Toggenburg and Saanen Bucks are Comparable in Performance but Toggenburg Bucks Better for Artificial Insemination

Tropical goat breeds are well adapted to their native environment in terms of traits such as disease resistance, heat resistance, and ability to cope with feed of poor quality. In terms of productivity, the Saanen breed tends to perform better than Toggenburg in the temperate (native) environment in milk yield, body weight, and other reproductive performances.

However, such differences in productivity for the two species might not be the case in tropical regions as was discovered by D. L. M. Gore, T. K. Muasya, T. O. Okeno and J. N. Mburu in their research on ‘Comparative reproductive performance of Saanen and Toggenburg bucks raised under tropical environment’.


The scientists from Egerton University, Kenya studied the effect of breed and age on scrotal measurements and semen characteristics of Saanen and Toggenburg bucks raised under tropical environments. Variables such as semen characteristics, body weight, scrotal length and circumference, were measured and analyzed.


The study found out that the specific breed of bucks in the tropics had little influence on body weight, scrotal circumference, scrotal length, volume, mass activity, progressive motility, live sperm cells and sperm morphology. However, the study, found out that Toggenburg bucks had higher semen consistency and spermatozoa concentration as compared with Saanen bucks. They also produced a higher number of total spermatozoa and, as a result, higher semen doses for artificial insemination purposes.

In conclusion, Toggenburg bucks are better for Artificial Insemination as compared to Saanen bucks in the tropics.

The study is published in Tropical Animal Health and Production Journal and has been supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Borlaug Higher Education for Agricultural Research and Development Programme (BHEARD Programme), Centre of Excellence for Livestock Innovation and Business (CoELIB) and Tatton Agriculture Park (TAP), Egerton University.