The Saanen goat originated in the Saanen valley in the south of Canton Berne, Switzerland. In 1893, several thousand head were taken out of the valley and spread throughout Europe. Between 1904 and the 1930s, approximately 150 Saanens were imported into the United States from Switzerland.
Saanen does are heavy producers of milk and usually yield 3 percent to 4 percent milk fat. This breed is medium to large in size, weighing approximately 145 pounds, or 65 kilograms, with rugged bones and plenty of vigor.
Does should be feminine, white or light cream in color. White is the preferred color. There is no bias against spots on the skin. 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 sometimes present. Ears should be erect and preferably pointing forward. The face should be straight and a roman nose is not desirable.
The breed performs well in cooler shaded conditions and is sensitive to excessive sunlight.
Picture of doe and buck are from Bonnie Blue Farm, Waynesboro, Tennessee.