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Kefallinias   GreekEFABIS Data


International Name


Local Name



Kefallonia island

Breeding females



Trend of population size


Flock book established



Origin history

The Kefallinias is an island mountain sheep from the Zackel group mainly located on the Ionian island of Kefalonia. The breed probably originated from a local breed on the island of Ithaki.


 Breed description

The sheep are white, with a furrow under the forehead. The males typically have two big spiralled horns with a dark stripe. The breed is of small size, with average live weight about 43 kg for the females and 58 kg for the males. It is well adapted in the marginal environment that is raised. The animals are capable of climbing up steep slopes. The lambings mainly occur during the months of November and December. The average milk production is about 170 kg. Prolificacy rate is about 1.1.  he average flock size is about 150 heads. The sheep are housed in traditional installations. Feeding is based on grazing of rented or owned mountainous pastures of low quality. The main product is milk which is used for cheese, but the meat is also valued and the wool can be used for carpets.

Conservation activities

Currently there are no semen samples or embryos conserved for this breed. The total population is 40.000, of which 2.680 are kept in purebred flocks and the remaining in mixed flocks. Milk recording is applied by the Farmers Association and is supervised by the Genetic Improvement Centre of Athens of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food.


Contact:Dr. Christina Ligda, NAGREF, Agricultural Research Centre of Northern Greece, Dept. Genetic Resources, e-mail: chligda@nagref.gr, chligda@otenet.gr 


Action Heritage Sheep AGRI GEN RES 040 receives financial support from the European Commission, Genetic Resources in Agriculture, under European Commission Council Regulation (EC) No 870/2004 AGRI GEN RES 2006 HERITAGE SHEEP