Alpine Goat

The Alpine goat (also known as French-Alpines) originated in the Swiss Alps.  They are a hardy, adaptable goat that thrives even in harsh climates, able to maintain good health and excellent production. They tend to be slightly larger than other Swiss breeds, and are bred for their size and production, rather than colour patterning.  

Alpine Goat Milk Production 

Alpines are one of the leading dairy goat breeds in the world.  Their ADGA averages for 2010 lactations: 2396 lbs milk with 3.3% fat and 2.8% protein.

Appearance and Build

Alpine goats should have a straight face, with erect ears of medium size, pointing forwards.  They are a medium-large breed, with mature does at a minimum 30 inches at the withers, and at least 135 pounds, and mature bucks at a minimum of 32 inches at the withers, and at least 170 pounds. Both does and bucks can have a beard, however the beard of the males is quite pronounced; the bucks will also have a roach of longer hair along his spine.

The Alpine goat is the only breed with upright ears that can be found in any colour or combination of colours, a characteristic which gives them beauty and distinction among all other types of goats.  Alpines have a short-haired coat of almost any colour, except for solid white (typical of the Saanen goat breed) and light brown with white markings (typical of the Toggenburg goat breed).

Some typical colour patterns are as follows: 

  • COU BLANC (coo blanc) - literally "white neck" white front quarters and glossy black hind quarters with black or grey markings on head
  • CHAMOISEE (sham-wah-zay) - tan, red, bay or brown.  Characteristic markings are black face, dorsal stripe, feet and legs, and sometimes a martingale running over the withers and down to the chest.  Spelling for male is chamoise.
  • SUNDGAU (sundgow) - black with white markings such as on face and underside
  • PIED  - spotted or mottled
  • COU CLAIR (coo clair) - literally "clear neck" front quarters are tan, saffron, off-white, or shading to grey with black hind quarters
  • COU NOIR (coo nwah) - literally "black neck" black front quarters and white hind quarters
  • TWO TONE CHAMOISEE - light front quarters with brown or gray hindquarters. This is not a cou blanc or cou clair, as these terms are reserved for animals with black hindquarters.
  • BROKEN - Any variation in the above patterns broken with white should be described as a broken pattern such as a broken cou blanc

References: 

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