ADGA Breed Standards

American Dairy Goat Association currently maintains herd books for the following breeds of dairy goats:  Alpine, LaMancha, Nigerian Dwarf, Nubian, Oberhasli, Saanen, Sable and Toggenburg.

 

Alpine

Alpine does are at least 30 inches tall and weigh 135 pounds while bucks are at least 32 inches tall and weigh 170 pounds.

They have erect ears and come in many colors and color combinations. The hair is medium to short and the bridge of the nose is straight.

The Alpine is known for being a hardy, adaptable animal that thrives in any climate while maintaining good health and excellent production.

LaMancha

LaMancha does are at least 28 inches tall and weigh 130 pounds while bucks are at least 30 inches tall and weigh 160 pounds.

Any color or color combination is acceptable. The hair is short, fine and glossy and the bridge of the nose is straight.

The distinctive feature of the LaMancha is very short ears. To be registered, bucks may have ears no longer than one inch with little or no cartilage. Does may have ears up to two inches in length.

The LaMancha breed was developed in the United States and is known for its calm nature. It produces well in a variety of climates and conditions.

Nigerian Dwarf

 

Nigerian Dwarf does are at least 17 inches tall and may be no taller than 22.5 inches. Bucks are also at least 17 inches tall and no taller than 23.5 inches. While there is no weight requirement, 75 pounds is an average weight.

Many color combinations are common, the ears are of medium length and erect, and the bridge of the nose is either straight or dished. The hair is short and fine.

The Nigerian Dwarf was also developed in the United States and is the only miniature dairy goat breed registered by the American Dairy Goat Association.

Although a small goat, the Nigerian Dwarf doe produces a proportionate quantity of milk with high butterfat.

Nubian

Nubian does are at least 30 inches tall and weigh 135 pounds, while bucks are at least 32 inches tall and weigh 170 pounds.

The head is the distinctive breed characteristic with the facial profile between the eyes and the muzzle being strongly convex, often referred to as a “Roman nose.”

The ears are “pendulous,” hanging down and flaring out and forward at their rounded tip and extending at least one inch below the muzzle. Nubians may be any color, solid or patterned. The hair is short, fine and glossy.

This breed is also known for the high butterfat and protein content of its milk.

Oberhasli

Oberhasli does are at least 28 inches tall and weigh 120 pounds while bucks are at least 30 inches tall and weigh 150 pounds.

Oberhasli color is described as bay, ranging from light to a deep red bay with correct black markings. Does may also be solid black.

Oberhasli have short erect ears and the bridge of the nose should be either straight or dished.

This breed is also known for its calm disposition.

Saanen

Saanen does are at least 30 inches tall and weigh 135 pounds while bucks are at least 32 inches tall and weigh 170 pounds.

Saanens are distinguished by solid white or light cream-colored hair. Spots may exist on the skin and a spot in the hair up to 1 ½ inches across is allowable.

Saanen ears are erect, and the bridge of the nose is either straight or dished.

The Saanen is a favorite for commercial dairies due to its high milk production and calm temperament.

Sable

Sable does are at least 30 inches tall and weigh 135 pounds while bucks are at least 32 inches tall and weigh 170 pounds.

Sables may be any color or combination of colors except solid white or sold light cream.

The hair is short, and the ears should be erect. The bridge of the nose should either be straight or dished.

Sables have the same high milk production and calm temperament as the Saanen.

Toggenburg

Toggenburg does are at least 26 inches tall and weigh 120 pounds while bucks are at least 28 inches tall and weigh 150 pounds.

Hair color is solid, varying from light fawn to dark chocolate with correct white or cream markings. Does may be black with correct white or cream markings.

The ears are erect and carried forward. The bridge of the nose may be straight or dished.

Toggenburgs were among the first purebred dairy goats to be imported into the United States and registered.

Complete Descriptions in the ADGA Guidebook

Complete and current technical descriptions for each breed, desirable traits and defects may be found in the ADGA Guidebook. If you have any questions, please contact the American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) office before you buy.

The ADGA Guidebook is available on the ADGA Members website and one copy per year is upon request to ADGA Members in North America. ADGA Members outside North American may receive the ADGA Guidebook and other printed material for a nominal shipping fee.  Become an ADGA Member today >>

Production Averages By Breed

Milk production averages are collected through ADGA’s Dairy Herd Improvement Registry  (DHIR) program  and provide an idea of pounds of milk, butterfat and protein by breed. Milk Production Breed Averages >>