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 hobbyists 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.