About Nigerian Dwarf Goats

 

Origins

The Nigerian Dwarf goat is a miniature goat originating in West Africa and developed in the United States.  Pygmy goats, another miniature breed, also originated in West Africa; however, there are some distinct differences between the two breeds.  Nigerian Dwarfs are bred to be more similar to their larger dairy goat counterparts, having a more elegant structure and length of body.  Pygmies are bred to be “cobby” and heavy boned and are primarily “agouti” patterned, with black, silver, and caramel being the most common colors. 

 Dairy Information

A healthy Nigerian Dwarf doe can produce between one and three quarts of sweet milk per day.  Nigerian Dwarf milk is higher in butterfat (6 – 10%) and higher in protein than other dairy breeds.  Many breeders use their extra milk to make tasty ice creams, cheeses, fudges and other edible goodies, as well as soaps and lotions. 

 Conformation, Color and Size

A Nigerian Dwarf goat's conformation is similar to that of the larger dairy breeds in that the parts of the body are in balanced proportion.  The face is either straight or slightly dished and their medium length ears are erect and alert.  Their coat is soft with short to medium hair.

Any color or combination of colors is acceptable, although the silver agouti pattern (common in Pygmy goats) is considered by some to be a moderate fault.  Some of the colors possible are white, tan, gold, cream, black, and chocolate.  Patterns can be solids, dalmation spotted, pinto, tri-colored, Chamoisee (badgerface or the Oberhasli pattern), Sundgau (Light Belly), buckskin, swiss-marked (like Toggenburgs), or peacock (cou clair, cou blanc).  The many colors and patterns of the Nigerian Dwarf goats is one of the factors that makes breeding them so popular.  The Nigerian Dwarf is also the only dairy breed known to occasionally have blue eyes.  No preference is given to coat color or eye color in the show circuit.  Click the following link for the American Goat Society's suggested color/pattern names for the Nigerian Dwarf breed.   American Goat Society's Listing of Nigerian Dwarf Color and Pattern Names

AGS/ADGA Maximum Height of the Nigerian Dwarf Goat

Maximum Height at Withers
Does 
22.5" 
Bucks 
23.5"

Ideal weight is suggested to be about 75 pounds based on HES evaluation information.

Animals are disqualified from the show ring for being over-sized for the breed standard, curly coat, Roman nose, and pendulous ears or evidence of myotonia (this is associated with fainting goats).

Miscellaneous Information

Nigerian Dwarf goats are gentle and loveable. Even breeding bucks are handled easily. They make wonderful pets and great animal projects for young children in 4-H.

Breeders of other types of goats find that their Nigerian Dwarf goats blend in with the rest of their herd well and do not need special quarters, just adequate fencing to contain them because of their small size.

Nigerian Dwarf goats breed year round. Some breeders breed their does three times in two years, giving the doe a 6 month plus break. This is of course a personal choice for each breeder.

New born kids average about 2 lbs. at birth but grow quickly. They reach sexual maturity at a young age so be sure and separate the bucks and does. Those little guys have been know to breed and be fertile as young as 7 weeks of age.

Does can be bred at 7 to 8 months of age if they have reached good size. Some breeders prefer to wait until they are at least 1 year or older.  The gestation period for does is from 145 to 153 days.

Does can have several kids at a time, 2, 3 and 4 being common and sometime even 5. Nigerian Dwarfs are generally good mothers and able to take care of their babies should you leave them to do the raising of the kids.

Bucks are able to be used for service as young as 3 months of age and easily by the time they are 7 or 8 months old.  Nigerian Dwarf bucks are vigorous breeders but are gentle enough to be used for hand breeding or pasture breeding. Both methods are used successfully.

Nigerian Dwarf goats can be registered in several registries. These include the American Goat Society (AGS), the American  Dairy Goat Registry (ADGA), and the Nigerian Dwarf  Goat Association (NDGA). 


 


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Thank you for your interest in Shere Country Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats.

Julie Shere
Embarrass, MN 55732
(218) 984-3019
sherecountry@gmail.com
Please call or email for exact street address and directions.