Other common names: Toggenburger; Togg; Toggs
The Toggenburg Goat originated in the Toggenburg valley in Switzerland, and is one of the oldest known dairy goat breeds. The Toggenburg is a hardy mountain breed and performs best in cooler conditions. They are noted for their excellent udder development and high milk production, and have an average fat test of 3.7%.
In 1884, the Toggenburg was first brought to the United Kingdom, where they were crossed with Saanen and Anglo-Nubian goats to produce the heavier and improved-milk-producing British Toggenburg Goat.
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.
goat milk, great milk producers, friendly animal, cooler climates, remarkably fast growth, temperament
daily fence checks
shaggier coats, oldest recognized breed, double white stripe, mountains, wild onion
When my neighbours asked me to look after their goat while they were on holiday, I was a little bit daunted but said I'd do it if they gave me some training before they went.
That was when I had my first experience of milking a goat and it went well. There's a knack to it of course - a certain way of squeezing and pulling so that the milk comes out as it should. I was a bit timid to start with, afraid that I'd hurt the goat, but I soon learned to be more confident and firm. After about a week of doing this, as well as feeding the goat and taking her out to her field, I felt that I'd got the hang of things and knew what I was doing.
Then my neighbours went to France for three weeks. It was time for me to test my new skills. Everything was different from the moment they left and it was clear that the goat had been having a bit of fun. I tried to get her out of her house, leading her on a chain as I'd done before. She refused to move. I talked to her, stroked her, tugged lightly on her chain, offered her a carrot. She sat down. After a lot of waiting and coaxing, we finally made it onto the field and I was only an hour late for work...
The next challenge was that evening when it was time to do the milking. I did exactly the same as I'd done before but the goat decided to have some fun and kicked the bowl over when it was half full of milk. Then she sat down. Then she bit the back of my neck. She was having a great time.
Things did improve as the time went on but this was obviously a one-person goat and I was not that person. She was grumpy, stubborn and naughty in equal measures. She liked to butt me when it was time to bring her in off the field, although not with any force.
I looked after the same goat again, plus another two (much better behaved) goats for the same neighbours. I enjoyed the experience, found it amusing and entertaining, but can see how it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. You need to be strong and firm and keep a sense of humour when looking after such forceful animals..
From Samanddoris Aug 21 2015 11:27AM
If you had to pick one goat to start a dairy
...this is the goat.
They are easy keepers (for goats). They are good milk producers and the milk is of a good quality. They're not overly rambunctious but upon occasion will make a jail break. :)
I actually like their color pattern. I think that those, the pygmies, and our nubians rock out in the color. All our other "European" goats are all white.
Daisy is one in particular that I would keep even if I decided to get out of the milk biz. I think they are generally pretty sweet animals and would recommend them to anyone considering homesteading and wants high milk production..
From Zobert Apr 1 2015 9:18PM
Inpredictable, escape-artist, funny
I bought my goat as a company for my horses, so for no production. It was really an adventure.
Escape artist- In the stable we had to reconstruct her box frequently, she was so stubborn and intelligent lady! Shealways figured out new ways to escape to get food. Her box looked like a prison-cell in the end..At day-time we had to have her in chain-leash on a pole in the horse-enclosure, nothing else could keep her at place.
Inpredictable/Temper- She could be cuddly at times, but when you didn´t expect it, she could chase and horn you...She was a treath to my neigborns little daughter
, because she was an escape-artist, she would run to their home and make a mess. She also destroyed our apple-tree and gave the front- door several damages.
To the horses she was quite good company, except that she chewed their hove-hairs.
I must say that goats are very funny to have, but difficul to handle. But I admit that I probably had to little interest in the species to be a fair owner to her..
From Missgreen Mar 11 2016 4:34PM