Nigerian Dwarf Goat, Lifespan, Size, Care, Milk Production & More

If you’re looking for a delightful addition to your farm or a lovable pet for your farmhouse, the Nigerian Dwarf goat is a breed worth considering. Despite their small size, these captivating creatures offer several benefits and are renowned for their friendly nature and exceptional versatility. Whether you’re seeking a reliable dairy producer, a fiber artist’s dream, or simply a delightful companion, a Nigerian Dwarf goat is sure to capture your heart. This article will explore the characteristics, care, and uses of the Nigerian Dwarf goat, shedding light on why they have become a popular choice among goat enthusiasts and homesteaders. So, keep reading and discover the fascinating world of a Nigerian Dwarf goat.

Nigerian Dwarf Goat, Lifespan, Size, Care, Milk Production & More

History of Nigerian Goat

Nigerian Dwarf Goat, Lifespan, Size, Care, Milk Production & More

The history of these goats is back to West Africa, specifically Nigeria. The Hausa people primarily raised these goats for their milk production and adaptability to harsh environments. The exact origin of these goats is unclear, but it is believed that they descended from the West African Dwarf goat, which is native to the region.
Nigerian Dwarf goats were introduced to the United States in the 20th century, initially as zoo attractions and later gaining popularity among goat enthusiasts.

During this time, breeders recognized the unique qualities of these goats, such as their small size, high milk production relative to their body weight, and friendly temperament. Today this breed quickly gained popularity not only as dairy goats but also as pets.

Characteristics of Nigerian Dwarf Goat

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The Nigerian goat has distinct characteristics that stand out from other goat breeds. Despite their small size, they possess many unique traits as pets and livestock. Let’s delve into the key characteristics of these goats and discover what sets them apart.

Nigerian dwarf goat size

Nigerian Dwarf Goat, Lifespan, Size, Care, Milk Production & More
nigerian dwarf goat size

These goats are known for their little size. On average, they stand between 17 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder. Despite their small size, their bodies are well-proportioned and muscular. Their compact bodies make them easy to handle and suitable for small farms and urban areas.

Coat Colors and Patterns

One of the delightful aspects of these goats is the variety of coat colors and patterns they have. These goats have different colorings, including black, brown, white, cream, and even shades of gray. Furthermore, they may have eye-catching patterns such as spots, patches, and rosettes. This wide array of colors and patterns adds visual interest and makes each goat unique.

Temperament and Behavior

These goats are known for their docile and friendly nature, making them ideal companions for children and adults. These goats are also known to be responsive and intelligent, allowing for easy training and socialization.

Nigerian dwarf goat lifespan

Nigerian Dwarf Goat, Lifespan, Size, Care, Milk Production & More
Nigerian goat lifespan

The Nigerian goat can live long and healthy lives with proper care and nutrition. On average, they can live 12 to 14 years, although some goats are known to live even longer. Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and deworming are essential to ensure their health. By prioritizing health, these goats can thrive and bring joy to their owners for many years.

Housing and Feeding for Nigerian Dwarf Goat

Providing proper housing and nutrition is essential for the good health of these goats. Whether you’re keeping them as pets or livestock, creating a suitable living environment and ensuring a balanced diet are key factors in their care. Let’s explore the housing and feeding requirements.

Suitable Shelter and Fencing Requirements

Nigerian Dwarf Goat, Lifespan, Size, Care, Milk Production & More

These goats need a secure and comfortable shelter to protect them from extreme weather conditions and predators. The goats should have enough room to move around in the well-ventilated, sturdy shelter. It should also have proper insulation to regulate temperature during hot summers and cold winters.

The fencing should be sturdy and tall enough to prevent them from jumping. We recommend a fence height of at least four (4) feet, and the openings should be small enough to prevent their heads from getting stuck.

Feeding Guidelines

These goats have specific dietary requirements that must be fulfilled to ensure their health and productivity. A balanced diet for these goats consists of good-quality hay, fresh pasture, and a grain supplement. Here are some feeding guidelines to keep in mind:

Nigerian Dwarf Goat, Lifespan, Size, Care, Milk Production & More

  • Hay: Provide a constant supply of good-quality grass such as timothy, orchard grass, or alfalfa. Hay not only provides nutrition but also helps in healthy digestion.
  • Pasture: These goats thrive on fresh pasture. Ensure the grazing area is free from toxic plants and pesticides.
  • Fresh Water: Provide clean and fresh water at all times as they require access to fresh water for proper hydration and digestion.

Monitor the body condition of goats and adjust their feeding regimen accordingly. Excessive feeding can cause obesity and associated health problems, while insufficient nutrition can lead to poor growth and deficiencies in essential nutrients.

Benefits of Nigerian Goat

The Nigerian goat is a highly versatile animal that offers several uses and benefits to its owners. Their small size, friendly temperament, and unique characteristics make them valuable additions to farms, homesteads, and even urban areas.

Dairy Production and Milk Quality

Nigerian Dwarf Goat, Lifespan, Size, Care, Milk Production & More
how much milk does a Nigerian dwarf goat produce

These goats are renowned for their excellent milk production. The Nigerian goat can produce between 1 to 2 quarts of milk per day. Their milk is creamy with a high butterfat content, making it ideal for yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products. The milk of these goats is also known for its sweet taste and is often preferred by those with lactose sensitivities.

Fiber and Mohair Production

Their luxurious and soft fiber is used in yarn for weaving and other crafts. However, their fiber yield is smaller than those specifically bred for fiber production.

Breeding Age and Seasons

The Nigerian goat typically reaches sexual maturity at around 7 to 9 months of age. The breeding season for these goats generally occurs in the fall or late summer.
After successful breeding, these goats have a gestation period of approximately 145 to 155 days, around five (5) months. During gestation, provide the doe (female goat) with proper nutrition, including sufficient mineral supplements and a balanced diet. Regular veterinary check-ups and monitoring of the doe’s overall health are essential to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Caring for Newborn baby goat

The baby goat is typically born in pairs, although singles and triplets are common. After birth, closely monitor the kids and ensure they are growing properly. The milk produced by the doe, colostrum, is necessary for their immune system. Kids should have access to colostrum within the first few hours of birth.

Proper nutrition and the availability of clean water are essential for the healthy growth and development of young goat kids. Regular vaccinations, deworming, and hoof trimming should also be a part of the care routine.

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The Nigerian Dwarf goat is a remarkable animal that offers many benefits. To learn more about the Nigerian goat and how to get started with them, visit reputable sources and connect with experienced breeders. You can embark on a rewarding journey with these remarkable goats with proper care.



At what age is a Nigerian dwarf goat full grown?

A Nigerian Dwarf goat typically reaches its full-grown size and maturity at around 2 to 3 years of age. They typically weigh between 27 and 36 kg (60 and 80 pounds) at that age.

What do Nigerian Dwarf goats eat?

The Nigerian Dwarf goat primarily eats hay, fresh pasture, and a grain supplement. They require good-quality grass or legume hay, such as timothy, orchard grass, or alfalfa.

Can you drink Nigerian goat milk?

Yes, Nigerian goat milk is safe and suitable for human consumption. And their milk is used to make various dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt.

Can Nigerian Dwarf goats eat bread?

Yes, they can eat small amounts of bread as an occasional treat. However, bread should not be a significant part of their regular diet. Goats have unique dietary needs and requirements, and their diet should consist of high-quality hay and fresh grass.

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