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Monday, September 25, 2023

11 Small Goat Breeds

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Goats are often bred for meat, but they have other purposes. These cute animals are not only able to serve as excellent companions for anyone who wants an adorable and unusual pet, but they can also help with providing fresh milk for you and your family.

Many people who wish to raise goats get concerned that those baby goats would grow into big adult goats, and they do not have enough room for that.

So, though several goat breeds can make a good pet, the small goat breeds are more popular as backyard companions.

Here are some of these small goat breeds to consider whether you want a pet, smaller livestock for a homestead or hobby farm, or you want to raise your children around livestock they can handle themselves.

1. Pygmy Goats

The cute and friendly Pygmy goats are one of the most popular small goat breeds. An adult doe or wether grows to be 16 to 23 inches, averagely around 38 cm, at the withers and weighs 40 to 80 pounds.

The males reach a height of about 50 cm at withers, usually only slightly smaller than a Golden Retriever.

They breed throughout the year, bearing one to four young every nine to 12 months, and can grow healthy and happy in several different environments because they adapt well. They are also docile, manageable, and are known to be very friendly.

2. Nigerian Dwarf Goats

The Nigerian Dwarf appears so similar to the Pygmy goat that they were initially mistaken to be the same breed. However, these goats display finer bones with longer legs and a long elegant necks.

The Nigerian Dwarf goats produce milk that has high butterfat and protein percentages. These goats also make very good companions as they are cute, friendly, playful, and quite active.

3. Kinder Goats

A cross between a Pygmy and a Nubian goat developed the Kinder goat. About the size of a Rottweiler, the Kinder goat stands at 20-26 inches.

They are used to produce meat and milk products, with a kinder doe producing three to four quarts of milk per day. Like Pygmies, they breed any time of year.

4. Pygora Goats

Pygoras are a cross of Angora and Pygmy goats. The average height or size range is 22-27 inches (around 45 cm for does and 58 cm for male at withers).

These goats have quality coats that can be used to produce three distinct types of valuable fleece or fiber – cashmere type fiber, a mohair type fiber, and then a cross between the two fibers called cashgora. Each goat produces six ounces to two pounds per steering.

They also serve as milking goats, producing milk of high quality and nutrient content like the Nigerian Dwarf goats.

5. Nigora Goats

The Nigora goat is predominantly a breed of goat purposefully bred by crossing an Angora goat and a Nigerian Dwarf goat breed. They reach an average height of 9-29 inches (averagely 48 to 70 cm for does and 74 cm for males at withers).

They also have coats to make quality fiber like Pygoras and serve as milking goats.

6. Fainting Goat (or Tennessee Fainting Goat)

The Fainting Goat is an intriguing American breed of meat goat, born with a unique birth defect called myotonia congenita that causes their muscles to spasm when they get startled, making them seize up, stiffen and sometimes fall over or “faint” until the spasms pass – hence their name.

Though they aren’t the best climbers, they are easy to care for and a lot of fun to have around. The does reach height averages at around 43 cm at withers, and the male grows to about 64 cm at withers.

7. Mini Silkies

These adorable little goats are purely decorative. The Miniature Silky Fainting Goats result from a cross between a Nigerian Dwarf and a longhaired Tennessee Fainting goat.

They ideally stay very small-sized – under 23.5 inches for a buck and 22.5 inches for a doe. The breeding standards for this small breed of goat are based on their appearance, and they have long, straight, and flowing coats with a silky texture and high luster. 

8. Mini Oberhasli Goat

The Mini Oberhasli goat breed was developed by crossing the average-sized Oberhasli goat breed with the Nigerian Dwarf Goats.

It shares similar features with its standard-sized counterpart, save the size. This includes their reliable milk production with an average milk yield of 1650 pounds/750 kg (in Italy 880 pounds/400 kg) over 265 days, gentle nature, friendly behavior, activeness, and alertness.

The average height is around 76cm, and the male grows to an average height of 76cm at withers.

9. The Mini Nubian Goat

Developed from crossing a standard-sized Nubian goat with a Nigerian Dwarf goat breed, the Mini Nubian is appreciated for its elegant look and calm temperament. They grow to heights of 76 cm at withers on average for the does, and the male reaches about 81 cm at withers.

10. Mini Toggenburg

Crossing the standard-sized Toggenburg goat to the Nigerian Dwarf goat bred the Mini Toggenburg. They are adorable little things, especially at birth, and they grow to average heights of 66 cm -71cm at withers.

11. Mini Boer

The Mini Boer is a fascinating mix of the Boer, Kalahari, Savannah, Australian red, the Australian Miniature goat, and the Pygmy Goat genetics.

They grew to 65-70cm height at the withers and were developed to create a breed of goat suitable for smaller homesteads and some Urban back gardens.

There are several different sizes of goats, some of which are bred naturally and others that are have been bred downsized by crossing a standard-sized goat with one of the small-sized goats as in the case of others like the Mini Saamen Goat and Mini LaMancha Goat.

Of the more than 300 different recognized goat breeds around the globe, two relatively recent miniature breeds – the Kinder and the Pygora – create the smallest goats.

These tiny bundles of adorable energy are sure to serve you daily amounts of cuteness… and let’s not forget the milk and dairy products.

If any of these appeals to you, then you can make the right pick from any of these listed small goat breeds.

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