The Oberhasli, also known as the Oberhasli Brienzer, is a swish dairy goat developed in the mountainous cantons of Bern, Freiburg, Glarus, and Graubunden in Switzerland.
Oberhasli goats were first imported to the United States in the early 1900s, though it wasn’t until 1936 that purebred herds were established and maintained. The breed was initially called the Swiss Alpine. Its registrations were included in the Alpine studbook, and its genetics contributed to the Alpine breed. In 1977, the name Oberhasli was adopted and registration records were separated from the Alpines. This evolution of the breed’s name and identification has been one reason that its population in the U.S. has remained fairly small.
The Oberhasli is alert in appearance with a friendly, gentle disposition. Mature goats are medium in size. Bucks range in height from 30 to 34 inches, and does 28 to 32 inches, with weights of 100 to 150 pounds. While does are a dependable source of milk, bucks and wethers are also useful as pack animals thanks to their strength and calm demeanor. Some goat packers prefer Oberhaslis because they’re believed to be less fearful of water and various trail obstacles compared to other breeds.
The breed’s color pattern is called chamoisee. Goats are brown, with hues between light tan and deep reddish-brown, and have black points. Two black stripes from the eyes to the black muzzle give a distinctive facial appearance. The forehead is nearly all black, and black stripes run from the base of each ear to a point just behind the poll and continue along the neck and back to the tail as a dorsal stripe. The Oberhasli has a black belly and light gray to black udder. The legs are black below the knees and hocks and the ears are black on the inside. The Oberhasli face is straight or dished with no evidence of a Roman nose. The breed is well known internationally, and it’s relatively numerous in Switzerland.
Did you know:
The Livestock Conservancy is America’s leading organization working to save over 150 heritage breeds from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants, and donations from the public to raise the $700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare breeds of farm animals. Click here to learn how you can help.