The South African Savanna Goat

Savanna Goats in the United States

North American Savannah Association

American Savanna

Great reading about the Origin and Development of Savannah Goats. Printable document.


The Savanna goat’s origin began in the Savanna Veld of South Africa in 1957.  Lubbe Cilliers (DSU farm) took his first stud buck and selected for all-white goats from the indigenous bush goats that had originally come to South Africa by sea travelers over hundreds of years.  Lubbe wanted hardiness, survivability, and adaptability as his primary traits.  Over the years Lubbe Cilliers and Koenie Kotze’ savannas got the attention of goat ranchers across the country.  University study showed the Savanna goat was homogeneous in genotype (genes) and phenotype (appearance), but yet diverse enough from other breeds, to be recognized as its own breed.   By 1993, the Savanna had distinguished itself enough that the Savanna Goat Breeders Society (Association) was formed and developed breed standards in South Africa. 

Importation to the United States

In 1994 Jürgen Schulz (JCS farm) imported the first and only live Savannas into the United States from South Africa.  The savannas came in with the famous CODI/PCI Boer goat flight.  Mr. Schulz kept and bred Savannas for several years, thus becoming the first Savanna breeder in the United States.  In 1998, these 32 Savannas were sold to the public at his Kifaru dispersion sale.  Each goat sold was given a certificate and pedigree of its breeding.  These first buyers became the breeders of a new industry.  In 2000, these breeders commissioned Pedigree International (Pi) to track and maintain a herd book of these rare goats.  In 2000 and 2001, Keri-Rose consulting (KRI) and Ms. Denise Peterson (Amore Arts farm), separately imported frozen embryos from South Africa to help diversify the Savanna genetics in North American with 19 more total goats from each of their projects.  In 2006, Mr. Kenneth Mincey commissioned frozen embryos to move from South Africa to Australia for implantation into recipient goats.  His 21 Savanna goats would eventually be imported to his Georgia farm (MGF) in 2010.  The Mincey’s would perform embryo transplant programs to grow their numbers.  These are the only sources of Savannas in North America.  Any new genetic material is currently banned under international law. 

Savanna features

  • Exceptional Mothering skills
  • Parasite tolerance
  • Aggressive Foragers
  • Very Aggressive Breeders
  • Vigorous, fast-growing kids
  • Less Producer input
  • Strong legs and hoofs
  • Higher weaning weights
  • Excellent for crossbreeding adding muscle
  • Improved muscle carcass yields

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