Nigerian Dwarf Goat: Everything You Need to Know About Them

Nigerian Dwarf Goat Everything You Need to Know About Them

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People are going crazy for Nigerian dwarf goats. This type of goat is small and fluffy, about the size of a dog, and a great pet. They are very friendly and very playful. They give you all benefits of having a full-grown goat while taking up less space and being cuter. 

Nigerian dwarf goat is small and weighs about 60 to 80 pounds. They can be bred all year long, and usually have 3 to 4 kids per litter. They are herd animals so you should get at least two.

They were imported to the USA some 100 years ago. However, Nigerian dwarf goats that we breed today don’t look anything like they did 100 years ago, because they were bred to resemble small dairy goats. Nigerian dwarf goats make great pets but you can’t really keep them in your home. Keep reading to find out how to properly take care of Nigerian dwarf goats and keep them healthy and happy. 

Nigerian dwarf goat characteristics

Nigerian dwarf goat was imported from West Africa to the USA between the 1920s and 1960s. Nowadays, Nigerian dwarf goats look nothing like those that were imported from West Africa. They were bred to more closely resemble small dairy goats and they are now suitable for dairy production on a small scale. American Dairy Goat Association officially recognized Nigerian dwarf goats in 2005. 

Nigerian dwarf goat is small but well-proportioned. It usually weighs between 60 and 80 pounds, which is significantly less than a normal goat.  Nigerian dwarf goats have short, fine hair. The common colors of Nigerian dwarf goats are black, white, gold, and dark brown. 

Some Nigerian dwarf goats will have horses, while others will be hornless. This is just their nature, there is nothing wrong with hornless Nigerian dwarf goats.  They have a straight face and short ears. 

Nigerian dwarf goats love to play. They love climbing up and down and doing obstacle courses.  They are very social animals so it’s best you get them in pairs, or make sure you have a lot of toys for them and give them a lot of attention. 

Are Nigerian dwarf goats good pets?

Because they are so small and as big as a dog, a lot of people wonder whether they can keep Nigerian dwarf goats as pets. Nigerian dwarf goats are very friendly, which means you can keep them as pets. They do exceptionally well with children. While it’s true that every Nigerian dwarf goat is different, the general consensus is that you are unlikely to encounter one with a behavior issue. They are ideal for families and hobby farmers. You can even train them to walk on a leash.

If you’re getting a Nigerian dwarf goat as a pet for the first time ever, get a neutered male goat, usually called wether.  If you want to get a Nigerian dwarf goat both for milk and as a pet, get a female Nigerian dwarf goat, called a doe. Keep in mind that you will have to milk them regularly to eliminate pain and reduce the risk of infection.

If you’re just starting out with farm animals, getting a male Nigerian dwarf goat, a buck, isn’t the best idea. The male Nigerian dwarf goat will be friendly and playful, but it will also be more challenging than wethers and dwarf does as he matures. If you have your heart set on getting a male Nigerian dwarf goat, bring it home when it’s young. 

Are Nigerian dwarf goats easy to care for?

Compared to other livestock, Nigerian dwarf goats are easy to take care of and maintain. Make sure you have a proper transport solution for when your goats need to go to the vet. Most people find extra-large dog kennels to work just fine.

Don’t forget that you should build your goat a house. Depending on how many goats you have, you can use a large dog house or a small shed. Make sure you insulate it during the winter. The house should provide your goats with enough room to move about comfortably. Keep in mind that goats eat anything they find, so don’t leave anything exposed or loose that you do not want to be nibbled, or that could harm your goats if they nibbled it.

It is best you build a fence around the area where your goats will be grazing to keep them from wandering off. Keep in mind that goats love jumping on and rubbing their sides on the fence, so make it extra sturdy. Goats are very good at escaping, so use locking gates with extra safety clips. If only one goat manages to open the door, the whole herd will escape. 

You should never leave any plants or trees inside the fence that you want to keep. Goats will eat and destroy anything that is inside the fence. 

Check the fenced area for any toxic plants. Remove all plants that could be poisonous to your herd. 

Can you keep Nigerian dwarf goats in the house?

Even though Nigerian dwarf goats make good pets, they shouldn’t live in the house. 

They can destroy many things inside your house through taste testing items or by climbing on top of things. If you let a goat live inside your house, it will eat anything and everything from books, or homework to the stereo, couch, and counter. They love testing things out, and since they climb, you will probably often find them on the kitchen table. 

Nigerian dwarf goats are browsers like all goats. Their favorite thing to do is to graze on the field and they like it better when they are outside where they can browse and eat when they need to. You might have not known this, but all goats spend most of their time just eating and drinking. They are always searching for new food. Because of that, they will try to eat your chairs, countertop, couch, books, remotes, and so much more. This will make it very difficult for you to feed your Nigerian dwarf goats inside the house. They will also spread food like hay, grass, or grain throughout your house which means that you will have to clean the floor frequently.

When you get a dog, the first thing you will do is housebreak it. Well, housebreaking a goat is extremely difficult. This is partially due to the fact that they usually spend all their day eating and drinking. This will then result in them urinating and defecating all over your home. Goat’s poop will naturally come out at any time. It is possible, but hard, to train a goat to pee in a specific place. 

Goats require companionship at all times. They like humans and are very friendly, but they are herd animals and need a company of their own kind. They will not get along well with your dog, cat, or any other pet, and you won’t be able to give it attention all day long. If you plan on keeping your Nigerian dwarf goat inside with other pets, you should get a pair of goats so they aren’t lonely. 

If you still absolutely want to keep your Nigerian dwarf goat in the house, make sure it’s without horns. It’s best to bring your goat in the house when it’s still a kid, and if it’s a male, neuter it. 

You can keep your goat outside most of the time, but let it in when the weather is very cold or hot outdoors. Make sure you goat-proof the area where the goat will be before you let it in. 

Are Nigerian dwarf goats noisy?

Nigerian dwarf goats are usually quiet, but they get very noisy when they want something. Since these types of goats are in heat every month, you will have a hard time keeping them quiet. There are, however, a few tricks you can try to keep them quiet. 

The most important thing to do when trying to keep your goat quiet is to give it a companion. It will make it feel safe, give it confidence, and keep it from being loud. A scared, lonely goat is a loud goat. 

Nigerian dwarf goats will easily and quickly label you as a part of their herd. This means that once you leave, they will think that you’re missing, and they will scream and be noisy to call you back. To avoid this, let your new Nigerian dwarf goats adjust to their new home without your help. 

Nigerian dwarf goats don’t like to be left alone, so when you notice that they are doing good when left alone, give them some treats. A lot of goats like raisins, so you can try those, or give them some kitchen scraps. 

If your goats scream whenever you leave, they have probably developed separation anxiety. To solve this problem, make sure you establish a routine and stick to it. Feed your goats and walk away. They will scream for a while after you leave, but with time they will learn that you will come back and stop screaming. 

Do Nigerian dwarf goats stink?

Bucks, male Nigerian dwarf goats, stink a lot. However, you can stop them from stinking if you neuter them. Neutered Nigerian dwarf goats, wethers, don’t have the hormonal issues of either bucks or does, which means they don’t stink like bucks and they don’t get into heat like does. This makes them the best option if you want to keep Nigerian dwarf goats as pets. 

It is best to neuter your Nigerian dwarf goat when it’s young, as that seems to cause them less discomfort. That being said, sometimes neutering it young causes it to have urinary tract issues, which can be very serious. That’s why it’s best to wait until it is 10 to 12 weeks old. 

What do Nigerian dwarf goats eat?

Nigerian dwarf goats love to forage, they want a nice pasture, where they can nibble on grass and weeds. They are also not very picky when it comes to foraging. 

You can also feed your goats with goat feed that you buy in the feed and grain store. Use a feed trough to spread the feed out for proper distribution. Make sure that there is enough space for the whole herd. If you don’t, only the most dominant goats will be able to eat.

If your goats’ main source of food is forage, you will only need to feed them a small amount of goat feed each day, along with a vitamin supplement.

How much is a Nigerian dwarf goat?

Nigerian dwarf goats are inexpensive and you can find them for $50 to $100. However, for pedigree-quality, you will pay minimally $200 depending on some factors such as the breed traits, coloring, demand, and so on. 

It’s best to get a Nigerian dwarf goat in the fall. If you wait until spring, most of them will already be sold or reserved. Searching for a Nigerian dwarf goat in the fall will give you more options because that’s when breeders decide and release their breeding schedule.

Nigerian dwarf goats are social and herd animals. They will need a companion to truly be happy. That’s why it’s best to get at least 2 goats so they can play together. Nigerian dwarf coat can also serve as a companion to a horse or a llama. 

What do Nigerian dwarf goats need?

Nigerian dwarf goats are very easy to take care of, and they don’t need much. 

The most important thing they need is a companion, so make sure you get at least two. 

The second thing your goats will need is proper food. You can feed them with goat feed that you buy in the feed and grain store, or let them forage. If their diet consists mainly of foraging, you will have to give them a small amount of goat feed and vitamin A supplement to keep them healthy. 

The third thing your goats will need is a place to graze, so make sure you fence off the area. You will have to remove any toxic plants because goats eat anything they see. 

The last thing your goats will need is proper housing. They don’t do very well in houses, so you will have to get them their own. You can get a large dog house, or a small shed, depending on how many of them you have. Make sure you insulate their house during winter. They should have enough space in their house to move around comfortably. 

You could also make an obstacle course, get them some toys and something to climb on because they are very playful and love jumping on things. 

How big is a Nigerian dwarf goat?

Female Nigerian dwarf goat is, on average, between 16 – 21″ tall. Male Nigerian dwarf goat is usually 23.5″ tall. When the Nigerian dwarf goat is full-grown, it is about the same size as some dog breeds. 

How long do Nigerian dwarf goats live for?

If taken care of properly, most Nigerian dwarf goats will live as long as some dog breeds, 12 to 14 years. 

How many babies can a Nigerian dwarf goat have?

Breeding Nigerian dwarf goats is quite easy. Unlike most animals, you can breed them all year long. You can start breeding females at one-year-old and males at eight months old. When your Nigerian dwarf goat is pregnant, the gestational period will last between 145 and 153 days. The female will then give birth to a litter of baby goats, which are called kids. There are usually 3 to 5 kids in every litter. 

How long can you milk a Nigerian dwarf goat?

Once your goat gave birth, you should let the kids drink the milk for about 8 weeks. After that, you can milk your Nigerian dwarf goat for a few more months. Once it stops giving milk, you will have to get it pregnant again and repeat the cycle. 

At what age is a Nigerian dwarf goat full grown?

A Nigerian dwarf goat is full-grown around one year old.

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