Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goat

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Breed Characteristics

The Nigerian dwarf dairy goat is a miniature dairy goat originating from West Africa and developed in the United States.  Their shorter height is the primary breed characteristic with does measuring no more than 22 1/2” at the withers and bucks measuring no more than 23 1/2" at the withers.

They are known for their high quality milk with exceptionally high butterfat content. Nigerians are gregarious, friendly, hardy animals that thrive in almost any climate. Their ears are erect and alert. The face is either straight or slightly dished. The coat is straight and medium length. The Nigerian is the only dairy breed known to occasionally have blue eyes.  Any pattern, color or combination of colors is acceptable for their coat.

Nigerians can breed year round with about a 3 week repeat cycle if not bred. The gestation period is 145 to 153 days. For the most part, Nigerian’s are a hearty breed with few kidding problems.  Healthy kids range from 2-4 lbs at birth but grow quickly.  Bucklings can be fertile at as young as 7 weeks of age.  Make sure you wean does and bucks separately to help you avoid those unintentional breeding's.

Other Information


A secure fence is a must for their safety. Red-Brand welded wire non-climb horse fence is one of the best but very expensive. The fence height is equally important. While these goats are very small they can easily jump a 3’ fence. They will also attempt to leap over a 4’ fence. I prefer a 5’ fence. Some goat people like the electric netting fence. I had one goat that would walk right over the hot-wired fence and the rest would immediately follower her!


Goats do not like getting wet. They need a solid shelter to escape from rain.


Many goat breeders use a 12% - 18% protein goat feed. Textured goat grain is preferred and it must contain copper. Do not feed a goat anything but goat ration. Additional things to mix in are shredded beet pulp, Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS) and alfalfa pellets for lactating does to maintain condition while raising their kids.


Hay or pasture should always be provided in abundant supply. Ideally good pasture and browse are the best.

Healthcare, Minerals and Supplements

I give a monthly dose of Vitamin E & Selenium gel, bi-annual doses of Copper, provide free-choice baking soda and loose minerals specifically formulated for goats. For worming I use Apple-Flavored Horse Ivermectin, just a pea-sized dab. Annually administer 2 cc of Clostridial & Tetanus Protection Vaccine (CD/T). Assemble a good first aid kit.

Fresh Water

Fresh water should be available at all times. During cold winter days a little molasses mixed with warm water is a favorite treat. Make sure the water doesn’t freeze in the winter.


Goats are herd animals, therefore you cannot have just one.  Two is a minimum.


Arrange for this before you buy your goats.  Your dog and cat vet will probably not care for a goat.

Recommended Books and Websites to Learn More

© Lake Lanier Goat Cheese

Andrea Bergdoll
Flowery Branch, GA 30542