~The History of the Nigerian Dwarf Goat~
The Nigerian Dwarf Goat originated in West Africa. These goats were then brought to the United States. Nigerians are miniature dairy goats. Their body proportions are similar to that of a full sized dairy goat. Nigerian Dwarf's make a surprising amount of milk for their size. Sometimes up to 8 cups per milking! These little goats are known for high butterfat in their milk, on average, 6%. Nigerian Dwarf does can be up to 22.5 inches at the withers, while bucks must be less than 23.5 inches at the withers. Nigerian Dwarf goats can be bred year round. Nigerians can be any color, some are polled (naturally hornless), and can also have blue eyes. They make excellent home dairy goats, show goats, or pets.
~General Goat Care~
I strive to give all of my goats the best care that I can. This is what works for me and my herd, but by no means works for everyone..
Goats require good roughage- hay or pasture (when/if it is available). Minerals are a must to keep them healthy, shelter from the elements, plenty of clean fresh water at all times and good fencing.
Hay-My goats get free choice hay at all times and access to the pasture when it isn't covered in snow. I feed a second cutting pure alfalfa hay in the spring and summer, when the does are producing milk. The buck and whether get an alfalfa/grass mix hay year round, and the does get this hay in the winter.
Grain-My does also get a grain mix while they are in milk, to help keep their weight up, and to give us plenty of rich milk.
Minerals-I buy a local goat mineral mix, which they have available at all times. They also have free choice organic Vitamin A mix, and B mix available.
Shelter- The does have an insulated shed all to their own. Two
kidding stalls are in the shed for when kidding comes around (this spring).
Fencing- Nigerian Dwarf goats require excellent fencing, more so than larger dairy goat
breeds, due to their short stature. My goat pen is currently fenced with 5' no climb
wire. Chain link pens work well, as do cattle panels (if they are just used for
adult Nigerian Dwarf goats). The goats have a permanent pasture using red brand
4' woven wire fencing for it. Goats are pretty good at getting out of fencing that is
not well stretched, has gaps between the fence and the ground, or is not tall