External Evaluators

Final Technical Report

Work Packages

Project - Meetings

Other Meetings




Heritage sheep data base





Kempen Heath   EFABIS Data


International Name

Kempen Heath

Local Name

Kempisch Heideschaap


Southern Netherlands

Breeding females



Trend of population size


Flock book established



Origin history

The Kempen Heath is a native heath breed, and is already known from old paintings in the 19th century. On the initiative of Lodewijk Napoleon and King Willem 1st, Spanish Merino sheep were imported in the early 1800s and crossed with the Kempen Heath to improve the quality of the wool. Up to now the quality of the wool of the Kempen Heath is still better than the wool of other Heath sheep. The presence of sheep led to the development of a flourishing wool and textile industry, in some cities even up to the 20th century.


Breed description

The Kempen Heath is black, brown and white, with long legs. The heads are free from fleece and both head and legs have black or brown spots. The Kempen Heath breed is polled. The sheep are calm and adapted to extensive rearing conditions. Flocks may be managed by transhumance or stationary practice with mixed feeding, with or without housing for up to 2 months. The Kempen Heath is particularly adapted to grazing on natural areas during the suckling period, with hay and concentrates added, and are useful for heath management. The Kempen Heath is used for conservation grazing, wool and meat, which is of excellent quality.


Conservation activities

Cryopreservation of semen: 2,344 doses (of 16 rams).



Name: Vereniging Stamboek Het Kempische Heideschaap
Contact person: Wies de Haan,
Address: Vlaamseweg 20,
Postal code and city: 6029 PL Sterksel.
Country: The Netherlands
Email: kempisch-heideschaap@planet.nl
Website: http://www.kempischheideschaap.nl  (in Dutch only)


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