There is only one Mangalitsa pig farm in Atlantic Canada – The Lilac Farm in West Bay on Cape Breton Island. Mangalitsa pigs are a rare breed from Hungary that can be identified by their thick, shaggy coats.
“When people first see our pigs, their woolly coats remind them of sheep,” said Tanja Welz, who operates The Lilac Farm with her husband, Christian.
Originally from Germany, Tanja and Christian moved to Cape Breton in 2010 to establish a farm. They began by researching animals that would thrive in Canadian winters. A friend suggested they look at a breed of pigs with long wooly coats.
Tanja Welz & friend
“Mangalitsas are well adapted to winters here,” said Tanja. “They are perfectly happy foraging outside in winter, and don’t need to be kept in heated barns.”
The Lilac Farm has a number of operating philosophies. The couple wants their animals to have a good life, roam in big spaces, and interact with their family.
“Mangalitsa pigs are very social and mild-mannered,” said Tanja. “My children can spend time with them, and I have no fear that the pigs will become aggressive.”
A big selling point with Mangalitsa pigs is the quality of the meat. As well as being high in good cholesterol and monounsaturated fats, the pork contains a healthier balance of Omega 3 to 6 fatty acids than seed oils commonly used in cooking.
“Eating our bacon may actually lower your bad cholesterol,” said Tanja. “How many farmers can say that.”
The Lilac Farm products are sold online through the Cape Breton Food Hub and at their location in West Bay. Visitors are welcome to visit the farm and interact with their pigs.
For more information, visit TheLilacFarm.ca
4198 West Bay HWY - RR2
West Bay, NS B0E 3K0