Oberhasli is a medium-sized, vigorous breed. These goats originated in Switzerland and are also known as Oberhasli-Brienz (from Bernese, Oberland, Switzer-land).[7] The correct markings are chamoisee, with pure black acceptable in does. A few Oberhasli were imported into the United States as early as 1906 but were considered part of the Alpines until 1980. Shelton[3] described one of the color patterns of the Alpine breed as chamoisee, a blackish or brownish body with black feet and legs, a black dorsal stripe, and often a black face.

Table 1 Production

and phenotypic characteristics of U.S

. dairy breeds

Avg. yearly milk

Doe mature

Doe height at


No. of herds (does)a

productiona (kg)

weight" (kg)

shouldersb (cm)


79 (1,860)





93 (1,118)





38 (797)





26 (334)




La Mancha

37 (674)





14 (152)




aBased on 2002 USDA DHI herd records. (www.aipl.arsusda.gov.) bMinimum breed standards per ADGA. (www.adga.org.)

aBased on 2002 USDA DHI herd records. (www.aipl.arsusda.gov.) bMinimum breed standards per ADGA. (www.adga.org.)

Fig. 2 Angora goats. This breed is threatened.


The predominant fiber-producing goat in the United States is the Angora or mohair goat. It is lop-eared and spirally horned in both sexes. The fleece has been developed by an increase in the number of the secondary fibers and a reduction in the diameter and medullation of the primary fibers (Fig. 2). The breed originated in the dry plateau of Central Anatolia (Turkey) and takes its name from Ankara. It accounts for about one-quarter of the goats in Turkey.[5'6] Angora goats were imported into the United States from Turkey during 1849 1976 and from South Africa in 1925 1926. They are confined to the Edwards Plateau in Texas. The Angora goat is a small animal, shoulder height about 54 cm and average body weight about 27 kg. The color is almost always white, with a fleece of long white lustrous ringlets. They are annual breeders, usually producing a single kid.


There is a vast array of goat genetic resources in the world.[3-7] Some of these goats are used elsewhere in the world for meat production: The Pygmy, actually called the West African Dwarf or Fouta Djallon goat, is adapted to humid tropical environments and is resistant to trypanosomiasis. It has been recognized as a breed in the United States, where it is used as a pet or a laboratory animal.[3] The Galla or Somali goat in East Africa is also used for meat. The Damascus and the Black Bedouin goats in the Middle East are used for milk production. The Jamnapari or Etawah goat in India and Southeast Asia is used for both meat and milk production, as are the Nubian Sahel, in arid sub-Saharan Africa, and the Bhuj of Northeast Brazil. The skins on the Red Sokoto or Maradi breed, maintained pure in the Sokoto province of Nigeria, are very valuable in the production of Morocco leather, and also contribute meat to the poor. The Mubende of Uganda and the Black Bengal of Northeast India and Bangladesh also contribute skins and meat. Some goats are used exclusively for fiber: The Pashmina or Cashmere Goats, found predominantly in mountainous areas (altitudes 3000 5000 m) of Central Asia, produce the fine ''down'' fiber. This list is by no means exhaustive. The available goat genetic resources of the world are worth noting so that goat breeders can mold breeds and populations within breeds to meet the array of human needs.[16]


Brief introductions to some goat breeds have been given. The classification of goats is based on products such as meat, milk, fiber, and the skins they produce. The following web sites provide useful information on goats: www.aipl.arsusda.gov and www.sheepandgoat.com/ breeds.html.


1. Zeuner, F.E. A History of Domesticated Animals; Hutch inson: London, 1963; 560.

2. Epstein, H. The Origin of Domestic Animals of Africa; Africana Publishing Corporation: New York, 1971; Vol. 1 & 2. Revised in collaboration with I. L. Mason, Vol. I: xii + 573pp, Vol. II: xi + 719 pp.

3. Shelton, M. Reproduction and breeding of goats. J. Dairy Sci. 1978, 61, 994 1010.

4. Goat Production; Gall, C., Ed.; Academic Press: London, 1981; 111 169.

5. Mason, I.L. Breeds. In Goat Production; Gall, C., Ed.; Academic Press: London, 1981; 57 110.

6. Devendra, C.; Burns, M. Goat Production in the Tropics; Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, 1983; 183.

7. Mason, I.L. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties, 4th Ed.; CAB International, 1996; 91 114.

8. International Goat Association. Proc. III Intl. Conf. Goat Prod. & Disease, Tucson, Arizona, 1987.

9. International Goat Association. Proc. IV Intl. Conf. Goats, Brasilia, Brazil, 1987.

10. International Goat Association. Proc. V Intl. Conf Goats, New Delhi, India, 1992.

11. International Goat Association. Proc. VI Intl. Conf. Goats, Beijing, China, 1996.

12. International Goat Association. Proc. VII Intl. Conf Goats, Tours, France, 2000.

13. Proc. Scientific Conf. on Goats. Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas; Dzakuma, J.M., Risch, E., Johnson, B.M., Eds.; 2002; 232.

14. Lush, J.L. Nervous goats. J. Heredity 1930, 21, 243 247.

15. Lipicky, R.J.; Bryant, S.H. Sodium, potassium, and chloride fluxes from normal goats and goats with hereditary myotonia. J. Gen. Physiol. 1996, 50, 89 111.

16. Blackburn, H.D. Conservation of Goat Genetic Resources. In Proc. Scientific Conf. on Goats; Dzakuma, J.M., Risch, E., Johnson, B.M., Eds.; Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas, 2002; 7 18.

Lionel J. Dawson

Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, U.S.A.

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