Named after the Toggenburg valley in Switzerland where the breed originated, the Toggenburg Goat is said to be the oldest known dairy goat breed. They were first brought to Britain in 1884. In 1905 the Toggenburg became the first breed to have its own registration section in the British Goat Society herd book.
According to a paper published in 1954, A Genetic Analysis of British Toggenburg Goats, the British Toggenburg was created by crossbreeding the Swiss Toggenburg's with Saanen and Anglo-Nubian goats to produce a heavier and improved-milk-producing breed.
Appearance / health:
Toggenburgs are medium-sized goats that have short to medium length soft, fine hair. Typical body colors are light gray, tan, and dark brown. Characteristic markings include a pair of white stripes from the forehead to the muzzle, white hind legs from the hocks to the hooves, white forelegs from the knees downwards, white triangles on sides of the tail, and white ears with a dark spot in the middle. The ears are erect and pointing forward.
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.
The start of an Era
So, I mention in my profile that I grew up on a farm. I can't really do reviews and leave out the animal that led to that farming operation. When I was three, my parents discovered that I was allergic to cows milk. They tried for a year to get me goats milk, but even back then is was extremely expensive. When the lease on the house we lived in was up, the folks decide to move out into the country and get a goat.
That first goat, was an almost 2 year old goat name Sadie. After talking to a lot of breeders, my mom had received the information that these were some of the best milk producers so my mom tracked down a breeder who sold us sadie. She was of no real use to the breeder because she had no white markings, so she could not be shown in the purebred division.
The information my mom had gleaned was correct. Sadie produced so much milk my mom started making goats milk cheese and soap too. At some point my sister, she had claimed the goat, decided she wanted to show her at the fair and was determined to do it even though she couldn't be shown as a purebred. Well, it turned out, due to the documentation she could be shown in the open division.
The goat took extremely well to showing and was so calm she traveled well. She was a perfect goat, and judges agreed. 4 years later she was a permanent grand champion (meaning she had won best of show in large shows twice and was certified for milk production.) on both Canada and the United States.
She also produced 7 permanent champion offspring and 21 permanent champion grandchildren. She was always calm and the take to cold easy being from Norway. If they are handled well they are very friendly. The only downside of these goats is they really don't take well to heat. Other than that, she and all her children, and grandchildren were amazing goats.
Oh, and by the time the parents gave up farming those many years later, there were over 100 goats to find homes. Of course with champion pedigrees, they all went to good homes..
From AnimalLoverr Mar 23 2016 3:52PM
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 84 days ago