Nigerian dwarf goats are sturdy, compact dairy goats who are typically less than 19 inches tall and weigh about 75 pounds. They are ideal for people who want to keep goats but don’t have a lot of room, don’t need a lot of milk or who want very rich milk. Nigerian dwarf goats are also a good choice for people who prefer not to deal with some of the bigger dairy breeds, such as Nubians, who can grow to 30 inches tall and weigh in at 135 pounds or more. To keep your goats in good shape it’s essential to feed them properly.
Basic Feeding Techniques
Use goat chow or other 12 to 18 percent protein feed designed for goats as the mainstay of the Nigerian dwarf goat’s diet, feeding each goat about 1.5 cups daily. When deciding how much to give each goat, feed a little more if she’s more than 75 pounds, pregnant or nursing, and a bit less if the goat is a male or is not bred or milking. Allow your goats access to grass and shrubs whenever possible, or substitute unlimited good-quality grass or alfalfa hay as necessary. Provide free-choice minerals or a mineral block.
Things to Avoid
Keep your goats away from toxic plants such as cherry trees, rhododendrons and azaleas, since these can kill them. Also never give your Nigerian dwarf goat moldy hay or feed or any other food that you suspect might be spoiled. Goats will eat until they die, literally, so take care to keep bags of grain where your goats can’t reach them.
- Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association: About Nigerian Dairy Goats
- Grass Acres Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Goat Care
- Oklahoma State University: Breeds of Livestock: Nigerian Dwarf
- Purdue University Dairy Goats Information: Common Breeds of Dairy Goats in the US: Nigerian Dwarf
- Purdue University Dairy Goats Information: Common Breeds of Dairy Goats in the US: Nubian
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