© 2017 Amber Waves All Rights Reserved

Differences Between African Pygmy Goats And Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Are you looking for a friendly, easy to care for and unique new pet? How about welcoming a miniature goat into your family? Yes, it is true; there are so many families in the U.S. that are rearing miniature goats as their pets. The miniature goat is one of the rarest of household pets. Now that you have made up your mind, another important decision remains. What type of miniature goat would you prefer to choose? Whether you want to rear them as pets, for milk or for meat, there are two popular types of miniature goats in America right now. One of these breeds is known as the African Pigmy while the other is the Nigerian Dwarf goat. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the major differences between the African pygmy goat and the Nigerian dwarf goat. Both the breeds of goats were imported from Africa in the early 1950s. Both these breeds share almost the same genetics. They have the same average weight and height. Pygmy goats will grow between 16 to 23 inches while the Nigerian dwarf will reach a height between 17-23 inches. Both types would weight between 50 to 85 pounds. Even the heights and weights of the two breeds were almost the same, they have distinctive body types. The pygmy goats were bred for their small stocky bodies. They have rounder bellies and shorter legs. These goats are considered meat animals due to this reason. The Nigerian goats have leaner bodies. They have the same body size as any other full-size dairy goat. This is why the Nigerian dwarf was considered for milk production purposes. Both these breeds of animals are docile. Hence, many families reared them as loving pets.  Even though pygmy goats are mainly bred for meat purposes, they are also known for supplying their families with an ample supply of milk. Both these breeds share the same fun-loving, gregarious personality. This has helped draw in small farmers and hobbyist from across the country. Even the most serious personality will lighten up when they see these goats in action. The two varieties are known to have different colors. Black, dark brown and medium brown are the three basic colors of the pygmy goat. On the other hand, the Nigerian goat comes in a wide variety of colors. In addition to black and brown, the dwarf goat comes in a wide variety of colors such as gold, cream and white. They are also blue eyed, which is another interesting factor for an African goat. Color is one of the main factors when it comes to breeding the Nigerian dwarf goat. It is what has made rearing these goats so popular and interesting. You cannot be sure of the color of a baby dwarf goat until it pops out of the mother's sack. The dwarf goat is knee-high. Hence, they don't require so much of space to breed compared to their larger dairy goat counterparts. This is why they are considered one of the best practical choices for the small farm owner.  The dairy characteristics of the Nigerian dwarf goats have become more defined within the past two decades. They have been able to offer a higher milk production during this period. They have been enjoying a rise in popularity over the African pygmy due to numerous reasons. Their colorful markings, small size, easy temperament and dairy characteristics are some of these reasons. Their small size means they don't require that much of space to feed and rear. This made them one of the most popular choices among small scale farmers. The temperament of the Nigerian goat is good compared to the pygmy. This has helped make them firm favorites as household pets. The gentle nature and friendly personality of the goat have made them excellent companion pets. This is why there are so many families in the U.S. that rear these goats as household animals. They are considered good 4H project animals for younger children.  Nigerian dwarf goats are lovable, friendly and playful. Their engaging personalities, calm and even characteristics and good temperament make them the best companion for all in the house, whether they be adults, children disabled or the elderly. They make great animal projects and wonderful pets for younger kids in FFA or 4H projects. The Nigerian goat blends well with other farm animals, and don't require special quarters due to this reason. This is why the majority of farmers prefer to rear these goats. But they require adequate fencing in order to contain them because of their small size. The majority of Nigerian dwarfs would prefer to share pastures peacefully with other animals such as llamas, cattle, donkeys and horses. These goats require a dry and shaded shelter during hot and cold weather conditions. A large dog house would do fine for them. These breeds should never be housed in airtight buildings since ventilation is mandatory for optimal health of the animal. Many farmers would provider toys for the goats to play with. Large cable spools, tree stumps and rocks are best in this regard. Just make sure you keep the toys away from the fence in order to avoid easy escape. This is why good fencing is emphasized when rearing the Nigerian dwarf goat. Nigerian dwarf goats breed year round. The gestation period of the doe is about 150 days on average. The new baby goat would average about 2 pounds at birth, but would quickly grow. The dwarf goat can provide a surprising amount of milk for their size. The feeding should be done properly when rearing these types of goats. It will help increase the milk quantity even further. You need to give them necessary supplements at the correct time. Check for the mineral deficiencies in your area and give supplements accordingly. This will help the Nigerian dwarf goat grow healthily. The aforementioned article provides a comprehensive overview of the differences between the African pygmy and Nigerian dwarf miniature goats.   

Differences Between African

Pygmy Goats And Nigerian

Dwarf Goats

© 2016 Amber Waves All Rights Reserved

Considerations When Buying

Your First Goat

The    domestic    goat,    also    known    as    Capra    aegagrus hircus,   is   one   of   the   oldest   domesticated   animals   in   the world.   Goats   are   an   excellent   source   of   milk,   meat,   hair, and   skin.   They   are   beneficial   to   humans   whether   they are    alive    or    deceased.    Additionally,    since    goats    are widely   farmed,   the   United   Nations   Food   and   Agriculture Organization   recorded   that   there   are   more   than   924 million species of goats in the world during 2011. Since   goats   are   a   source   of   numerous   resources,   there are   a   large   number   of   people   who   are   interested   in investing   in   them.      Buying   your   first   goat,   however,   is not   as   easy   as   picking   one   out   from   a   herd.      There   are health   considerations   to   think   of   as   well   as   other   logistic requirements of goat raising.  In    buying    your    first    goat,     there    are    a    few    very important   details   that   you   must   keep   in   mind.      One   of the    first    considerations    is    buying    from    a    recognized breeder   that   tests   their   animals.   There   are   a   number   of breeders   that   are   accredited   with   industry   regulators and   expert   organizations.      This   is   important   to   ensure that the goat you are buying is healthy.  Health Testing These   breeders   test   their   goats   regularly   for   diseases such    as    Caprine    Arthritis    and    Encephalitis    (CAE), Caseous     Lymphadenitis     (CL),     and     Paratubercolosis (Johne’s   Disease).   These   diseases   are   common   in   goats.     As   these   diseases   are   contagious   to   both   goats   and humans,   buying   a   sick   goat   could   endanger   the   health of   those   caring   for   them   as   well   as   other   goats   in   the area.      This   means   that   you   will   be   wasting   your   money on   a   goat   that   is   not   likely   to   survive.      What’s   more,   you might   also   have   to   spend   more   money   when   you   or your other goats get sick.  Preparing Your Goat’s Home After   buying   your   first   goat,   you   have   to   consider   the space   where   the   goat   will   stay.      You   will   need   a   shelter where   your   goat   will   be   comfortable   and   healthy.      In some   cases,   the   fences   and   shelters   are   either   too   small or   not   sturdy   enough   to   cater   the   livestock.   Basically,   a goat   fence   should   be   around   4-feet   tall.   A   sturdy   goat fence    should    be    either    field    fencing,    cattle    or    hog panels,   or   reinforced   with   electric   wire.   In   building   a goat   shelter,   it   is   vital   to   consider   the   flooring,   bedding, dimensions,   climate,   herd   composition,   storage,   access to water, and general area for routine care. The   recommended   flooring   is   dirt   or   gravel   since   the materials   are   excellent   for   absorbing   urine.   The   bedding has   to   be   properly   insulated   so   putting   down   three   to four   inches   of   wood   shavings   or   straw   is   advised.      As   far as   the   dimensions   of   the   goat   shelter   is   concerned, goats    typically    require    ten    to    fifteen    square    feet    of housing if provided an outdoor area. The   shelter   must   also   be   designed   to   withstand   the climate    of    the    area.    Which    means    the    climate    will determine   whether   the   shelter   will   be   an   open   or   closed goat   shelter.   The   composition   of   the   herd   will   be   the determining   factor   on   how   big   the   shelter   will   become. It   is   also   advisable   to   have   a   storage   area   in   the   goat shelter   to   make   herding   tools   much   more   accessible. Lastly,   access   to   water   is   vital   since   it   saves   time   and energy    from    gathering    water    from    a    distant    water source. Caring for Your Goat’s Health It   is   imperative   to   monitor   the   health   of   the   goat.   There are   many   methods   in   checking   for   a   sick   goat.      A   farmer must    be    well    aware    of    the    difference    in    the    goat’s behavior.        Particularly    in    its    moaning    and    bleating.      Typically,   healthy   goats   are   quiet   animals   that   are   full   of energy.      Sick   goats,   on   the   other   hand,   tend   to   be   dull and   have   a   certain   bleat   that   indicates   that   they   are   ill.     It   is   important   to   recognize   these   signs   so   that   you   can attend   to   their   needs   immediately.      For   instance,   Goats who   are   suffering   from   lice   can   already   receive   Cythion at   a   monthly   interval.      A   solution   of   5%   Sevin   dust   is given for goats with dry skin and flaky dandruff.  It    is    also    important    to    note    that    goats    are    highly uncomfortable   during   the   summer.      This   is   a   time   when they   need   more   attention.      Be   extra   watchful   for   signs of   dullness   or   sluggishness.      It   is   all   the   more   necessary for   you   to   keep   their   shelter   comfortable   to   make   the summer   heat   bearable.      To   counter   the   heat,   you   have to   keep   your   goats   cool   by   ensuring   that   they   have ample   supply   of   water.      Other   ways   to   keep   them   cool would   be   to   freeze   their   vitamins   and   supplements   and then   mix   them   into   the   goats’   water   bucket   to   drink.      It would   also   help   to   spray   the   goats   with   cold   water   daily.     Be   careful,   however,   of   using   ice   cold   water   as   you   can shock them with the extreme change in temperature.  Making a Wise Investment in Goats When   you   keep   the   reminders   above   in   mind   when   you invest   in   goats,   you   have   a   good   chance   at   making   the most   of   your   investment.      Buying   your   first   goat   from   a respectable   breeder   who   tests   for   CAE,   CL,   and   Johne’s disease   gives   you   a   great   start.      What   you   do   after   you buy   your   goat,   however,   will   have   an   impact   on   whether or   not   you   will   succeed   in   goat   raising.      Be   sure   to   learn everything    you    can    about    proper    goat    raising    to increase    your    chances    of    having    a    growing    herd    of healthy   goats.      You   can   then   start   reaping   the   benefits of   your   investment.      Note   that   this   will   take   some   time and   a   lot   of   effort   on   your   part.      Be   ready   with   the knowledge and tools to make the endeavor worthwhile.  There   is   no   denying   that   goats   are   some   of   the   most useful   animals   around.      Wanting   to   cash   in   on   this   fact is   but   natural.      More   than   the   profits,   you   have   to carefully   think   about   whether   or   not   you   are   ready   for the   responsibility   of   goat   raising.      You   cannot   expect   to earn   your   fortune   right   after   you   bring   your   first   goat home.      Do   your   homework   and   find   out   everything   you can   about   raising   goats   for   profit.      Put   in   the   elbow grease    to    make    sure    that    your    goats    have    the provisions   they   need.      Pretty   soon,   you   will   start   seeing the results of your hard work.