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Cattle Breeds - Mirandesa



The Mirandesa is the native breed of Portugal, it is also known by names such as Frieiresa (in Spanish) and Ratinha.

Photo courtesy of Associação dos Criadores de Bovinos de Raça Mirandesa ,
They are used as a draft breed and also for beef production. Even in the late 1970's these animals were still being used to pull fishing boats from the water.

Today the Mirandesa is grown for beef in the natural pastures of Northeast Transmontano, a region that is above the 500 m altitude.
This region covers six counties of the District of Braganza which are: Miranda do Douro, Mogadouro, Vimioso, Vinhais, and Macedo de Braganza Knights.

The Mirandesas natural beef quality and authenticity was recognised by the EU Commission through the allocation of a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) for the "Beef Mirandese."


This breed is light to dark brown in colour with a curly fringe of hair on the head.
Mirandesa females average 133 cm in height and 550 kg in weight and are a lighter colour than the bulls. The males stand 143 cm tall and weigh 900 kg. Both sexes have short, broad heads with large white horns which grow outward and bend down and then forward, with dark tips.

In portugal the beef of this breed is highly valued because of its great taste and texture, to ensure its authenticity it has a system of checks for certification and traceability of Mirandesa meat.


  • Strong draft cattle, well adapted to limited rough forage and environment
  • Quiet temperament
  • Remarkable maternal instincts, ensuring the safety of calves from predators
  • Calving ease - 100% unaided after first calf (90% if first)
  • Fertility - ± 92%
  • Longevity - currently 42% of registered cows of this breed are more than 10yrs old and can keep producing till 15 yrs
  • Quality beef with even marbling of fat
  • Crosses well


    Among the 4956 cows that the Green Genealogical controls currently, 38% of cows with more than 6 deliveries have registered a mean interval between births is less than 365 days. 71% of cows with a minimum of three deliveries have recorded average intervals between births less than 384 days.

    Photo courtesy of Associação dos Criadores de Bovinos de Raça Mirandesa ,
    The figures given represent averages calculated from information collected on farms that practice traditional and extensive production systems.

    Weight at birth
    Males - 34.434 ± 3.360 kg
    Females - 31.025 ± 3.703 kg

    Weight at 210 days
    Males - 224 kg
    Females - 191 kg

    Weight to 365 days
    Males - 380 kg
    Females - 298 kg

    Adult weight
    Males - 1024 kg
    Females - 630 kg

    The carcasses of slaughtered calves at 210 days have an average weight of 132 kg and have a conformation of ± 15% with R, ± 60% with O and P and other rating scale of the EUROP; fat for the dominant classification is 2.


    The Mirandesa is found in central and northeastern Portugal and southeastern Orense in Spain. They are a draft breed which is also used for meat production.

    References (the above information was cited from the following sites)
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