PHOTO: iStock/Thinkstock
Heidi Strawn
February 4, 2011

Use: Nigerian Dwarf goats are perfectly scaled miniature dairy goats. Nigerian Dwarfs give up to two quarts of 6- to 10-percent butterfat milk per day. Nigerian Dwarfs, particularly bucks, have been used to develop a number of other small breeds, including the six breeds registered by the Miniature Dairy Goat Association (Miniature Alpines, Miniature LaManchas, Miniature Nubians, Miniature Oberhaslis, Miniature Saanen/Sables and Miniature Toggenburgs), the Miniature Silky Fainting Goat and the cute, fleecy Nigora.

History: Like Pygmy goats, Nigerian Dwarf goats originated in West Africa. The first documented imports of both Pygmys (short-legged and cobby, they’re used for meat and milk in Africa) and Nigerian Dwarfs (a more svelte, proportionate dairy-type goat) arrived to the U.S. in the 1930s to 1950s and found their way to private and public zoos and preserves, then to everyday owners and breeders.

Subscribe now

Conformation: Four organizations register Nigerian Dwarfs, and their standards differ somewhat. Generally, the ideal height for a mature doe is 17 to 19 inches, with does up to 22½ inches tall acceptable. Mature bucks should be 19 to 21 inches tall with up to 23½ inches accepted. Ideal weight is around 75 pounds. Nigerian Dwarfs have soft, short- to medium-length hair, upright ears and straight profiles. They come in all colors, though Pygmy-specific markings are penalized in the show ring.

Special Considerations/Notes: Nigerian Dwarfs are sweet, friendly goats that make wonderful pets. Kids weigh about 2 pounds at birth. They are precocious breeders, and bucklings can be fertile at 7 weeks of age. Most doelings are mature enough to breed at 7 to 8 months of age, though it’s better to wait until they’re at least 1 year old. Bucks can be used for service as young as 3 to 6 months of age. Nigerian Dwarfs breed out of season, and litters of three and four kids are the norm.

Subscribe now

Product Spotlight

  • Keep your coop secure all night and open only during daylight.

  • Hatching your own chicks is fun easy and reliable with Brinsea

  • Welp Hatchery has been providing America with day-old poultry since 1929!

2 thoughts on “Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Up

You Should Also read: