Zaanenskaya is a dairy breed of goats native to the Saanen Valley in Switzerland. She is also known as “Chèvre de Gessenay” in French and “Saanenziege” in German. Zaanen goats are the largest in size among dairy goat breeds. They are productive and bred in all regions, grown on commercial farms for the production of milk.
Zaanen goats have been exported to many countries since the 19th century, bought by their farmers because of their high productivity.
Characteristics of goats Zaanen
It is one of the largest dairy goats in the world and the largest Swiss goat. Basically, the breed is completely white or creamy white, in some specimens small pigmented areas form on the skin. The coat is short and thin; a bang usually grows above the spine and hips.
Goats do not tolerate a strong sun, because they are pale-skinned animals that are horned and hornless. Their tails are in the shape of a brush. Ears are straight, directed up and forward. The average live weight of an adult female is from 60 to 70 kg. A goat is slightly larger than a goat in size; the average live weight of an adult goat-producer is from 70 to 90 kg.
What do Saanen goats eat?
Goats eat any grass and find food even on meager pastures. The breed was bred for intensive development in natural conditions and poorly developed if it lives on the same hay on a farm. Goat milk breed requires:
- protein-rich diet;
- highly nutritious feed;
- an amount of greenery sufficient for growth and development;
- clean and fresh water.
Breeding, offspring and crossbreeding
The breed reproduces throughout the year. One doe leads one or a couple of kids. Representatives of the species are often used to cross and improve local goat breeds. The black subspecies (Sable Saanen) is recognized as a new breed in New Zealand in the 1980s.
Life expectancy, reproduction cycles
These goats live about 10 years, puberty reaches the age of 3 to 12 months. The breeding season is in the fall, the female cycle lasts from 17 to 23 days. Estrus lasts from 12 to 48 hours. Pregnancy - from 148 to 156 days.
The goat sniffs the air to understand whether the female is in the estrus period, stretches her neck and head up and wrinkles her upper lips.
The benefits to humans
Zaanen goats are hardy and one of the most productive milking goats in the world, and they are mainly used for milk production, not for hides. Their average milk production is up to 840 kg in 264 lactation days. Goat milk is of fairly good quality and contains at least 2.7% protein and 3.2% fat.
Zaanen goats require little care, even small children can raise and take care of them. Goats get along close together with other animals. They have an obedient and generally friendly character. They are also bred as pets thanks to a complacent temperament. From a person required:
- keep the goats habitat as clean as possible;
- consult a veterinarian if goats get sick or injured.
Zaanen goats are energetic animals that are full of life and need a large space for grazing. Light skin and wool are not suitable for hot climatic zones. Goats are extremely sensitive to sunlight and produce more milk in cooler climates. If you breed Zaanen goats in the southern regions of the country, providing shade in the midday heat is a necessary condition for keeping the breed.
Goats dig earth near the fence, so you need a strong fence to keep animals locked up if you do not want them to scatter throughout the district in search of lush greenery.
Features of the Saanen goat breed - video