These cute little goats were first registered in 1981 by the International Dairy Goat Registry. They are the only true dairy-type miniature goat breed. They have characteristics similar to other breeds of dairy goat, but are much smaller in scale. For its milk production as well as for its companionship, the Nigerian dwarf is widely used. They’ve got easy going personalities and playful ones. Their gentle and peaceful disposition makes them a perfect companion for children and people with disabilities and the elderly. You will find curious goats investigating tree stumps, rocks, and other items and jumping on them.
HABITAT & RANGE
The Nigerian dwarf can be found in West Africa’s lowlands and countryside. It can withstand hot, dry climates and, by developing a thick wool coat, also adapts to cold climates.
A miniature dairy goat that is smaller and less stocky than the common pygmy goat is the Nigerian dwarf. It has several colour patterns, probably including black, brown or gold variations mixed with white. Although most are naturally horned, they are disbudded by most breeders for the protection of the goat and its herd. Males should be 23 inches and females 21 inches at the hips, according to the Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association.
Nigerian dwarfs feed on a variety of grass, hay and grains, depending on their climate.
LIFESPANN & REPRODUCTION
At only 4 months of age, males achieve sexual maturity, while females are not fully mature until 8 months. They breed all year round with a gestation period of 5 months and produce 2 to 4 youngsters. These goats, on average, live between 15 and 20 years.
FANTASTIC FACT OF FACT
A surprising amount of milk for their small size is provided by Nigerian dwarfs. Production varies from 1 to 8 pounds a day of milk, which can be up to 2 pints a day. Their milk has a higher content of butterfat than full-sized dairy goat milk, and is excellent for cheese and soap making.