Dairy goats of the Saanen breed may trace their ancestry all the way back to the Saanen Valley in Switzerland. The Saanen is known for its fine, light coat, with white being the most popular hue. Its size and proportions are comparable to those of the Toggenburg, and its head may be either straight or slightly dished.
The typical adult Saanen weighs around 65 kilogrammes (143 pounds). As far as milk production goes, this goat tops all others. White is the most popular colour in this breed of goat. Unwanted skin discoloration is not looked down upon.
Tiny flecks of unnatural colour in the hair are acceptable yet unattractive. Short, fine hair is preferred, while a fringe over the back and thighs is acceptable. The correct posture for the ears is an upright, forward-facing position. A Roman nose is not attractive, and the face should be somewhat straight.
Origin of Saanen Goats
The breed first originated in Switzerland. Its high milk yield in the 1990s prompted its sale to several countries. The Saanens who live in the United States now are descended from the original, high-quality Saanens that settled here.
Goats of this breed have now been shown to be very flexible in the United States. Saanen goats, like other goat breeds, produce milk that is easier to digest than cow’s milk. Europeans and Americans alike respect this breed for its consistent, reliable productivity.
Saanen is a really attractive goat. It’s all white on the inside, and it moves with a light, graceful gait. Its nose and ears typically seem pink. Its prance and refined movement are two of its most distinguishing features.
Table of Contents
These traits make it a desirable companion animal and display animal. The amber eyes and silky hair of the Saanen goat are two of its distinguishing features. It’s available in both beige and white. The colour of its fur always matches the colour of its straight ears.
The Saanen dairy cow is the biggest breed available. The typical guy is 180 pounds and 6 feet tall. The typical woman is roughly 130 pounds in weight, or about two feet tall. It’s big, yet it’s tame and simple to work with.
On average, a Saanen goat will produce 3–4 litres of milk each day, making them a popular milking animal. The daily milk output of certain Saanen goats may reach 5 litres. Their milk is great for creating cheese and other dairy products because of the high butterfat level.
History and evolution
Goats have been useful to humans for thousands of years. Many prehistoric cultures were among the first to domesticate them. Because of their usefulness in agriculture, milk production, and providing food for their herders, they have become an integral part of human culture. The wild bezoar ibex is the progenitor of all domesticated goats, including the Saanen goat, dating back over 10,000 years.
Saanen goats are one of the most common types because of their placid nature. Saanens are also renowned for their ability to quickly adjust to novel circumstances and settings.
The Saanen is a classic dairy animal with a wedge-shaped body and a dished or straight face line. Saanen is at least 64 kilogrammes in weight. The average wither height for does is around 81 cm, and for bucks, it’s about 94 cm.
These huge animals are great for kids and first-time goat owners since they are easygoing, docile, and charming. As such, they are well-suited for machine milking as long as a schedule is set beforehand. The Saanen goat is unique among domesticated animals for being very tame and low-maintenance.
The breed struggles in hotter temperatures and thrives in colder ones. Shade is a must, and a healthy glow is a plus.
The Saanen goat is an exceptionally efficient ruminant, meeting 80 percent of its dietary needs by foraging alone.
Energy output from a coarse-fibre diet is maximised in goats.
Goats have a DMI closer to 5–6% of their body weight than larger animals do.
Goats may benefit from a small, high-protein diet.
Because of their tiny stomachs, they may be fed three or four times a day.
Because of their highly flexible top lip and prehensile tongue, saanen goats can consume a wide variety of vegetation, including grasses and forbs that other domesticated animals often avoid.
Because goats have a greater basal metabolic rate than cattle, they want more food on a daily basis.
Compared to other livestock, the expense of feeding them and caring for them is much greater per unit.
Saanen may become sexually mature as early as 6 months old, but they shouldn’t be bred until they’re at least 9 months old. Even though Saanens are capable of reproducing at any time of the year, the autumn is when they are most likely to do so.
The gestation period for a bred doe is about 150 days. Any newborn Saanen calves will need to be weaned from the doe and given formula.
The ideal environment for a saanen goat is one that is clean, dry, and warm. Some essentials for Saanen goat housing are:
- There has to be airflow, but it should not be too draughty within the structure.
- It’s important to keep the bedding space dry and tidy.
- Troughs for hay, grain, and water must be strategically placed to prevent wasted feed and water.
- Arrangements for housing should be made to reduce the need for manual work.
The high quality of their milk is the most obvious advantage of rearing Saanens.
Because of their selective breeding, these cows may produce as much as three times as much milk as Nubians or Toggenburgs.
In addition, Saanens have a reputation for being kind and loving. Goats like this are wonderful for kids learning about farming since they are calm and simple to care for.
Goats of the Saanen breed have a reputation for being tough and tenacious. Their hooves are naturally durable and need little care because of this.
Because of their large legs and sturdy hooves, they are very useful as pack animals.
Saanen goats are well-suited for use as dairy goats since their milk is widely recognised as among the best in the world.
Its medium-large size, sturdy frame, and boundless vitality make it the most productive breed of cows for milk production.
For commercial reasons, a typical Saanen doe may provide milk with a fat content of 3%–4%.
Because of their low maintenance requirements, goats are a popular choice not just for those who want to raise them for milk and other dairy products but also for people who want to keep them as pets in their own homes.
Raising Saanen goats for fibre
Keeping goats for their fibre may be a very satisfying hobby. Keep in mind, too, that not all goat breeds are cut out for this particular task.
Goats of the Saanen breed, for instance, have traditionally been valued more for their meat and milk than for their fur or wool.
Despite the fact that Saanen has impressively soft and insulating coats, they do not generate enough fibre to be a viable alternative for people who want to create textiles from their flock.
Ways to take care
- Trim back overgrown bushes to eliminate any cover that predators might use. Get rid of any garbage or leftovers that might attract rats or anything that eats them.
- Fencing should be at least 4 feet high to prevent goats from jumping over it. Put your mind at ease with an electric fence.
- Predators often strike at night, so be sure your family has somewhere safe to go. A barn or shed is a good choice for providing a safe place to keep your goat. They’ll be protected from the elements and potential dangers like these.
- Protect your goats with a guard animal. Dogs, llamas, and donkeys are all good options. They should get to know the goats first before being deployed as guards. If they grow up among the goats, the guard animals will treat them as members of their family.
- After a kidding, it’s important to thoroughly disinfect the area and remove any remaining blood or afterbirth. When predators detect a blood trail, they tend to strike.