The Alpine Goat originated in the Swiss Alps. They were brought to France and eventually to the United States as French-Alpine Goats, which were more productive than the original Swiss herds. The Alpine Goat is a productive dairy breed.
Appearance / health:
Housing / diet:
hardy goat, beautiful coloring, crossbred vigor, complete lover
finely chiseled faces, leafy spurge
Siblings, So Different
We got two Alpine-Nubian cross goats, male and female siblings, when they were six months old. Since we owned a large property, the idea was to have them as a cross between pets and brush control. It was more entertaining than having a lawnmower.
As pets, they were similar to dogs. They followed us around the property and even rode in the cab of my father's truck to get the mail (we had a long driveway).
They were also easy to care for! They lived on grass, leaves, and occasionally my mother's indoor plants. We had a shelter for them outside, with big fluffy hay beds, and they didn't seem at all fazed by the cold of winter, nor the heat of summer. In fact, they weren't fazed by much.
They pooped everywhere and all the time. That was the only problem; they would rush into the house to attack my mom's plants and leave a trail of perfect poop pellets. On the upside, they were incredibly easy to track.
Personality-wise, our two goats couldn't have been more different. The male, Lovey, was exactly what his name implied. He was affectionate and careful when being hand fed. He loved being scratched between his horns.
His sister, Cowhoon, was not friendly. She seemed generally more irritated with the world than her brother, but she tolerated us. She even submitted to scratches until it occurred to her to be annoyed.
One thing I can say, based on eye-witness experience, do not tease an irritable goat by offering and then cruelly denying her a leafy branch. She will impale your thigh.
So, if you have small children, be careful to teach them respectful handling of your goats. But they are fun to own responsibly, with a shelter and plenty of room to roam!.
From Rachel_E Oct 20 2015 10:58PM
Luna and Cookie - a good natured pair of troublemakers!
Luna and her twin sister, Cookie, were among the first goats I purchased. Not knowing exactly what I was looking for beyond milk, I bought this pair of Alpine x Nubian crosses on an impulse. They were 9 months old and full of beans. Cookie was quite friendly but Luna was somewhat reserved and didn’t like to be handled.
Many people breed their goats in their first season but I made the choice to wait until they were over a year old. Since both Alpines and Nubians are seasonal breeders - typically from September through January - I had a long wait before getting kids or milk from these girls. In the meantime, they got to live the high life! Not a care in the world besides eating, they grew sleek and sassy while my other goats worked hard to produce kids and milk.
Luna and Cookie were both happy and able to jump my 4 foot tall electric fencing and graze wherever they pleased. Fortunately they never liked to wander far from the herd, and my Saanens obediently stayed within their enclosure. Luna in particular has deer-like qualities to her jumping, and is beautiful to watch if not frustrating!
In time Luna became friendlier and easier to handle. I finally bred both girls last year. Cookie had twins and Luna produced a single, very large buckling. Luna proved to have the better udder and be an easier milker and so has remained in my herd despite only having a single baby. If she wasn’t so strikingly beautiful and have such a nice and easy to milk udder, I likely would have sold her this fall.
These goats are full of personality. Cookie in particular is outgoing and personable. She’s whip smart and knows her name, and is the first to notice me appear in the field with treats. Or with the goal of catching them! Their response to my intentions sets the tone for the herd, and the whole gang of them either comes racing towards me or stampeding away.
Luna and Cookie are definitely are more challenging to manage than my Saanens, although so far in my experience pretty much any other breed is. Their milk has more butter fat, however, and is quite plentiful. They are hardy and parasite resistant, and don’t require any grain to stay in good condition through winter.
I’m not sure if I would intentionally purchase this cross again, based on these two goats. They are a lot of fun, and definitely hardier than my purebreds, but they are also pushy and bossy with the rest of the herd. I’ve heard that Alpines can be quite aggressive goats, so perhaps this is where their bossiness comes from. Or perhaps its simply their unique personalities. I do enjoy them and find them a welcome addition to the farm..
From HeleneMarie Jan 20 2015 8:32PM