Posted by Ben Dolby on

For goatkeepers out there who are after high milk yields, then Saanens are the goats for you. They are heavy milk producers, sometimes producing up to 15 times their own body weight in a single day. OK, that last part wasn’t strictly true, but trust me, it’s a lot!

The milk itself usually has a fairly low fat content, typically 3-4 % so it’s great if like me you’re watching your weight. Actually, goats’ milk has numerous health benefits, but that’s another topic for a different time....

Anyway, where were we? Ah yes, Saanens. The breed itself originated in Switzerland like many a dairy goat. They spread across Europe in the 19th century, popping up across the pond in the US in the early part of the 20th century. Good swimmers these Saanens. They remain very popular over there to this day, indeed in the rest of Europe too, due to their high productivity. That, and the fact they are easy to keep and look after as well.

Think of the Saanens as the laid back one in the group. Whilst the British Alpines are busy trying to leap over the nearest fence in search of adventure and the Anglo Nubians are sticking their noses through the fence to see what’s going on, the Saanens are just minding their own business and quietly getting on with life. They are generally known for being docile, gentle animals.

Saanens are usually white in colour, but Sable Saanens are purebred Saanens of any other colour, from cream to black. Being fair in colour means that Saanens are prone to sunburn and sensitive to hot weather. So, those of you out there into goatkeeping, you need to make sure you provide adequate shade for your goats during hot weather. That’s three days at the end of July if you are in the UK, more if you live somewhere that occasionally sees sunshine...

For more information on Saanen breeds go to http://www,


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