A miniature goat from West Africa, the Nigerian Dwarf Goat is an excellent pet and a great 4-H project. They are docile, easy to breed, and give a great deal of milk for their small size. A very friendly animal, almost all Nigerian Dwarf Goats are easy to handle. They are very lovable and quite friendly.
In addition to being used for milk, they are also great pets. Many kids use Nigerian Dwarf Goats as a 4-H project. They are sociable animals and blend well with a herd of larger animals, although they do require some different fencing requirements because of their small size.
Even breeding bucks are quite docile and can be housed with females, however, because bucks are sexually mature at a very young age, separating males and females is recommended. The Nigerian Dwarf Goat is capable of producing about 2.5 pounds of milk per day when lactating. The milk is usually between six and ten percent butterfat.
The Nigerian Dwarf Goat is quite small, with females averaging between 17 and 19 inches and bucks averaging between 18 and 20 inches. Few Nigerian Dwarf Goats exceed 21 inches in height. Adult Nigerian Dwarf Goats usually weigh around 75 pounds. While similar in size to Pygmy Goats, the Nigerian Dwarf Goat’s conformation is significantly different.
Pygmy Goats have heavy bones and are said to resemble a keg with legs, while the Dwarf Goat’s conformation should be fine and long. Dwarf Goats should be almost identical in conformation to larger goats, only size-proportionate. Three color lines exist among the Nigerian Dwarf Goat Breed. These are black and white, brown, and gold.
Both the brown and gold lines can be mixed with white. Nigerian Dwarf Goats get their name from Nigeria, a country in West Africa where the goats originate. They can be registered in the American Goat Society, the Canadian Goat Registry, the International Dairy Goat Registry, and the Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association.
There are only about 3500 Nigerian Dwarfs registered in the United States, although the breed is gradually becoming more popular. Nigerian Dwarf Goats cost between $200 and $500 for breeding stock and between $100 and $200 for pets. Goats with very good pedigrees and have a history of high milk test scores, will cost more.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats are usually fed a dairy goat feed with about 17% protein. Urea is toxic to goats, so the feed must not contain it. They should also be given hay and the opportunity to graze. Nigerian Dwarf Goats should always have fresh water and mineral salts. The Nigerian Dwarf Goat’s hooves should be trimmed every 4-6 weeks, and they should be wormed at least three times a year.
Housing for the Nigerian Dwarf Goat must be clean, dry and well ventilated. They require an enclosure of at least 4′ x 4′ for one goat. They also need at least 250 square feet for ample exercising room. Male Nigerian Dwarf Goats reach sexual maturity very young.
They have been known to breed at as little as seven weeks of age, although they more often wait until about three months. A Nigerian Dwarf Goat is fully mature at around seven months of age, whether they are male or female. The female Nigerian Dwarf Goat can have three or four kids at a time. The babies are very cute and weigh about two pounds.