The Oberhasli Goat is a breed of dairy goat native to the Brienzer region of Switzerland located near Bern where they are known as “Oberhasli-Brienzer.” The mildly sweet milk and even temperament of the Oberhasli Goat makes them a favorite among dedicated breeders.
The Oberhasli Goat has been selectively bred for color and its dairy producing qualities. These goats are very sweet and gentle and produce a milk characterized by a slightly sweet flavor. Goats are excellent foragers and can subsist on land that would be otherwise unsuitable for most agricultural purposes.
Oberhasli Goats are one of the smallest breeds of goat. Males will stand at least 30 inches tall at maturity and weigh in at around 150 pounds. Females are smaller at 28 inches and weigh 120 pounds or more. These goats have been bred for a consistent and distinctive color pattern and are known as a “color breed”.
Strict guidelines exist for registry in herd books to preserve and improve this unique bloodline. While black does are permissable (the result of a recessive gene), the color chamois is preferred. Chamois is considered to be light bay to deep red bay and a few white hairs throughout are acceptable.
Males will generally have more white hairs than the female Oberhasli. The forehead will be almost entirely black and they can be born with or without horns. The Oberhasli must have its horns removed in order to be registered in the United States. They will also have black stripes starting at the ears and going all along the back to the tail.
Their legs are black below the knees as are the udders and belly. The ears are low-set and forward pointing which gives them an alert, “ready-for-anything” look. The nose should be straight and a Roman nose is frowned upon. The Oberhasli Goat is native to Switzerland and is recognizable worldwide for its unique coloring and facial expression.
The Swiss took great care in breeding the Oberhasli selectively for its markings and sweet milk. As is the case with most dairy goats, the Oberhasli Goat carries a genetic trait which produces “wattles.” These are the hair covered flaps of skin underneath the chin of a male goat believed to be leftover organs from evolution whose purpose is now unknown.