Goats are most often kept in order to have fresh goat milk on their table every day, and also to sell it for profit. If you are looking for a dairy goat, then the Saanen goats are what you need. The fact is that in terms of milk yield they surpass many other breeds, while they are not picky in care. Learn more about these animals by starting the description of the breed with origin.
Occurrence Orodes Saanen goats
Saanen goats got its start in the distant Switzerland, where breeding goats peacefully graze in the fertile meadows of the Swiss. After the whole of Switzerland knew about goats in the 19th century, fame spread to them outside the country, so goats of the Saanen breed appeared first in Europe, and then in America and even Australia. At the same time, the breed appeared on the territory of Russia, where its potential and characteristics were highly appreciated.Depending on the country in which the goat breed appeared, it acquired a new name, which was selected depending on the country of residence:
- American Saanen
- British Saanen
- Shorthair white goat
- Dutch goat
- German Saanen goat and so on
As for Russia, in the beginning it got into its territory only 30 purebred individuals, which later became the ancestors of many breeds or were used to improve existing ones. At present, pure breed can still be found, but in order to make sure that you have a thoroughbred goat, and not a mestizo, you should understand its characteristics well, and this will be discussed later.
Description of the breed
We begin the description by saying that the Zaanen goat has a powerful physique for the goat. Its growth in some cases can reach one meter. A characteristic feature is the white color of the coat, although the presence of several spots on the chest and udder is still allowed, this can be seen in the video and photo of the Saanen goat. As for the mass, the animal’s weight is impressive: the goat can grow up to one tons, females at the same time gain as much as about 80-90 kg. Due to the impressive weight of the parents, the kids at birth also have an impressive weight of about 4 kg, with a monthly weight gain of about 5 kilograms. The main external characteristics of the Zaanen goat are given in the table:
| Criterion|| Indicator for the female|| Indicator for male|
| Growth at the withers|| 77|| 85-96|
| Growth to the sacrum|| 78|| 89|
| Body Length|| 82|| 85|
| Chest Coverage|| 89|| 95|
| Chest Width cells|| 19|| 20|
| Width of the pelvis|| 19|| 19|
With these characteristics, we can say that the animal looks powerful, has a well-developed bone system, this is the first thing evident in the video or photo. The face of the goat is quite narrow, while the forehead is widely set. As for the ears, in accordance with the breed standard, they must be erect, otherwise it is a reason for rejecting the goat.
Some time ago it was believed that the Saanen goat should be a kolola, that is, not have a horn . However, breed standards are currently being revised, and the presence of a horn in a goat is normal, although such individuals are not so common. Let us also say about the indispensable attribute of goats, namely the beard. Saanen goats have a beard, while in females it is not a mandatory attribute. Since we are talking about a goat in the milk direction, it is important to know how the main milk organ, namely the udder, should look like. The udder should resemble a symmetrical pear in shape, it is important that the nipples are sufficiently developed, have a normal physiological structure. Often, Saanen goats may have small dark spots on the udder, do not be afraid of this, this is a variant of the norm.
Productivity of the Saanen goat
As mentioned earlier, the Saanen hornless the goat is famous not only for being born in the Swiss Alps, but also for producing record milk yields. How much milk does a goat give? If we take a calendar year for the accounting period, then only one female can bring a milk yield of one ton, and these indicators can grow from mating to mating, from lamb to lamb. It is believed that after the fourth or fifth lambing, productivity will decline, that is, milk yield will gradually decrease.
Phenomenally, but with sufficient care, some goats produce about 2000 liters of fresh fresh milk per year, which exceeds their own weight is 20-25 times.
Goat’s milk is fundamentally different from cow’s milk, both in terms of taste and external characteristics. The milk of Saanen goats is thick, since the percentage of fat in it is quite high - about 4-4.5%. In this case, the taste can be compared with a delicate slightly sweet cream.After the dairy product passes through the separator, it is possible to make extremely tasty and tender cottage cheese, butter or cheese on its basis. The female can give milk starting from 7-9 months of age, but veterinarians recommend waiting a little and start covering goats closer to one year. After lambing, usually two or three cubs are born, which grow quickly and rapidly gain mass. Pregnancy lasts 150 days.
Pros and Cons of the Saanen breed
Gives large volumes of milk
Speaking of the Saanen breed, it is difficult to say if it has any drawbacks. Therefore, let's start by listing all the positive qualities that made the breed famous and in demand:
- High productivity indicators. Even the most seedy Zaanen goat will bring considerable milk yield, the minimum you can count on is 600-700 liters a year.
- Long lactation. The milk period can last from 9 to 11 months
- Fertility of females is high. Based on feedback from farmers, on average about 190 young animals of this breed per 100 heads of females.
- The fat content of milk of the Saanen goat is higher than that of a cow. The maximum fat content of cow's milk is 3.2%, while the Saanen shelf has a higher indicator, reaching 4%.
- The plus for the Russian farmer is that the goat from Switzerland is not fastidious in its care and maintenance, it adapts well to harsh climatic conditions
- Breeding and keeping of Saanen goats in the farm can significantly increase livestock characteristics by breeding local breeds with a purebred Swiss
- Zaanen goats can graze not in any territory, including hilly terrain and even mountain areas
- The most important factor for the consumer is that the meat and milk of the Swiss goat does not have a specific smell he is that also does not come from a living animal.
As for the disadvantages and minuses, then, most likely, they simply do not exist. The only thing worth mentioning is that at present it is difficult to find a purebred representative of the breed, the cost of such an acquisition is also high, the price per animal can reach from 10,000 to 20,000 rubles.
What should be the care of the Saanen goat
It cannot be said that the Saanen goats are picky and demanding in the care, maintenance and breeding, but nevertheless it will be necessary to create suitable conditions for the animals to get good milk yield in the future. The criteria include the following criteria:
- Clean room for goats and goats
- Continuous ventilation
- Regular walking, and you should not let goats go outside if too cold in winter, or hot in summer.
The goat house must be equipped in such a way that animals live comfortably, as much as possible protected from cold, heat, wind and rainfall. It is advisable to plan the concrete floor covering during the construction of the room, and already lay on it plank beds of wood. As for the milk goats, it is recommended to keep them in a separate stall. Usually they are placed in two, the area of such a room should be at least 2 sq.m. However, the goat of the Saanen breed needs a more spacious dwelling, keep this in mind when drawing up the goat's plan.
Nutrition of the Saanen goat
Learn the food for these goats
It should be said that the nutrition of thoroughbred goats is different from the diet that ordinary goats consume. The usual hay, most likely they will not like, much more willingly they will eat legumes and cereals. For the winter period, for feeding livestock, you need to stock up on dried leaves of oaks, birch, willow and linden, Zaanen goats will eat them with great pleasure. In order for the animal to bring as much milk as possible, one must not forget to feed the goats with vitamins, it is desirable that they be contained not only in the preparations, but also in food, for example, it can be:
What you need to know about breeding Saanen goats
If you are determined to become the owner of the Saanen goat, then it is better to purchase an animal in a nursery or reproduction room, where you will be issued with a passport proving that the purchased animal is purebred. When raising offspring, you can adhere to several schemes:
- Little kids are in no hurry to take away from their mother, a pause of about 4 months is maintained. The fact is that it is at this age that the digestive tract of a kid is formed and is preparing for the transition to a normal adult diet. At the same time, you get a bonus, because in 4 months the kids gobble up the goat themselves and you don’t have to do it yourself. Of course, it is not necessary to say that under such conditions the milk yield of the Saanen goat will be record-breaking. To do this, you will need milk powder, in which as the young grows older you will need to add greens and high-calorie concentrates. In this case, it is possible to get the maximum milk from the animal.
Diseases of the Saanen goats
If you manage to take care of animals with all responsibility, then most likely you will encounter diseases extremely rarely. If this happens, it can be poisoning, injury or, for example, nipple injury. We learn about each ailment in more detail. Poisoning most often occurs in those individuals who for a long time were in the stall keeping and breeding, and then were sent to grazing. The fact is that, with no habit and inexperience, they can eat poisonous plants, which will cause a digestive tract disorder. You can suspect the development of poisoning by the following signs:
- Diarrhea (the most common symptom)
- A dim look (may be a sign of a more serious illness)
- Heart rhythm disturbance
- Frequent breathing
- Frequent urination
One hundred touches the cracks on the nipples, then in 99% of cases they occur due to human fault, more precisely due to the fact that the technique of milking the goat is not followed. If this happens, then you should once again study how to milk a goat, for this you need to study a photo or video of the manual of more experienced breeders, where everything is told step by step.
As a conclusion
Finishing the story about the Saanen goats, we will present the facts concerning these animals:
- Pedigree goats love to graze, so don’t forget to do this at any time of the year
- For a better result, it is recommended to milk a goat twice a day, a maximum of three times a day
- When buying a Saanen goat, it is better to give preference to a hornless animal, as having horns, he can injure someone from the stall
- Females have an excellent maternal instinct, she can feed not only her anger, but also strangers
- Remember that a purebred animal can’t cost a little, you can buy Zaanen goats only in the nursery of the breeders, in the breeding farm or in the reproduction.