Another stop on Mom and my baby goat tour of Northern Colorado was Vicki Larson of Harmody Alpines in Windsor, CO. Vicki, Greg, Amanda, Kenton, Hannah, Joseph, Abbi and Emily (phew!) started out with a small herd of Alpines fifteen years ago, and now they’ve branched out into Lamanchas, Oberhaslis and Toggenburgs. Last year the Larsons did quite well at Nationals and are gearing up for another good year. Here are some pictures of their adorable babies, as well as some Alpine facts!
Click on each picture to see a larger version.
The Alpine breed originated in the French Alps. They were first imported to America in 1922 by Charles P. Delangle.
Alpines are the only breed of upright-eared dairy goat that can come in all different colors and patterns
Before a recent overhaul by the Nigerian Dwarf breed, Alpines were once the 2nd most popular breed in ADGA (1st is Nubians).
Common Alpine colors include: Cou Blanc (coo blanc) – literally “white neck” white front quarters and black hindquarters with black or gray markings on the head. Cou Clair (coo clair) – literally “clear neck” front quarters are tan, saffron, off-white, or shading to gray with black hindquarters. Cou Noir (coo nwah) – literally “black neck” black front quarters and white hindquarters. Sundgau (sundgow) – black with white markings such as underbody, facial stripes, etc. Pied – spotted or mottled. Chamoisee (shamwahzay) – brown or bay characteristic markings are black face, dorsal stripe, feet and legs, and sometimes a martingale running over the withers and down to the chest. Spelling for male is chamoise. Two-tone Chamoisee – light front quarters with brown or gray hindquarters. This is not a cou blanc or cou clair as these terms are reserved for animals with black hindquarters. Broken Chamoisee – a solid chamoisee broken with another color by being banded or splashed, etc.
A “Rock Alpine” is a Purebred French Alpine crossbred with another Swiss import. They are not registered under ADGA, but the Rock Alpines of the 1920s had great genetics and were absorbed into the category of “American Alpine,” which includes goats that are not 100% French Alpine.
A “British Alpine” is a goat that appears to be a black and white Toggenburg.
Alpine milk is great for cheese because of their good butterfat and protein content
Alpines can have Toggenburg-like facial stripes, but cannot be Toggenburg colored. Likewise, they cannot be solid white like Saanens.
Alpines are known for being curious, friendly and hardy
You can find more information about Alpines at the Alpines International Breed Club website: www.alpinesinternationalclub.com/
Thank you to the Larson family for letting us visit your goats! Good luck at Nationals!