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Appenzeller Goat: Characteristics, History, Life, and More

The Appenzell goat is a Swiss goat breed, native to the cantons of Appenzell. It comes from a population of white goats with long or short hair, common in the Saanen breed. A separate selection has created the short-haired Saanen and the long-haired Appenzell.

Appenzeller goats are closely related to certain local traditions and other cultural values ​​such as transhumance. Generally, it does not have horns, it has white and semi-long hair, it is also one of the breeds of goats in danger of extinction.

Appenzeller goat

The Appenzeller Goat is a rare and threatened indigenous breed of domestic long-haired white goat from Switzerland. The Appenzeller goat is a domestic goat from eastern Switzerland, this kind of goat comes from the Swiss Appenzell region. It looks like the Saanen goat, but it is much smaller.


Documentation of the Appenzell breed dates back more than 100 years. In February 1902 an association of goat breeders was founded in Inner Rhodes, and in 1914 another in Outer Rhodes. The Swiss Goat Farming Association, the Swiss federation of cantonal goat breeders’ associations, is running a project for the conservation and recovery of the Appenzell that includes financial support to the breeders and a controlled breeding program. In 2007, the FAO classified the breed’s conservation status as “endangered”.

In 2005, the Appenzell breed represented around 4.2% of the total registered Swiss goat population of some 70,000 heads. At the end of 2013, a population from 1900 to 2000 was reported to DAD-IS. Breeding began in Inner Rhodes in 1902 and in Outer Rhodes around 1914, with a height at the withers of 70 to 85 centimeters for males and 70 to 80 centimeters for females.

The minimum weight is 65 kilograms for males and 45 kilograms for females. The coat is pure white and of medium length, most of the animals do not have horns. Milk production is good and constant, most of the milk is transformed into cheese. The Appenzeller goat has very wide and well-laid udders. In the Appenzell region, the traditional alpine pasture is always accompanied by Appenzeller goats. Children have generally seen leading herds of about twelve animals.

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