The Oberhasli Goat – Milk
Originally bred and developed in the mountains of Switzerland, the modern day Oberhasli is a dairy goat prized for its milk production. The goat was traditionally classified as a Swiss Alpine until the late 70s when the Oberhasli Breeders of America (OBA) was form and it was reclassified as the Oberhasli. Because it is a relatively new classification, the numbers of Oberhasli are smaller than most domesticated dairy goat breeds.
History of the Oberhasli
The breed of goats that would eventually become known as Oberhasli were first imported into the US back in the early 20th century. Attempts to import the Alpine Swiss failed due to bloodlines being lost in both 1906 and again in 1920. However, in H.O. Pence successfully brought the breed to the states to stay in 1936. To this day, all purebred Oberhasli in the US have descended from the original five purebloods that Pence imported.
The purebloods were known as Swiss Alpine, while cross breeds with American or French livestock resulted in a breed known as the American Alpine. Upon the formation of the OBA, the specific livestock descended from Pence’s original purebreds were renamed Oberhasli to distinguish them from other Swiss Alpine breeds.
Today, there are over 1,700 head of Oberhasli being raised in more than 30 US states.
Characteristics of the Oberhasli
Prized for its dairy production abilities, the Oberhasli resembles wild Alpine chamois. The coloring of the breed is therefore referred to as “chamoisée.” This is a bay to brownish color with some black marking – particularly two stripes through the muzzle and eyes on the face and a mule-like dorsal stripe. Also doe Oberhasli may be solid back. The same is not true of the buck, however.
As far as milk production goes, Oberhasli typical milk production per lactation is around 2,100kg or 4,650 lbs.