Saanens are instantly recognisable to the world at large as everyone has no doubt seen the large pure white goats. The breed is Swiss in origin and is named for the town of Saanen, the capital of the region of Obersimmental-Saanen. Despite their Swiss ancestry the animals in the UK are largely descended from stock originally imported from Holland.
The breed has a combination of short legs and large udders which means that care has to be taken when grazing the goats on rough land because their udders can easily be damaged if caught on brambles or other objects.
Saanen type goats are often used for commercial milk production as they can produce a very large amount of milk and keepers say that they have a mild temperament that contributes to easy husbandry.
Saanens are one of the breeds that have a closed herd book. Only offspring from registered Saanens can themselves be registered as Saanens.
British Saanens have been improved from the original Swiss breed. They are generally larger, heavier and have longer legs than the plain Saanen but retain the great milking characteristics.
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Page Last Updated:15/08/2010