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Woolly Pigs
Status: Real
image I've heard of the Vegetable Lamb, a creature from medieval folklore that was part plant and part animal, being a lamb whose belly was attached to the ground by a thick stem. (It survived by eating the grass around itself.) I've also heard of the Woolly Horse, a creature that P.T. Barnum claimed had been found by explorer John C. Fremont in the Rockies and which was "part elephant, deer, horse, buffalo, camel, and sheep." (It was actually just a horse that happened to have curly hair, and which Barnum, not Fremont, had "discovered" in a barn in Connecticut.) Now the Woolly Pig can be added to this list of curly-haired curiosities.

The Woolly Pig is a pig that looks like a lamb, thanks to a curly coat of hair. Yes, it is a real creature. Its proper name is the Mangalitzas. A farmer in Shropshire has just introduced these pigs to England, importing them from their home in Hungary. The website of the Pilgerweidli Organic Farm has a good description (and better picture) of these creatures:

image Mangalitzas are an ancient breed of Woolly pigs from the area of Austria-Hungary... At one time their meat products were in demand all over Europe to such an extent it was traded on the Vienna Stock Exchange and a hundred thousand animals a year were sold from Hungary to the West. In Switzerland the pigs were a very important product where they were slowly overtaken in importance by the dominant "English" style animals which are more suited to "intensive" rearing.
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 17, 2006

They're sort of gross looking.

I always wanted to have a pygmy goat for a pet.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Fri Mar 17, 2006  at  11:08 PM
I dunno, Maegan, I think the wooly pigs'd make pretty cool leather jackets.

... Not to mention footballs that would keep the quaterback's hands warm on cold days.
Posted by Big Gary in Ponder, Texas  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Sat Mar 18, 2006  at  04:21 PM
Ooh, and just think what the pork rinds would look like!
Posted by Big Gary in Ponder, Texas  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Sat Mar 18, 2006  at  04:22 PM
The "vegetable lamb" was supposed to be the origin of cotton fibers; I can understand the confusion.
Posted by cvirtue  on  Sun Mar 19, 2006  at  02:04 AM
Britain used to have a breed of woolly pig called the Lincolnshire Curly Coat. This became extinct several decades ago when the type of pork it produced went out of fashion and farmers stopped breeding it. The Lincolnshire Curly Coat produced meat that had fat marbled in it. The changed trend towards lean meat, rather than meat marbled with fat, led to the demise of the breed.

There are a few black-and-white photos of it on the web and rare breeds societies were hoping to resurrect it by finding gene carriers from where it was crossed with other breeds of pig. So far they've had no luck and it looks like it has been lost forever.
Posted by Sarah  in  UK  on  Mon Mar 20, 2006  at  02:22 PM
Lincolnshire Curly Coat photo at
It became instinct around 1970.
Posted by Louise  in  London, England  on  Tue Mar 21, 2006  at  04:57 AM
Reading about the curly horse, there is a horse breed called the Bashkir which has curly hair and there are American Curly Horses as well.
Posted by Sarah  in  UK  on  Tue Mar 21, 2006  at  03:11 PM
I found a website that breeds the Lincolnshire Curly Coat pig. They actually found a few herds in Austria (?) and started breeding them again. Just thought you should know.
Posted by Mikki  in  Warren, Michigan  on  Wed Sep 19, 2007  at  09:55 PM
Posted by Mikki  in  Warren, Michigan  on  Wed Sep 19, 2007  at  09:55 PM
To curley haired pigs

I'v just found out about you.
Your so cuuuuuuuuuuuuute with your curley hair.
How old are you?
Because I'm 7 yrs.
When is your birthday?
Mine is on christmas day.
Pllllllllllllllllllease could I come and see you?

from your best friend Millie xxx
Posted by millie  in  uk  on  Fri Jun 13, 2008  at  03:58 PM
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