The Appenzell Goat – Milk
The Appenzell Goat of Switzerland
The Appenzell Goat originates from the Appenzell region of Switzerland. This is a rare and endangered breed of milk goat that has medium length hair, almost completely white. It is often compared to the Saanen Goat, but with a larger and wider body. The Appenzell goat is bred to be hornless. Bucks tend to grow to a height of 75 to 85 cm at the withers, whereas does grow to be 70 to 80 cm. The average weight of males is 65 kg, and the females weigh on average 45 kg.
The Appenzell Goat produces milk as well as other breeds of goats, but of course this is definitely influenced by the kind of environment the goat is living in as well as the care it receives. The period of lactation for the female Appenzell Goat is 270 days and during this time she can produce from 700 kg to 800 kg of milk. The milk contains 2.9% fat and 2.7% protein.
In years past this breed was severely impacted by the Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE) Virus, however the breed today is for the most part free of CAE.
Historical Background of The Appenzell Goat
There are records documenting the Appenzell Goat that date back over 100 years. In February 1902 the Ziegenzuchtgenossenschaft Appenzell, one of two Swiss goat-breeding associations, was founded. The other, Ziegenzuchtgenossenschaft Urnäsch, was founded in 1914. There is currently a recovery project in place for this breed run by the country’s federation of the cantonal goat breeders’ associations called the Schweizerischer Ziegenzuchtverband. This provides financial support for the breeders plus they’ve implemented a programme for controlled breeding. The Appenzell Goat was listed as “endangered-maintained” in 2007 by the FAO in terms of its conservation status.
Of the approximate population of 70,000 registered goats in Switzerland, the Appenzell only represented around 4.2% in 2005. By the end of 2013 that figure was just 1900 to 2000 according to DAD-IS.