The Nigerian Dwarf goat was brought to the United States in the 1950s. Since then, these little goats have been used as both milk production and companionship animals.
These goats‘ ideal weight is between 60 and 80 pounds, on average, and because they come in a variety of color combinations, you can assemble a distinctive and beautiful herd. They are hardy animals that thrive in almost any climate and, due to their size, require less space to graze and play than full-size dairy goats.
Therefore, their living areas need to include “toys” such as tree stumps, rocks, and other large climbing structures that they can entertain themselves with. For many people, the appeal of the Nigerian Dwarf goat is the combination of their milking ability and compact size. Nigerian Dwarf goats generally have easy births with few problems, and kids are born at an average of around two pounds.
If you’re looking to purchase your own Nigerian Dwarf goat, the best place to start at one of their North American or global registries.
Do Nigerian dwarf goats make good pets?
Miniature goats are gentle, friendly and funny animals that make great pets for families. … Goats are low maintenance, easy to love and endlessly entertaining.
Are Nigerian dwarf goats noisy?
Nigerian dwarf goats are usually quiet, but they get very noisy when they want something. Since these types of goats are in heat every month, you will have a hard time keeping them quiet.
How much do Nigerian dwarf goats sell for?
As far as pets go, Nigerian Dwarf goats are relatively inexpensive. Expect to pay between $50 and $100.
Can you eat a Nigerian dwarf goat?
Few people eat Nigerian dwarf goat meat. Since they are so small, most people view ND wethers as pets. (But it’s worth noting that pygmies were originally raised as meat goats before they became a pet breed because of their small size.) … However, like quail, some of the tastiest meats can come from small animals.
If you are looking for a new pet, maybe a side business, and really love goats milk, you can combine all three with the purchase of a Nigerian dwarf goat.
Needing very little space to play, Nigerian dwarf goats are small in size but big in heart. They also breed easily so if you have enough room you can quickly produce new litters to sell.
Goats, like most farm animals, are measured in size from the ground they are standing on to the top of their back. For weight, expect your Nigerian Dwarf goat to weigh between 60 and 80 pounds. Interestingly, while some Nigerian Dwarf goats have horns, others will be naturally hornless.
While you dont need a lot of space for them, anything extra will add to their play potential. You can begin breeding Nigerian Dwarf goats when a doe is full-grown at one year old. Unlike some animals, you can breed Nigerian goats at any time of the year.
Does will give birth
to a litter of baby goats, called kids. This process is where you, the owner, provide the necessary nutrients, but the goats are allowed to eat as they want. In essence, provide the right types of food, usually multiple times a day so your goats can eat at their own pace.
If you find your goat isnt eating enough of the block, it may not have enough of a salt content in it, which they prefer. Female Nigerian Dwarf goats, or does, need to be milked daily. While certain aspects can affect this, such as how soon she has given birth and what she is eating, know that it is your responsibility as an animal owner to give the best care.
One really nice reason Nigerian Dwarf goats make such good pets is that they are very healthy. As always, ensure your animals have regular access to veterinarian services, especially if one of your goats is pregnant. Beyond that, give your goat good food to eat, the opportunity for exercise, and plenty of love, and it should live to its full lifespan.
If you want a goat that
has specific colors or patterns, you might have to pay extra. The biggest obstacle
you will have with wanting a Nigerian Dwarf goat is finding a place to purchase
one. Breeders do exist but unless you live in a large farming community, you may need to travel to find the right goat.
Nigerian Dwarf goats make
excellent additions to a family. Besides being able to produce good-tasting milk, Nigerian Dwarf goats are also good at being companions. Not only do they make
good pets, but they can also provide social support for the elderly and even service
animals for those with anxiety issues.
Whats really nice about these potential pets is they dont need a lot of space. The good news is while Nigerian goats do produce a lot of milk, it is far less than other animals such as cows, so it will not take up as much time.
I love goats. More importantly, I love Nigerian Dwarf Goats. I own Nigerian Dwarf Goats, and I will probably own them the rest of my life. There are several reasons why you DONT want Nigerian Dwarf Goats, here are my Top 9 Reasons.
Before you start shooting the messenger and accuse me of wrecking your homesteading dream or saying Im a goat-hater, let me explain myself. In addition, many of these unwanted goats end up homeless and in rescue because the previous owners didnt know what to expect going in.
Although Nigerian Dwarf Goats are one of the smallest breeds, (standing at just 22 shoulder height) they still require ample space. If you dont have the adequate space, consider getting a smaller livestock like chickens or rabbits. Make sure you check with your Homeowners Association and County/City Laws before you bring home goats.
Meaning you will have a goat in heat, wanting a mate every month throughout the year. Goats in heat are loud (see noise below), can be aggressive, want attention, try to escape, personality changes, and they will try to mate anything and everything. Nigerian Dwarf Goats have the highest level of butterfat content of all the other milking breeds.
The high butterfat lends to its a rich, creamy and sweet taste that people love. A NIgerian Dwarf doe in milk could yield one quart per day (sometimes more). If you desire gallon(s) of milk, you will want a larger goat breed, like Nubians.
Generally, our fence was sufficient to keep them on our property, but when something spooks them- watch out. They will eat your: gardens, trees, bushes, flowers, siding on your house, shoes (we still cant find the other flip-flop), and anything else they can get their mouths on. So if you plan on keeping your goats in the same area as your prized petunias, I would strongly reconsider.
If you dont have a lot of free time to spend with them, you may want to look into livestock that requires less hands-on. Most of the time you wouldnt even know you have goats, but when they want something (generally your attention) or they are in heat? Bring a good book and a chair because you will be pulling noise control once a month.
I do adore Nigerian Dwarf Goats, and in my opinion, the good far outweighs the bad. But, they are a huge responsibility and one that deserves a great deal of consideration before jumping right in.
The Nigerian Dwarf goat is a miniature goat of West African origin. Nigerian Dwarf goats are enjoying a rise in popularity due to their small size and colorful markings. Their small stature means they do not require as much space as larger dairy goat breeds, and their gentle and friendly personalities make them good companion pets. They are easy to handle; even small children can be at ease with these little goats. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has also approved the Nigerian Dwarf goat as a livestock dairy goat, which makes them eligible for youth 4H and FFA projects.
However, many Nigerian Dwarf owners do not raise their goats for milk but for the pleasure and companionship, these little caprines bring to their lives. Breeders of other types of goats find their Dwarfs blend in with the rest of their herd and do not need special quarters; just adequate fencing to contain them because of their small size.
Your vet can suggest any special supplements (such as selenium), additional immunizations, and a recommended wormer and worming schedule for your particular herd based on your area and known preventative health measures. Dwarfs are bred to have the length of body and more elegant structure thats similar to their larger dairy goat counterparts. The average cost for registered breeding stock is between $200 and $500 per head, with champion pedigrees, milk production recorded animals, and unusual coloring at premium prices.
The NDGA is a not-for-profit registry, show sanctioning and breeder support organization that is dedicated to the development and promotion of the Nigerian Dwarf Goat. They also publish a quarterly journal, called Nigerian Goat News, in addition to an annual membership directory and calendar for members.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Origin and History
There are a number of West African Dwarf goats, the Nigerian Dwarf goat among them.
While it has its origin in Africa, Nigerian goats were bred to more closely resemble small dairy goats and are now suitable for dairy production on a small scale.In 2005, Nigerian Dwarf goats were officially recognized by the American Dairy Goat Association.
Size, height, and weight
Goats, like most farm animals, are measured in size from the ground they are standing on to the top of their back.Their back, or shoulder area, is called their withers.Does can grow to be between 16 and 21 inches tall while bucks can grow to be between 18 and 23 inches tall.For weight, expect your Nigerian Dwarf goat to weigh between 60 and 80 pounds. They are definitely much smaller in size than full-size goats.
Colors and Patterns
Like larger dairy goats, these dwarf goats will have short, fine hair. There are plenty of color combinations to be found.
Interestingly, while some Nigerian Dwarf goats have horns, others will be naturally hornless.As for their heads, you will see short ears that stick up on top of a straight face.
You can expect a lot of fun with Nigerian goats.These precocious animals love to play. While you don’t need a lot of space for them, anything extra will add to their play potential.Like most breeds of goats, set up a few areas where your goat can climb both up and down. Even a fun obstacle course will get plenty of use.Nigerian Dwarf goats are social animals. They want to know what’s going on and be included in your family.Be sure to give them plenty of attention and keep toys on hand to play with them.If you treat them like very large puppies, they will forever love being around you.
Breeding Nigerian goats
Whether you want to enter the business of selling Nigerian Dwarf goats or just want a few extra in your herd, breeding is relatively easy.You can begin breeding Nigerian Dwarf goats when a doe is full-grown at one year old.While bucks may be ready at three or four months, it’s best to wait until they are eight months of age.Unlike some animals, you can breed Nigerian goats at any time of the year.Once pregnant, the gestation period will last between 145 and 153 days.Does will give birth to a litter of baby goats, called kids. You can expect between three to five kids at a time in a litter.
Feeding Nigerian goats
Unlike us humans, Nigerian goats have four stomachs to process their food and their diet needs to reflect this complex process.Above all else, free choice is of the essence. This process is where you, the owner, provide the necessary nutrients, but the goats are allowed to eat as they want.In essence, provide the right types of food, usually multiple times a day so your goats can eat at their own pace.The bulk of your goat’s diet should be good quality hay.You might notice that your goat doesn’t really chew the hay and instead swallows it.That’s ok as the hay will break down in time through its four stomachs.In addition to hay, provide your goat with essential minerals. This includes calcium and phosphorous and usually comes in the form of a block.If you find your goat isn’t eating enough of the block, it may not have enough of a salt content in it, which they prefer.Also of importance is access to fresh, clean water. Goats can get a bit messy so be sure to replenish their water container with fresh water and not allow any buildup of dirt or food in it.
Milking Nigerian goats
Female Nigerian Dwarf goats, or does, need to be milked daily.While certain aspects can affect this, such as how soon she has given birth and what she is eating, know that it is your responsibility as an animal owner to give the best care.When a doe is nursing her kids, you will not need to milk her as her milk will be used naturally.However, most kids will naturally wean between one to four months of age.When this happens, it will be your responsibility to take over. You can expect about one quart of milk per day.Nigerian Dwarf goat milk is high in butterfat content and averages about 6.5%.You can drink it straight or learn to make other products from it including cheese.It might take a little while to get used to the foreign taste but many people like goat milk, especially when you know where the source is.
One really nice reason Nigerian Dwarf goats make such good pets is that they are very healthy.There are no major health issues to be worried about.As always, ensure your animals have regular access to veterinarian services, especially if one of your goats is pregnant.Beyond that, give your goat good food to eat, the opportunity for exercise, and plenty of love, and it should live to its full lifespan.
How much do Nigerian Dwarf goats cost?
As far as pets go, Nigerian Dwarf goats are relatively inexpensive. Expect to pay between $50 and $100.If you want a goat that has specific colors or patterns, you might have to pay extra.The biggest obstacle you will have with wanting a Nigerian Dwarf goat is finding a place to purchase one. It’s best to start with local animal shelters or animal farm rescues.Breeders do exist but unless you live in a large farming community, you may need to travel to find the right goat.Online resources may prove to be the best option in finding a new goat.
Nigerian Dwarf goats make excellent additions to a family. Their playful energy and natural curiosity mean there’s never a dull moment.
Are all Nigerian goats Dwarf?
Yes. While there are many breeds of goats from all over the world, there are no full-size Nigerian goat breeds.While it may be confusing to read articles about these goats and have them referenced as both Nigerian Dwarf goats and plain Nigerian goats, just know that they are the same miniature animal.
What are Nigerian Dwarf goats good for?
Besides being able to produce good-tasting milk, Nigerian Dwarf goats are also good at being companions.Not only do they make good pets, but they can also provide social support for the elderly and even service animals for those with anxiety issues.
Do Nigerian Dwarf goats make good pets?
Yes, Nigerian Dwarfs make excellent pets. They are playful and affectionate. They are also useful as they can produce a lot of milk.What’s really nice about these potential pets is they don’t need a lot of space. As long as you have a backyard you will have enough space.
Although Nigerian Dwarf Goats are one of the smallest breeds, (standing at just 22″ shoulder height) they still require ample space.Males and FemalesMale and female goats should not be kept together.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats have the highest level of butterfat content of all the other milking breeds.
Goats are loving animals. They crave attention and interaction. They also require care like: feeding, trimming hooves, oral care, brushing, worming, giving treats, milking, supplements, vet checks, and special care during pregnancy and birthing.If you don’t have a lot of free time to spend with them, you may want to look into livestock that requires less hands-on.
Bonus Reason- More for Me
I do adore Nigerian Dwarf Goats, and in my opinion, the good
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Nigerian Dwarf Goat Conformation
A Nigerian Dwarf goat’s conformation is similar to that of the larger dairy goat breeds. The parts of the body are in balanced proportion. The nose is straight, although there may be a small break or stop at the level of the eyes. The ears are upright. The coat is soft with short to medium hair. Any color or combination of colors is acceptable, although the silver agouti pattern and color are a moderate fault (Pygmy goat-specific markings).The ideal height of Nigerian Dwarf goats is 17″ to 19″ for does with does up to 21″ allowed in the breed standard. Ideal height for bucks is 19″ to 21″ with bucks up to 23″ allowed in the breed standard. Ideal weight is suggested to be about 75 lbs. Animals are disqualified from the show ring for being oversized for the breed standard and/or for other faults: having a curly coat, roman nose, pendulous ears, or evidence of myotonia (a breed characteristic of fainting goats).Dwarf goats are gentle, lovable, and playful. Their calm, even temperament, and engaging personalities make them suitable companions for all, including children, the disabled, and the elderly. Even breeding bucks are handled easily. They make wonderful pets and great animal projects for young children in 4H or FFA. Breeders of other types of goats find their Dwarfs blend in with the rest of their herd and do not need special quarters; just adequate fencing to contain them because of their small size. Many Nigerian Dwarf goats share pastures peacefully with other livestock such as cattle, horses, llamas, and donkeys. In fact, they will often improve a pasture by removing brambles, undergrowth (including weeds), and ivy (even poison ivy) that other livestock won’t eat.
Goats should be kept in clean pens free of dampness, drafts, and pests like flies and rodents. They also require adequate fencing due to their small size. Nigerian Dwarf goats should not be housed in airtight buildings; they need to have ventilation for optimum health. For one to just a few goats, many owners find that an oversized dog house or two does the job. Pens or houses should be kept clean with fresh hay or straw for bedding. Many owners find that providing a few “toys” for the goats provides them with hours of caprine entertainment. Tree stumps, rocks, or large cable spools are great for “king of the mountain” games and jumping. Just be sure to keep them away from the fence to avoid giving herd escape artists means to roam your neighborhood!
Breeding Nigerian Dwarf Goats
Dwarf goats breed year-round. Many owners breed their does three times in two years, giving the doe at least a 6-month break. Of course, this is a personal choice for each breeder. The gestation period for a doe is 145 to 153 days. For the most part, Nigerian Dwarfs are a hearty breed with few kidding problems. New babies average about 2 pounds at birth but grow quickly. Watch out for those little bucks! Bucklings can be fertile at as young as 7 weeks of age. Make sure you wean does and bucks separately to help you avoid unintentional breeding.Does can be bred at 7-8 months of age if they have reached a mature size. Some breeders prefer to wait until they are at least one year or older. Dwarfs does can have several kids at a time, three and four being common with some quintuplet births occurring. Dwarfs are generally good mothers able to take care of their babies should you leave them to do the raising of the kids. They can also provide a surprising amount of milk for their size if you decide you are interested in goat milk or making goat cheese.Bucks are able to be used for service as young as three months of age and easily by the time they are 7 or 8 months old. Dwarf bucks are vigorous breeders but are gentle enough to be used for hand breeding (contained) or pasture breeding where one buck is available for several does as they come into estrus. Both methods are used successfully.
Feeding Dwarf Goats
Most breeders feed a 12–18% protein goat feed or dairy ration. It must not contain urea as this is toxic to goats. Many breeders give less grain if good pasture and browse are available. Hay or pasture should always be provided in abundant supply. Fresh water in clean containers should also be available at all times.
Dwarf goats, like all other breeds, need some basic care for good health and long life. Hooves should be trimmed regularly, about every four to eight weeks or more often if needed. A properly trimmed and shaped hoof should resemble those of a kid goat’s hoof. Vaccinations for tetanus and types C&D centermost are the basic types given. Check with your local vet for other vaccinations recommended for your area. Some experienced breeders may immunize their own goats; new owners and breeders should take their goats to the local vet for vaccines. Worming should be done several times a year. Your vet can suggest any special supplements (such as selenium), additional immunizations, and a recommended wormer and worming schedule for your particular herd based on your area and known preventative health measures.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Registries and Shows
Dwarf goats are registered in 5 registries: four in the United States (NDGA, AGS, IDGR & ADGA) and one in Canada (CGS). Dwarf shows are growing in popularity and are becoming more readily available all over the country. Shows are fun, educational, and a great way to meet other breeders and owners. They are a place to sell your goats or obtain superior stock for breeding. Shows or event information can be obtained through registries, local goat clubs, and organizations, including NDGA.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Coloring
Color is one of the factors that makes breeding Dwarfs so popular. You can never be sure what color the babies will be until they are born; even then you can’t be sure because many times their color may change. The main color families are black, chocolate, and gold with virtually every color combination imaginable being produced. Dwarfs can be dalmatian-spotted, pinto-patterned, tri-colored, or just classy shades of solid jet black, white, chocolate, or gold. Buckskin patterns are also popular, described by contrasting facial stripes, a “cape” around the shoulders with a coordinating dorsal stripe, and leg markings. Brown eyes are the most common; however, dwarfs with China blue eyes are becoming increasingly popular and available.