Alpine: The Alpine goat was developed in Switzerland. Its ears are upright and
the face is dished or scooped. The Alpine is usually brown and white or black
and white, though other colors are seen. It is primarily used as a dairy goat.
Females weigh about 135 pounds and males weigh about 170 pounds.
LaMancha: The LaMancha is quickly recognized by its small ears. It was
developed in the United States from crossing Spanish goats with Swiss and
Nubian bucks. It is an excellent dairy goat, giving milk with high butterfat. The
LaMancha goat can come in a variety of colors and has a calm and gentle
Nubian: The Nubian goat is a large animal with a convex nose and long,
pendulous ears. It is the most common breed and makes a good dairy goat. It
produces milk that is high in butterfat, but it does produce less milk per day than
other dairy goat breeds. It also produces a fair amount of meat and is considered
a dual-purpose goat breed. Does generally weigh at least 135 pounds when
mature, and bucks weigh at least 175 pounds at maturity. The Nubian is usually
Oberhasli: This breed is typically a deep reddish brown with black stripes on
the face. The breed was developed in Switzerland and was formerly known as
the Swiss Alpine. This breed is slightly smaller than other standard-sized goat
breeds but is a good dairy goat breed that produces up to 1 ½ gallons of milk per
day. The breed is considered a rare breed but is growing in popularity.
Saanen: This breed is usually all white. The Saanen was developed in
Switzerland but quickly spread throughout Europe. The does are heavy milkers
and weigh about 145 pounds. They are also the largest of the dairy goat breeds.
Toggenburg: Another Swiss breed, the Toggenburg is mid-sized and rich brown
with white highlights. The hair is short to medium in length, and they are a solid
color from light fawn to dark brown. They have white markings on the legs and
two white stripes down the face. They are a dairy goat breed, and does give up to
1 ½ gallons of milk per day.
Angora: The Angora goat is used as a fiber goat for its mohair fleece. On
average, more than 10 pounds of mohair is sheared from the average Angora
goat. Mohair is similar in chemical composition to wool but has a smoother
surface giving it a silky texture. Angora goats of both sexes have horns and
droopy ears. Does usually weigh 80 pounds as adults. Bucks average 200
pounds. As an added bonus, Angora goats are fantastic browsers, controlling
weeds and brush in areas inaccessible to mowers.
Cashmere: Cashmere goats are technically a type of goat and not an official
breed. Most breeds of goat, with the exception of the Angora, can produce
cashmere down in various amounts. Cashmere fleece is a fine, crimped down.
Goats with cashmere fleece usually have long, straight, coarse guard hairs on the
outer part of their bodies. The cashmere fleece underneath the guard hair keeps
them warm. Most of the best cashmere has traditionally come from the Middle
East, but unrest in that region of the world in recent years has caused a
disruption in the supply. New Zealand and Australia now supply much of the
best cashmere in the world. U.S. farmers have imported goats from Australia and
New Zealand to build on their cashmere breeding programs and to breed with
Pygora: The Pygora goat is a cross between the Angora and the Pygmy goat. It
was first bred in Oregon in 1987. Pygoras are multiuse and popular for their
different types of fleece, as milk goats, and also are kept as pets. They can have
cashmere-type fleece, mohair-like fleece, or a combination of these two fleeces.
Pygoras are popular as pets because they have the smaller size of Pygmy goats.
Pygora goats may not be more than 75 percent Angora goat, nor more than 75
percent Pygmy goat. They can live to be 12 to 14 years.
Boer: The Boer goat has pendulous ears. It was developed in South Africa as a
meat goat and gains about a quarter pound of weight daily until it reaches full
maturity. It is the best-performing goat in terms of weight gain among the meattype goats, which means the Boer goat reaches market weigh quickly. The doe
commonly will have twins. Males weigh about 260 pounds when mature, while
females weigh about 215 pounds.
Kiko: Kiko goats were developed in New Zealand as meat goats. They were
created by crossing feral does with Nubian, Toggenberg, and Saanen bucks.
Kikos are usually white and are generally a hardy breed. According to one recent
study, the Kiko may be more resistant to parasites than other goats. They also
may have fewer problems with foot rot. According to the same study, Kikos
weaned kids that weighed more per doe compared with Boer goats. On the other
hand, Boers are still preferred at sale barns. Many goat breeders like to breed a
Boer buck with a Kiko doe.
Myotonic: The Myotonic, or Tennessee Fainting Goat, is another meat breed.
They are also known as the Wooden Leg or “stiff leg” goat. They have a
recessive gene that causes their muscles to freeze up when they are alarmed.
This makes them temporarily fall over. They are one of the only breeds native to
the United States. The Myotonic goat is heavily muscled through the rump and
deep in the chest. However, they are smaller than the other major goat meat
breeds. These goats are particularly good for crossbreeding purposes. Numbers
of Myotonic goats are low compared to other meat goats, which means they
might cost more. With their fainting characteristic, they are easier to contain
inside fences, but they are also at greater risk from predators.
Savannah: The Savannah is a new breed in the U.S. and were only imported in
the late 1990s. They have a large frame and are well muscled. They are white
with some black pigment on the ears. They have the same body characteristics as
the Boer goat.
Spanish: The Spanish goat was first brought to Texas in the early 1540s by
Spanish explorers. Only the fittest goats survived, and they became a very hardy
breed, good at foraging. They lived mainly in the wild, and this provided an
advantage to smaller goats that needed less food. They are also good mothers.
Some goat breeders have been able to breed for bigger size, more muscle, more
milk, and other desirable traits. Spanish goats are one of the main meat goats in
the United States. These goats come in many different colors and color patterns.
Pygmy: The Pygmy goat comes from Africa and is kept primarily as a pet. The
Pygmy goat has a straight, medium-long hair coat, and it may be of any color. It
has a small, blocky body. Does should measure less than 22
3/8 inches at the
withers, while bucks should measure less than 23
3/8 at the top of the shoulders.