ANIMAL:Nigerian Dwarf Goat Capra hircus
Type of Animal:
Farms, fields, rocky areas, urban areas, lowland plains, alpine regions
Originates in W Africa. Now found on farms all over Africa, N. America, Australia, New Zealand, & W. Europe.
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
Grain, grass hay, leguminous hay, weeds, flowers, vegetables, root/tuber vegetables, fruit, berries, grasses, browse, forbs, trees, shrubs
Status in Wild:
Breeding on farms. Used for milk, meat, show, & as companion animals. Used to be on Livestock Conservancy’s heritage breed watchlist until 2013.
Herds of 8-150
Male: 75 lbs
Female: 65 lbs
Young: 12 lbs
5 monthsLife Span:
Male: 1.58-1.96 ft
Female: 1.42-1.875 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.
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.