Wageningen University and Research Centre

First semen collection of Dutch Toggenburg goat in the Dutch gene bank


The first 165 straws of semen of 8 Dutch Toggenburg goat were collected and cryopreserved on November 23, 2013 by the Centre for Genetic Resources, the Netherlands (CGN) of Wageningen University and Research Centre. This could be realized in close cooperation with representatives of the Dutch Toggenburg breed society.

The Dutch Toggenburg goat is a Dutch goat breed, one of the four rare Dutch goat breeds. The other three breeds are  the Dutch Landrace goat, the Dutch White goat and the Dutch Pied original goat. In 2005, CGN started semen collection of the Dutch Landrace goat, followed by  collections from the Dutch White and Dutch Pied original goat in 2012. First semen collections of the Toggenburg goat were added to the gene bank in 2013.

For centuries the goat population in the Netherlands consisted of landrace goats. These goats were sober animals with low production, usually horned and long-haired, in all colors. In the beginning of the 20th century Swiss goats were imported to improve milk and meat production of the landrace goats. The Dutch Toggenburg goat has its history in Drenthe. In this province the local landrace goat was crossed with  the Swiss Toggenburg goat. In 1938 the Dutch Toggenburg breed was officially established. Typical is the color of milkchocolate, the pattern and  the compact type. In the other provinces of the Netherlands the local landrace goats were crossed with Swiss Saanen goats, that resulted in the Dutch White goat.  In the province Zeeland breeders preferred the coloured goat more than the white and this resulted in the Dutch Pied original goat. Only two-coloured animals are accepted (black-white or brown-white) by the breed society. Sometimes the Dutch White goat is used for improvement of the offspring of the Dutch Pied original. In the late 80s of the previous century a tremendous growth in professional dairy goat farming took place in the Netherlands. The majority of the Dutch milk goats is not registered in a herd book, the origin of these Dutch Milkgoat is the Dutch White goat, with a dash of foreign blood (Nubian, Alpine, Saanen).

For the Dutch Pied original and Dutch Toggenburg goat the pedigree populations are about 1000 adult females, the Landrace goat and the Dutch White Goat count about 1800 females. The number of adult males is about ten percent of the number of females. The main aim of the Dutch gene bank for farm animals is long term conservation of genetic diversity, in order to safeguard genetic diversity within and between Dutch livestock breeds. In CGN report 29 is reported about  the establishment of gene bank collections for sheep and goat breeds during the last decade.

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