Toggenburg Goat

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Other common names: Toggenburger; Togg; Toggs

The basics:
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

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