The Saanen dairy goat originated in Switzerland, in the Saanen Valley. Saanen does are heavy milk producers and usually yield 3-4 percent milk fat. It is medium to large in size (weighing approximately 145 lbs/65kg) with rugged bone and plenty of vigor.
Does should be feminine, and not coarse. Saanens are white or light cream in color, with white preferred. Spots on the skin are not discriminated against. Small spots of color on the hair are allowable, but not desirable. The hair should be short and fine, although a fringe over the spine and thighs is often present. Ears should be erect and alertly carried, preferably pointing forward. The face should be straight or dished. A tendency toward a roman nose is discriminated against.
The breed is sensitive to excessive sunlight and performs best in cooler conditions. The provision of shade is essential and tan skin is preferable.
American Dairy Goat Association, PO Box 865, Spindale, NC 28160. Phone: (704) 286-3801
Handbook of Australian Livestock, Australian Meat & Livestock Corporation,1989, 3rd Edition