When people think of pets, they may think of cats, dogs, hamsters, rabbits, fish, or even snakes and spiders. What most people don’t think of after hearing the word “pet” is goats. However, that doesn’t mean these cheery bovine don’t make good companions. On the contrary, the Nigerian Dwarf goat has proven itself to be quite the personable people pleaser.
The Nigerian Dwarf Goat, despite its name, is actually an American breed of Dwarf Goat. They do, however, boast West African origins if you trace their lineage back far enough. As pets, Nigerian Dwarf Goats can be playful, friendly, and sociable pets. Some people see them just as dogs with hooves. Combine their playful temperament with their ease of care and many people are surprised by the feasibility of owning a Nigerian Dwarf Goat as a pet.
If you are one of those people becoming attracted by the idea of one of these hooved, huggable animals becoming your pet, then we have the article for you. We will be discussing everything Nigerian Dwarf Goat, from their characteristics and demeanor to their care and maintenance as pets. Read on all you current or prospective pet owners and animal enthusiasts.
Costs of Owning a Nigerian Dwarf Goat
If you are looking to buy a Nigerian Dwarf Goat, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $500 USD. To better understand this range, it can be broken up into two parts: pet quality goats and breeding or pedigree quality goats.
For the basic pet goat, you will probably pay a minimum of $50 USD up to $150 or $200 USD. For the higher quality breeding or pedigree goats, animals for the serious animal lover, breeder, or competition partaker, you can expect to pay $200 USD minimum, up to $500 USD.
Once you have purchased your Nigerian Dwarf Goat, your next worry will be recurring maintenance and care costs. You will need to ensure you have a space large enough for them to roam around and play in. It should also be properly fenced in and have climbing structures such as platforms or tree stumps for the goat to entertain itself with.
You will need to spend about $15 to $20 per month in goat feed, around $10 per bale of hay for your goat to eat, and between $10 and $20 USD per bag for good quality goat mineral. All of these things are needed to make sure your pet goat maintains a healthy diet.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats Behavior and Temperament
Nigerian Dwarf Goats are valued largely for their even tempers, calm demeanors, and friendly and playful dispositions. These qualities make them great pets to have, even for families with children.
Their small size makes them little bundles of joy. Every owner of a Nigerian Dwarf Goat should have plenty of rocks, tree stumps, or other climbing structures for their playful pets to play around on. It is all but guaranteed that your pet Nigerian Dwarf Goat will make good use of any play structure you give them.
These goats are easily trainable, making them great for first time owners and, mixed with their agreeable nature as described above, make these animals surprisingly good service animals for nursing homes and hospitals.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Size
A Nigerian Dwarf Goat, just as their name suggests, is smaller than your average goat. On average, they way about seventy pounds (31.75 kg) and are around 24 inches (60 cm) tall.
In practical terms, they weigh about the same as a medium to large dog and can come up to the knees of an average height human. Their small size lends them well to being family pets where yard space may be smaller than what the normal sized goat needs.
How Long Do Nigerian Dwarf Goats Live For?
The Nigerian Dwarf Goat lives between fifteen to twenty years on average. Compared to the lifespan of other potential pets, the lifespan of the Nigerian Dwarf Goat ranks above the average dog and slightly longer than the average cat.
This lifespan is just an average and can vary depending on the individual goat and the potential health problems and diseases they may face. To ensure your Nigerian Dwarf Goat lives a long and happy life, take them for regular checkups at your local vet.
What Kind of Shelter Do Nigerian Dwarf Goats Need?
To keep your Nigerian Dwarf Goat happy, you should provide them with a space at least 200 square meters per goat or larger. Make sure that the space is enclosed with a fence at least four feet high to prevent any run away pets.
In this space, your pet Nigerian Dwarf Goats will need some place to take shelter from Mother Nature’s bad days. A structure as simple as a house for a large dog can suffice for a Nigerian Dwarf Goat. Keep in mind, this is enough space for a single goat. If you are a proud owner of more than one goat, ensure each one has its ample space to play and take shelter.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Colors
There is no one uniform or common color for the Nigerian Dwarf Goat. They come in numerous different colors. Of these numerous possibilities, the ones seen most commonly are black, chocolate, gold, red, and white.
Most Nigerian Dwarf Goats sport random white markings all over their body and can possess a mixture of the aforementioned colors.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Diet
Unlike humans, goats have four chambers in their digestive tract that process and digest food differently. The best thing for goats to eat and the food they digest the best is bulk fiber and fibrous plant material. Accordingly, the most important part of your Nigerian Dwarf Goat’s diet will be the hay you provide.
The four digestive chambers your pet goat possesses has a delicate mixture of microorganisms that need to be kept healthy and maintained to upkeep the goat’s health. Feeding your Nigerian Dwarf Goat will need to eat high quality goat feed and proper goat mineral. They also need constant access to water.
Do Nigerian Dwarf Goats Make Good Pets?
Yes, Nigerian Dwarf Goats make good pets. Due to their small size, ease of care for beginner owners, and friendly and playful temperament, these goats make great pets. The prove to be enthusiastic companions, enjoying engaging in activities with you, your children, and other goats.
If you are a family with children, Nigerian Dwarf Goats can also work for you. Their gentle nature is so pronounced that they are even used as care animals for people fragile enough to live in nursing homes and hospitals.
Are Nigerian Dwarf Goats Noisy?
Nigerian Dwarf Goats are known for being rather noisy. In general, when goats are in heat they tend to be more vocal and cause more trouble than normal. Nigerian Dwarf Goats go into heat every month, so you can do the math on how often your pet Nigerian Dwarf might become vocal.
Do Nigerian Dwarf Goats Stink?
Nigerian Dwarf Goats don’t smell any more than other goat breeds. Owners of this breed usually say that their Nigerian Dwarf Goat actually stinks less than other goat breeds.
However, they are still animals and are bound to have some smells. The same is true of any pet, or human for that matter. And, just like any pet or person, you can wash them to allay any smells you want to avoid.
When washing your Nigerian Dwarf Goat, make sure you are using materials free of harmful chemicals or any ingredients that might cause a negative reaction in your goat.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Diseases
Diseases can be prevented with proper research into the goat’s health before purchase and with regular checkups with a vet. Below are some common diseases to watch out for in your pet Nigerian Dwarf Goat:
- Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis is similar to AIDS in humans in that it negatively affects the immune system of the goat making it susceptible to many other illnesses.
- Caseous Lymphadenitis is a pus-filled swelling that develops around the goats lymph nodes and can burst and infect other goats.
- Coccidiosis is a parasite that can infect goats and cause digestive, hide, and general health problems.
- Finally, pink eye can affect goats as well. The treatment for this in goats is similar to that of humans: quarantine them from the rest of the herd, treat them with medication, and wash your hands after handling them.
At What Age is a Nigerian Dwarf Goat Fully Grown?
The Nigerian Dwarf Goat is regarded as fully grown when they reach one year of age. Biologically speaking, the does are able to breed and bear children when they are seven months old. It is recommended to hold off breeding until the doe reaches full maturity, however.
For the male goats, it has been recorded that some of them can breed as early as seven weeks old.
How High Can a Nigerian Dwarf Goat Jump?
When building the fence that encloses your yard or whatever area you use for your pet goat’s play area, it is recommended you build it at least four feet high. This is because Nigerian Dwarf Goats cannot jump that high.
Your Nigerian Dwarf Goat will like to jump, though, so be sure to provide it with enough climbing structures in its play area.
How Old Can Nigerian Dwarf Goats Breed?
The breeding age for the Nigerian Dwarf Goat varies between the sexes. For the males, they have been known to be fertile and ready to breed as early as seven weeks after birth.
For the females, they are usually ready for breeding around seven months of age. However, most breeders and other goat experts prefer and recommend waiting until they are one year old and have reached their full size to start breeding them.
How Many Times Can You Breed a Nigerian Dwarf Goat?
Most breeders breed their Nigerian Dwarf Goat around two or three times. This is done over a period of two or three years so the doe can have at least six months of rest in between each pregnancy.
The Nigerian Dwarf Goat can breed in any time of year, coming into heat every month. This makes the scheduling of breeding your doe relatively easy to establish and maintain.
How Long is a Nigerian Dwarf Goat Pregnant?
The Nigerian Dwarf Goat is pregnant for 145 to 153 days, making their pregnancy time right around five months. This period of time makes the usual breeding schedule for does, repeated three times in two years, easy to carry out while giving the doe ample time to rest and recuperate in between pregnancies.
How Many Babies Does a Nigerian Dwarf Goat Have?
When giving birth, the Nigerian Dwarf Goat doe will produce three to five babies. Each baby will be around two pounds in weight.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats are known for having few birthing problems. However, it is still recommended to get the help of a professional, such as a veterinarian, to deal with the whole process.
How Much Milk Does Nigerian Dwarf Goat Produce?
The Nigerian Dwarf Goat produces around a half gallon of milk per day. That’s 3.79 liters for you non-Americans out there.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats, despite their small size, have relatively big utters which makes the milking process a cinch. Owners of Nigerian Dwarf Goats rave about the quality and taste of the milk that their pet produces.
How Long Does a Nigerian Dwarf Goat Produce Milk?
A Nigerian Dwarf Goat doe will produce milk for ten months, sometimes even up to two years after breeding if she is milked regularly. If bred continually, this process can be extended for as long as they remain fertile. When they are pregnant, the doe will dry up as her pregnancy progresses and should be allowed to so she can prepare and store up nutrients for her baby.
After the ten month to two year milk production streak, you should allow your Nigerian Dwarf Goat doe to dry up for two months before breeding her again. Just like any new mother, she deserves a break.
If you own more than one Nigerian Dwarf Goat, you can stagger their pregnancies in such a way that gives you a continuous supply of milk.