The Appenzell Goat has been bred for many generations in the Swiss cantons of Appenzell and St. Gallen, and is a relative of the more widely known Saanen dairy breed. Like their cousins from the valley, Appenzell goats are bred and kept primarily for milk production. Their numbers declined for several decades, but have grown in recent years; nonetheless, these goats are still primarily a local breed found in their native cantons.
Appearance / health:
Appenzell Goats are typically white with medium length hair and no horns. They are medium-to-large goats with strong, well-built bodies and sturdy limbs. A straight nose, long and erect ears, and a large, well-attached udder on does typifies the Appenzell goat. Does and bucks alike may have goatees, and both usually have wattles. Does typically weigh 120 lbs (45 kg) or more, while bucks may weigh in excess of 150 lbs. (65 kg). Horns are naturally polled.
When kept for milk production, be particularly aware of potential mineral deficiencies, especially magnesium and selenium. Milking does should also be treated properly and their teats sterilized after each milking to prevent mastitis.
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.
With the split hooves that goats have, it can be a great habit to check their feet. You won't necessarily "pick" them as you would a horse hoof, but you can check for any kind of injury, infection, or object stuck between the hooves. .
From DrHill 179 days ago