Peacock Goat

Also Known by: Pfauenziege (German).

Origin: Little is known about the origin of the Peacock Goat. The first mention of it was in the year 1887, under the name Prätttigau Goat. This description is for the most part identical to the present outward appearance. Later other names surfaced like gray-black or gray-black-white mountain goat, or razza naz (Tessin) and Colomba (Bergell). The front body half is predominantly white with black boots, the rear half predominantly black. The inside of the ears and the area around the mouth are dark. On the mostly dark rear portion of the body the white top side of the tail and the white spots on the thighs and flanks are noticeable. The animals wear a thick, mid-length coat of hair and are horned. Characteristic are also the dark facial spots and the dark stripes from the base of the horn over the eyes up to the nose. These stripes or “pfaven” gave the breed its name in that a spelling mistake of a journalist (Pfauenziege peacock goat ,instead of Pfavenziege striped goat) was perceived as fitting for this beautiful animal. During the breed cleansing of 1938 the Peacock Goat was incorrectly considered to be a color variant of the Grisons Striped Goat. More recent blood testing however could not confirm this assumption. For the near future the Peacock Goat will survive without official recognition as a breed and that without any public funding. For a longer period of time, however, the danger exists that the breeders of the Peacock Goat will increasingly switch to other recognized breeds. For the survival of the breed it is therefore important for the Federation to rank the Peacock Goat as equal to the other breeds.

Expansion and Characteristics: This ancient mountain breed was encountered primarily in the canton Graubünden and in Upper Tessin, where it was often put to use as a lead goat in Verzasca herds. Today Peacock Goats are spread throughout all of Switzerland. In milk production the Peacock Goat is equal to most mountain breeds. It produces a good amount of meat with modest fodder demands. In Switzerland about 300 Peacock Goats are kept.

Breeding Organization: In the canton Aargau the first Peacock Goat Breeding Association was founded in 1989. An interest society was founded in 1992 with the help of Pro Specie Rara. In eastern Switzerland a breeders’ union was founded in 1993. In the canton Bern an association was founded in 1994. More recently one exists also in Graubünden.

Reference:

Endangered Domestic Animal Breeds 1995, Pro Specie Rara, Engelgasse 12a, CH-9000 St. Gallen, Switzerland, Telefon xx41/(0)71/222 74 20, Fax xx41/(0)71/223 74 01. German Translation provided by John te Velde, Associate Professor of German, Oklahoma State University

Photograph

Beate Milerski, Theodor-Heuss-Str. 42, D-71735 Eberdingen, e-mail:b.milerski@web.de


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Updated November 20, 2002