Saanen Goat Breed
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.
The Saanen originates in the historic region of Saanen (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. 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. Of these, some 14,000 are in Switzerland.:404
The Saanen is the largest breed of Swiss goat::404 billies stand about 90 cm at the withers and weigh a minimum of 85 kg. It has white skin and a short white coat; some small pigmented areas may be tolerated. 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.:404
Use and management Saanen Goat Breed
The Saanen is the most productive milk goat of Switzerland,:404 which has the most productive milking goats in the world.:345 Average milk yield is 838 kg in a lactation of 264 days.:404 The milk should have a minimum of 3.2% fat and 2.7% protein.
The Saanen is not well suited to extensive management, and is usually raised intensively. Being pale-skinned, it does not tolerate strong sun.:404
Because of its productivity, the Saanen has 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.:404
A black variant, the Sable Saanen, was recognised as a breed in New Zealand in the 1980s.[