This is one of the most widely distributed goat in the world, with each country having at least one herd somewhere. These goats are popular and are used extensively.
Why is that? What do you need to do to look after your own Toggenburg goat? How do raise and breed them? What kind of shelter do they need?
All these are important questions which will be answered in this comprehensive guide. By the time you have finished reading this information, you should be able to effectively look after your own Toggenburg goat. What more do you need?
Toggenburg Goat Uses
When you decide to farm goats, you need to decide what you want to do. Do you want to raise them for their meat, or dairy, or do you want to breed them?
Maybe you want to enter them into shows and see what can be won. There are particular breeds for each use. Before you buy a goat, you need to make sure that they are suited for your purpose.
Toggenburg goats are used for their milk since they are productive dairy goats. If you want to switch over to goat milk and use your own goats, then this might be the breed for you.
A typical Toggenburg goat can yield up to 740 kg. of milk per lactation. Their milk has a minimum fact content of 3.56% and a minimum protein content of 2.9%.
Their milk is flavorful and delicious, a favorite around the world. Their milk can be used to make all sorts of dairy products such as milk, butter, ice cream and others.
Thanks to their high productivity, this is one of the most sought after breeds available around the whole world.
Toggenburg Goat Origins
Toggenburg goats are known for being one of the oldest dairy breeds in the world. This is a traditional breed that hails from the Toggenburg and Werdenburg regions of the canton of St.
Gallen in eastern Switzerland. The early herds were cross bred to attain the desired traits and there are several sub-breeds that also do very well. British Toggenburg goats are known to produce milk with a higher quality.
The first registered Toggenburg herd book was started in the 1600’s. They were first imported to America in the early 1890’s but they have been a popular breed in the country ever since.
They were the first purebred goats to arrive in the country and have the reputation of being the best. When they were introduced to Britain, the goats underwent a development program which explains why their milk is better.
Although the breed has been around since the 1600’s, they were only internationally recognized in the 1890’s. Ever since then, their numbers have declined in their home region while their numbers all over the rest of the world skyrocketed.
Toggenburg goats have a rich history that explains why they are one of the most famous and most recognizable dairy brands in the world. When you buy a Toggenburg goat, you know that it has come a long way since the first Toggenburg goat all those years ago.
Toggenburg Goat Characteristics
This a medium-size breed. Mature males reach an average height of 34-38 inches, while females will grow to a height of about 30-32inches.
They are smaller than other Alpine breeds, but they do weigh about the same with an average of about 120 lbs./55 kg., mature males can weigh up to 200 lbs.
They have soft short/medium hair that lies flat for the most part. Tassels are not an uncommon feature. Their fur is solid varying from light fawn to dark chocolate. There is no preference for any shade.
Toggenburg goats do have distinct facial markings, such as white ears with a dark spot in the middle, two white stripes down the gave from the muzzle to the eyes.
The hind legs are white from hocks to hooves while the forelegs are white from the knees downward. A dark band below the knee is acceptable. Bucks are also known for having a pronounced beard.
It is OK if the markings are cream instead of white, but that is not the best indication. Their ears are always erect and alert while their facial features may be dished or straight, but never Roman.
It is good to remember that this breed performs better in cooler weather. These goats tend to be a little more high-strung than other goats.
Toggenburg Goat Prices
Buying a goat can be quite expensive, especially if you want to buy a pedigree goat. True, it is worth it when you consider all the benefits that you get from a goat with good breeding.
When you buy a Toggenburg goat, you can be sure that you will be receiving quality goat milk for a long time. That is why it is worth shopping around before you settle on one breeder.
Kids are generally cheaper than mature goats. Bucks are also more expensive. Usually pedigree kids cost up to $300 although this might differ from region to region.
Before you buy your goat, you need to work out a price plan for the other things that you will need. It would be helpful to consult your local vet about the cost of vaccinations and deworming medication.
Goats usually eat hay and need a few grains or alfalfa pellets for variety. If you are planning on building a fence, you will need to include the cost of building materials to your budget.
Your goat will need a simple housing structure to shelter them from the elements. It does not need to be anything elaborate, but it does need to protect them from the outside.
There are a few costs that come along with buying a good goat, but it will be worth it.
Raising Toggenburg Goats
Toggenburg goats are very friendly. This means that they make wonderful pets for the family. They have gentle temperaments that endear them to the family in no time.
It is important not to treat them too much like a pet since this might harm their development. They are farm animals and it would be wise to keep a balance between the two worlds.
Most goats do not need a lot of attention; all they really need is a big space to run around in and plenty of food. Goats are social animals, so you will need to have more than one goat otherwise your goat will become frustrated and naughty.
They do tend to be quite stubborn, so you must be willing to fight them on a few issues. If they want to eat your flowers, they will try their best to get to the flowers. You need to build a sturdy fence and maintain it.
If you are new to raising Toggenburg goats, or any goats, it would be in your best interests to befriend a fellow goat herder. There is a wisdom that comes from experience that would be extremely useful to you.
If you plan on eventually selling the milk, you need to have a vet on speed dial. All dairy goats need a clean bill of health before you can sell the milk.
Toggenburg Goat Breeders
Now that you have decided to buy Toggenburg goats, there are a few things that you need to know before you go out and buy one. There are different breeders out there, and not all of them are honest.
Keep in mind that you are allowed to ask a lot of questions. A proper breeder will be able to answer all of them and won’t mind helping you out with what you want to know.
Some breeders will take the goat to the vet to be tested for various diseases. If a breeder does not do this, it is alright if you ask them to do it before you make the purchase.
Breeding Toggenburg Goats
Most beginners prefer not to buy a male goat to breed with since breeding can be tricky, and bucks are expensive. Some herders take their does to be bred with a local buck and leave it at that.
Does need to be pregnant to start producing milk. Does need to be given at least six months before you breed them, although it is recommended that you wait until they have achieved a healthy weight. Consult your vet to learn what is the ideal weight for your doe.
Your doe will start showing signs of being in heat, and this is your window. These windows do not last very long, so you have to pay attention for the signs.
Usually, the doe will become a little more temperamental. There will be some sort of discharge and your doe will have a swollen rear end. If she wags her tail a lot, then you can be sure that she is in heat or is about to start.
If she shows interest in bucks or urinates in front of bucks, then you know your doe is in heat.
Toggenburg Goat Shelters
All goats are hardy creatures, but they do need a good shelter to protect them from the elements. Toggenburg goats do better in colder climates but they need somewhere warm to spend the night.
A simple structure should be able to do the trick, and you should make sure that the door or opening is facing away from the prevailing winds.
Goats need to be kept dry, so make sure that there are no leaks in the structure. Be on guard for leaks and always make sure that your goats have somewhere dry to sleep.
The structure needs to be ventilated without being drafty, since a well-ventilated space prevents many different diseases. Goats are hygienic creatures, so their pen will need to be cleaned daily.
Your Toggenburg goat will thrive in a clean environment. If you plan on selling your goat milk, then the shelter will need to meet specific requirements.
Goats are easy to milk, but they do not like loud noises or distractions when you are milking them. It is better to keep the goats away from other animals when you milk them.
Loud noises are also detrimental to the milking process. That is why it would be better to build the shelter away from roads or any factories. When you build the shelter, be sure to give your goats some form of bedding and change it regularly.
Bedding is especially important if your doe is about to give birth because she needs to be as comfortable as possible when she gives birth.
Toggenburg Goat Farming
The Toggenburg dairy breed is native to the Toggenburg Valley in Switzerland. Toggenburgs made their way to the US in the early 1900’s. They have a distinct facial pattern, and are known to be the oldest dairy breed.
Raising Toggenburg goats: Pros & cons
Toggenburg goats care: Top tips
- Toggenburgs can be stubborn. If you don’t want them getting into your flowers, build a sturdy space to keep your plants separated from them.
- If this is your first time having a Toggenburg, consult someone who has the experience, or a goat herder. Knowledge is key with this breed.
- Have a vertrinarian check your Toggenburg goat regularly.
- If you want to breed them, separated the kids from the adults quickly.
- They should have their hooves trimmed about 4 times a year.
Toggenburg goats for sale: Where can I buy Toggenburg goats in the USA?
Here a couple of places where you can buy a certified, trained Toggenburg goat.
Toggenburg goat associations: What are the major toggenburg goat associations in the USA?
- The ADGA
- The National Toggenburg Club
Breeding Toggenburg Goats
Toggenburg goats are among the best dairy goats in the world. They are also one of the oldest dairy breeds, even though they were only recognized internationally long after the breed had been established.
These goats are friendly but stubborn, so you will need to keep this in mind before you buy one. Breeding your Toggenburg can be tricky, but once you know what to look for.
Once your doe has given birth, it will only be a matter of time before she is producing high-quality milk for you and your family to enjoy.
- Toggenburg goat FAQs
How much milk does a Toggenburg goat produce?
Over a year, Toggenburg goats will produce anywhere between 1050 to 4460 pounds of milk. On average, that's about 6 pounds a day!
What is a Toggenburg goat?
Toggenburg goats are another breed of Alpine goat from the Swiss valley of Obertoggenburg. Some people believe this to be the oldest known dairy goat breed.
How long do Toggenburg goats live?
Toggenburgs are slightly shorter-lived than other dairy goat breeds, living on average between 8 to 12 years.
What is the origin of the Toggenburg goat?
Toggenburg goats have their origin in the Obertoggenburg valley in Switzerland. They are one of the oldest known dairy breeds in the world.
How much milk does a Toggenburg goat produce a day?
The average Toggenburg doe will produce an average of 6 pounds of milk a day over a year, but that number varies depending on the season and if the doe is lactating or resting.
What are Toggenburg goats used for?
Toggenburg goats are mainly used for dairy production because of their high milk production, but also may be good for meat production.
How much does a Toggenburg goat cost?
The cost pf a Toggenburg goat will vary greatly depending on when, where and what you buy. Bucks are more expensive than does, and quality will bring the cost up, especially with a pedigree. Kids are cheaper than mature goats. Generally speaking, expect around $300 for a well-bred kid.