lines in the UK (The 'Blonde', 'Swallow Bellied' and the 'Red'). We knew that it was no good acquiring just one or two for even if we managed to acquire ten or twelve the transportation costs would still be horrendous.

We travelled the length and breadth of the region in search of good stock. In the end the effort of walking through three feet of snow (we knew they were hardy - but not this hardy) at 10.00 p.m. at night with torches creating eerie shadows against the snow, as we continue to seek out 'just one more gilt', paid off. We managed to find what we were looking for .............enough unrelated stock to start building a good herd of all three different breed lines....... a total of seventeen pigs in total with three boars and 14 gilts.

A Young Blonde Mangalitza Gilt
A Young Red Mangalitza Weaner
A Swallow Bellied Mangalitza Boar

At the beginning of March we made the final arrangements to collect all our 'Mangalitza' pigs from one central point in Austria and with all the paperwork complete, blood tests carried out and the quarantine restrictions adhered to we set off on our 2,400 mile journey to collect them only to be told on the morning of our departure that the snow in both Germany and Austria was some of the worst for years!! Our vet was prepared for the journey and we had a deadline to meet as far as the Austrian vet was concerned ....so there was no turning back now and with trailer spotlessly clean we headed for Dover and a journey we would never forget.

 

 

Young Blondes and Reds
Young Swallow Bellied Gilts
Three Young Red Mangalitza Gilts

 

 

A Young Blonde Mangalitza Gilt in the trough
A Young Red Mangalitza Gilt
A Swallow Bellied Boar and Gilt
Two Young Blonde Mangalitza Gilts
The finishing touches as the Austrian vet signs and approves the paperwork

 

TIME TO SAY A SPECIAL 'THANK YOU'

None of this would have been possible without the help and co-operation of many, many people so it is now time to recognise the contribution of others:

1. The BPA (British Pig Association) and especially 'Marcus Bates' the Chief Executive who has doen so much to assist and help with the DNA, the new herdbook and numerous other matters.

2. DEFRA (Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs) both in Stafford (Marie - Export) and at their head office in Page Street (Andrew Beech, Clifford Abrahart and Andy Patnelli).............so easy to criticise (I've done my fair share!) when common sense seems to come second best to protocol but we can have nothing but praise for the way we have been helped and assisted by everyone concerned over the last six months........their advice, help and above all their cooperation was a key factor in getting these pigs established in the UK.

3. Carron of 'Piggywigs Farm' for her total support in offering transport assistance, addditional land with 'stop off' facilities if necessary and the collection/delivery of other breeds when needed to make room for our new 'Mangalitzas' and for acting as a 'Pig Paradise' breeding centre. If you want some of the greatest naturally reared pork, sausages to remember forever, incredible hams, mouth watering bacon and even pork cookery days then this is the lady to contact. All Carrons meat comes from naturally fed and reared Rare Breed pigs and it shows in the end result. Carron had been aware of my plans from the very outset giving encouragement and support whenever it was needed.

 

 

4. Christoph and Isabell Weisner (The Austrian Breed Society Secretary and his wife) ............. the most important link in the chain when it came to sourcing the right stock, organising the blood tests, giving myself and our vet accommodation whilst on top of this driving hundreds of miles taking us from farm to farm.

Christoph Weisner patiently standing in the snow as we looked at pigs

5. Last but by no means least the person who gave his time, his expertise, his knowledge and his friendship to ensure that the whole exercise was the success it has been.......................our veterinary surgeon and dear friend Jenkin O. Davies who has forgotten more about pigs than we will ever know. He accompanied us on both trips adding both humour (In three feet of snow and -20 degrees of icy winds - you need that!) as well as expertise that helpeed ensure that the 2,400 miles return journey went without a hitch and that the Mangalitzas arrived stress free, well watered and fed on the way watch constantly through the eyes of one of the best pig vets we know. His added knowledge of Europe (especially Austria and the Danube) had to be heard to be believed for he ensured that not only the pigs travelled 'happy and well fed' but the driver did as well!! A great friend that we know we could trust to the end of the earth

Jenkin O Davies our veterinary surgeon casts a knowing eye over some pigs in the Austrian snow

 

The journey fulfills a dream that was sparked by the extinction of the 'Lincolnshire Curly Coat' in 1972 but without all the people who played their part it would never have come to fruition ...................Thanks to everyone who has been involved.

The snowy view from one of the mountain farms we visited

 

Christoph Weisner seals the transaction by presenting 'Pig Paradise' with 'Austrian Mangalitza Society Membership' watched by our vet Jenkin O Davies

 

 


Please contact us and get one of our free fully illustrated

'Information Packs'

tonyyork@pigparadise.com

01380 723113