Saanen Goat Characteristics, Uses & Origin

The Saanen goat is a dairy goat breed which was originated from the Saanen Valley of Switzerland. It is also known as 'Chèvre de Gessenay' in French, and 'Saanenziege' in German. Saanen goats are the largest in size, among the dairy goat breeds. They are highly milk productive and actually available throughout the world. They are often raised in commercial farms for milk production purpose.

Saanen goats were developed in the historic region of Saanenland and in the neighboring Simmental, both in the Bernese Oberland, in the southern part of the Canton of Bern, in western Switzerland. These goats have been exported to many countries around the world since the nineteenth century (mainly because of their high productivity). Today the Saanen goats are available in many countries. Read some more information about this breed below.

Saanen Goat Characteristics

The Saanen goats are among the largest dairy goat breeds, and they are also largest of Swiss goats. They are mostly completely white in coloration, with some individuals can have small pigmented areas on their skin. Their skin is also white, and both bucks and does can be either horned or hornless. And they may also have tassels.

The Saanen goats have straight or somewhat concave profile. Their ears are erect and pointed upwards and forwards. Average live body weight of the mature does is between 60 and 70 kg. The bucks are slightly larger in size than the does. And average live body weight of the mature bucks is between 70 and 90 kg.

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The Saanen goats are very good grazers, and they do very well if allowed to pasture. They are not actually well suited to extensive management system, and is generally raised intensively. As a dairy goat breed, the Saanen goat generally require protein and energy enriched feed along with sufficient amount of greens. And also provide them with sufficient amount of clean and fresh water.


The Saanen goats can breed throughout the year. And a doe produces one or a pair of kids per kidding. They are often used for crossbreeding, for improving many local breeds. A black variant (the Sable Saanen) was recognized as a breed in New Zealand in the 1980s.


The Saanen goats are very hardy and productive animals. They are among the most productive milking goats in the world. They are mostly raised intensively, and are not suited to extensive management system. They can't tolerate strong sun, because they are pale-skinned animals.


Saanen goats are dairy goat breed, and they are mainly used for milk production. Their average milk production is around or up to 838 kg per lactation (264 days). Their milk is of pretty good quality containing a minimum of 2.7 percent protein and 3.2 percent fat.

Saanen goats require less care, and they are easily raised goats (even small children can raise and take care of them). You can easily raise some Saanen goats with your other animals. They are of docile temperament and generally friendly in nature. They are also raised as pets, mainly because of their good temperament. Always keep the living place of your animals as clean as possible, and contact a vet if your goats become sick or get injured.

Saanen Goat Characteristics, Uses & Origin Saanen Goat Characteristics, Uses & Origin Reviewed by Tanmay Roy on May 26, 2018 Rating: 5