Saanen goats in South Africa bring their own unique characteristics of high milk production with a lower butterfat percentage. The butterfat percentage is usually in the 3.5% range. The average milk production of a Saanen goat doe is 2545 pounds of milk per year.
Saanens goats in Cape town are all white. Some spots are permissible but not desirable in the show ring. Colored Saanens are now referred to as Sables and are now a recognized breed. The hair of the Saanen goat is short and white and the skin color should be tan or white. Saanen goats can have erect ears and straight or dished faces.
This breed is a good choice for children and beginners in the goat world. South African Saanens possess a calm temperament. You often hear the terms hardy, calm and sweet used to describe this goat. At over 30 inches tall and with considerable weight, the Saanen could be considered the gentle giant of the goat world.
Lifestyle And Reproduction of Saanen Goats
Saanen goats live about 10 years, with sexual maturity reached at 3 to 12 months of age. Breeding season is in the fall, and the cycle of a doe lasts 17 to 23 days. Estrus lasts 12 to 48 hours. Gestation lasts 148 to 156 days and results in twins or even triplets. Bucks smell to tell if a doe is in estrus by the behavior known as “flehmen.” In this behavior, they extend their necks and heads into the air and curl up their upper lips.
Characteristics of Saanen Goats
- Mainly Saanen goats are white-colored. But sometimes biscuit-colored goats can be seen.
- There may be some black spots in the nose, ears, and udder of this goat.
- The ears are straight to upwards.
- Generally, they have no horns.
- Small-sized legs.
- Udder becomes very big-sized.
- Long-sized neck.
- Their whole body is covered with small-sized hair.
- The produces milk highly among all the dairy goat breeds.
- They can adapt themselves to the weather of any region of the world.
- They love to stay under shade and can’t tolerate sunlight highly.
- An adult male Saanen goat weighs about 70-90 kg and an adult female goat weighs about 60-70 kg.
- On average, a female goat produces about 3.8 liters of milk daily.
- Their milk contains about 3.5% fat. And this milk is very suitable for preparing all types of dairy or milk products.
Saanen Goat Care
It is very easy to raise Saanen goat. They don’t need any special and extra care. You can raise them with your other animal easily. Even a child can raise and take care of them easily. But taking some extra care and management will increase their health and production.
- Always feed your goat fresh and good quality food which has proper nutrition value and enriched with all necessary feed ingredients.
- Milking process of your goat should done twice a day.
- Try to make a fence around your farm area and always keep the goats inside the farm.
- Ensure sufficient supply of fresh air and light inside their house.
- Clean the house and used equipment of goat regularly.
- Always keep the house dry.
- Keep the male goats separated from the female.
- Take some extra care of the pregnant goats, breeding bucks, and kids.
- Provide them sufficient fresh and clean water.
- If needed call a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Read more about Saanen goats on Alpha Goats