Do you dream of owning a farm with happy goats frolicking in the fields? Well, if you’re considering raising dairy goats, you might be wondering which breed is right for you. Enter the battle of the goats: Saanen vs. Nubian. These two breeds may both produce delicious milk, but they have some striking differences that could make or break your goat-raising dreams. Will you opt for the white-coated, docile Saanen or the colorful, independent Nubian with those long, floppy ears?
Join us as we explore the world of dairy goats and discover which breed reigns supreme. Get ready to goat to town!
Saanen vs. Nubian: Fast Facts
Before we dive into the details, let’s take a quick look at some fast facts about Saanen vs. Nubian goats:
- Saanen goats originated in Switzerland, while Nubian goats originated in Africa.
- Saanen goats are known for their high milk production, while Nubian goats are known for their rich, creamy milk.
- Saanen goats have a white coat, while Nubian goats come in a variety of colors.
- Saanen goats have erect ears, while Nubian goats have long, floppy ears.
|Characteristic||Saanen Goats||Nubian Goats|
|Coat Color||White||Black, Brown, Tan|
|Ear Type||Erect||Long, Floppy|
|Milk Production||High (3-4 quarts/day)||Less, but richer/creamier|
|Temperament||Docile and Friendly||Stubborn and Independent|
I hope this table helps summarize the main differences between Saanen and Nubian goats!
Now that we have a basic understanding of the two breeds let’s take a closer look at their differences.
One of the most obvious differences between Saanen vs. Nubian goats is their physical appearance. Saanen goats have white coat that is fine and light-colored, while Nubian goats come in various colors, including black, brown, and tan. Saanen goats have erect ears, while Nubian goats have long, floppy ears.
Both Saanen and Nubian goats are great choices for dairy goats, but they have some differences in milk production. Saanen goats are known for their high milk production, with an average of 3-4 quarts per day. On the other hand, Nubian goats produce less milk, but it is richer and creamier than Saanen milk.
Another factor to consider when choosing between Saanen and Nubian goats is their temperament. Saanen goats are known for being docile and friendly, making them a great choice for families with children. On the other hand, Nubian goats can be more stubborn and independent, which may make them a better fit for experienced goat owners.
The Goat Milk Industry
According to recent statistics, the global goat milk market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.10% and surpass USD 18.68 billion by 2030. In 2022, the global goat milk powder market size was valued at USD 3354 million and is forecast to reach a readjusted size of USD 4225.5 million by 2029. The milk production forecast for 2023 is raised from last month based on a larger expected dairy herd size throughout the year.
However, in Wisconsin, milk goat numbers fell by 3% as of January 1, 2023, according to the latest USDA statistics. Despite this, the demand for goat milk and its products continues to grow due to its perceived health benefits and unique taste. The goat milk dairy industry is expected to continue to grow in the coming years.
Our Personal Experience with Saanen and Nubian
These two breeds are some of my favorites for dairy goats, and each has its own unique traits that make them a great fit for different farms.
Let’s start with Saanen goats. These beauties originated in Switzerland and have a fine, light-colored, white coat with erect ears. One thing that sets Saanen goats apart is their incredible milk production. On average, they can produce between 3-4 quarts of milk per day, which is a lot! That’s why they’re a popular choice for commercial dairy farmers. Not only are they high milk producers, but they’re also known for their docile and friendly temperament, which makes them great for families with children.
One of my favorite memories with my Saanen goats is when my niece came to visit, and we let her help us with the milking. She was a bit nervous at first, but our sweet Saanens quickly put her at ease. They stood patiently as she learned the ropes and even gave her gentle nuzzles.
Now, let’s talk about Nubian goats. These cuties hail from Africa and come in a variety of colors, including black, brown, and tan. Their most distinctive feature is their long, floppy ears. While they may not produce as much milk as Saanens, their milk is known for being rich and creamy. I’ve had many tasty goat cheese thanks to my lovely Nubians.
One thing to note about Nubian goats is that they can be a bit more stubborn and independent than Saanens. They’re not always as eager to please as their docile counterparts, so they may be a better fit for experienced goat owners. However, they can still be great pets and milk producers with some patience and training.
I remember when I first got my Nubian goats, I had to spend some extra time building trust with them. They weren’t as quick to warm up to me as my Saanens, but we eventually formed a bond. Now, they’ll even come up to me for scratches and snuggles.
Other Interesting Facts
Here are some additional facts about Saanen vs Nubian goats that are not mentioned above:
- Saanen goats are often referred to as the “Holstein of the dairy goat world” because they are highly productive and have mild temperaments.
- Saanen goats are adaptable to many different climates and are often found in countries all over the world.
- In addition to their high milk production, Saanen goats are also used for meat, as their meat is lean and flavorful.
- Nubian goats are known for their distinctive appearance, with long, pendulous ears and a convex profile.
- Nubian goats are also called “Anglo-Nubian” goats, as they were developed in England in the late 1800s by crossing British goats with goats from North Africa and the Middle East.
- In addition to their rich, creamy milk, Nubian goats are often raised for their meat and their hides, which are used to make leather products.
In conclusion, Saanen and Nubian goats are great choices for dairy goats, but they have some differences that may make one a better fit for your farm. Saanen goats are known for their high milk production and docile temperament, while Nubian goats produce rich, creamy milk and can be more independent. Consider your needs and preferences when choosing between these two great breeds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between Saanen and Nubian goats?
A: Saanen goats have white coats, while Nubian goats come in a variety of colors. Saanen goats have erect ears, while Nubian goats have long, floppy ears. Saanen goats are known for their high milk production, while Nubian goats produce less milk, but it is richer and creamier than Saanen milk. In terms of temperament, Saanen goats are known for being docile and friendly, while Nubian goats can be more stubborn and independent.
Q: Where do Saanen and Nubian goats originate from?
A: Saanen goats originated in Switzerland, while Nubian goats originated in Africa.
Q: Are both Saanen and Nubian goats good for dairy?
A: Yes, both Saanen and Nubian goats are great choices for dairy goats. Saanen goats are known for their high milk production, while Nubian goats produce rich, creamy milk.
Q: Which breed of goat is better for families with children?
A: Saanen goats are known for their docile and friendly temperament, making them a great choice for families with children.
Q: Which breed of goat is better for experienced goat owners?
A: Nubian goats can be more stubborn and independent, which may make them a better fit for experienced goat owners.
Q: Can Saanen and Nubian goats be crossbred?
A: Yes, Saanen and Nubian goats can be crossbred, resulting in what is called a “Saanen-Nubian” or “Nubian-Saanen” goat. These goats can exhibit traits of both breeds, but it’s important to note that crossbred goats may not be eligible for a purebred registry.
Sarah Lane has been a farm wife since 2010 and mother of two children for nearly as long. She and her husband, Jonathan, live on a small farm in Texas where they raise dairy goats and beef cattle as well as chickens for eggs and meat. In addition to growing their own hay, straw and garden produce, the Lane family works with other nearby farms to source organic grain from which they make artisan bread sold at local farmer’s market.