Posted by Ben Dolby on

The humble Toggenburg, is another of the ‘dairy’ breed of goats and another of the breeds originating from Switzerland. Partial to a drop of milk the Swiss. Images of Heidi running down the mountain with a yoke across her shoulders, fetching milk to a background cacophony of goat bells spring to mind. Or was it her Granddad that fetched the milk? I can’t remember...

Anyway, Toggenburgs produce lots of the stuff, and with a fairly low fat content, typically between 2-4%. The oldest registered breed, Toggenburgs (like Saanens) are named after a region in Switzerland: the Toggenburg Valley. The British Toggenburg is slightly heavier than its European counterpart, much like us humans. I don’t think Jamie Oliver has got involved with goats just yet...

Much like the Saanen, Toggenburgs are fairly placid in nature and are normally quite gentle. Not as vocal as Anglo-Nubians or British Alpines, they are however extremely nosey creatures. Our Toggenburg, Martha, was always poking her head out to see what was going on in the ‘hood, whilst the other goats had their heads in their feed buckets, only interested in their grub.

They are quite a hardy breed and known for being tough. I have ‘fond’ memories of Martha dragging me along in her wake over waterlogged ground - like a jet-skier hanging on for dear life and then plunging down the finishing straight on my front. Nice one Martha.

They are also not as fussy as Saanens, and tend not to be so pernickety about what they eat. They are good all-rounders: think of them as Maris Pipers if you want a potato analogy and who wouldn’t? Toggs are also a good breed to choose if you just want to keep them as pets. In short, a cracking goat to start out with!

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