Goat Breeds

Dairy Goat Breeds

The Alpine is known for its wide variety in color, with a dished or straight face and erect ears.  A medium to large breed popular for the quantity of milk produced – approximately 2,000 pounds per year.  Types of Alpines include Swiss, French, British and Rock.  The minimum height for a mature doe is 30 inches and the minimum weight 130-198 pounds.  The average weight for the buck is 176-200 pounds.

The LaMancha can be any color, with tiny ears and a straight nose; a small, calm and gentle breed with excellent dairy temperament.  Very productive for its size, this American breed averages about 1,800 pounds of milk per year with 3.8% butterfat content.  The minimum height for a mature does is 28 inches and the minimum weight 130 pounds.

The Nubian is the most popular purebred goat in the USA.  They can be any color with long, floppy ears, convex (Roman) nose and distinctive bleat.  Nubians produce milk that is higher in protein and butterfat, averaging 1,700 pounds in 305 days.  This is a large breed and Nubians can have strong, playful personalities.  The minimum height for a mature doe is 30 inches and the minimum weight is 130 pounds.

The Oberhasli has distinctive elegant coloring; bay color called Chamoise, with black dorsal strip, udder, belly and lower legs.  They have a mostly a black head with erect ears.  The Oberhasli is a medium to small dairy breed which originated near Bern, Switzerland.

The Saanen is usually pure white, with erect ears and a dished face.  Of Swiss origin, Saanens are more widely distributed throughout the world than any other goat breed.  Known for its large udder capacity, this breed is popular with dairies for the quantity of its milk.  The minimum height for a mature doe is 30 inches and average weight is 110-198 pounds.  The average weight for a buck is 176-264 pounds.

The Toggenburg is the oldest registered breed of any animal in the world!  Light brown with white on the ears, lower legs, tail sides and double face stripes; they have a distinctive “shaggy” coat when not prepared as “show” goats.  Know for being one of the smallest dairy breeds, “Toggs” still average 2,000 pounds of milk per year.  The minimum height for a mature doe is 25 inches and the minimum weight is 120 pounds.

Originally produced in South Africa (“Boer” is Dutch for “farm”).  Boers are the most rapidly growing meat goat breed in the USA, mainly due to their unique muscle characteristics and conformation.  Purebreds have light-colored bodies (white/cream coloring) with distinctive red heads.  Boers are often crossbred with Spanish breeds and larger dairy breeds to produce the best quality traits of each breed.  The average weight for a mature doe is 110-165 pounds and the average weight for a mature buck is 170-280 pounds…but some bucks have reached the amazing weight up to 400 pounds.

A medium to large meat goat breed originally produced in New Zealand and named by the native Maori to describe “substantial meat” producing animals or meat for consumption.  Known for a strong, bold face, the Kiko coloring is mostly white, although some coloring is permissible.  Kikos may have slick or shaggy coats and mature bucks have a very distinct horn formation.

The Spanish goat is not a specific breed, but rather “wild” or “semi-wild” descendents of goats brought to North America by early Spanish explorers.  Compact and agile animals, their size varies due to climate, terrain and availability to breeding stock.  Body shape, ear shape, horns, hair and color vary by animal.

Nigerian Dwarf:
A Nigerian Dwarf is miniature goat of West African descent with a variety of coloring and erect ears.  Easy to raise and handle, they are an affectionate breed great for first-time goat owners. Nigerian Dwarf’s produce a higher butterfat (6-10%) and milk protein than their larger dairy goat counterparts.  A mature doe will measure 17-21 inches and a mature buck will measure 19-23 inches; with an ideal weight around 75 pounds.

Pygmy’s are small, even tempered goats and are often raised for companionship and pleasure.  Easy to raise and handle, they are an affectionate breed great for first-time goat owners.  The Pygmy is a sufficient milk producer for its size producing as much as 4 pounds per day.  Compact and well-muscled a full grown doe or wether measure 16-23 inches at the withers and weighs 40-70 pounds.

The Angora is an extremely docile breed that is a very efficient mohair producer.  They are somewhat delicate due to stress of growing fleece year-round, and therefore, have high nutritional requirements. An adult Angora doe produces from 8-16 pounds of mohair from two shearings per year.  The average weight is 80-100 pounds.