Nubian dwarf goats, or mini Nubians, are a cross between Nubian dairy goats and Nigerian dwarf dairy goats, bred with the goal of raising good milk producers in a smaller size. Because this is a crossbreed, size and characteristics are dependent on the generation level of the goats. While mini Nubians are a relatively new breed, after the sixth generation they may be registered as purebred mini Nubians, for which there is a specific size standard.
Nubian goats are a large breed with an African, Indian and European heritage. This breed produces high-quality and high-butterfat milk. Standards specify that Nubian does must be at least 30 inches tall and 135 pounds. Bucks must be at least 32 inches tall at the withers and 160 pounds. This is the minimum, however, and many bucks reach well over 200 pounds. Nubians are known for being very vocal and very stubborn.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats
Nigerian dwarf goats are a miniature dairy breed originating from West Africa. Where standards for Nubians list a minimum, Nigerian standards list a maximum. Does should be no taller than 22.5 inches at the withers and bucks should be 23.5 inches or less. Nigerians give high-butterfat milk and, despite their small size, produce as much as two quarts per day. They are friendly animals and, due to their smaller size, are often used by children in 4H. Given this size, they are ideal for small family milk production and smaller farms, as they require less space and feed than other breeds.
Mini Nubian Standards
Mini Nubians are the result of a cross between a Nigerian buck and a Nubian doe. First-generation kids generally have more of the physical characteristics, such as airplane ears, of the Nigerian. These first-generation kids are considered 50/50. When these 50/50 goats breed with other first-generation goats, the resulting kids begin to develop the look of the Nubian breed, including the large floppy ears. Once you reach the sixth generation, purebred registration is an option as long as your animals meet breed standards. Does are 22 to 25 inches tall at the withers and under 100 pounds, while bucks stand a maximum of 27 inches tall and weigh under 135 pounds.
Why Choose Mini Nubians?
By crossing Nubians with Nigerians, you receive a small, high-quality-milk-producing goat. They possess a sweet and docile temperament, making them a good match for the small family farm. By decreasing the size, you reduce feed costs as well as required space. While animal size is smaller, milk production remains strong, with mini Nubians producing as much as 2 quarts of milk a day. While this amount is similar to that given by Nigerian dwarfs, the slightly larger size of the mini Nubians makes milking easier.
Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.