Goat, Nigerian Dwarf
The parts of the body are in balanced proportion. The nose is straight. The ears are upright. The coat is soft with short to medium hair. Any color or combination is acceptable, though silver agouti (roan) is considered a moderate fault. The main colors are black, chocolate and gold. Random white markings are common, as are spots and other color combinations such as red, white, gold and black.
Class: Mammal (Mammalia)
Range: West Africa
Habitat: They need clean, dry shelters. They should have shade in the summer and protection from the winter winds. They also need an exercise yard, and they are mountain animals and enjoy obstacles on which to climb.
Lifespan: 12-18 years
Wild Diet: Herbivore. Must be fed goat feed or dairy ration. They need lots of fresh water to keep them healthy. In the winter they should drink warm water, and in the summer you should keep cool clean water outside all day and it should be changed periodically.
Zoo Diet: Herbivore pellets, hay and grain
The Nigerian dwarf goats are gentle and easily trainable. Their small size also makes them excellent “visitor” animals for nursing homes and hospitals.
They breed easily. Many breeders breed their does three times in two years. They reach sexual maturity at a young age. Males have been known to breed and be fertile as young as 7 weeks of age. Does can be bred at 7 to 8 months of age if they have reached a good size.
Gestation: Five months
Litter: Three and four being common; sometimes five
- Nigerian dwarfs give a surprising amount of milk for their size. From 1 to 8 pounds of milk per day.
- They were originally brought to the United States on ships as food for large cats such as lions, the survivors originally lived in zoos.
- They can have several kids at a time and they are good mothers.