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Mangalitsa Pig

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Mangalitsa piglets, about 5 weeks old

Mangalitsa piglets, about 5 weeks old
Yesterday, 16 June 2019, a small group of us had an amazing visit with Eileen and Steven Tannas at their farm, north of Cochrane. One or two of us had been there several times previously, but to everyone else, this was a new experience.

This very enthusiastic couple work so hard in the area of native species, growing various species in their greenhouses. They do a lot of research in connection with doing things naturally. On our last visit, Steven was excited to show us some of his new additions - pigs. I love pigs, but was totally unprepared to see large pigs that were covered in curly hair! His pigs are called Mangalitsa pigs (also called Mangalica or Mangalitza) - last visit, three of them were Swallow-bellied Mangalica (black and blonde) and one was a Red Mangalica (reddish-brown). One female had piglets a few weeks ago - so cute, and you can see the curls just beginning to start.
They have already lost their stripes. They are being fed left-over, expired grocery store vegetables, thanks to Save-On Foods, so were busily munching on a variety of nutritious fruits. What an excellent way to not waste expired food at the same time as donating a wonderful source of fruit and vegetables to feed healthy animals. They also receive left-over bread from a baker.

"The Mangalica (also Mangalitsa or Mangalitza) is a Hungarian breed of domestic pig. It was developed in the mid-19th century by crossbreeding Hungarian breeds from Szalonta and Bakony with the European wild boar and the Serbian Šumadija breed. The Mangalica pig grows a thick, woolly coat similar to that of a sheep. The only other pig breed noted for having a long coat is the extinct Lincolnshire Curly-coated pig of England." From Wikipedia.



We also enjoyed seeing their chickens/roosters, and what fine looking birds they are - and I suspect they know it, judging by the way they stride around. They have to be kept in an enclosure, to keep foxes, etc. away from them. I never knew that chickens will eat mice!

Another project is raising Flemish Giant Rabbits, only for feeding their own family. These are large, beautiful rabbits. One female had had babies just three weeks ago, and we had the chance to hold one of these tiny creatures. Their fur is so silky.

Since our last visit, so many new projects have been started. So much information from this extremely knowledgeable couple - what a great team they make! I will add what I wrote under an older photo, but there will be new links and info available on their websites,

Steven runs Tannas Conservation Services Ltd.. One of their projects is the rough fescue (native grass) restoration project, which has been very successful over the past 7+ years. Check the links below to discover all the other things that Steven's work involves:




Thank you so much, Eileen and Steven, for spending an afternoon with us, taking us to all parts of your most impressive farm and explaining in great detail all the research you are doing. What a pleasure it is to see your three little children living such a healthy life and learning so much.

Thank you, Anne, for giving two of us a ride there and back! Greatly appreciated. Without your willingness to do this, I suspect there may have been no trip yesterday.


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