South African Breed Standard (S.A.)

South African Breed Standards

Note: Does are referred to as Ewes and Bucks are referred to as Rams in South Africa.


  • The Savannah White Goat should be a strong, virile, functionally efficient goat, with a lively but not wild carriage.

  • The ewes must be of a medium size but should appear refined and feminine.
  • Ewes with lambs at foot should have good mothering ability and should aggressively defend their lambs against dogs and other predators.
  • Rams must be masculine, proud, robust and well muscled.
  • The Savannah White Goat was developed under very unfavorable environmental conditions and must be able to easily endure unfavorable conditions such as heat, intense sunshine, cold and rain.
  • The breed moves easily and can, if necessary, travel long distances in search of fodder and water.
  • The Savannah White Goat should also be able to utilize a wide range of vegetation, such as trees, shrubs and small as well as big bushes which are hard and even unpalatable to other farm animals.
  • The Savannah must have a long breeding season and should be sexually active and able to breed at any time of the year.

Characteristic Breed Traits

  • Lively appearance
  • Symmetrical conformation, with legs and body not too long or too short.
  • Short kemp white hair. During the winter months the goats develop extra fluffy cashmere hair for protection.
  • The goats have strong jaws and strong long lasting well developed teeth.
  • Long, productive life.


  • The Savannah has a fairly long, slightly curved head and the head has the shape of that of a big-mouth yellow-fish. The head and nose must be fairly broad and not sharp.
  • The mouth must be reasonably wide with well muscled jaws. The upper and lower lips must be well muscled and mobile like that of a kudu.
  • The teeth of young as well as mature goats in the case of rams, as well as ewes, must bite solidly and correctly on the dental pads of the upper jaws. No jaw or mouth faults will be tolerated, accept eight tooth olds and older may show 6mm protrusion.
  • The eyes must be lively and surrounded by black pigmented eyelids, and skin must be protected by well developed eyebrow ridges. 
  • The ears must be fairly big, of oval shape and hang down next to the head. The ears must be well pigmented and mobile in order to protect the goat against midges (muggies), ticks, gadflies and other insect pests.
  • The horns are dark black and grow backwards from the crown of the head. The horns must be strong and oval shaped and must not press against the neck. The horns should not grow wild or be too long. Rams have slightly stronger, heavier horns than ewes. At the base there should be a reasonable width between the horns.
  • Ewes as well as rams must be able to use their horns to protect themselves as well as their kids.

Neck, Forequaters, legs and hooves

  • The neck is well muscled and reasonably long so that the goat can easily reach as high as possible to browse on branches and pods of various types of the thorn trees.
  • The forequarter is well muscled and of medium width; there will be strongly discriminated against a narrow or a very wide forequarter. The front legs are well placed and straight. The cannon bone of both the front and hind legs should be short and strong. The pasterns of the front and hind legs must be strong and springy and must be slightly sloping. Against straight or weak pasterns will be strongly discriminated.
  • The hooves of both front and hind legs must be strong, hard, black and reasonably big. The two sections of each hoof must be close to each other.
  • The hooves should not be overgrown and the hooves of Savannas must not easily become sore and develop foot rot.
  • The scapulas or shoulder-blades must be strongly attached to the forequarter and withers.
  • The processes spinosus and withers should be somewhat higher than the back and rump. In the case of older rams, medium sized skinfolds are found on the forequarter.

Back and centre piece

  • The centre piece should be reasonably long and deep on the goat and must possess enough capacity to eat sufficient roughage and to convert it into meat and energy.
  • The back and eye muscle (musculus longissimus dorsi) must be strong and wide and not be straight, but should not be weak.
  • The centre piece of older animals must not be cylindrical or lack depth.
  • The Savannah Goat has well sprung ribs and an oval respiratory centre piece.

Hind quarters and Hindlegs

  • The hindquarters should be wide and the hindlegs must be well apart and straight.
  • The ramp must show a reasonable slope just like that of the gemsbok (oryx gazella).
  • The hindquarters must be well muscled and carry a lot of meat.
  • The hocks must be strong and muscular and the tendons of the hocks must be prominent and easily seen. The hocks should not turn in or out and the goat must be able to stand easily on its hindlegs.
  • The tail of the Savannah White Goat must be straight up and be well covered with hair and should be very mobile. The bare skin of the tail should also have black pigmentation.

Colour, Pigmentation and hair

  • The Savannah Goat is totally white. A limited amount of black and red
    hair is acceptable, but red or black hair must be eliminated.
  • Pigmentation must be dark grey to black. Light spots may not appear on Elite ewes and rams. Any shade of pink is a cull defect.

Sexual Organs

  • Ewes: Well-formed udder firmly attached with teats as on page 10.
  • Rams: Two reasonably large, well-formed, healthy and equal sized testes in one scrotum. A scrotum with a split no larger than 2 cm is permissible. The scrotum must be at least 26 cm in circumference.
  • A twisted scrotum, or a scrotum of which the points are twisted is a cull defect.


  • Rams: One teat on each side of the scrotum is ideal; two on a side is acceptable until 26 January 2011.
  • Ewes: 2 Functional teats are ideal. Double teats are not acceptable, but one teat with 2 wholes are acceptable, but must be eliminated. Teats with a small blind teat are acceptable. The maximum teats on a side are 3: 2 functional and one small and blind, OR 1 functional and 2 small and blind. Functional teats with a small blind teat are acceptable. ALL TEATS MUST BE SEPARATE FROM EACH OTHER.

Cull Defects

  • Over- or undershot jaw
  • Knock knees, bandy legs, cow hocked or post legged or sickle hocked. Legs too thin or too fleshy. Weak pasterns and hoofs pointing outwards or inwards.
  • Faulty sexual organs and udders.
  • Any deviation from the normal body structure that will harm the functional effectiveness of the Savannah.
  • Incomplete or too light skin pigmentation.