Love goats with beautiful coats? Here is everything you need to know about the Oberhasli goat.
The Oberhasli goat is a modern American goat with a striking coat, whose roots can be traced back to Switzerland. What we now know today as the Oberhasli goat was actually derived from the Chamois Colored Goat, a breed from the Oberhasli district of the Bernese Oberland in central Switzerland.
Descendants of the Oberhasli goat breed were first brought to the United States in the early 1900s, but it took over thirty years for purebred herds to be established. In 1926, H. O. Pence improved five Chamois Colored Goats from their native Switzerland, and this small group became the first purebred herd in the United States. In fact, all purebred Oberhasli goats today are descendants of these original five.
In 1977, an Oberhasli breeder's association was formed, marking a big change for the breed. Before the inception of this association, Oberhasli goats were known as Swiss Alpine goats and were bred with other types of Alpine breeds such as the French Alpine goat and the American Alpine goat. A year later, in 1978, the Oberhasli was officially accepted as a breed by the American Dairy Goat Association.
The history of the Oberhasli goat may be a bit turbulent, but their personalities certainly aren't. Oberhasli goats are widely known as friendly animals with gentle dispositions. This calm demeanor and their medium size make them great pack animals, as they do not frighten easily when out on the trail. They are easily distinguished by their black muzzle, black belly, black legs, and black dorsal stripe down their back. Their coloring can range from a deep red bay to a light brown, and bucks can sometimes be all black.
While the Oberhasli goat is comfortable as a working animal, their main use is dairy production. This dairy goat breed is able to produce between ½ and 1½ gallons of milk per day, with a butterfat content between 3.5% and 4%.
If you are looking to purchase an Oberhasli goat, the Oberhasli Breeders of America has a list of registered breeders available on their site.
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