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The Toggenburger or Toggenburg is a Swiss breed of dairy goat. Its name derives from that of the Toggenburg region of the Canton of St. Gallen, where it is thought to have originated. It is among the most productive breeds of dairy goat and is distributed world-wide, in about fifty countries in all five inhabited continents.[3]

Conservation statusFAO (2007): not at risk[1]: 146 
Other names
  • Toggenburg
  • Toggenburger Ziege
  • Chèvre du Toggenbourg
  • Capra del Toggenburgo
Country of originSwitzerland
StandardSchweizerischer Ziegenzuchtverband
  • Male:
    75 kg[2]
  • Female:
    55 kg[2]
  • Male:
    85 cm[2]
  • Female:
    75 cm[2]
Horn statushorned or hornless
Tasselswith or without tassels


Plate from Les Races de Chevres de la Suisse by Nicolas Julmy, 1896

The Toggenburger is the traditional goat breed of the Toggenburg and Werdenberg regions of the Canton of St. Gallen in eastern Switzerland.[4] The herd-book was started in 1890.[5]: 414  At first, the goats were often dark-coated, sometimes with white markings; there may have been some cross-breeding with Appenzell and Chamois-coloured stock in neighbouring areas. The typical mouse-grey colour with white facial markings was fixed by selective breeding in the twentieth century.[5]: 414 

In 2006 there were 850 goats in the Toggenburg and the Werdenberg regions, out of a total of 3000 in Switzerland; this is much lower than in the 1950s, when there were more than 20000.[4] The Verein Ziegenfreunde is an association of owners of the goats within their historic area of origin.[4]

British Toggenburgs are heavier and have improved milk quality.[citation needed] By the middle of 2002, 4146 Toggenburgs had been registered with the New Zealand Dairy Goat Breeders Association.[6]


The Toggenburger is of medium size. Coat colour ranges from light brown to mouse grey, with white Swiss markings to the face, lower legs and tail area.[2] Tassels may be present; billies and nannies may be naturally horned or polled (hornless).[2]


It is a highly productive dairy breed. The breed standard calls for minimum milk yield of 740 kg per lactation, with a minimum fat content of 3.56% and minimum protein content of 2.90%.[2]


  1. ^ Barbara Rischkowsky, D. Pilling (eds.) (2007). List of breeds documented in the Global Databank for Animal Genetic Resources, annex to The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 9789251057629. Accessed May 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Toggenburger Ziege (in German). Schweizerischer Ziegenzuchtverband. Archived 2 October 2016.
  3. ^ Transboundary breed: Toggenburg. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed August 2022.
  4. ^ a b c Slow Food Presidia: Toggenburg Goat. Fondazione Slow Food per la Biodiversità Onlus. Archived 30 January 2015.
  5. ^ a b Valerie Porter, Lawrence Alderson, Stephen J.G. Hall, D. Phillip Sponenberg (2016). Mason's World Encyclopedia of Livestock Breeds and Breeding (sixth edition). Wallingford: CABI. ISBN 9781780647944.
  6. ^ "New Zealand Dairy Goat Breeders Association". Retrieved December 14, 2014.