From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Conservation status
Other namesBasque: Behi montxina
Country of originSpain
  • Male:
    average 400 kg[4]: 107 
  • Female:
    average 275 kg[4]: 107 
  • Male:
    average 1.30 m[4]: 107 
  • Female:
    average 1.25 m[4]: 107 
Horn statushorned
  • Cattle
  • Bos (primigenius) taurus

The Monchina, Basque: Behi montxina, is a Spanish breed of mountain cattle indigenous to the autonomous communities of Cantabria and the Basque Country in northern Spain.[5] It is related to the Betizu and possibly to the Terreña breeds of cattle of the Basque Country, and is closely associated with the Villano de las Encartaciones breed of dog, which is traditionally used in managing it.[6]: 249  It is classified by the Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación, the Spanish ministry of agriculture, as a "Raza Autóctona en Peligro de Extinción" or native breed at risk of extinction.[7]


The Monchina is a traditional breed of the mountains of the autonomous communities of Cantabria and of the Basque Country. It is distributed mainly in south-eastern Cantabria, in the comarca of Enkarterri in south-western Bizkaia, and in the northern part of the Province of Burgos in north-eastern Castile y León.[5] It is closely associated with the municipalities of Castro Urdiales, Guriezo and Rasines in Cantabria; of Karrantza, Trucíos and the Cantabrian exclave of Villaverde de Trucíos in Bizkaia; and of Merindad de Sotoscueva and Valle de Mena in Burgos.[4]: 108 

For many years extensive attempts were made to increase the meat yield by cross-breeding with more productive meat breeds such as the Spanish Asturiana de los Valles and the French Charolaise and Limousine.[4]: 107  This led to a rapid reduction in the number of purebred stock,[4]: 107  and in the 1990s the total breeding population was reported to consist of two hundred breeding cows and four or five bulls.[2]


  1. ^ Barbara Rischkowsky, D. Pilling (eds.) (2007). List of breeds documented in the Global Databank for Animal Genetic Resources, annex to The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 9789251057629. Accessed January 2021.
  2. ^ a b Breed data sheet: Monchina / Spain (Cattle). Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed January 2021.
  3. ^ Raza bovina Monchina: Usos y sistema de explotación (in Spanish). Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación. Accessed January 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Miguel Fernández Rodríguez, Mariano Gómez Fernández, Juan Vicente Delgado Bermejo, Silvia Adán Belmonte, Miguel Jiménez Cabras (eds.) (2009). Guía de campo de las razas autóctonas españolas (in Spanish). Madrid: Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino. ISBN 9788449109461.
  5. ^ a b Monchina: ganado bovino (in Spanish). Federación Española de Asociaciones de Ganado Selecto. Archived 1 January 2011.
  6. ^ Valerie Porter, Lawrence Alderson, Stephen J.G. Hall, D. Phillip Sponenberg (2016). Mason's World Encyclopedia of Livestock Breeds and Breeding (sixth edition). Wallingford: CABI. ISBN 9781780647944.
  7. ^ Raza bovina Monchina: Datos Generales (in Spanish). Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación. Accessed January 2021.