I am going to be getting goats this summer, and trying to decide which breed is best for me. So I have been doing a bit of research, and thought this might be informative to others that are considering getting goats as well. The breeds listed below are for milk, pets, clearing brush etc. and from my research the best for these particular tasks. I will upload pictures of each breed in a photo album so you may get an idea of what they look like.
The Alpine, also known as “French Alpine”, originated in the Alps. They are medium to large goats with upright ears. Alpines are hardy, adaptable and come in a variety of colors and patterns. Their milk has an average butterfat of about 3.5%.
Alpines are seasonal breeders.
The LaMancha is a medium sized breed, developed in the USA from goats of Spanish origin. They have an excellent dairy temperament and are all-around sturdy, friendly, naturally healthy animals. LaManchas can come in a variety of colors and patterns. Their milk has an average butterfat of about 4.2%. LaManchas have tiny ears which come in two types: “gopher ears”, which are little “sweet rolls”; and “elf ears”, which are little hooked ears less than 2 inches long.
LaManchas are seasonal breeders.
The Nigerian is a miniature dairy goat of West African origin with upright ears. They are bred to have the length of body and structure, in proportion, of a full sized dairy goat. They come in a variety of colors and patterns. Nigerians can also produce a surprising amount of milk for their size (3-4 four pounds per day) but their small teats can sometimes be difficult to milk. Their milk has an average butterfat of about 6.1%.
Nigerians breed year round.
The Nubian, also know as “Anglo-Nubians” is a large, proud, and graceful goat with long pendulous ears and a “Roman nose”. They were developed in England by crossing British goats with bucks of African and Indian origin. They are not heavy producers but milk has an average butterfat of about 4.6%. Nubians come in a variety of colors and patterns. They are very vocal. They are very popular but not quite as hardy as some other breeds
Nubians are usually seasonal breeders but sometimes may breed year round.
The Oberhasli, sometimes called “Swiss Alpine”, are a medium sized breed. Their coloring is known as “Chamoisee” which is bay in color with distinctive and specific black markings. Does may sometimes be black but chamoisee is preferred. Their milk has an average butterfat of about 3.6%.
Oberhaslis are seasonal breeders.
The Saanen goat originated in Switzerland. They are white, large in size with upright ears. Saanens are heavy milk producers, but there milk is lower in butterfat than some of the other dairy breeds. Their milk has an average butterfat of about 3.5%.
Note: Saanens must be white. If a Saanen is born with color (which sometimes happens) they are called “Sables”.
Saanens are seasonal breeders.
The Toggenburg is a Swiss breed credited as being the oldest known dairy goat breed. They are medium in size with upright ears. “Togg” coloring is varying from a light fawn to dark chocolate, with distinctive and specific white markings. Their milk has an average butterfat of about 3.3%. This breed was originally developed to provide milk for cheese production and so their milk can sometimes have a strong flavor.
Toggs are seasonal breeders.