Blonde Goat from Adamello
The origins of this breed are not yet certain, although we can attribute its derivation to the goat population of the Alpine arc originally made up of similar subjects in morphology, type of horns, ear bearing, grinding wheels, but characterized by great mix of coats .
The breeder man subsequently, preferring some coats over others, started the birth of groups of subjects united by this character. The geographical environment in which we find ourselves is also conducive to this situation; in fact, the mountain ranges until a few decades ago constituted natural barriers resulting in the birth of islands within which the artificial and natural selection of farmed livestock evolved.
Today the only official standard for this breed is the one published in the Official Bulletin of the Lombardy Region (27 January 1995), although the new knowledge gained in recent years has enriched the standard in many of its parts. The blonde Adamello goat is a medium-length subject with a light brown coat, hence the name, but to make this animal fascinating are the white patches distributed on the body in a perfectly regular manner.
Always present are the two streaks that, starting from the supraciliary region, merge on the muzzle which is clear, like the ears and the distal parts of the limbs. The inner color of the thighs, the anal mirror and, much sought after and not always present, the light colored belly and sternum are of the same color.
Male and female goat Bionda dell'Adamello (photo www.assonapa.com)
The table shows the morphometric measurements of a sample (101 female) of blonde subjects:
|Type of measure|
Average ± D.S. (Cm)
|Height at the withers|
74,3 ± 3,4
|Height at the supra-sacral spine|
75,6 ± 3,4
15,9 ± 1,5
32,6 ± 2,2
|Length of the croup|
23,7 ± 1,5
|Width at the hips|
16,9 ± 1,2
|Width at the coxofemoral joints|
20,3 ± 1,8
81,8 ± 4,2
84,6 ± 4,8
8,7 ± 0,5
The area of maximum concentration of this goat is certainly Val Camonica (BS), especially in the Saviore Valley at the foot of the Adamello massif; of less importance are the flocks present in the province of Bergamo and those in the Alto Lario area in the province of Lecco.
The breeding of the Bionda goat goes from the extensive type, with the exploitation of the kid's production during the Easter holidays, to the semi-extensive type (professional or amateur) where the milk is initially used for feeding the kids and, subsequently , when the latter are weaned or slaughtered, for cheesemaking. In this last case, certainly the most interesting from an economic point of view, the animals are sheltered in the stables at the bottom of the valley in the period between December and March, while in the spring of summer there is the rational exploitation of the maggengo and the mountain pasture.
The breeders who exploit the production of milk on a professional level are directed towards a traditional type of cheesemaking that associates their breed with a typical production, a characteristic that is very much in demand by the consumer today. Among the productions of cheeses of the most disparate types there are two of ancient dairy tradition: Fatulì and Mascarpin. The first is produced with only Bionda goat milk and smoked on special grills placed inside the fireplace, while the second is an excellent ricotta produced with whey obtained from the processing of traditional cheese and stored for a few days in special cotton bags. Currently milk production is modest.
Importance of breeding local breeds
This situation is not typical only of the Bionda goat, but can be traced back to all the other indigenous breeds, and for this reason it should be considered the local breeds bred in the traditional way as a triple attitude, meat for the production of the kid, milk for a traditional and social cheesemaking because they are able to keep the inhabitants of marginal areas on the territory, guaranteeing the cleaning of the woods, the mowing of meadows or lawns and slowing down the abandonment of the mountain pastures.
Regarding the importance of populations of local breeds, we can distinguish three aspects:
- Scientific aspect: it is linked to biodiversity and therefore to having become aware that the breeding of a few super-selected breeds has led to genetic erosion with the loss of precious heritages that are difficult to reproduce;
- Economic aspect: in view of the fact that the consumer today prefers a product identifiable by a typical production technology better if it can be traced back to a precise animal compared to a completely anonymous product, as happens today with drinking milk produced exclusively with breed cows Rendena;
- Social aspect: because it can help create a sector linked to deep cultural traditions that would otherwise die.
Clearly for the success of safeguarding a breed, the economic aspect is slightly more important than the others: it is in fact easy to guess that the breeder places in his animals both emotional interests for an indigenous breed in the area, but also economic, when the marketing of traditional dairy products is easier. This is positive for the breeder who has an economic and reflex feedback also for the animals that will be preferred to others. Surely the situation, as regards the Bionda goat, has improved compared to a few years ago, even if the danger of seeing it extinct is only partially averted. In fact, according to the World Watch List for domestic animal diversity, FAO '93, in order not to be considered endangered, a breed must present: a consistency of mares equal to 1000 heads (for the blonde they were 700 in 1997), females bred 100 per cent % and the population must be growing. In our case the first two conditions have not yet occurred but the population is certainly growing steadily.
For the protection of this local breed, the involvement of Bodies such as the Parks (Adamello and Adamello-Brenta) is important, as in France they could become the proponents and custodians of the projects to protect endangered breeds in a not strictly protectionist perspective, as in the case of the wild, but more economic management. After all, this stems from the hope of seeing this animal once again return to the flocks of its valleys in large numbers, testifying to the rebirth of animal husbandry in the mountains and reappropriation of the indispensable role that for years has closely linked man to his territory.
Breeders Association for the Protection and Enhancement of the Blonde Adamello goat
Via Zendrini, 62 - 25050 BRESCIA
Tel 0364 638246
by The Breeder of 10 November 1997