European Regional Focal Point for Animal Genetic Resources

Regional platform for the support of management, conservation and sustainable use of animal genetic resources


Christina Ligda

Hellenic Agricultural Organization-Demeter
Veterinary Research Institute
NAGREF Campus - P.O Box 60 272
57001 Thessaloniki

+30 2310 781 136 (int. 0142)
+30 2310 365 371

List of experts

  • Dimitrios Tsiokos, member of the WG In situ conservation
  • Katerina Saratsi, member of the WG Ex situ conservation

 The Karagouniko sheep

The Karagouniko sheep breed originates from the region of Thessaly ,Greece and is historically linked with the region. Several changes through the years (in the socio-economic context) contributed to the present picture of the Karagouniko sheep farming in the region. Currently, a population of about 5.000 ewes is under milk recording (in the frame of the Rural Development Programme, while several initiatives take place by the most active farmers aiming to enhance the position of this local breed in the region. The breed is appreciated both for its productive characteristics (milk production), which show further potential for improvement, but also for their adaptation characteristics (heat stress, valorization of natural feed resources).


Karagouniko sheepKaragouniko sheep 6Karagouniko sheep 3Karagouniko sheep

 The Katerini cattle breed

The Katerini cattle breed shows the typical traits of the Podolian strain, but with a reduced size: the  average  withers  height  is  123 cm  for  males  and 113  for  females  and  the  average weight is 375 kg for bulls (with peaks of 400 kg) and 280 kg for cows. The coat is grey, generally darker than in other Podolian breeds, and tends to black in 30% of the heads, and may have reddish hues. The muzzle is edged in white. The calf at birth has a fawn coat, which turns grey around weaning. The adults have lyre-horns, wide dewlap and marked hump in bulls.

The average age of the breeding animals is 40 months for the bulls, and 84 months for the cows, with great longevity: the average productive life is 9 years. The productive maturity is 24 months for males and 20 for females. The age at first calving is on average 34 months (ranging from 20 to 48), with an average calving interval of 450 days. The young bulls are slaughtered at 15-20 months, with a live weight of 200-300 kg, and variable carcass yield, ranging from 40 to 55%. Milk production is just enough to feed the calf, reaching 700 kg in optimal breeding conditions, in a lactation of 5-6 months.

In 2019, there were 770 cows registered in 5 herds.

More information: Katerini cattle breed