KULYO KULEV

I was born in 1947 in the village of Vesselinovo, Shumen province, Bulgaria and I am a countryman by nature.

 

Breeding of black (East Balkan) swine transmits from generation to generation in my family. By the beginning of the 60s of 20th century, i.e. before the industrialization of livestock production, it used to be a basic source of income for the people from our lands. I myself, even as a child, remember my grandfather’s herds and my uncle’s stories about his pigs.

 

Since 1984 I’ve been actively and entirely engaged to breeding black pigs and I’ve devoted all my conscious life to the East Balkan Swine. The personal cause of my life is protection of this breed in its most typical appearance, since currently it is already becoming extinct. My dream is someday, with me hopefully still alive, to be able to see the old-time Smyadovska lukanka (flat sausage) again being manufactured in Smyadovo. The lukanka as what I remember it from the good old days – a highest quality product with meat from East Balkan swine as main ingredient.

In order tosave the breed and on my initiative in 2005, I decided to unite my colleagues in the “National Association for Breeding, Rising and Protecting the East Balkan Pig”, so that we could stand our interests together. Later on, in 2006, I was also among the founders of the „Association for Breeding and Preserving of the East Balkan Swine“ – a legal entity in public interest, which currently is the only one acknowledged association in Bulgaria, whose activity is devoted to this breed.

 

Although feeling already tired, my children will not give me the opportunity to retire with their allegedly “modern” business ideas.

I myself have never been tempted by money. For me success means someone to taste the meat from my animals and just to tell they find it delicious. And the price I pay is constancy and persistency, even in the most difficult moments.

I do my best that animals from my herd were as closest to their natural environment as possible, and I do my best to protect nature in its most typical appearance. Therefore, I breed my pigs exclusively and solely in free grazing (pasture) conditions.

 

I do not give medicines to my animals, I do not vaccinate them – I rely entirely on natural selection.

 

I strongly insist that my pigs look pretty. For me “pretty” means ‘pure black, shining and well taken care of’.

 

For me black color is extremely important. Moreover, in case I notice an animal with white spots on its hooves, forehead or ears, I exclude it from breeding.

 

KULEV'S MANNER OF BREEDING

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