Saanen goat

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Saanen
a short-haired white nanny goat on grass
Saanen nanny on the Engstligenalp
Conservation status FAO (2007): no concern[1]
Other names
Country of origin Switzerland
Distribution worldwide
Standard
Use milk
Traits
Weight Male: minimum 85 kg[2]
  Female: minimum 60 kg[2]
Height Male: 90 cm[2]
  Female: 80 cm[2]
Skin color white
Wool color white
Horn status usually, hornless
Notes
short-haired
Goat
Capra aegagrus hircus
Flock in a commercial operation in Sernur, in the Mari El Republic of the Russian Federation, showing both horned and hornless animals

The Saanen, German: Saanenziege, French: Chèvre de Gessenay, is a Swiss breed of domestic goat. It takes its name from the Saanental in the Bernese Oberland, in the southern part of the Canton of Bern, in western Switzerland. It is a highly productive dairy goat and is distributed in more than eighty countries worldwide.[3]

History[edit]

The Saanen originates in the historic region of the Saanenland (de) (French: Comté de Gessenay) and in the neighbouring Simmental, both in the Bernese Oberland, in the southern part of the Canton of Bern, in western Switzerland.[4] Because of its high productivity, the Saanen has since the nineteenth century been exported to many countries of the world.

The Saanen is reported from more than eighty countries. The total world population is reported to be over 900,000 head.[3] Of these, some 14,000 are in Switzerland.[5]:404

Characteristics[edit]

The Saanen is the largest breed of Swiss goat:[5]:404 billies stand about 90 cm at the withers and weigh a minimum of 85 kg.[2] It has white skin and a short white coat; some small pigmented areas may be tolerated.[2] It may be horned or hornless, and tassels may be present. The profile may be straight or somewhat concave; the ears are erect and point upwards and forwards.[5]:404

Use and management[edit]

The Saanen is the most productive milch goat of Switzerland,[5]:404 which has the most productive milking goats in the world.[5]:345 Average milk yield is 838 kg in a lactation of 264 days.[5]:404 The milk should have a minimum of 3.2% fat and 2.7% protein.[2]

The Saanen is not well suited to extensive management, and is usually raised intensively. Being pale-skinned, it does not tolerate strong sun.[5]:404

Because of its productivity, the Saanen has since been exported all over the world, and has given rise to many local sub-breeds, often through cross-breeding with local goats. Among these local variants are the Banat White in Romania, the British Saanen, the French Saanen, the Israeli Saanen, the Russian White, the Weiße Deutsche Edelziege (de) in Germany, and the Yugoslav Saanen.[5]:404

A black variant, the Sable Saanen, was recognised as breed in New Zealand in the 1980s.[5]:398

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barbara Rischkowsky, D. Pilling (eds.) (2007). List of breeds documented in the Global Databank for Animal Genetic Resources, annex to The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 9789251057629. Accessed October 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Rassenstandards (Ausgabe 01.01.2014) (in German). Fédération suisse d'élevage caprin/Schweizerischer Ziegenzuchtverband/Federazione svizzera d'allevamento caprino. Archived 3 February 2015.
  3. ^ a b Transboundary breed: Saanen. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed October 2016.
  4. ^ Saanen/Switzerland. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed October 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Valerie Porter, Lawrence Alderson, Stephen J.G. Hall, D. Phillip Sponenberg (2016). Mason's World Encyclopedia of Livestock Breeds and Breeding (sixth edition). Wallingford: CABI. ISBN 9781780647944.