Other common names: Savannah Goat; Savannabok; South African Savannah Goat
According to eXtension, "The white Savanna goat breed was developed from indigenous goats of South Africa. Various farmers bred what was known as white Boer goats for a number of years in South Africa. One of the advantages of these white goats was the fact that the white color is dominant over most other colors. The other reason is that there is a big demand for white goats for slaughter purposes for various reasons."
"In 1957, Cilliers and Sons along the Vaal River became the best-known of the originators of this meat goat breed. On the rugged, harsh bush country where temperatures and rainfall can vary to a marked extent, natural selection played a big role in the development of these fertile, easy to care for, heat and drought resistant animals. The Savanna breed is relatively new to the United States, having been imported in the late 1990s."
Appearance / health:
According to eXtension,"These goats have thick, pliable skins with short white hair. The Savanna has excellent reproduction, muscular development, good bones and strong legs and hooves. Although these goats have white hair, they are selected for totally black pigmented skin, horns, hooves and all bare skin areas to avoid injury by strong ultra-violet rays."
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.
Savanna Goats are favored for their hardiness, long breeding season, and ability to survive under unfavorable conditions such as intense heat, cold, sunshine, or rain.
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.
gain weight, crosses Savanna, Low maintenance, meat production, great disposition, premium price
crossbred meat goats, white goats, heavy meat goat, mothering traits
Goats are much easier to handle and require less maintenance than most farm animals....if you have the right environment for them. They prefer "browse" (e.g. leaves and plants) over nice grasses. Most goats are raised for food...meat and milk. However, a bottle fed baby...raised from birth...can become a pet, although a sometimes pesky one. Without the proper habitat, you will have to feed, vaccinate, worm, etc...just as you would any other animal pet. Goats have a (shallow) mind of their own. As long as you have food, they'll follow you anywhere...but you won't have much luck trying to lead them around on a leash.
I raise Savanna goats for their hardiness and meat production value. They come from the grassy savanna regions of South Africa and must be hardy to survive the harsh conditions of drought, parasites and intense heat...sort of describes my part of Texas. Above many other breeds of goats, they are great mothers, produce good milk and a high rate of twins.
Savannas have white hair and black skin/hoof features. This coloring is favored by ethnic groups and the black features help cut down on skin cancer problems sometimes an issue in warm climates such as Texas. Their browsing ability is second to none...also good for the rocky, hilly regions where crops and cattle grazing might be impossible. Living in the Texas Hill Country, where we have a lot of rocky soil and brushy habitat, meat goats are an important crop. Savanna goats, crossed with Spanish and Boer crossed goats, tend to produce a high percentage of all white goats. The white goats bring a premium price in the market...and most of these goats will wind up in the large city meat markets, where there are concentrations of people who prefer goat meat to a good steak.
I have a very small farm, in the heart of Texas goat country, and I started raising Savanna goats to supply the large producers with breeding stock. Full blood and Pure Bred Savannas are in short supply around here. Therefore, they bring a premium price. I do no advertising or promotion and local ranchers buy everything I can produce. Savannas are not known yet as show animals. They are production animals. Savannas are what meat goat professionals use in their breeding programs to "make money"...plain and simple.
I also add this warning of "buyer beware". There are many crossbred meat goats out there that occasionally throw an all white goat. Do your homework and learn how to identify a full or pure bred Savanna. Some of the best information I've found is on the NASA (North American Savanna Association) website...www.savannagoats.org .
From Charlie Wilson May 25 2011 5:38PM
Gives veterinarians an idea of what's inside
This is a very important part of a veterinarian's physical exam. Heart and lung sounds can be a great indication of overall health. For goat kids that are at risk for pneumonia, it is even more important to hear if the lungs are clear or congested. .
From DrHill 67 days ago