Nigerian Dwarf Goat

ANIMAL:
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Capra hircus

Type of Animal:
Goat/Sheep

Habitat:
Farms, fields, rocky areas, urban areas, lowland plains, alpine regions

Location(s):
Originates in W Africa. Now found on farms all over Africa, N. America, Australia, New Zealand, & W. Europe.

Appearance:
Mostly comes in black, chocolate, or gold/tan coloring, sometimes white or red, white markings/spots common, faint shadings sometimes seen, especially on legs/face/underbelly/topline, upright ears

Food/Diet:
Grain, grass hay, leguminous hay, weeds, flowers, vegetables, root/tuber vegetables, fruit, berries, grasses, browse, forbs, trees, shrubs

Status in Wild:
Domesticated

Conservation:
Breeding on farms. Used for milk, meat, show, & as companion animals. Used to be on Livestock Conservancy’s heritage breed watchlist until 2013.

Lifestyle:
Herds of 8-150

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Buck
Female: Doe
Young: Kid
Group: Herd
 
Weight:
Male: 75 lbs
Female: 65 lbs
Young: 12 lbs

Gestation:
5 months 

Life Span:
8-15 years

Height:
Male: 1.58-1.96 ft
Female: 1.42-1.875 ft

Body Length:
1.83-2 ft

Tail Length:
0.5 ft

Main predators of adults are lions, pythons, wild dogs, hyenas, cheetahs, chimps, crocodilians, bears, wolves, coyotes, leopards, cougars/pumas, servals, caracals, bobcats, feral/domestic dogs, foxes, eagles, & wild pigs. Ravens, black vultures, owls, large hawks, & feral cats eat kids.
 
Bucks sexually mature at 7 weeks, does at 4 months.
 
Twins & triplets most common but quadruplets also common. Sometimes 5-6 kids born or just 1 kid.
 
Very hardy & thrive in many different climates.
 
When milking, they produce 2.5-4 lbs of 6-10% butterfat milk a day.
 
They breed year-round.
 
Often improve pastures by eating plants other farm animals won’t eat, such as poison ivy/poison oak.
 
1st arrived in US in 1950s from W Africa-came on ships for use as feeder animals for big cats-goats spared being fed to big cats transported to different animal institutions-many of them finding homes at Brownsville’s Gladys Porter Zoo, leading to this zoo becoming one of most common names in Nigerian Dwarf Goat pedigrees, along w/ Shaula Parker of Willows/Willow Creek & Kathleen Clapp of Goodwood Farms. All 3 derived from Texas.
 
Like all goats, they have 4-chambered stomach to process food.

Fun Fact(s):
Can walk shortly after birth & can bounce/jump at 2-3 days old.
 
Have been used as service animals in nursing homes, veteran services, & hospitals.
 
Nigora breed created in 1990s from this breed & Angoras.
 
Very friendly docile playful goat breed. Many people keep these goats as pets.
 
Despite size, they can jump over 6 ft fences.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat, stock photo

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