Breeds of Dairy Goats

There are six types of dairy goats that are recognized by the American Dairy Goat Association. They are Nubians, LaManchas, Alpines, Oberhaslis, Togenburgs, and Saanens.

It is quite certain that the goat was one of the first domesticated animals in Western Asia. He is thought to have descended from the Pasang or Grecian Ibex, a species of wild goat found in Asia Minor, Persia, and other nearby countries. Old Testament verse mentions the goat more than 150 times. Dairy goats are not nearly as numerous as dairy cattle in the Europe, but, for many other countries of the world, they are the leading milk producers because they are well adapted to limited areas and require less specialized feed, most of which can be produced by the small land owner. There are actually more people consuming dairy goat products in the world than those consuming the products from dairy cattle.

Alpine –The French-Alpine is a breed of goat that originated in the Alps. The goats of Alpine type that were brought to the United States from France where they had been selected for much greater uniformity, size, and production than was true of the goats that were taken from Switzerland to France. These are hardy, adaptable animals that thrive in any climate while maintaining good health and excellent production.

LaMancha - Is a type of dairy goat noted for its `lack` of or much reduced external ears. The La Mancha breed is medium in size, and is also noted for a generally calm, quiet and gentle temperament, high butterfat content to the milk and good production.The LaMancha goat was developed in the 1930`s in Oregon by Eula F. Frey when she crossed some short-eared goats of unknown background with her outstanding Swiss and Nubian Bucks. The La Mancha has excellent dairy temperament and is an all-around sturdy animal that can withstand a great deal of hardship and still produce. Through official testing this breed has established itself in milk production with high butterfat.

Anglo-Nubian - This breed originated in England as a cross between the Old English Milch Goat and the Zariby and Nubian bucks imported from India, Russia, and Egypt. They have been exported to most countries from England and are sometimes referred to as "nubians" instead of the proper title of "Anglo-Nubian"The Nubian breed leads the way for the dairy breeds in butterfat production: it produces on average, 5% or more butterfat content.

Oberhasli - Is a dairy goat from the eponymous district of the Canton of Berne (Switzerland). Oberhasli are reddish brown in color with a black dorsal stripe, legs, belly, and face. This breed is a good choice for the person who wants a dairy goat, appreciates its vivid coloration, wants something slightly out of the ordinary, and who wants a quiet and gentle breed.

Saanen - The Saanen breed is white in color and the largest of the dairy breeds. Does typically weigh 150 lb (68 kg) or more, with bucks weighing over 200 lb (91 kg). The Saanen breed also produces the most milk (as a breed- there will be good and poor individuals in any breed) and tends to have a lower butterfat content, about 2.5%-3%. The Sannen temperament is as a rule, calm and mild mannered.

Toggenburg - Is a breed of goat, named after the region in Switzerland where the breed originated, the Toggenburg valley. Toggenburgs are medium in size, moderate in production, and have relatively low butterfat content (2-3%) in their milk. The breed standard is brown with white legs, facial stripes, muzzle, ears, and tail patch. Wattles, small rudimentary nubs of skin located on each side of the neck, are often present in this breed.