Goat breeding in South Tyrol

The Alpine region is characterised by many barren and inhospitable regions whose cultivation would not be possible without goats or sheep. Goats and sheep make an essential contribution to the preservation of the land in the mountain area as a lively economic and recreational area and thus also for tourism.

Goats and sheep have always been important farm animals in mountain agriculture. Thanks to their frugality and surefootedness, good feed conversion and resistance, they are indispensable for South Tyrolean alpine farming and on many mountain farms. As a result, many alpine pastures are preserved and protected from uncontrolled growth by small alpine shrubs.

In the Alpine region, more and more alpine pastures remain unused, and this trend is also evident in South Tyrol. It is becoming increasingly difficult to manage pastures profitably. The increase in large predators and, in turn, the decrease in livestock are contributing significantly to this. The damage caused by large predators is considerable, the farmers have to cope with great damage and find little understanding.

The favourable areas of the alpine pastures are more or less grazed by the cattle herds, the sheep and goats mostly graze on steep, barren soils. This also protects these areas from forestation and scrub encroachment.
Approximately 12.800 goats are kept in South Tyrol. The most important goat breeds are the Passeirer Gebirgsziege and the Bunte Edelziege.

The Bunte Edelziege is the most widespread dairy goat breed in South Tyrol.
It is brown with a black underside and a black eel line along the midline of the back. It is medium to large framed with close lying smooth hair. May be hornless or horned.

Passeier Mountain Goat is considered a special delicacy. It is most common on the mountain farms of South Tyrol and is a reliable supplier of abundant quantities of delicious goat's milk.

Saanen goats
The Saanen goat is pure white and short-haired. The most famous and successful Swiss dairy goat all over the world originally comes from the Saanenland and Obersimmental regions. In many cases, the "Saane" has helped to consolidate the standard of the White German Edelziege by crossbreeding with German white goats.

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