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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The Oberhasli is a medium-sized goat. Does (females) weigh at least 120 pounds and stand at least 28 inches at the withers, whereas bucks (males) weigh at least 150 pounds and stand at least 30 inches tall at the withers.
The Oberhasli goat is known for their distinctive chamoisee coat, which can range from light to deep red, although the darker reds are preferred. Does can have a pure black coat, but preference is placed on the traditional chamoisee coat. All Obserhasli goats with chamoisee coats will have a black dorsal stripe down their backs, black bellies, and black legs below the knees. On both black does and chamoisee does and bucks, a few white hairs throughout the coat are accepted. All coats should be short, fine, and glossy.
The face of the Oberhasli goat is straight or dished, with no evidence of a Roman nose. The head has black forehead, as well as a black stripe extending from the eye down to the black muzzle on each side of the face. The Oberhasli ears are erect with black coloring inside and red or dark red coloring outside. Extending from behind each ear is a black stripe that runs along the neck and back until they join at the tip of the dorsal stripe.
Oberhasli goats are widely known as friendly animals with gentle dispositions that do not frighten easily.
In-Story Image: GoatWorld
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