Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lard-type Hog Production in Hungary and Spain

Olmos es Toth has some info about how they produce their Mangalitsa in Hungary. They've also got pictures that show what they do.

Their model is a lot like how they do things in Spain, where Peter Toth worked on Iberico production.
Mangalica gene bank of Emőd: Emőd-Istvánmajor: a gene bank keeping 300 sows, 2,000 Mangalica pigs.

F1 pig farm of Nyíribrony: Nyíribrony, Újtelep 1/b: R1 production plant of 200 sows, 2,300 Mangalica pigs
The author of the New York Times article visited the Emőd farm. Here's the Emőd photo gallery.
"The Mangalica gene bank of Emőd is involved in activities connected with the preservation of the breed, the supply of breeders to the Nyíribrony pig farm, as well as production operations, while in Nyíribrony and Nyírtass the sole purpose is to attend production activities."
Tey've got their nucleus herd at Emőd. The satellite farms aren't as important - because all animals will go to slaughter. A natural disaster or disease outbreak at Emőd could really hurt the genetic diversity of the breed - they've got all their eggs in one basket.

Pen farrowing at Emőd

Moving on:

Farrowing in Emőd-Istvánmajor is performed in traditional farrowing pens, while Nyíribrony utilizes a modern automated facility.

Piglet breeding is attended with modern, intensive, industrial technologies in both plants.

Mangalica breeders and porkers are invariably kept outdoors in large paddocks...

Nyíribrony - modern farrowing of 75% Mangalitsa piglets.

The little pigs stay indoors until they are big enough to go out:

Emőd pigs stay indoors a while.

Then the pigs go out, when they are big enough:

Mangalitsa market hogs (75%) in Hungary.

In summary, they've got a mix of intensive (indoor) and extensive production. That's a lot like in Spain.

Indoor Iberico farrowing

Doing things indoors allows them to control breeding, track pedigrees and keep mortality to a minimum. It looks ugly, but saves piglet lives. E.g. I know a producer for an American niche pork company that forbids the use of farrowing crates, but allows him to farrow outdoors. He says he weans six to nine pigs per litter, depending on the weather.

Products from Olmos es Toth should reach the USA later this year. The Iberico product (exported by Mr. Olmos's company) has been a huge hit.

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