Nigerian Dwarf Goats History, Lifespan, Names, Size, Weight, Milk & Other Important Facts
Have you heard of the term “Nigerian dwarf goat” before? How much do you know about this goat breed? I bet you don’t know much about it. This article brings you everything you need to know about the Nigerian dwarf goat, specifically its history, lifespan, physiology, price, suitability as pets, nomenclature, dairy functions and many more.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats History
Nigerian dwarf goat, formerly known as West African dwarf, is a small-sized breed of dairy goats, which originate from the western region of Africa. The dwarf goats became known many years ago, when they were being kept (as meat source) aboard a ship that was conveying some wild animals from Africa to the US.
However, as it turned out, some of the goats survived the journey and eventually made their way to some zoos in the US, where they were kept as side attractions.
As time goes on, certain characteristics were observed in the dwarf goat’s physiology. It was observed that some of the dwarf goats garnered more flesh and developed better meat stock, while others showed significant dairy attributes, in terms of larger teats and udders.
Hence, the Nigerian dwarf goats with dairy attributes were accorded more attention, and they were later classified under a new breed, that was tagged “Nigerian dwarf”.
In summary, West African dwarf goats with excellent dairy characteristics are referred to as “Nigerian dwarf goats”.
How Long Do Nigerian Dwarf Goats Live/Nigerian Dwarf Goat Lifespan
Nigerian dwarf goat, in terms of lifespan, is no different to a normal goat breed. Nevertheless, its lifespan depends significantly on the amount of care it receives.
Normally, a typical Nigerian dwarf goat lives for as long as 12 to 14 years, barring any form of terminal disease or accident.
Bottom line, the lifespan of Nigerian dwarf goat boils down to the amount of care it receives. This is because, without adequate feeding, health care (where and when required), debugging (where applicable), proper housing and so on, a Nigeria dwarf goat (or any other livestock) might not even live up to a year.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats as Pets
Nigerian dwarf goat, while being a dairy goat, is characterized by its unique colourful body markings, mild temperament and relative small size. These attributes make this breed of goat highly suitable as human companion; hence, they are widely desired as pets.
Also, the Nigerian dwarf goat requires moderate feeding and small space (for accommodation). The only downside is waste disposal and the unfriendly odour of the bucks (male dwarf).
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Names
Like a normal goat, Nigerian dwarf breed has the uniform nomenclature of – doe, for the female goat; buck, for the male goat; and kids, for the young ones or new borns.
However, for those who own Nigerian dwarf goats as pets, we have compiled some cute pet names for you, to name your pet Nigerian dwarf goats (or other breeds).
Some of these names include:
- Kiddie (kid – new born/young goat)
- Murphy (buck)
- Billy (buck – male)
- Nanny (doe)
- Bubbles (doe, buck or kid)
- Miss Daisy (doe – female)
- Lily (doe)
- Pickles (kid)
- Caeser (buck)
- Gloria (doe)
Nigerian Dwarfs Goat Size
The most significant attribute of Nigerian dwarf goat is its obvious miniature size. A typical Nigeria dwarf goat can not grow beyond 65 cm.
Does (female Nigerian dwarf goat) are generally bigger than bucks (male breed). On average, a doe is about 54 cm tall. The minimum height of a doe is 48 cm (19 inches), while the maximum height is 60 cm (24 inches).
Bucks, on the other hand, have an average height of 50cm, with a minimum height and maximum height of 43cm (17 inches) and 58cm (23 inches) respectively.
Where to Buy Nigerian Dwarf Goats in Florida
Since the arrival of the Nigerian dwarf goat breed in the US, its demand has been on the rise ever since. While most people desire the goat for its flesh and milk, others desire it as pets.
One of the US states with high demand for Nigerian dwarf goat is Florida. And there are several animal farms and stores in Florida where you can buy the goat, at affordable prices.
Some of these farms/stores include:
- Painted Feather Farm in Dade City, Florida
- Sweetfield Farm, Monticello, Florida
- Downward Goat, Loxahatchee, Florida
- Farm in Jacksonville, Florida
- Westwood Nigerians Farm, Lake Helen, Florida
- Chicken Pimpin, Lake Helen, Florida
The above listed farms are all located in Florida, and they offer various breeds of goats for sale, including the Nigerian dwarf goats.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats for Sale in Texas
There are several farms in Texas that breed Nigerian dwarf goats and offer them for sale. Some of these farms include:
- Lone Star Goat Farm, Lampasas, Texas
- Reverie Farm, Argyle, Texas
- Dixie Blue Farm, Lone Oak, Texas
- Texas Skyz Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats, San Antonio, Texas
- Baer Creek Minifarm, Houston, Texas
Nigerian Dwarf Goats Milk
The Nigerian dwarf goat breed is especially known for its milk production. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture classifies it as a dairy goat. It produces a sizable quantity of milk, which is exceptional for its small size.
On average, a doe (female Nigerian dwarf goat) produces about 3 pounds of milk per day. and this can even run up to 8 pounds per day on certain occasions. Generally, Nigerian dwarf goat milk production is dependent on a host factors, which include genetics, quality of feeding, and so on.
Nigerian dwarf goat’s milk is highly rich in nutrients (protein, vitamins, fats and so on). It has a relatively higher butterfat content than any other dairy goat breed. This makes it specially suited for making cheese and cream.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Care
The most important factor in caring for Nigerian dwarf goat (or other animals) is feeding. Generally, goats, as ruminants, feed mainly on roughages (grasses). Hence, grasses, hays and the likes should be available in abundance.
Also, special protein feed, in the range of 12% to 18% of daily feed, should be provided for lactating does. Efforts should also be made to remove any food content with urea from the goats daily ration, as urea is highly toxic to goats (of all breeds). The kids should be breast-fed by their mothers (does), and in some cases, they can be bottle-fed.
In addition, adequate health care should be provided to the goats. They should be vaccinated (against tetanus, C&D and others) and dewormed yearly or in some cases, as prescribed by a qualified vet. doctor.
Lastly, in terms of accommodation, Nigerian dwarf goats are quite small; hence, they don’t require spaced housing. Kids can live indoor, while does and bucks can live in an outdoor pen.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats vs Pygmy Goats
Nigerian dwarf goat and pygmy goats look very much alike. And to a layman, it is practically impossible to spot their differences.
However, despite their similarities, they have a host of economical, anatomical and physiological differences. Some of these. include:
- Pygmy goats are generally kept for meat, while Nigerian dwarf goats are kept basically for milk.
- Pygmy goats have limited colours and markings on their body, while Nigerian dwarf goats have multiple body markings and colours.
- Pygmy goats are stockier (and even heavier) than Nigerian dwarf goats. This facilitates better meat production in Pygmy goats.
- Pygmy goats have smaller teats and udders, compared to Nigerian dwarf goats. This facilitates better milk production in Nigerian dwarf.
In summary, if your aim is meat production, pygmy goat is your best bet. However, if you are more concerned about milk production, Nigerian dwarf goat is the ultimate option.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Weight
Nigerian dwarf goats constitute one of the smallest breeds of goats. While they have a relatively small size, they also weighs considerably light.
On average, a full grown Nigerian dwarf weighs around 75 pounds. Their minimum weight is around 40 Ibs.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Price
The Nigerian dwarf goat breed is fairly expensive. A full grown dwarf goat costs between $200 and $500, depending on demand and availability. Does (female goats) are generally costlier than bucks (male goats), basically because of the lactating function (milk production) of the former.
However, Nigerian dwarf goats that are used as pets (especially castrated bucks) cost much lesser than the dairy ones. A castarated male goat often costs nothing more than $120, and at times, much less (down to around $50).
Let us know what you think about Nigerian dwarf goat (its pricing, dairy function and so on), by leaving your comments in the comments box below.