Nigerian Dwarf Goats

nigerian dwarf goats

The Nigerian Dwarf goat is a miniature goat of West African origin. Nigerian Dwarf goats are enjoying a rise in popularity due to their small size and colorful markings.

Their small stature means they do not require as much space as larger dairy goat breeds and their gentle and friendly personalities make them good companion pets. They are easy to handle; even small children can be at ease with these little goats.

Nigerian Dwarf Goats South Africa


Nigerian Dwarf Goats in South Africa were originally selected as companions and show animals, with emphasis on the breed’s graceful appearance and gentle disposition. The production qualities of the breed, however, have also attracted attention. Does produce one to two quarts of milk per day. The milk is high in butterfat and makes excellent cheese and butter.

They generally breed year-round and produce twins. They can be milked for up to ten months, but can also be allowed to dry up on their own if milking is no longer desired. These production qualities make Nigerian Dwarf goats in Cape Town good candidates for small-scale milk production where a year-round supply of a moderate amount of milk is the goal.


Nigerian Dwarf Goats Milk Tastes Better


Among the goat dairy breeds, Nigerian Dwarf goat milk has the highest levels of butterfat, making it so creamy that it’s typically preferred over cow’s milk. Nigerian Dwarf milk has approximately 6 – 10% butterfat, as opposed to approximately 2 – 6% for other goat breeds. Since butterfat is what gives milk its sweet flavor, it’s the sweetest, richest milk of all the dairy goat breeds.


Housing and Fencing


Despite their small stature, Nigerian Dwarfs are exceptionally agile, capable of jumping typical fences. Therefore, to prevent that from happening, your fence should not be any lower than 1.2m high. In any case, fences are not only for keeping your goats in but also for keeping predators out. If you decide to go the wire fencing way, keep the openings as narrow as possible so the animal cannot squeeze through.

You will also have to provide them with some form of shelter against harsh weather. Don’t forget to provide enough space for exercise. In addition, your goat will appreciate toys such as tree stumps, large rocks, and cable spools for climbing and jumping. But be sure not to keep these toys close to the fence, as your animal might use them as a platform for jumping over the fence.


Care and Feeding Nigerian Dwarf Goats


They are hardy animals that thrive in almost any climate and, due to their size, require less space to graze and play than full-size dairy goats. They are also very adaptable and live comfortably with other livestock such as cattle, horses, llamas, and donkeys.

These goats may be small in size, but they require lots of room to play and explore. Therefore, their living areas need to include “toys” such as tree stumps, rocks, and other large climbing structures that they can entertain themselves with. Adequate fencing is another requirement since a miniature goat can be quite the escape artist.

Nigerian Dwarf goats also require proper feed to thrive. Most importantly, your goats will need free-choice access to quality hay and forage. In addition, goats will need free-choice access to a goat mineral to help balance their diets. Pregnant does, or nursing does as well as young kids will also need grain to help supplement their diets. And, of course, be sure to also provide plenty of fresh, clean water.


Nigerian Dwarf Goats Facts



  • Nigerian goats hail from Africa.
  • On average, Nigerian goats have a lifespan of approximately 15 years.
  • Nigerian dwarf goats have coats that come in a variety of colors, although black or brown hair tends to be the most common.
  • This small stature goat breed does not typically reach maturity until it is 24 months old.
  • A Nigerian goat weighs in at about 22kg to 36kg pounds once it reaches maturity – with very little size difference between males and females. Billy goats (intact males) do tend to weigh slightly more than wethers – or castrated males.
  • Goats of this breed usually have a butcher weight of approximately 11 to 18 pounds.
  • Males reach sexual maturity when they are only three to four months old.
    Female Nigerian dwarf goats are not ready to reproduce until they are seven to eight months old.
  • These miniature goats are hardy animals and can not just survive, but thrive in nearly any type of climate.