Dairy Goat Society of Western Australia

British Alpine History

 

The British Alpine was developed in Great Britain from Sedgemere Faith, a doe found in the Paris Zoo in 1903. Although the British Alpine type existed prior to her discovery, she had great influence on the breed. The first type standard was drawn up in Britain in 1919 after sufficient true to type stock existed. The British Alpine was added to the British Goat Society herd book in 1926.

The first British Alpines were imported into Australia in 1958, although the breed was slow to establish itself due to the extremely limited gene pool. Crossbreeding with Saanens and Toggenburgs carrying a recessive black gene enabled the breed to be established. Some breeders worked with direct line breeding while others gradually upgraded using the recessive genes.

Later imports from the 1970s to the 1990s (some by embryo transplant) led to further improvements in the British Alpine Breed.

The British Alpine is very active and suited for a free ranging situation. They generally have high quality milk and are known for their extended lactations and ability to milk through winter.