Other common names: French–Alpine Goat; Alpine Chamoisée; Alpine Dairy Goat
The Alpine Goat originated in the French and Swiss Alps. It is a hardy, agile and productive dairy goat breed which was especially appreciated by French breeders. Between 1910 and 1920, the Alpine Goat was integrated into many French herds, and in 1930 the breed was formalized in France with the creation of a stud book for the “Alpine Chamoisée”.
The Alpine, or French Alpine Goat as it is commonly known outside of France, is today one of the most important commercial dairy breeds. In addition, it has been instrumental in the creation of several other important dairy goat breeds. In 1903, an Alpine was sent to England, and led to the development of the British Alpine Goat. Alpine Goats in Switzerland were standardized by color and today are known as the Oberhasli Goat.
According to the Alpines International Club, “French Alpines were first imported to the United States in 1922, by Dr. Charles P. Delangle.” The French Alpine is currently the second most popular dairy goat breed in the United States.
Appearance / health:
Alpine Goats are large with a rangy coat. The hair on both sexes is short, although the male has a pronounced beard and long hair along the spine. The face is straight and the ears are medium-sized, smooth, and erect. Body colors range from white to tan, gray, brown, red, black, with various combinations and patterns. Females are productive dairy goats with well-developed udders and teats.
The Miniature Alpine Goat is a cross between an Alpine doe and a Nigerian Dwarf buck.
Goats are sensitive animals that can suffer from various infectious and chronic diseases that are sometimes undetected until too late. Vaccinations, as well as de-worming and de-lousing applications must be conducted as needed. Milking goats should be checked regularly using prescribed mastitis tests for udder health. Milking areas should always be clean and the goat’s teats treated with teat dip after milking to prevent mastitis.
Goats must be inspected frequently to detect any signs of poor health, infections, or other ailments. Signs include cloudy or teary eyes, dull or fluffed up coat, droopy tail, hunched back, or poor appetite. A veterinarian should always be on call to address health concerns.
Behavior / temperament:
Goats are inherently curious, active, intelligent, and social. They are known to have the ability to overcome enclosures by unraveling the gate, climbing over the mesh, or pushing and ramming the fence down. Goats have good coordination and balance and can manage to climb low trees, ledges, and overhangs. Their curiosity leads them to constantly investigate items with their mouths; most items get chewed and swallowed. With a little patience, goats can be taught to carry or pull loads, respond to calls, and lead a herd. As social animals, they easily get along with other farm animals.
Housing / diet:
As herd animals, goats are best kept in pairs or groups. As grazers, they require an outdoor habitat that is securely fenced to prevent escape or foraging in restricted areas. The area should be large enough to allow the goat to roam. The recommended habitat per goat is 200 sq. ft. of yard or pasture plus a sheltered or indoor area of about 15 sq. ft. The sheltered area should be adequately built to keep the goats safe from rain and strong winds.
Keeping goats inside the house is not recommended because of the pet’s tendency to gnaw and chew on furniture and furnishings. Goats are also not known to adhere to toilet training.
The ideal food for domesticated goats is alfalfa hay and grass hay. This should be available daily in quantities of at least 3% of the goat’s body weight. Small quantities of feed grain and concentrates (often protein-enriched) like goat show or goat grain can also be given to add nutrition. Supplements are often used to address deficiencies inherent to local habitats.
Clean water is essential to a goat’s daily diet. It should always be available and provided where it cannot be soiled. Dirty and moldy water is hazardous to the goat’s health. Milking goats should be kept away from aromatic or strong-tasting foliage like garlic, onions, mint, and cabbage, which could taint the flavor of the milk.
great personality, excellent milk production, quality milk, beautiful breed, fast growing kids
CAE prevention, ft tall Fences, head butt, escape artists, electric fence, skittish thing
European Alpine bloodlines, elegant dairy breed, quality goat feed, ADGA American Alpines, easy keepers
My Pal Mic
I grew up on a farm in the North Carolina mountains. As a child, I had a lot of pets and I loved them all, but one of my favorites was Mic (Mick), my French Alpine goat. I was homeschooled, so I spent a lot of time outside with him, running around the yard and rough-housing. Mic was grey and white with black ears, nose, and a black streak running down his hackles. He was very playful and sassy, if you can use that word to describe a goat. He was already a wether and de-horned when I got him from a breeder through the 4-H program, so it didn't hurt much when he'd butt me any time I bent over to hang up laundry or fill his water bucket. It was funny and he'd stop when I told him to cut it out. I had his sister as well, albeit briefly as I received her from the breeder with a pre-existing blood infection and she died less than a week after I took her home. She was very spirited in that short time, though.
The best thing about the Alpines is that they're very intelligent, which makes them great for agricultural competitions. Mic frequently medaled at our county Ag shows, but I didn't take him to the regional or state ones because they eat the winner; I loved him too much for that. Alpines are rather hardy during the winter months when they grow a shaggy coat and easily handle higher temperatures with plenty of water and shade. Mic was also great at destroying kudzu and poison ivy; goats are great at that in general because they eat the vines down to the roots! He never tried eating anything like tin cans, but you have to keep them away from plants in the laurel family- rhododendrons, holly, etc- as eating those can kill them. Alpines are relatively quiet compared to other goats like Nubians and Mic was perfectly content with a single goat companion and a guardian dog. He was very confident, great with people and other animals, and could walk on a leash very well, although he wouldn't run off if you let him loose, either. His weirdest quirk was that he loved mineral oil. You give a little bit to goats if they get constipated, but if Mic could get his teeth around that bottle-mouth, he'd tip the whole thing back!
If you're going to get a goat, I'd recommend Mic! But since you can't have him, I recommend getting an Alpine in general. They're fairly even-tempered, very intelligent, pleasant for petting zoos, easily trained, and my favorite of all the milk-goat breeds. They're also wonderful weed-eaters and two to three of them can keep a few acres cleared during the summer. There are only two downsides to owning Alpine goats. Firstly, they'll eat laurels and die if you don't clear those plants from their feeding area. They also can't protect themselves against predators like donkeys can, so you'll need to put them up in a secure place at night with a guardian animal. The fun of having them as companion animals and the convenience of them handling all of your weeding problems overwhelmingly outweigh any inconvenience of cutting down a few holly plants and securing them at night, though. If you have the space, I highly recommend getting a goat!.
From PyrLover13 Jul 1 2015 11:11PM
I've have the pleasure of working with goats living on farms for years; pygmy and dwarf breeds, hair and fiber goats, nubians... but recently have had the experience of just having a "pet" alpine goat.
These are amazingly smart animals and are as easy, or possibly easier, to train than any dog. From housebreaking to walking on a leash, they can be taught quite easily.
If handled on a regular basis from the time they are young, Alpines are not only friendly, but actively seek and thrive on attention. They'll politely sit with you without being overly demanding for petting.
Daily requirements are fairly simple as well- as long as your goat has some room to stretch his legs and do some grazing and browsing, they will be quite content. They don't particularly enjoy the extreme heat or cold, so a shelter that provides shade in the summer and is well bedded for warmth in the winter is a must.
I couldn't be happier sharing my home with a goat..
From crittercraze Aug 17 2015 10:22PM
A just-right homesteader's goat
Dora may not be a goat showman's dream, but she's a perfect homestead animal. Her milk production isn't record-breaking at peak--just over a gallon a day--but she'll keep milking with decent production for 22 months between breedings. (Most of our Alpines have been better through-milkers than most of our Saanens.) Her temperament helps too. She's calm about letting absolute novices milk her (so long as they remember not to shriek with excitement when the milk comes out). She's friendly and willing to be scratched and patted even by strangers, but she can also amuse herself contentedly with her fellow goats when her human is busy in the garden. She's good with other goats too. When a new goat was brought in to join her, she contented herself with making a few token butting gestures in its direction rather than following it around and whacking it as some goats will. Like all goats, she's had the occasional spell of worms, but we've been easily able to deal with that using natural and herbal remedies. .
From JoannaH Oct 16 2016 3:19PM