Alpine goats: advantages and disadvantages


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In our country, the priority of breeding dairy goats. The fact is that the benefits of goat milk have been known for a very long time, moreover, it is much better absorbed by cows by the human body. The top four dairy breeds include Zaanen, Nubian, Toggenburg, Alpine. We want to talk about goats of the last of these breeds today.

From the history

It is believed that the ancestors of the goats of this breed were individuals who lived in farms in France, in the province of Savoyard. They say that in this area they were brought from Persia. At the time when the sailing fleet was flourishing, the sailors took little goatlings and released them on the coasts of Europe in order to return for them and sell them for meat. However, all the animals could not be caught. Their second name was “chamois”. Alpine goats settled mainly in the mountains and only occasionally in the fields. It should be noted that even now in France this breed is the most popular and accounts for about 98% of the total number of goats in the country. During their dwelling in the Alps of France, animals have adapted well to winds, shaky soils and pasture.

In the early twenties of the last century, the breed began to be bred in Switzerland and England, and already in 1922 alpine goats were brought to the United States. To improve the breed, American breeders used to breed animals of such breeds as Zaanen and Taggenburg. As a result, scientists received one of the largest among dairy breeds, individuals of which were much more French counterparts.

At the end of the last century, alpine goats, a photo of one of them is presented below, were brought to the Russian Federation. Kozovodam "alpine" fell in love for a good temper, an unusually beautiful color, flavourless, tasty, fatty milk. A feature of the breed can be considered stable transmission of hereditary traits through offspring.

Alpine goat: photo, description

"Alpine" can vary significantly in color. Their color can be black and white and red, white and black. In total, there are about 7 types:

  • light colored
  • variegated
  • chamois,
  • white-heeled,
  • two-tone chamois,
  • black-necked
  • chamois interspersed.

We offer photos of Alpine goat chamois color.

A distinctive feature of the color of this breed of goats is a black stripe that runs along the entire spine, two stripes on the head, black legs. The adult goat has a height of 75 cm, the male is 80. On average, their weight is 60 and 70 kg (maybe a little more), respectively. From the description of the Alpine goat breed it becomes obvious that the animals have a large body, graceful legs, a small head with protruding ears, a long tail, and horns straight. Large udder with two large nipples.

The goats are quite prolific: they can bring 1–2 goatlings to the first lambing, and in the future their number can reach 5 heads. It should be noted that the lambing of goats is quite easy, without complications, so the intervention of the owner is not required. Due to the fact that goats have a high lactation, they do an excellent job with feeding their offspring.

Alpine goats have a friendly character, are very active, have high dairy performance. It should be noted that they feel great at low temperatures, because by the winter a warm fluff grows in animals, which helps to winter.

When buying kids and adults, you need to make sure that you get an animal without impurities. The pure breed of an adult goat can be checked in a simple way: taste the milk. In half-breeds, the quality of milk and productivity are much lower.

Milk production

With proper care and nutrition of the animal from one goat "Alpine" you can get up to 1500 liters of milk per year. The product has a fat content of 3.5% and a protein content of 3.1%. At the same time, the milk has no specific smell and has a pleasant taste. Please note that the lack of a characteristic odor is considered mandatory only for purebred animals.

Lactation in goats is long - from 1 year to 3 years between lambing. Compared with cow milk, goat milk has a greater density. Its taste is creamy, sweetish. Milk is used to make cottage cheese and cheeses. You need to know that in order to get good milk yield, you need to provide the goat with clean drinking water in the required quantity.

Advantages and disadvantages

One of the most sought-after breeds in the world is the Alpine goat. A description of its merits will help to easily verify this:

  • endurance,
  • quick adaptation to climatic conditions
  • calm and friendly nature
  • easy tolerance of low temperatures
  • high milk yield
  • milk without a peculiar smell, with good taste,
  • unlike other breeds, “alpine” is less dependent on a person.

However, the presence of these advantages does not mean that animals do not need care and attention. In fairness, we note a number of disadvantages of this breed. Alpine goats are extremely demanding on water quality. Even experiencing strong thirst, the animal never touches dirty water. Another disadvantage is that it is rather difficult to find a purebred animal. They can be purchased only in special nurseries and at a fairly high price.

Cultivation and breeding

Goats of this breed are not choosy to feed, undemanding to care for themselves. Therefore, their breeding and care will not be exhausting work, and will be a truly interesting process that will give good results. Interestingly, alpine goats, whose photos we offer to your attention, have very strong genetics, mixed offspring conveys a characteristic color for more than one generation. Because of this, there are difficulties with the determination of pure blood when acquiring animals of this breed.

Experienced breeders recommend adhering to the following feeding regimen: the first should be carried out at 5: 00-5: 30 hours. At this time, it is better to give oats and swill cooked in the evening. It is prepared as follows: the barley is crushed and mixed with rye flour, diluted with salted boiled water. In the morning, boiled pumpkin or potatoes are added to it.

After the goats have breakfast, you can start milking. At 10:00 it is recommended to treat the animals with breadcrumbs, and closer to the dinner time - green grass, which in winter can be replaced with beets. From 16:00 to 19:00 give hay and vegetables. In the evening you should again give oats and drink. At 20:00 evening milking is held. In summer, animals can be grazed on pastures, while their main diet will be juicy green fodder.

Content requirements

Despite the fact that the Alpine breed of goats is very resistant to low temperatures, in winter they are best kept in a warm room. In this case, milk yield will remain at the same level as in summer. The room must be dry, its humidity should not exceed 40-60%. Due to the fact that the legs are the weak point of these hoofed animals, the floors in the room must be warmed. One adult animal must have at least 4 m 2.

For a goat with kids it is necessary to make a separate fenced stall, it is important to ensure that it is always clean. In the room where goats are kept, it is recommended to make wooden shelves for animal rest. They should be at a distance of 60 cm from the floor. It is noticed that in the shed, where there are such floorings, not a single goat goes to sleep on the floor.

Crossbreed with other breeds

As is already known from the description of alpine goats, crossing with less productive breeds significantly improves the readings of the latter. It should be noted that "alpiek" do not always cross with less promising breeds, very often resort to equal crossing, for example with Nubian breed, which has higher dairy characteristics, but is more whimsical in food and is not adapted to the harsh climate. The offspring of these two breeds maintains high productivity, it turns out to be more durable and unpretentious in the care.

History of alpine goat breed

According to the predominant version, Alpine goats originate from the French historical region of Savoie, located at the foot of the Alps and partially right in the Alps. However, in view of the fact that the borders of three modern states - France, Switzerland and Italy - converge in this area, there are serious reasons to believe that the Swiss livestock breeders made a significant contribution to the breeding.

More or less distinctly, the history of the breed can be traced only from the beginning of the twentieth century, when French farmers began to actively breed it. According to one version, prior to this, the breed may have been cultivated only in the Savoy region, or in the adjacent cantons of Switzerland.

Only in 1930, the first pedigree book of this alpine goat was created in France with a description of what can be considered the starting point of the official existence of the breed. But a decade earlier, the first 22 alpine goats came to North America, where they were based on the American domestic breed. All alpine goats bred today in the USA are descendants of these 22 individuals.

Over the next decades, the Alpine breed quite successfully spread throughout Europe and North America, but it gained its greatest popularity in France. Today, breeding alpine goats make up more than 90% of the country's goat population, in total in France there are about 150 thousand of these goats.

Alpine goat description

It is rather difficult to give an exhaustive description for goats of this breed, since there are two intrabreed types (French and American) and several variants of color. Alpine goats are completely white, brown or black, as well as two-colored or even tricolor.

All alpine goat colors are divided into eight types, but the most popular are motley, light cervical and “chamois”. “Bicolor chamois” and “chamois with splashes” are somewhat less common. In France, the most common were “bay” or “common chamois”, and in the United States - black-necked and speckled goats.

With all the variety of colors, the wool of these goats is rather short, and therefore cannot be used as a by-product.

As for the other characteristics of the exterior, it should be noted elegant and thin, but at the same time, strong legs. The muzzle of the alpieks is long and straight, the ears are narrow and erect, with strong flat horns near it. The average height of goats in the withers is about 87 cm, goats - 75 cm. Body weight is about 80 and 60 kg, respectively.

Almost all farmers, in their reviews of alpine goats, note their docile nature. In addition, representatives of this breed quite easily adapt to almost any conditions. Unlike other breeds, they do not need every minute human attention.

Alpine goat productivity

Along with the Toggenburg and Zaanen goats, the Alpine breed makes up the top three most productive dairy breeds of domestic goat. Although for some reason, many domestic sources cite the average milk yield for lactation at 1.5 thousand liters (which is obviously an overestimated figure), according to French data, the average milk yield is 780-800 liters. The best goats produce on average about one thousand liters of milk.

Milk has average fat content (3.7%) and protein content (3.2%) for goats. At the same time, as most sources point out when describing the breed, the Alpine goat provides milk that is completely devoid of goat odor; therefore, it is absolutely impossible to distinguish it from cow's taste and smell.

Due to the fact that the breed has a pronounced milky tendency, it is not possible to speak about the high meat productivity of Alpine goats. With an average slaughter yield of young animals at the level of 43%, less than 10 kg of meat per animal is obtained. Adults can give two to two and a half times more, but the cost of the product will also be higher due to the long maintenance.

Also, we once again note that the characteristics of Alpine goat wool do not allow the farmer to earn on this type of production.

But in terms of fertility, alpine milk goats show themselves very, very well. Even in the first pregnancy, a goat gives birth to at least two kids, and on average a 3-4 litter is produced in one litter.

Keeping and breeding alpine goats

This breed is characterized by relative undemanding to the conditions of detention. For alpine goats, almost any suitable shed will fit: one adult goat should have at least 3-4 square meters. m

Also, do not forget about the elementary rules of livestock. The stable should be dry, well ventilated and light. Goats must be kept separate from goats and young animals.

Among the characteristics of the Alpine goat, an important advantage is its excellent adaptability to the winter cold, grafted on this breed at the stage of its formation in the conditions of the mountain Alpine climate. From frost goat protects the dense undercoat. Thus, heating in the barn is not necessary even in the most severe winter, but it is also not recommended to throw animals in the open air.

The only weak point of the alpine goat is its hooves. To avoid problems, it is necessary to build a full board floor in the goat house. And it is very important to raise it above the ground by 15-20 cm.

Also among the recommendations for the equipment of the shed should mention the small wooden shelves at a height of 50-60 cm from the floor. Goats madly love to climb such elevations and sleep on them. However, this is more a wish than a necessity.

As for the diet, there are no special requirements. In the summer, Alpine thoroughbred goats can completely manage with green fodder from pasture. However, to increase milk productivity, it is still recommended to feed animals with vegetables and mineral and vitamin supplements.

In winter, the alpine goat diet is based on hay and root crops and vegetables harvested since autumn. At this time of year, it is also advisable to feed animals with concentrated feed, not forgetting about vitamins and minerals.

Interestingly, the Alpine goat, being completely omnivorous in terms of the feeds that are offered to it, is nevertheless quite fastidious in matters of drinking water. If the drinking bowl is heavily polluted, the goat will die of thirst, but it will not touch this water. For this reason, it is very important to regularly check the quality of the water in the drinkers.

Advantages and disadvantages of Alpine goat breed

The above general characteristic of the alpine goat breed gives a good idea of ​​its main advantages and disadvantages. The fact that it is most common in France, where industrial goat breeding is developed quite well, also speaks about the virtues of the breed. And although on a global scale, these alpine goats are noticeably inferior in Saanen’s popularity, the prospects for them are quite large.

The main advantages for which farmers love the Alpine goat are:

  1. Gorgeous exterior. Usually at agricultural exhibitions the appearance of animals is evaluated according to the degree of their compliance with the breed standard. However, in the case of Alpine goats, the tendency to assess precisely the aesthetic component is well traced. In other words, the Alpine goat does have a very beautiful appearance.
  2. The ability to easily tolerate cold. Since the alpine goat comes from a mountainous alpine region, it is initially adapted to life in a harsh climate. For this reason, alpine goats breed well in any mountainous area, as well as in the northern regions, where other goats may be cold.
  3. High yield. Above it has been said how much milk the alpine goat gives. With an average of 800 liters per lactation, the breed is excellent for industrial milk breeding. In addition, the taste characteristics of this milk make it possible to use it in all possible ways - from using it in its natural form to making cheese, butter, etc.
  4. Compliant character. Practically all farmers who dealt with this breed of goats speak positively about their temper. The goat is obedient, not shkodit and in general does not create any problems for the owner.

For the sake of fairness and objectivity, we should mention the shortcomings with which this breed is known:

  1. Sensitivity to water quality. It is difficult to consider this feature of the Alpine goat a serious disadvantage. However, because of her, the owner at least has to be more careful in this matter.
  2. High price. Due to the fact that in Russia the breeding of Alpine goats has not yet acquired a large scale, young animals have to be bought in few nurseries at a very tangible price.

Breeding of Alpine goats in Russia

В настоящий момент количество чистопородных «альпиек» в России крайне мало. Это связано не столько с недостатками породы (которых по сути-то и нет), а с тем, что в советские времена в нашу страну этих коз не завозили, а после распада СССР фермеры, занимающиеся козоводством, сразу стали переходить на более популярную в мире зааненскую породу. At the same time, world No. 2 and No. 3 in the face of the Toggenburg and Alpine rocks are often simply ignored.

However, if it is based solely on the characteristics of the Alpine goat breed, on its strengths and weaknesses, it becomes obvious that the potential for breeding in Russia is simply enormous. The breed is completely undemanding to food (namely, food is one of the weakest places of domestic livestock), tolerates a cold climate and at the same time provides high milk yield.

Considering the above, it is safe to say that the Alpine breed of dairy goats is equally suitable for industrial breeding on large and medium farms, and for keeping villagers in private households.

Another important advantage of the breed, which partly compensates for the shortage, or rather the high cost of breeding young animals in Russia, is the ability of alpine goats to preserve their characteristics in the offspring for interbreeding for a long time. In other words, by crossing a purebred goat with an ordinary village goat, you get a crossbreed that has the same high milk yield. And these figures are stored in several generations of hybrids.

Breed features

The description of the alpine goat breed may look as follows. The color of the animals is white, dark brown or black. The muzzle is straight, erect ears and small flat horns.

Alpine goat hair is smooth. It is worth noting a short neck and thin legs, topped with strong hoofs. In general, animals look quite proportional and even graceful.

In height, animals do not differ much from each other: the female is 70, the male is 85 centimeters. Weight varies between 60-80 kilograms.

The nature of the alpine goats is calm and balanced, but this does not prevent them from occupying a leading position in a large herd.

The most important thing to mention is the productivity of the breed. Every year you can get about 1500 liters of milk from each female.. It is worth noting that the milk produced is of quite high quality. Therefore, it is willing to take on dairy production for the manufacture of cheese.

Feeding alpine goats

In the warm season, the animals are on the free breads. Their diet consists mainly of pasture green fodder. You can feed the goats and food waste. In addition, if you have a vegetable garden, weeded weeds can also be fed to your wards.

In winter, representatives of this breed feed on hay. Ready to eat roots and vegetables. In addition, it is necessary to include in the diet and concentrated feed.

Important! To maintain health and for preventive purposes, it is recommended to add chalk and mineral supplements to winter food.

Pay attention to the fact that eating almost any food, this breed of goats is very clearly related to the water. If there is heavily polluted water in the drinkers, the animals will not touch it, even if they experience a strong thirst. therefore It is necessary to regularly check the condition of the drinkers and change the water in them.

Content Features

There are no special requirements for an alpine goat housing facility. This may be any barn or shed, suitable size. It should be noted that one adult needs at least 3-4 square meters. The main thing is that the room was dry and bright.

Goats of this breed are little susceptible to winter cold. For the winter they grow a dense undercoat that protects animals from the summer cold.

The most vulnerable spot in goats, and in many herbivores, are hoofs. Therefore, it is necessary to equip the wooden floor in the goat house. Moreover, it is necessary to raise it above ground level.

It is recommended to equip small shelves of planks, at a height of about 60 centimeters from the floor. Animals love to climb higher, moreover, no goat will sleep on the floor if there is a special flooring.

Alpine goat breeding

In addition to good productivity, alpine goats and multiply rapidly. The first pregnancy can replenish your flock with at least one kid, although more often the first litter brings two babies.

In the future, each female can bring up to 5 kids. It should be noted that young animals rarely get sick and, accordingly, have a good survival rate.

Births usually take place without complications, so farmer intervention is not required. Moreover, having a good lactation, goats themselves do an excellent job with raising and raising offspring.

Alpine goats can be crossed with other breeds. The results of the selection can stun even experienced farmers.

Breed popularity in Russia

Due to high rates of productivity, Alpine goats are among the most common dairy breeds in our country. With minimal maintenance and feeding, you can get a good profit by selling dairy products.

If you're just going to breed goats, then you should pay attention to this breed. Buy breeding animals here:

History of origin

Alpine goat breed are the Alps - hence the name of the species. Their forebears are ibeks - wild mountain goats.

According to some sources, the modern breed was bred in Switzerland, and according to others - in France. The second version is predominant. The French Savoie, where the first mentions of this breed come from, is located directly at the foot of the Alps and partly in the mountains themselves.

Life in the mountains has contributed to the development of this breed. endurance, dexterity, disease resistance. This affected the fact that travelers began to take goats and goats with them on long journeys. Animals gave people everything they needed. So, gradually, the Alpine breed became widespread throughout the world.

In France in 1930, the very first breeding book of the Alpine goat breed was launched. It provided a detailed description of this species. This was another reason for considering France as a historic homeland.

After a long evolution formed the main types of alpine goats:

  • American Alpine goats,
  • french alpine goats,
  • rock,
  • Italian view
  • swiss goats (oberhazlis),
  • British alpine species.

American view turned out by crossing the Swiss, Austrian, Spanish, animals. In order to increase the milk productivity of the Alpine American goat, a wild one from the island of Guadeloupe was grafted to it. Later brought animals from Germany. 1904 is considered the foundation of the American Dairy Goats Association.

Chamoisee - This is the second name of the French Alpine breed. Breeders have long worked on the breeding of breed with improved characteristics. When selecting, they even picked up the color. Sulfur and bay chamois were very popular with breeding. This color prevails today.

Alpine goats: breed description

Alpine goats have a very interesting appearance, thanks to the variegated color, which consists, as a rule, of two tones. Sometimes there is a combination of several colors. This can be an obstacle to determining the purebredness of the animal. Therefore, it is recommended to buy kids in nurseries.

All species are similar in size. - These are rather large animals with a clear, well-expressed withers. The back is straight, without bends. The tail is long. The head of the animal is small, the neck is short, not very thick, the muzzle is long. Obligatory sign of the Alpine breed - standing elongated ears. If the ears are hanging, then it is considered a lack of breed.

A large body firmly planted on slender and strong legs. Hooves slightly elastic and soft. This helps the animal to overcome long distances, but they are sensitive because of this. Wool medium length. The horns of the alpine breed of goats are flat or oval, light. Udder in females of medium size, elastic, not sagging.

An adult alpine goat weighs over 78 kilograms with a growth of 90 centimeters. An alpine goat female with a height of about 85 centimeters weighs approximately 60 kilograms.

Animal coloring

Alpine breed has many color options.. Of them allocate the most common:

  • Color red with brown near the head and neck, which gradually turns to the tail in darker colors, even in black.
  • White color, combined with black and gray. The shoulders and neck are white. The body is black or gray. The belly, muzzle, ears match the color of the legs.
  • Spotted or variegated colors - fade.
  • Sierna (bay). Primary colors: red, dark red, ocher. On the neck, head, along the ridge - black stripes. The color of the legs is black.
  • Kunavar The back of the torso is white and the front is black.
  • Sandgou - white spots on black color.

Conditions of detention

Alpine breed is one of the most unpretentious in conditions of detention.

Pet friendly fit almost any. In size, it needs to be planned so that one adult has at least 4 m 2. The shed in which the goats will be kept must be dry and well ventilated. Drafts should be avoided.

Alpine breed is well adapted to low temperature conditions, since it comes from a mountainous area, where cold is a common phenomenon. The undercoat, which is very dense and thick, plays a heat-insulating role. Therefore, the barn can be left without heating, but it must be carefully warmed.

Special attention needs to be paid arranging the floor. It should be from good boards, without knots, so as not to damage the hoof. It was said above that in this breed they are soft and elastic. The floor must be raised to 20 centimeters above the ground, under a slight bias. Thus, it will always remain dry and clean.

If it is possible to equip a barn with shelves, then it is better to do it, as goats love to lie on them and sleep. Alpine goats should be kept separate from goats and dairy goats.

In nutrition, they are not picky.. In summer, alpines can only get along with grass from pastures. To increase milk yield, supplemental feeding with various vitamins and minerals is obligatory. It is recommended to include in the diet of fresh vegetables and fruits. In winter, they feed mainly on hay, add roots, vegetables, and bread to animals. Vitamin-mineral supplements are required by the end of the winter period.

But the water in the drinkers should always be fresh and clean, without garbage. If the alpine goat can use any food, it will not touch dirty water.

Breed productivity

Alpine goats are considered one of the most productive dairy breeds. In breeding farms milk yield from good goats is approximately 1 thousand liters per year. Ordinary goats give less - from 700 to 800 liters per year. One goat, with proper care, can produce more than 5 liters of milk per day.

Milk is quite fat: from 3.5% to 5.5%. Protein is found at 3.2% to 4%. The alpine goat's milk is absolutely without a specific goat odor, sweet to the taste. It is almost impossible to distinguish from a cow. It is worth noting that only purebred alpine will produce such excellent milk. If there is mixing with village breeds, then the milk will already smell like animals. Kozlov must be kept separately so that not even the slightest smell appears.

Meat productivity in this breed is low. It is not particularly valuable for meat breeding, although the meat from Alpine goats is very tender and tasty, and also devoid of smell. When young animals are slaughtered, the average meat yield is no more than 10 kg. Adult goats and goats give more meat, but it is no longer so tender. Therefore, for meat orientation, this breed is not bred.

Alpine goat hair is smooth, of short length. It is not suitable for those farms that plant goats to get fluff and wool. To give aesthetic appearance alpiek trimmed.

Alpine goats produce good offspring.. In the first lamb, no more than two babies are born. But in the next genera can be born and five kids. Childbirth, as a rule, pass without complications and human participation, in rare cases, childbirth is difficult, and babies die. Alpine females are quite strong and hardy and produce the same offspring.

Breed history

Goats, perfectly feeling in areas abounding in roughage, have long been used as a “magic wand” for peasants living in mountainous areas. For many centuries in the cantons of Switzerland, the goat was the only breadwinner. It was there that the traditions of modern goat breeding originated and, thanks to the intuitive selection, three main dairy breeds of dairy goats were formed - these are Zaanen, toggenburg and alpine, still considered to be leading.

Alpine goat (alpina, ibeks) in the XIX century, interested European breeders. Local French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese goats were actively crossed with Swiss animals. The genes of numerous relatives still make themselves known by the variety of colors of the Alpine goats.

Important. In 2015, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation announced the creation of a new domestic breed "Alpine", derived from the use of French local, toggenburg and zaaneskoy breeds. The breed was considered promising for breeding in the conditions of farms.

In 1922, alpine goats from France arrived in the United States. The Americans did not immediately notice the new breed and even refused to recognize it officially. Only ten years later, the Alpins, once again crossed with the Zannensky, Toggenburg and local breeds, firmly established themselves on the American continent.

Alpine goats have several intrabreed types.

Today, there are several main types of alpine goats:

  • the Swiss (Oberhazli), in turn, has several subspecies, of which the Gruersky is most known,
  • French Alpine goat (chamois), which forms the basis of dairy goat production in France (98% of the country's entire dairy herd),
  • American Alpine: looks very similar to French goats, but differs in larger size and production characteristics,
  • British Alpine breed, registered in England in the 20s of the last century,
  • Italian,
  • rock.

Alpine goat in Russia

In pre-revolutionary Russia, goat farming for a long time not only did not have state support, but was also prohibited in some localities in order not to cause damage to forests. Goats, mostly kept the poor, breeding and industrial processing of milk were absent.

Important. Breeding goats still remains at the level of small-scale production. The transition to production scale is hampered by the lack of scientific support, regulatory and technical base, processing facilities.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Prince Sergei Petrovich Urusov, who served in the Ministry of Agriculture, the author of the book “On the Goat”, stood up for the goats. With its help, the Russian Goat Breeding Society was established, a pedigree book was created, pedigreed goat exhibitions were held, a monthly magazine was published.

Alpine goat breed is only gaining popularity in Russia.

Enthusiasts from Germany and Switzerland brought more than a thousand pedigree animals. Breeding work began, the main purpose of which was to create a new “race with a much greater than before.” However, after 1917, goat breeding was again recognized as unpromising, and the Swiss goat herd has degenerated due to spontaneous interbreeding with aboriginal low-yielding breeds.

Only in 2000, the author of the project “Goat Milk for Children” - Natalia Markelova brought a dozen alpine goats from the USA. The rebirth of the breed in Russia began with them.

Characteristics and description with photos

The official standard of the Alpine breed in the Russian Federation has not yet been developed. The variety of subspecies and the prevalence of purebred males with females of other breeds in the Russian farmsteads of mixed breeds leads to discrepancies in the description of external signs, sizes, production characteristics. Most often on domestic farmsteads one can find Alpine goats corresponding to the American and French description of the breed.


Alpins have retained the characteristics of mountain goats:

  • goat's weight - 60-63 kg, height at withers 75-85 cm, live weight of a goat 75-78 kg, height 80-90 cm,
  • the body is proportional, elongated, narrow, with a strong skeleton on short, stable, dry legs with a clearly marked withers, an outstanding ridge, deep deep chest,
  • back straight with sloping, narrow and short croup,
  • udder surround, nipples of the correct form,
  • the head is not large, light, with a straight profile on a thin short neck,
  • muzzle flattened
  • horns are solid, oval, flat, short, set vertically and bent to the back,
  • permissible komolost (joylessness),
  • the ears are erect, short, with a slight inclination forward (long ears are considered a breed defect),
  • the tail is long, covered with wool,
  • the hooves are massive, with a strong outer border, a sensitive beater, resilient inside,
  • the coat is short, smooth, with a thick undercoat, longer on the back and hips.

The color of alpine goats is diverse, in one litter there may be gray, and white, and brown babies. Standards from different countries describe several variants of the main colors:

  1. White neck. Классический окрас наиболее часто встречающийся в России. Шея, плечи белые. Основная часть туловища, голова серые или черные.По внешней стороне ног от колен проходит расширяющаяся к копытам темная или черная полоса. Уши, полоса на брюшке, морда цвета совпадающего с цветом «ножной» ленты.
  2. Рыжая шея. Brownish-red color from the neck and shoulders smoothly transformed to the rump in black or dark brown.
  3. Baying or chamois. The main color is brick, red, ocher. On the head, neck, black markings. A black line runs along the ridge. The legs are black.
  4. Magpie or magpie. The head is white. On the main background are colored markings.
  5. Sandgou. On the main black background are white markings.
  6. Paid. Spotted or variegated color.
  7. Kunavar The front of the animal is black, the back is white.

There are many more one-color, two-color, three-color variations of color.

Manufacturing quality

Characteristics of the performance of different offspring of Alpine goats differs. How much a goat gives milk depends largely on the conditions of detention and diet. Goat yields from 800-900 liters to 1600 liters of milk per year. The record in 2215 liters is fixed in the USA. On the day you can drink from 2 to 5 liters.

The quality of milk in all varieties of alpine is consistently high:

  • fat content of 3.5-5.5%,
  • the protein content is 3.1% (higher than that of the famous Saanen goats),
  • high content of essential acids, vitamins A and C, microelements (Ka, Ca, P, Zn, Fe, Na, Cu, Mg, Ma),
  • milk has a delicate taste, with a sweetish, creamy aftertaste, odorless, recommended for baby food,
  • milk is heat resistant, suitable for sterilization with long-term high-temperature exposure,
  • milk structure is dense,
Goat milk products are healthy and nutritious.

For the production of 1 kg of cheese 4.5-4.6 liters of milk are enough, 1 kg of cottage cheese - 4.3 liters. In many countries, butter, cheeses, yoghurts, dairy products in industrial volumes are produced from alpine milk.

Important. Alpine goats are easily milked by hand and using apparatus. If after milking the milk is immediately filtered and cooled, the shelf life will increase several times.

Alpine goats have fairly high meat productivity. How many kilograms of meat can be obtained from a goat - it depends on the live weight of the animal. The average yield of edible pieces is 43% of live weight. From one young animal receive up to 10 kg of goat meat.

Goats have a good multiplicity. In the first goat, the female brings 1–2 goatlings; in the next to 5, goats become sexually mature at 5–6 months. They are perfectly gaining weight at low cost for feed, usually by 7-9 months the weight of the young is up to 50-70% of the weight of an adult animal.

The character of goats is calm, balanced. However, with the joint keeping of other breeds with goats or sheep, the alpins do not allow them to go to the feeders and tend to take a leading position.

Alpine goats are prolific, differing in good health and strong immunity.

The main feature of alpine goats is the ability to acclimatize in the most severe climatic conditions. The Alpins are not afraid of cold, heat, poor food supply, they rarely suffer from diseases.

Recommendations for care and maintenance

For well-being, goats provide:

  • spacious, bright, dry room without drafts and with moderate humidity (the area is calculated according to the formula 3-4 m² per one individual),
  • sun beds, raised above the floor to a height of about 60 cm,
  • artificial or natural walking.

To avoid injuries and hoof diseases, the floor in the barn is covered with boards, covered with a layer of straw or hay. Wet and dirty bedding is regularly replaced with a clean one. When keeping a large number of animals, it is advisable to use a deep litter, which is enough to replace once every six months. Dry straw is added daily.

Diet and feeding

As soon as deep snow comes down, the alpine goats are transferred to walking. Most of their diet in the spring and autumn can be roughage with fiber content up to 62%. The alpine digestive tract is adapted for processing:

  • foliage,
  • shoots
  • branches of bushes and trees
  • tough vegetation,
  • Of course, milk yield increases if goats have the opportunity to graze in meadows with lush grass.
  • In the summer of Alpine can be fed by weeds from the garden, mowed green mass.

Winter diet includes:

  • hay, straw, shoots, grain mixtures,
  • root vegetables, vegetables, fruit and food waste,
  • combined feed
  • chalk, salt, mineral supplements.

Important. Alpina will never drink dirty water. Water in drinking bowls should always be clean.

Pregnancy, lambing and grooming

Pregnancy lasts 145-155 days. One and a half months before giving birth, in order to ensure intensive nutrition of the fetus, the goat is no longer milked. For 10-15 days before the goat, the birth room is treated with 5% creolin or lime milk, protected from drafts, the floor is covered with straw. Pregnant women in good weather are allowed to take a walk on the fenced paddock.

Immediately before the lamb, the expectant mother begins to worry, bleats plaintively, often lies down and stands, her udder volume increases markedly. Alpine births are light, fast, as a rule, help to females is not required. The second and subsequent kids go out immediately after the first or with a slight interruption.

In the newborn, the nasal sinuses are cleaned, the mouth, eyes are made of mucus and are applied to the mother for licking or are wiped clean with their own napkins. In babies, the umbilical cord is cut, the tip is smeared with iodine, placed on a warm, dry bedding in one stall with the mother.

Before the lambing goat is placed in a separate pen.

After childbirth, Alpine goats must be given out to prevent inflammation. An hour and a half after the appearance of the last kid the mother poured warm water. In the early days, the uterus is fed with high-quality hay, warm mash made from flour or bran, and fresh green mass. Three days later, root vegetables, bran and silage are added to the menu.

The first three days of goats are milked 4 times a day before feeding babies. On the 2nd month of the day they spend 3 milkings.

Kids are born viable, rarely get sick, the survival rate of young stock is very high. Raising offspring takes place with little or no human intervention; alpine goats feed and raise babies themselves.

Possible diseases and their prevention

Alpine breed is characterized by innate immunity and extremely rarely ill.

The main goat diseases include:

  • bruises, wounds, injuries, tympania, inflammation of the bronchi, lungs,
  • anthrax, brucellosis, bradzot, enterotoxemia, hooves, infectious mastitis, paratyphoid fever, anaerobic dysentery of the young or diarrhea in kids, dermatitis, scabies, fascioliasis, coenurosis, moniesiosis.

The acute form of the disease is accompanied by fever (over + 39.5 º), increased respiration, decreased appetite. Sick animals are isolated and call a doctor. To prevent anthrax, foot and mouth disease, smallpox goats vaccinated. The main means of prevention are disinfection of premises, drinkers, equipment twice a year.

Alpine goats make good grazing.

Reviews breeders

Anastasia. Alpine goats are a very curious breed. Not harmful, but very mobile. Very graceful. So far, after the first lambing we received 400 liters from one and 400 from the second. Milk is tasty. And cheese and cottage cheese are simply excellent.

Marat. At the exhibition I saw alpinok, I bought it for a sample, although I came for zaanenskimi. Beautiful. Very calm during milking. Good winter, milk yield is not reduced. He took two year olds, already goats goats. Milk a lot. Enough for yourself and for sale. No worse than zaanentsev.

Anna. My goat's milk is taken for cow. He has a taste of ice cream. Tried to make him Dondurma. It may have turned out wrong, but according to taste, as in Istanbul, on Istiklal. I keep the alpine for more than six years, the smell from milk has never been. And in six years, no one has ever become ill.

The video tells about the Alpine goats: