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About Goats

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If you know your goats, and would like to help us expand the information about any of the listed breeds, or any other dairy goat breed, please contact thewebmaster@dairygoatjournal.com. Thank you!

General Information
The domestic goat (Capra aegagrus hircus) is a subspecies of goat domesticated from the wild goat of southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the Bovidae family and is closely related to the sheep, both being in the goat antelope subfamily Caprinae.Domestic goats are one of the oldest domesticated species. For thousands of years, goats have been used for their milk, meat, hair, and skins over much of the world. In the last century they have also gained some popularity as pets.Female goats are referred to as does or nannies (or, less frequently, as mishas), intact males as bucks or billies; their offspring are kids. Castrated males are wethers. Goat meat from younger animals is called kid, and from older animals is sometimes called chevon, or in some areas mutton.    Read more general information about goats.

Dairy Goats
The American Dairy Goat Association recognizes eight breeds of dairy goats in the USA — Alpine, LaMancha, Nigerian Dwarf, Nubian, Oberhasli, Saanen, Sable, and Toggenburg. There are also many minor breeds found here and abroad, including Golden Guernsey, Kinder, Stiefelgeiss, and others.They range in color from light to deep red with black stripes down the forehead and black legs below the knees. The Alpine, Saanen and Toggenburg breeds originated in the French and Swiss Alps and are often referred to as the “Swiss” type breeds. They are very similar in conformation, all having upright ears, straight or slightly dished faces and an alert, graceful, deer-like appearance.
Alpine dairy goatThe Alpines are composed of several varieties including the most popular French Alpine and the less numerous British, Rock and Swiss Alpines. They are medium to large in size, with color variations from pure white through shades of fawn, gray, brown, black, red buff, and combinations of these colors in the same animal.
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Golden Guernsey
Golden Guernsey dairy goatThe Golden Guernsey is a rare breed of goat from the Bailiwick of Guernsey on the Channel Islands. They were first brought to Great Britain in 1965 and a sub-breed has evolved known as the British Guernsey.The exact origin of these animals is uncertain but since goat bones have been found in dolmens (a type of Megalithic tomb) as old as 2000 B.C. on the islands, it is likely that the breed began to evolve into its current form about this time.
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LaMancha dairy goat
The LaMancha is a type of dairy goat noted for its apparent lack of, or much reduced, external ears. The LaMancha breed is medium in size, and is also noted for a generally calm, quiet, and gentle temperament.The LaMancha face is straight, with ears being the distinctive breed characteristic. A Roman nose, that is typically a characteristic of a Nubian goat, is considered a moderate to serious breed defect of the LaMancha goat.
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Nigerian Dwarf
Nigerian Dwarf dairy goat
The Nigerian Dwarf is a miniature goat of West African origin. Their small stature means they do not require as much space as their larger dairy goat counterparts and their gentle and friendly personalities make them good companion pets. They are easy to handle; even small children can be at ease with these little goats.
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Nubian dairy goat
The Anglo-Nubian, or simply Nubian in the United States, was developed in Great Britain of native milking stock and goats from the Middle East and North Africa. Its distinguishing characteristics include large, pendulous ears and a “Roman” nose. Due to their Middle-Eastern heritage, Anglo-Nubians can live in very hot climates and have a longer breeding season than other dairy goats.
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Oberhasli dairy goat
The Oberhasli is a breed of dairy goat from the eponymous district of the Canton of Berne (Switzerland). The name loosely translates as ‘highlander’. Oberhasli are a standardized color breed, with warm reddish brown accented with a black dorsal stripe, legs, belly, and face. Occasionally a black Oberhasli appears as a result of recessive genes.
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Saanen dairy goat
The Saanens are white or light cream in color with white preferred. Spots on the skin are not discriminated against. Small spots of color on the hair are allowable, but not desirable. They are medium to large in size with rugged bone, plenty of vigor yet feminine throughout. The ears should be of medium size and carried erect. A tendency toward a roman nose is discriminated against.
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Sable Saanen
Sable Saanen dairy goatSables are Saanens that are not white. They come in many colors and combinations and have been a part of the Saanen heritage for as long as there have been Saanens. The first Sables in the US arrived on the same ship with the first Saanens and have been here ever since.
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Toggenburg dairy goat
The 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 color is solid varying from light fawn to dark chocolate with no preference for any shade. They are the oldest known dairy breed of goats.
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Some information on this page courtesy of Wikipedia

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