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The Most Popular Goat Breeds in Australia

The goat is well and truly part of the farming mix in Australia, with the first goats arriving on land with the First Fleet in 1788. There are many types of goat in Australia, history suggests that cashmere goats arrived in South Australia as early as 1837, and angora goats arrived in the 1860s which saw the start of the goat fibre industry.

Feral goats are a problem in Australia, an issue that stems from the collapse of the goat fibre industry in the 1920s which saw herds of goats set free around Australia. Today, feral goats, of which there are predicted to be millions, are found in all Australian states as well as the ACT.

ALSO READ: 5 Self-Shedding Sheep Breeds Available in Australia

Feral goats aside, goats can be farmed for their fleece, hide, milk, and meat, and can be quite a pleasant animal to have around and keep your weeds low if need be.

These are the most popular goat breeds in Australia.


The Saanen is the most popular breed of goat in the world, not just in Australia, and is a Swiss breed that originated in the Saane Valley. They’re all white, or all cream, and have a short coat. The Saanen is a big old breed of goat, in fact, it’s the largest breed of goat there is. They’re pretty solid on the milk production front too, producing plenty of milk, but not quite what you’d expect to be getting from the British Alpine.

Saanens were first brought to Australia in 1913 by the New South Wales Department of Agriculture with two bucks, and ten does making the journey from France and Switzerland and sent to the Nyngan Experimental Farm.


The Toggenbury (fun to say) breed of goat is popular in Australia and originates from Obertoggenberg in Switzerland and was the first officially recognised breed of dairy goat. The Toggenbury were the first breed of goat to head to Britain in the late 1800s, and found their way to Australia in the mid-1940s, post World War II.

Toggenburgs like conditions to be a bit cooler and are known to produce milk for a longer period of time. They tend to be smaller than other Alpine breeds and vary in colour from brown to fawn.

British Alpine

The British Alpine goat first came about after the Brits bred local goals with Swiss-imported Alpine goats. This goat breed first arrived in Australia in 1958, but due to quarantine regulations, there was only a small amount brought into the country. Further British Alpine goats have been imported into Australia from New Zealand which share lineage with the original goats in Australia.

The British Alpine is an average-sized goat with a short black glossy coat. They’re also excellent jumpers.

Anglo Nubian

T-bone meatball leberkas pork belly jerky hamburger. Chicken chuck shankle salami. Sausage cupim strip steak filet mignon tenderloin shank venison bresaola ball tip salami alcatra ribeye. Beef prosciutto turkey, andouille chicken meatball tongue. Chicken venison andouille frankfurter jerky, bresaola strip steak landjaeger.

Australian Melaan

Originating from an imporant Saanen buck in the 1940s, the Australian Melaan takes itse name from its colour. ‘Mel’ from melanin or black pignet, and ‘aan’ from Saanen.

A tall, rangy goat, the Australian Melaan are an easy milking goat and are entirely black in appearance.

Australian Brown

The Australian Brown, as its name suggests, is a breed that was developed in Australia. The breed was developed in Australia during the 1990s, and was officially recognised as a goat breed in 2006. Like the Melaan, they’re a tall, rangy goat, and are apparently super easy to milk which is great news.


The Angora is when you’re arriving in fleece territory. Angora goats have been raised for their fleece since the 5th century BC, and are named Angora as the goat breed originated in Angora (now Ankara) on the Anatolian Plains of Turkey. Angora goats first appeared in European records in 1851, and the Sultan of Turkey first exported raw mohair from Istanbul to Europe in 1820.

The first Angora goats were first purchased for a farm near Parramatta, with a herd of 13 Cashmere cross Angora goats were purchased from France. The popularity of Angora goats declined in Australia over time until there was just one flock of Angora left in Australia in the 1930s on a farm in Victoria. It experienced a resurgence however in the 1960s and there are now more than 200,000 Angora goats in Australi.

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