The alpine goat is a medium-sized to a large bred domestic goat known for its excellent milking ability. They have no specific colour or markings assigned for easy identification or differentiation. However, specific markings are discriminated against. They’ve got horns, a straight face and ears that are erect.
The French Alps is where the breeds are originated. The mature alpine goat has a weight of about 61 kg (135 lbs) and a shoulder height of around 76 cm (30 in). Alpine goats can differ in colour as they can appear white or grey to brown and black colour.
The alps goats are heavy milkers. It is possible to turn milk into butter, cheese, soap, ice cream or any other milk product that is usually made of cow’s milk.
Alpine goats are being utilized for the production of homestead milk and also used for commercial dairy production.
Alpine goats are a breed that is medium to large. Males on the wipes are over 81 cm (32 in) tall and females on the wipes are over 76 cm (30 in) tall. Their hair length is short to medium, and they come in all shades and colour variations.
They have erect ears, a straight profile, and their hardy nature gives them the ability to adapt to any climate. Alpine goats are described as “alertly graceful”. They are the only breed with upright ears that come in all colours and colour combinations.
The sexual maturation rate for alpine goats is four to five months for buck kids after birth, and for doe kids five to six months after birth. Nonetheless, doe alpine goats are not bred until they are at least 75 – 80 lbs.
The gestation of a doe lasts for 145 – 155 days, with the average being 150. The most popular are twins, but they may have singles, all the way down to quintuplets.
Alpine goats are sweet and highly curious, but they can be strong-willed and independent. The American Dairy Goat Association faults all-white, as well as allToggenburg patterned individuals.
Several alpine goat sub-types include the following:
- Purebred (French) Alpine: a type originating in the French Alps
- American Alpines: These are alpines with other genetic factors since their coming in the United States. As French Alpines, American Alpines have most of the visual style and disposition, but they may have fewer typical markings or conformation because of crossbreeding.
The alpine goat, known for its milk, is renowned for its rich dairy production. They can produce high-quality milk production due to their docile nature and long lactation period; alpine goats are ubiquitous in the dairy industry.
Alpine milk has relatively low-fat content, with an average fat percentage of 3.4 per cent. It is high in sugar than cow’s milk, but the amount of protein, it balances itself. Alpine goat’s milk has 2.3 g per 250 ml of protein, whereas cow’s milk has 3.4.
It is not necessarily beneficial to have a higher protein count, since it packs more calories with high-fat content. It is higher in all nutritional aspects, excluding the fat content, compared to Saanen goat milk, making it a much healthier option.
Alpine goats, alongside Saanen and Toggenburg goats, are one of the largest producers of milk. Alpine goats are distinct from the other two due to their low-fat content value.
This may be a direct connection between the animal’s weight and its normal setting. However, the weight of the Nubian goat is close to that of the alpine goats at maturity, but it produces less milk, with higher fat content than that of the alpine goats.
The optimum periods for milk production occur after four to six weeks of parturition (kidding). The maximum weight at which a goat achieves optimal milk production is at least 130 pounds.
The number is higher at 135 pounds for the alpine goat, and it produces 2,134 pounds of milk per lactation. Good nutrition, proper milking practices, reproductive management, and disease control are also factors that contribute to milk production of the alpine goat.
Four criteria are needed for optimal dairy production, and it includes:
- Adequate ventilation
- Dry beds
- Uncontaminated feed and water supply
- Minimum labour and disruption
Dairy goats must be kept in unique conditions so that their milk production is not alarmed by changes. Changes in external factors may cause a decrease in milk production because of the pressure applied to the goat to adapt to these changes.
As with all goat’s milk, alpine goat milk, when intended for human consumption, must be filtered and cooled immediately upon separation from the lactating doe. The temperature at which the best milk can stay is 4.4 ° C (39.9 ° F).
Cooling of the milk is needed so that there is no growth of excess bacteria. Bacteria grow at a faster rate in warm condition and multiply in order to spoil the milk. There is a shelf life of around three to four weeks for milk that is refrigerated. Freezing the milk boosts its shelf life by four to five weeks or more.
Alpine goats can be found in the French Alps.