Nigerian Dwarf Goat Raising:
Introduction to Nigerian Dwarf Goat Raising:- The Nigerian Dwarf goats are a miniature dairy goat breeds of West African origin. People are showing more interest due to their small size, high milk production and colorful markings. Why these goats are becoming popular? well, their friendly nature and as they occupy very less space when compared to other dairy goats. The USDA (US department of agriculture) approved this cute animal as livestock dairy goat, this makes Nigerian dwarf goats eligible for youth ‘4H’ and ‘FFA’ projects. The Nigerian Dwarf goats are best for their milk production skills. Even though, these goats are good milk producers, most people raise these as pets for companionship.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Raising – Breed Conformation:- You can find a Nigerian Dwarf goat is conformation almost similar to regular large dairy goat breeds. The Nigerian Dwarf goats have straight nose with ears upright. Usually, these small goats have soft coat with short to medium hair. These goats can exist in multi colors. Nigerian Dwarf goats height is usually from 17 inches to 190 inches in case of does (females). However, Nigerian Dwarf male goat usually from 19 inches to 21 inches. The ideal weight of Nigerian Dwarf goat is about 32 kg or 70 lbs.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Raising – Milk and It’s Nutrition Facts:- As we have mentioned before, these miniature goats are best producers of sweet milk. A healthy Nigerian Dwarf female (doe) goat can yield up to 2 quarts of milk/day. The best part of their milk is that it has butterfat of 6 to 10%. They have great milk protein content when compared to other dairy goats.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Raising – Advantages:- The following are main advantages of Nigerian Dwarf Goat Raising.
- These miniature goats are adorable and friendly in nature.
- The Nigerian Dwarf goats are very easy to blend with other livestock and usually share pastures peacefully with other animals such as sheep, cattle, horses, and other goats.
- The Nigerian Dwarf goats can live in smaller spaces than standard size goats.
- The Nigerian Dwarf goats can produce 1 to 2 quarts of delicious sweet milk/day.
- These goats are easy to maintain.
- The best part is, these goats can breed year round.
- These animals are not only raised for dairy purpose but also for meat (dual purpose).
- They consume less feed than the other standard goat breeds.
- One can earn income from their meat, milk, cheese.
- You can utilize their manure for you back yard garden.
- Apart from all above, they give you good companionship.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Raising – Shelter:- Well, protecting your adorable miniature goats is one of the important task. These small goats should be kept in clean and secured pens. Make sure to be free from flies and rodents, dampness, and drafts. It is also important to ensure proper ventilation and air flow for good health and to prevent from any diseases. For best bedding of these goats, goat pens or houses should be kept clean with fresh hay or straw.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Raising – Breeding:- Well, the best part of these goats is, they can be bread year around. However, it’s your choice and some goat owners breed their female goats 3 times in 2 years with provision of 6 month break (window). Usually, these dwarf goats have 145 to 150 days of gestation period. Dwarf goat owners should take care of the newly born goat kids as these weigh about 0.92 kg or 2 pounds at birth. These kids can grow very fast and Bucklings can be fertile at as young as 7 to 8 weeks of age. Ensure that you wean female goats and bucks separately to help you avoid unintentional breeding.
The Nigerian Dwarf female goats can be bred at the age of 7 to 8 months, once they have reached a mature size. It is advised to wait until they are at least 1 year old. Multi kidding (3 to 4) is common in Nigerian Dwarf goats. These mother goats can take care of their kids by providing good amount of milk. Bucks are able to be used for service as young as 3 months of age and easily by the time they are 7 or 8 months old. Nigerian Dwarf male goats are vigorous breeders but are gentle enough to be used for pasture breeding where one male goat is available for many female goats as they come into estrus. You can practice hand breeding as well.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Raising – Feeding:- You can practices the feeding ration similar to regular dairy goats though these goats takes less feed. You should make sure have 14 to 18% of protein in the supplied feed. Avoid any urea in the feed as it is poisonous to goats. You can feed them depending on pasture availability. You can feed them with dry hay or grains like maize/corn. Prove clean and fresh water all the time and never allow these goats to eat the feed from other goat or animal plates. You can also add any supplemental feed which has good nutrients and micro-nutrients. The Nigerian Dwarf goats are browsers, they can eat tips woody shrubs and trees. They often improve a pasture by removing blackberry, weedy undergrowth.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Raising – Health Care:- Health care of any livestock is one of the basic and important task to be successful as farmer. THE Nigerian Dwarf goats should be trimmed frequently, usually 5 to 7 weeks or when needed. The regular vaccinations for tetanus and types C & D should be carried out with your veterinary doctor. De-worming should be carried out just like in other goat breeds. De-worming of Dwarf goats should be done once in 3 months. You need to talk to your veterinary doctor for required vaccinations and de-worming process. Any outbreak of diseases should be taken care by your vet. It is advised to have your livestock veterinary doctor onsite at least once in a week to check your dwarf herd.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Raising – Dwarf Goats and Pygmy Goats:- Well, these animals have similar origins, they are separate and distinct breeds, with well known differences. When it comes to Pygmy goat breed, they are like “cobby” and heavy boned. The Nigerian Dwarf goats are bred to have the length of body and more elegant similar to their larger dairy goats.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Raising – Cost of Nigerian Dwarf Goat:- Well, the cost of the Nigerian Dwarf Dairy goat is between $200 and $500 (for registered breeding stock). This price may vary depending on the region and , milk production skills.However, a castrated ram (wether) may cost you between $50 and $100.