Gene preservation
Mangalica gene preservation according to breeds and lines

The mangalica stock of hundreds of thousands of animals between the two world wars decreased to 18,000 heads, hardly 5% of the earlier stock by 1955.

The most important genetic value of the breeds was the lines. As regards the sow herd and the number of the lines the blonde mangalica stock was the most populous. Almost half 25 (44 %) of all the lines were in the blonde mangalica breed.  Unfortunately this large population suffered the biggest losses in the second half of the past century.


The names and numbers of the mangalica lines - 1955 and after 1968  (table 1)

Blonde mangalica lines   Swallow-bellied mangalica lines   Red mangalica lines
Bácska 1   Betyáros 1   Arad 1
Bátor 2   Csatár 2   Bihar 2
Betyár 3   Marin 3   Csik 3
Karcag 4   Mirkó 4   Déva 4
Kacor 5   Veszprém 5   Maros 5
Merész 6   Zsivka 6   Szalonta 6
Rudi 7   Iván 7   Várda 7
Vasvár 8   Jász 8   Túr 8
Cudar 9   Zsolna 9   Mecsér 9
Pák 10   Kismacs 10   Vasas 10
Kámzsás 11   Kiskun 11   Óvár 11
Igal 12   Szank 12   Dezső 12
Jákot 13   Sógor 13   Szolnok 13
Bandi 14   Bicskás 14      
Halmaj 15   Csongor 18      
Hortobágy 16            
Zsolna 17            
Jász 18            
Pécs 19            
Puszta 20            
Békés 21            
Solt 22            
Bodrog 23            
Hajdú 24            
Kígyós 25            

Living lines (after 1968)
Extinct lines (before 1968)


By 1994, the time the association was established for the second time, eleven lines had died out and the further five blonde mangalica lines listed in table 2 could not be saved or „revived” either by using the 1-2 female individuals that virtually existed on paper only. Thus, over four decades about two thirds of the blonde mangalica lines and genetic value became lost and irreplaceable. Since 1999 till now the number of live blonde mangalica lines has been nine.



The number of and changes in mangalica lines 1955-2013  (table 2)

Év Blonde Swallow-bellied Red Total
db % db % db % db %
1955 25 100 18 100 13 100 56 100
1965 25 100 15 83 13 100 53 95
1994 14 56 8 44 4 31 26 46
1998 9 36 8 44 7 54 24 43
2003 9 36 11 61 7 54 27 48
2013 9 36 11 61 7 54 27 48










  pc % pc % pc % pc %
Extinct: 5 20 3 17 1 8 9 16
Set: 3 12 3+3 33 4 31 13 23

(on the basis of Szabó, P. and MOE data)


The swallow-bellied breed has the smallest population. The sow herd has varied between 20 and 1100 head over the past twenty years. The preservation of the genetic value has been the most successful in this breed since out of the 18 lines live in 1955, 11 (61 %) ones are live even today. After 1994 there were another three live lines with 1-3 sows but without boars, which the association could not save.

Out of fragmented and unknown swallow-bellied mangalicas we managed to set three lines between 1994 and 1998, which were named Kismacs, Kiskun and Szank referring to their places of origin. Subsequently, at around the turn of the millenia other three lines (Bicskás, Csatár, Sógor) were „re-imported” from Austria and based successfully on two young boars each. Among breeders, especially in smaller stocks of 20-30 sows the keeping of swallow-bellied mangalica has become especially popular due to its attractive appearance. The survival of 11 swallow-bellied lines is also due to this fact. As regards this breed there are only 70-100 sows in one line. In the case of the blonde mangalica this figure is 500 heads while with the red mangalica it is around 300.

The red mangalica, which is the result of the efforts made to save the once famous „szalontai” pig breed, is the youngest of the three and it is less than 100 years old. Due to its value, however, which is carried in its genes the breed has a past history of 1000 years going back to our forefathers through the szalontai pig. This breed had the smallest number of lines, 13 altogether, which has decreased to almost half that value, to seven lines by today. In 1994 the redmangalica breed decreased to four lines (31%) in a very critical situation. Unfortunately, the line named Várda became extinct at this time but the line Bihar could be „revived” and restarted. In order to save the red mangalica breed, which was in a real danger, lines Mecsér, Óvár and Szolnok were established on almost perfect animals of unknown origin between 1998 and 2000.

As regards the three breeds we have lost or failed to save nine lines over the past 20 years and at the same time managed to improve the genetic value and variance of the breeds with ten lines.

We have been working on the preservation of a genetic equilibrium of mangalica lines within the breeds and trying to save the ones in danger. As to the number of boars the most balanced are the ratios and the variance (CV= 28.83 %) of the red lines. This is followed by the blonde mangalica (CV=34.96 %), while the biggest variance was found with the boars of the swallow-bellied mangalica lines (CV= 46.85 %) in 2011 (table 3). This ratio is a very dynamic one and may change from day to day and breed by breed if one or 2 boars are lost. The most important tasks for the managers of the breeding is the continuous supervision and management of the number of boars and their variance within the lines and immediate intervention if necessary.


The distribution of mangalica boars according to lines, 2011  (table 3)

Line code Name pc %   Line code Name pc %   Line code Name pc %
Blonde mangalica   Swallow-bellied mangalica   Red mangalica
1 Bácska 16 9,82   2 Csatár 3 5,55   2 Bihar 7 10,45
2 Bátor 13 7,78   4 Mirkó 8 14,82   4 Déva 10 14,92
3 Betyár 22 13,5   5 Veszprém 3 5,55   6 Szalonta 7 10,45
7 Rudi 30 18,4   7 Iván 3 5,55   8 Túr 7 10,45
8 Vasvár 23 14,11   8 Jász 2 3,7   9 Mecsér 14 20,9
15 Halmaj 15 9,2   9 Zsolna 4 7,41   11 Óvár 12 17,91
16 Hortobágy 21 12,88   10 Kismacs 7 12,96   13 Szolnok 10 14,92
19 Pécs 10 6,13   11 Kiskun 6 11,11          
20 Puszta 13 7,98   12 Szank 5 9,26          
          13 Sógor 4 7,41          
          14 Bicskás 9 16,68          
Total: 163 100   Total: 54 100   Total: 67 100
Average 18,1     Average 4,9     Average 9,6  
Variance 6,33     Variance 2,3     Variance 2,76  
CV % 34,96     CV % 46,85     CV % 28,83  
Ratio between
the breeds
163 57,4     54 19     67 23,6



As regards the three breeds there are 27 live lines (48%) out of the ones that ever existed. In addition to preserving them we are also planning to try and find and possibly import one or two blonde and two or three red mangalica lines outside the borders of this country.


Debrecen, 2013
Dr. Péter Szabó - secretary


Classification considerations for nucleus and breed maintaining farms

In the spring of 2009 the management of the Hungarian National Association Mangalica Pig Breeders  and then on 1st July 2009 the General Assembly of the association accepted the classification and ranking of stock farms, which was prepared after a site inspection to each of the 110 mangalica pig breeding farms by the head breeder, the secretary and four register-keepers.

The stock farms were classified according to five considerations. The first one is the difference in the endangered status of the breed, which mainly depends on the size of the population. As regards its ratio the most endangered breed is the swallow-bellied mangalica., which had a total number of sows of hardly 700 in 2009. .The total number of sows in the red mangalica breed was 1300, while in the blonde mangalica population there were 3700 sows. Within the blonde mangalica breed the level of the endangered, the nucleus and the breed maintenance statuses were decided on the basis of the lines.

Following this, keeping and feeding conditions were judged. An indispensable „ingredient” of gene preservation is the existence of personnel conditions, which plays an important role in information supply and its reliability. After several on-site visits the stock farms were classified as is shown in table 4.

Our concordant and firm belief is that there are no more and less valuable individual animals in the mangalica breeds since the female individuals in all the three breeds are of the same value within the given population. This is why all the individuals within the swallow-bellied and red mangalica breeds (700+1300=2000 pc) were considered to be especially endangered and classified as belonging to the nucleus stock farms if the classification score was at least mediocre. By doing this, we wanted to favour the small number of animals and did not want to make exceptions with certain breeders. When their number has reached the limit of the nucleus status, differentiation and the application of the nucleus and breed maintenance categories will become necessary here too.

The sow population in the blonde mangalica breed consisted of 1780 individuals on farms that met the requirements of the classification, or whose score was in excess of twenty points, 80% of the possible criteria. This concerned one third of all the farms (24 farms) and 48% of the mangalica sow herd. These stock farms were all awarded the nucleus status.

As regards blonde mangalica stock farms 28% of the sows, about 1020 individuals, are kept in 26 plants, i.e., also in one third of the plants. The standard classification score of these stocks is between 18 and 20 points, which means the expected level of adequacy is at least 72%.

If a total of 4100 female individuals (nucleus or elite sows) of the three breeds can receive the maximum support awarded to the breed (Euro 150/sow/year), then out of the currently 1020 animals of the second blonde mangalica population, 320 heads can be included in the nucleus stock, or the supported category. Thus the nucleus population of the blonde mangalica breed is 1780+320=2100 heads, which is 56% of either the sow herd or the number of the stock farms. The number of the swallow-bellied and the red mangalica sows is 2000, and so the total number of sows with nucleus classification is 4100.

As regards the blonde-mangalica stock farms, it is the third 1/3 (29 farms) that keeps and propagates 24% of the sow herd, i.e., 900 heads. Together with the 700 individuals of a similar status in the previous group the breed maintaining or propagating stock consists of 1600 animals. In the case of a successful application the amount of support is Euro 78/sow/year.



Considerations for classifying the mangalica stock farms

Name Conditions for suitability Classification
1. Endangered status The swallow-bellied and the  red mangalica pigs are especially endangered breeds. 5
Lines (Pécs, Hortobágy, Halmaj) of the blonde mangalica breed 5
Lines (Bácska, Vasvár, Puszta) of the blonde mangalica breed. 4
Lines (Bátor, Rudi, Betyár) of the blonde mangalica breed. 3

2. Keeping conditions

Separate pens with straw bedding according to breed, age and use. Feeders, waterers, runways, pasture or green forage are available 5
Separate pens according to breed and use. Feeders and waterers are available. Bedding, runways, pasture or green forage are missing. 4
Separate closed keeping according to use. Deficient buildings according to use but there is a building for delivering young animals. 3
There is no separate keeping either according to breeds or uses and there is no building with a solid foundation. 2
Keeping conditions and living space are not solved. 1
3. Feeding conditions Mash or similar concentrate prepared according to age group and requirements with the help of a recipe, animals in excellent condition. 5
Mash according to age group + pasture and animals in good condition. 4
Grain mix or mash according to age group and animals in too good or mediocre conditions. 3
Grain concentrate + agricultural by-products. Fat animals or animals in weak condition. 2
Agricultural waste, no age group or use requirement. Very fat animals or animals in very bad condition. 1
4. Personnel conditions Professional interest, treatment and appearance of animals excellent. 5
Professional interest, treatment and appearance of animals good. 4
Professional interest, treatment and appearance of animals mediocre. 3
Indifferent interest, treatment and appearance of animals are sloppy. 2
Disinterested, inhuman conditions and treatment, „everything is sleazy”. 1
5. Information supply Faultless material conditions and administration. Up-to-date marking. 5
Good material conditions and administration. Reliable information supply and marking (ear notching until one week of age). 4
Mediocre conditions, administration is sometimes defective, late marking. 3
Defective material conditions, missing administration and marking. Uncertain origin despite several warnings. 2
Bad material conditions, no administration, no information supply despite several warnings. The survey has to be suspended, receipt of information and issuance of certificates have to be refused. 1

(table 4)

As we can see there is a healthy competition shaping among the blonde, swallow-bellied and red mangalica populations classified according to the standards, the annual assessment of which farms the ones worthy are going to increase in value and in total the whole of mangalica breeding and raising as well.

Despite administrative difficulties the subsidies paid from EU sources mean a great financial help for the mangalica pig breeders. Between 2005 and 2009, 82 mangalica breeders submitted applications for 5546 sows, 76% of the stock of that time. In that application period the amount of subsidies was Euro 78/sow (HUF 20 thousand/sow). For the period between 2010 and 2014 our members submitted applications for 4860 sows, which is 71% of the whole stock. As it is evident from the previous chapters is double of the earlier amount up to 4100 sow.