Orobica Goat: A Rare Breed of Italian Sheep

Orobica Goat is a rare Italian sheep breed. Orobica, in fact, means “mountain-dweller”. It comes from Italy, in the Gerola Valley. This breed was first achieved in the early 1900s. Orobica is one of 8 autochthonous races of Italy and pure individuals are registered with an association of Orobica sheep breeders’ genealogical book kept by Italian Association OVALE (Italian for “oval”) which has its seat at Casale Monferrato near Turin.

Characteristics of Orobica Goat:

The Orobica goat is a medium-sized breed with a fairly robust body. The male of this breed weighs 80 Kg. And reaches 80 centimeters long. While the females reach 65 kg weighing and reach a total of 73 cm. It has antlers that are direct upwards and with a curvature towards the sides. They are large. Males are usually born with antlers, but females are sometimes born without them.

The ears are small in size and remain straight, there are some that have them sideways, and others up. The coat of this species is long, and comes in different colors, including beige, brown, gray, black, and are also found in white with spots. In addition, the coat of this breed is long and smooth and shiny. The females of this breed have a lactation period of 150 days a year, and during the whole season, they can be milked.

Of this race, there are 2 types which are the arabica race and the Orobica valgerola race. And although both are similar, these races are separate in the lists of breeds of goats.


Orobica goat is used for the production of its meat and for the production of its milk. It produces milk of good quality, and with high-fat content, which makes it perfect for cheese making. The cheeses that are made with the milk of this breed are of good quality. And usually, the flavors they produce are acidic. With this breed, 3 types of cheeses are produced.

It is forbidden to use fermentors for the elaboration of cheeses of this breed, in the same way, the breeders cannot use flavoring herbs, peppers, among others. Although this breed can also be used as a pet. In addition to its medium size also serves for the production of meat, although it is not its strength.


Orobica goat is a breed that usually feeds with intensive grazing. The breeders use to let the goats graze all day and pick them up and take them home at night. Because this breed is raised with intensive grazing, the complementary diet of the feed should not exceed 0.2 kg per day. In general, the grazing that is given to this breed reaches 7 months in a year, and should not be less than this time, regardless of the climate in which they are.

Special Features:

Orobica goat is a breed that comes from a valley however with the geographical food of the area where it comes from, the race has so many variations. Even this breed has reached hard-to-reach places just to get its food.

And this is due to their resistance and the that this breed has adapted to be in mountainous areas. Today this breed is found only in alpine areas. Orobica goat became an important breed for people who live in places near the Alps. Since it is a resistant breed and that can feed itself.

This breed is currently in danger of extinction since today there are only less than 1,000 individuals of this breed. That is why in Italy an association of cheesemakers of the Orobica breed was created. Something that stands out from the race is that they can live between 15 and 18 years.

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