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about nigerian dwarf goats

About Nigerian Dwarf Goats

The Nigerian Dwarf goat is a miniature dairy goat breed of West African ancestry. Nigerian Dwarf goats are enjoying a rise in popularity due to their small size, colourful markings and dairy characteristics. Their small stature means they do not require as much space or feed as their larger dairy goat counterparts and their gentle and friendly personalities make them good companion pets. Nigerians are easy to handle; even for small children. Dwarfs goats are gentle, loveable and playful

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.

Unlike other goats, Nigerian dwarfs can breed year-round. Nigerian Dwarfs give birth after approximately 145 days of gestation. They usually have twins, but triplets or quadruplets are not uncommon.

Nigerian Dwarf kids are usually very active. Within a short time after birth they are able to stand, walk and nurse. After a day or two they are usually trying to bounce and jump.

Many Nigerian Dwarf owners raise their goats for milk production but others raise them for the pleasure and companionship these little caprines bring to their lives. Nigerian Dwarfs give a surprising quantity of milk for their size, ranging from 2-6 pounds (0.9-2.7 kg) per day, with an average of 2.5. Since Nigerians breed year-round, it is easy to stagger freshenings (births) in a herd so that the entire herd is never dry. They are thus ideal milk goats for most families. The milk is also higher in butterfat and has a sweeter taste, excellent for cheese and soap making.

As with all goats, does or neutered males (wethers) make the best pets, as bucks can have an objectionable odour.

Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats: Breeds, Care, Dairying by Jerry Belanger

Check out the Nigerian Dwarf Goat Assiociation website.