The Nigerian Dwarf goat is a beautiful species of goat that was brought to the United States back in the 1950s. These little productive goats have since been used as both meat, milk production, and companionship animals.
The Nigerian Dwarf goats are famous for their cool tempers and remarkably gentle, playful personalities.
As a result of these qualities and their potable size, these mammals have made a name for themselves as a fantastic family pet, especially in the United States of America.
The Nigerian Dwarf goats are easily trainable and great around kids, making them quite attractive to youth or first-timers who are participating in 4-H or FFA clubs.
The personalities of these goats also make them magnificent service animals for hospitals and nursing homes.
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Artiodactyla
- Family: Bovidae
- Taxonomic Name: Capra hircus (domestic goat)
- Range: They are found worldwide, but originated in West Africa.
- Habitat: They are domestic and kept in captivity.
Size and Characteristics
According to information provided by the Columbian Park Zoo, the West African goat breed is easily found all over the world today.
These mammals stand between 16 and 21 inches in height at the withers, and the bucks may grow to be 23.5 inches in height at the withers.
These goat breeds may weigh anywhere from 60 and 80 pounds, on average, and since they come in a wide range of color combinations, it is easy for people to assemble a beautiful herd.
Care and Feeding
The Nigerian dwarf goats are hardy animals that can do well in almost any climate. And because of their portable size, they only require little space to graze and play than goats of other sizes.
Another fantastic thing about the Nigerian dwarf goat is that they are very adaptable and can mix up with other livestock such as donkeys, horses, llamas, and cattle.
These goats are not only beautiful and smart, but they also love to play. So, if you’re adopting one as a pet, you must provide them with lots of space where they can play and explore.
It is also vital to include toys such as rocks, tree stumps, and other things they can easily climb when they want to exercise themselves. It is also essential that you fence their living area as goats of such tiny sizes can easily escape.
Nigerian dwarf goats also need proper feeding if they thrive. It is also very essential that your goat is given a free choice to access quality hay and also forage.
Additionally, goats will require unrestricted access to a goat mineral that will help them balance their diet. Pregnant Nigerian dwarf goats or nursing ones, as well as their kids, need to be fed with grains as a way to supplement their diets.
And of course, it is vital to provide them with lots of clean water.
For a lot of owners, the appeal of this goat breed is the fantastic combination of their compact size, and they’re milking ability. When milking, the Nigerian dwarf goat can produce up to four pounds of 6% to 10% butterfat milk daily.
A single Nigerian dwarf goat producer a large amount of milk during its lifetime, which makes it a fantastic miniature dairy goat.
One prominent feature that makes the Nigerian dwarf goats standout amongst milking goats is the higher protein content of their milk compared to that of other dairy goat breeds.
This goat milk is also considered very rich and has a very delicious taste that can’t be compared to that of other goats because of its higher percentage of butterfat.
When it comes to the subject of breeding, the Nigerian dwarf goats are capable of being bred year-round. Does can easily be bred as early as seven months, but it is required that one waits until they are up to a year old before breeding them.
Bucks, on the other hand, a fully mature enough to breed by seven or eight months; however, some of them have been noticed to engage in breeding as early as three months.
The gestation period for this breed of goat is between 145 to 153 days, and a doe can have between three or four kids in one birth. However, though it isn’t impossible, it’s not uncommon for the number of kids in a single birth to be five or more.
Another great thing about these goats is that they generally have natural deliveries with little or no problems, and the kids are born at an average weight of around two pounds.
When properly cared for, the Nigerian Dwarf goat can live between 12 and 14 years.
Buying a Nigerian Dwarf Goat
If you would like to purchase your own Nigerian Dwarf goat outside Africa, the best place to begin is at any of their North American or global registries.
At present, they are registered in five registries:
- American Goat Society (AGS)
- International Dairy Goat Registry (IDGR)
- Nigerian Dairy Goat Association (NDGA)
- American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA)
- Canadian Goat Society (CGS)
The price of a Nigerian Dwarf goat varies according to the quality of the goat you are interested in purchasing.
If you want breeding or pedigree quality goats or for goats that have unique or rare coloring, they cost between $200 or $500 per individual. For a pet-quality Nigerian Dwarf goat, the price will range between $50 and $100 per individual.
These little goats are known to make wonderful pets and may be an excellent choice for a family or a homesteader. They also produce a reasonable amount of milk given their miniature stature and also require lesser acreage when compared to larger goat breeds.
Unlike other goat breeds, the Nigerian Dwarf Goats do not have any upper teeth at the front of their mouths (incisors/canines).
These goats have horizontal pupils, which are believed to help reduce glares. This is an adaptation that would have proven valuable to their mountain-dwelling ancestors.
The Nigerian Dwarf Goats are rumored to have first arrived in America as a primary food source for zoo animals, such as tigers, lions and other cats.
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