The Alpine Goat breed originates in the French Alps and it is here that the medium to large breed roams.
The breed has no set colours, though they can range from white to brown to grey or even black. Certain markings in the breed are discriminated against, however, as the American Dairy Goat Association faults all-white and Toggenburg patterned individuals.
The breed is horned, which are straight, while their ears are also erect. At full maturity, Does weigh up to 61kgs in total, while they can reach 76cms in height. Males meanwhile, can reach up to 81cms in height.
They have short to medium hair and are very hardy in nature, with the ability to adapt to most climates. A very docile and friendly breed does can mature as early as five months old, while bucks are sexually mature at four to five months old. Gestation lasts up to 155days for the breed, with twins very common. Does having as many as four kids is an uncommon occurrence either!
There are actually two variations of the breed, Purebred French Alpines and American Alpines. American alpines differ as they have less of the standard markings and conformation which are connected to the purebred French variations.
Used predominantly in the dairy sector, due to the fact they are heavy milkers. Their milk can be made into a variety of different products, from cheese to soap to butter and ice cream. In fact, there is very little that it cannot be used to make.
They have a very high milk output, with long lactations, which is why they are popular. Their milk is low in fat, at 3.4% and higher in sugars than a cow’s milk. Its milk has less protein than cows milk, however. Some of the breed can even produce over 967kgs of milk per lactation.
Originating in the Alps, the Alpine goat remains the champion of dairy goat breeds in its native France, if not Europe or the world!