Oberhasli Goat

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Other common names: Swiss Alpine Goat

The basics:
The Oberhasli Goat is a dairy goat breed from the Oberhasli district in the canton of Bern, Switzerland. Oberhaslis are similar in size and coloration to the Alpine Goat. Like the Alpines, Oberhasli are a standardized color breed, with warm reddish brown accented with a black dorsal stripe, legs, belly, and face. Occasionally a black Oberhasli appears as a result of recessive genes.

Oberhasli Goats were first imported into the United States in 1906, but it was only in the 1930's that pure Oberhasli started to be bred. Due to its smallish size and sleek color, the Oberhasli is gaining popularity as a dairy and show animal.

Appearance / health:
The Oberhasli is a small to medium sized goat with a strong body, straight face, and perky, low-set forward-pointing ears. The shorthaired skin is chamois (reddish brown) in color with distinctive black shades and markings on the forehead, muzzle, belly, udder, legs below the knees, inside the ears, whiskers, spine, along the shoulders, and on the lower chest. Does have less or lighter colorations than bucks. An all-black recessive strain of Oberhasli is also seen but discouraged.

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.

Aside from being an excellent dairy goat, the Oberhasli is favored for being hardy, social, active and energetic.

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.


quiet breed, lovely deep mahogany, wonderful cheese, Oberhasli milk, high milk production, highest price


predator control, occasional birthing difficulties, excellent fencing, odor


sociable creature, favorite faces, proper hoof care, relish spiny plants

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