Toggenburg

The Toggenburg Breed Standard

General Appearance (style and quality): A robust dairy type of animal, active and vigorous, showing breed character and vitality, well proportioned. Any tendency to raciness or legginess is undesirable. Does feminine, bucks obviously masculine in appearance.

Head (skull, eyes, ears, mouth, nostrils): Head medium length, facial line straight, polled or neatly disbudded. Eyes set well apart, full and bright. Ears erect and pointing slightly forward. Muzzle broad and strong, but without coarseness.

Neck: Clean at junction with head and blended smoothly into shoulders, with or without tassels. Does long and fine, but not too slender. Bucks fine and strong, but not coarse.

Backline: Back strong, straignt and horizontal to hips.

Forequarters: Fine withers, with shoulders sloping and blending into body. Chest full between the forelegs, deep in bucks, fairly deep in does.

Body (barrel): Length of barrel proportionate to height. Rib cage well rounded; large deep and wedge shaped body.

Hindquarters: gradual slope from hips to tail, good width between hips and between thurls. Rump broad and strong, pin bones wide and prominent.

Legs (hooves): Well boned, strong, straight and parallel (not cow hocked). Strong in pasterns. Hooves sound and well shaped.

Udder: Carrying well up the back and broadly attached with good fore development. Not pendulous or unduly divided, showing good capacity. Skin, colour fawn to dark brown and softly textured.

Testicles: Scrotum well attached, relatively even and not divided or unduly pendulous, carrying two testes.

Teats: (Two) Of adequate size for ease of milking, well attached and distinct from udder. Set well apart, pointing slightly forward and down, not outward.

Rudimentary Teats: Two, set well apart slightly to the fore and side of scrotum, of good size but not over developed, unless the buck is milking.

Size (height at withers): Does 31 inches (79 centimetres), Bucks 35 inches (90 centimetres).

Coat: Does and bucks to have a short coat, a short coat with longer fringes, or a long coat all over.

Colour: Light fawn to chocolate (with no preference for any shade) with white Swiss markings as follows; Facial stripes from above the eye to the muzzle, edges and tips of ears, legs from the knees and hocks down to hooves and insides of legs to trunk, on rump and around tail. Spots at base of tassels or on neck in place of tassels. Facial stripes may be indistinct in mature bucks.

Differing from the Ideal (found and recognised): Cream or fawn instead of white markings. White hairs throughout coat. White spots on head or throat. Indistinct facial markings. White ears. Raised bridge to nose or dished facial line. Horned. Uneven tassels.

Faults: Small white spots on body. Steeply sloping rump. Cow hocks. Dropped pasterns. Roach back or sway back. Size differing substantially from the ideal. Uneven gait. Pink skin. Poor feet. Splayed feet. Low set ears. Weak or narrow chest. Shallow body. Lack of dairy quality. Fleshy, pendulous or unduly divided udders. Pocket in udder. Teats: small, thin: large bulbous; ill defined; unbalanced. Lack of milking capacity. Lack of masculinity in bucks. Divided, uneven or unduly pendulous scrotum.

Disqualifications: Parrot mouth or obviously undershot jaw. Black or rusty black coat colour. Double teats. Double orifices. Supernumerary teats. Intersex. Patches of white on barrel. Lack of characteristic Swiss markings. Wry face. Undescended testicles in buck or one testicle only. Pendulous ears. White or cream belly.

A Brief History of the Toggenburg

This breed originated in Switzerland where its breeding was strictly regulated for purity and type. These more boisterous of goats were widely exported. The United States of America especially favours the breed and in other countries, including Australia, it enjoys bursts of popularity.

When imported into Britain the Pure Toggenburg was line bred by some breeders but others developed a larger framed animal, well formed with moderately heavy bone. Whereas the Pure had a short, dished face, well developed fringes of hair and a fairly uniform colour, the British Toggenburg, as the new developed breed was called, was less inclined to have so much fringing and had a longer, straighter face. The British Toggenburg could vary in colour from very light fawn to dark chocolate, the hair being usually shorter and sleeker than its Pure ancestor. The British Toggenburg was reputed to have a better quantity and quality of milk production than the Pure Toggenburg.

Between 1947 and 1953 Australia imported six bucks and fourteen does, some in-kid. Six more bucks and three does were born from the in-kid does, a total of 12 bucks and 17 does of which four were Pure, the remainder British Toggenburgs. The major importer was the New South Wales Agricultural Department's "State" farm at Condobolin. There considerable numbers were bred but eventually dispersed Australia wide with the farm's closure in 1962. Condobolin "State" stock have had an important influence on present day successful Toggenburg families, even after so long a time since dispersal. There were a few other smaller importers, notably Doctors Scholes and Sandy.

The first Toggenburg into Western Australia was from the "Lonsdale" stud. More recently Toggenburgs have been purchased from New Zealand. There are no known remaining Pure descendants of the "Pure" Toggenburgs in Australia. The "British" descendants are widely found throughout the continent.

The breed's robust nature makes it a useful broad acre goat, the dark skin guarding against skin cancer. It prefers upland temperate regions but is found in all climates, a hardy goat able to look after its own interests. Not regarded as giving the highest milk quantity and quality of the Swiss breeds, nevertheless there are good producers in the breed, but for best results it responds well to individual attention.

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Toggenburg Doe
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Toggenburg Doe