Saanen goats originated in the Saanen Valley of Switzerland. Discover their physical characteristics, personality, milk production, preferred climate, living environment and other facts.
Raising goats can be challenging. Learn goat care basics for happy and healthy animals. Saanens can be lovable pets and wonderful companions!
Saanens are the largest of all the dairy goat breeds! They weigh about 145 pounds with strong legs and tough bones. The males stand about 40 inches in height and the females about 30 inches tall.
Their hair is generally short. Some have just a fringe of hair over their spine or thighs.
Their face is straight with a dish-like shape. Their ears stand erect pointing forward.
They have a beautiful white or light cream color. Some Saanens have spots on their skin or hair. Some breeders refer to them as "living marshmallows".
Their common lifespan is 15 years, but some have lived longer with proper goat care.
Saanens are sensitive to excessive sunlight. They're susceptible to sunburns or skin cancer because of their light colored skin. They can adapt to most climates but would not survive excessive heat in desserts or tundras. They perform much better in shady or cooler conditions. Goats don't like to get wet. They seek shelter during rainy times.
An open field should have some type of fencing. Goats love to roam a pasture.
A barn or shed should be available as shelter, if needed. Goats should never be contained in a small area. They need room to move around, at least a five foot square of space. Their pen should be bedded well, draft free, clean, dry and enclosed during Winter months. Air should circulate throughout their area through windows or doors.
Saanens like to browse a pasture eating leaves, clover, grass or other plant growth. They also eat hay, millet or other grain. They drink one to two gallons of water per day. When feeding goats, make sure their food and water is always easily accessible.
Female Saanen dairy goats, (Does), produce heavy amounts of milk! They can give two gallons of milk per day! They surpass all of the other goat breeds. On average, dairy goats can give three to four quarts of milk during a 305 day lactation. The Saanen doe is known as the "Queen of the Dairy Goats" due to her milk productivity and majestic air. Saanens are preferred dairy goats for their consistency in producing large quantities of milk, coupled with their sturdiness and tolerance to environmental change.
Goats milk is a major source of milk worldwide. People who are allergic to cow milk may be able to drink goat milk, but it does contain lactose. Goat milk is not for the lactose intolerant. Goat milk has smaller fat globules than cow milk, making it naturally homogenized and easier to digest than cow milk.
Breeders may advertise in a directory with, minimal dues, at the National Saanen Breeders Association. Contact Lisa Shepard, (Secretary-Treasurer), for membership and breeders directory enrollment. Call (505) 689-1371 for information.
Baby goats are fun, loving, animals!
Saanen goats are mostly calm and mild mannered. Sometimes they show lots of pep in their personality. They enjoy the companionship of people and other goat breeds. These dairy goats are eager to please. They're easy for children to handle and popular in showmanship classes, due to their calm nature.
Have you ever seen a Saanen goat surf? Watch this fun video below! You may want a Saanen as a pet goat, too!