Nigerian dwarf goats
Our goats love getting outside and grazing in the fresh green grass and warm sunshine :)
Kidding season brings so much love and warmth to the farm, not to mention adorable baby goats!
Poultry are awesome, and they were our first passion, but there is always room for more! And goats, more specifically Nigerian Dwarf Goats, are the more :) We love our goats just as much as we love our birds and they have proven to be a wonderful addition to our farm :) They make amazing pets, delicious milk and the cutest babies ever! They are very friendly and active animals and love to run around outside (weather pending! They don't much like the rain or snow). Their milk has the highest butterfat content of any breed (as high as 10%!) and, for their size, they produce lots of it: averaging one litre a day each! You really can't beat the cuteness factor of baby goats either! We got our first pair of goats after visiting the baby goaties of a friend of ours and falling in love with them :)
We are registered breeders of Nigerian Dwarf Goats and all of our lovelies are purebred and come from excellent stock :) We raise them to be strong, healthy and friendly and produce offspring with these same qualities. We occasionally have babies for sale and will post them as they become available. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in starting a herd of your own, looking to build your herd or simply looking for a few sweet pets to bring love and laughter to your life!
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Our girls chilling in the goat barn on a lazy Sunday afternoon :)
Good morning boys!
Still not sure if this breed is right for you? Or are YOU certain they are right for you but still need to convince your family that Nigerian Dwarf Goats would be an amazing addition to your farm or homestead?
Well, we've got you covered!
With 10 reasons why they are the perfect breed of goat to raise, you will have all the information you need to convince yourself or your family of how truly magnificent these creatures are:)
Nigerian Dwarf Goats have incredibly calm and gentle temperaments! They are known for their sweet demeanors and friendly personalities which makes them a wonderful breed to raise! Our goats all have such sweet personalities and are so incredibly personable - anytime we come for a visit (which is usually multiple times a day!) they greet us so warmly and can't wait for us to sit down and cuddle them :) They have so much affection to give and are so happy to give it!
As breeders, a calm and loving temperament is so important to us - we rank temperament as the number one characteristic when researching breeds to raise or specific animals to welcome to our farm family - and we breed for temperament above anything else! Milk production and looks are important too but temperament always comes first :)
So many goats, so many different personalities! Each of them has a special place in our hearts :)
Similar to temperament, personality is also very important, and Nigerian Dwarf Goats have such fun, and sometimes varied, personalities! Some Nigies (as we breeders like to call them!) are full of energy and very outgoing, some are more quiet and laid back! Some love meeting new people and show immediate affection and some make you work for it! Some will warm up to your right away and others prefer to take it slow and get to know you first before pledging their allegiance! There is such a variety of personalities and each and every one is fun to get to know :)
Our herd is full of the same variety I have mentioned above! We have goats who proclaim their immediate love for us (from the minute they are born!) and others who prefer to check us out before letting us in at their own pace! We have goats who run up to us and bounce into our laps as soon as we sit down and others who are happy to wait until the rush is over to approach us! We love each and every one of their personalities are feel so blessed to get to experience such a wide variety of dispositions :)
First time mum June and her two doelings :) June has been an incredible mum from the moment her kids were born!
3. Mothering Abilities
A great mother is worth her weight in gold! There is nothing sweeter than a mum who is attentive and caring towards her babies and mothering abilities seem to come quite naturally to Nigies! They are easy birthers (we have never had to assist during a birth - although we do like to be there to witness the miracle!) and they are such affectionate mothers :) This isn't to say that there are never birthing or mothering issues, but luckily they are few and far between!
Our girls are great mums! They fly through their labour and deliveries with such poise and immediately take to their kids with such warmth :) We definitely breed for great mothering skills and will discontinue breeding a doe if she proves not to be a great mum. That being said, we will always give our girls the benefit of the doubt and help them if they are having a bit of a shaky start (which can occasionally happen with new mums)! Sometimes, just like us humans, they need a little assistance and gentle guidance, which we are happy to offer :) To date, all of our does have been outstanding mums and we look forward to continuing to work with each and every one of them!
Such a beautiful array of colours!
Nigerian Dwarf Goats are well-known for their beautiful rainbow of colours! Some might say they are like a box of chocolates: you never know what you are going to get! There is such a wide variety of colours and colour combinations that this breed produces making them a vibrant addition to any farm or homestead :)
One of the most exciting parts of kidding season is getting to see the lovely array of colours that our girls (and boys!) produce! It's so much fun to try and guess what colours might pop up - it's always a surprise! This is where the study of your herd's genetics can be very interesting! Your breeding buck might throw his own colours into the mix or his father's or mother's colours might come into play! Our lovely herdsire Ralphie (who is chocolate brown) threw lots of black and white this year (2020) and I couldn't figure out why until I looked into his genetic make up and realized that his father was black and white! The power of genetics is amazing! This fall (2020) we are looking forward to breeding two new bucks who we have been growing out and are so excited to see what they will produce :)
Check out Eowyn's utter! She always produces so much milk for her kids and us!
5. Milk Production & Quality
Nigerian Dwarf goats produce the tastiest and freshest milk! And lots of it! This breed produces milk with the highest butterfat content (as high as 10%) and, for their size, they produce quite a good amount! We've gotten as much as 1 litre a day from a single doe! They are incredible milkers and the quality can't be beat!
There's nothing better than a bowl of cereal with your very own fresh goat milk! Add it to your coffee or tea for a delicious treat or drink it straight from the bottle! And that strong taste you associate with goat cheese...it's not the case here! Most people are not open to the idea of trying goat milk because they think it will taste as strong as their cheese but that's not the case at all! Their milk is creamy and sweet -you'll never want to go back to cows milk again!
Flora visits her babies while I cuddle them! Even sitting down she is still smaller than me!
Nigerian Dwarf goats are a very small and manageable size! Males stand around 2 feet tall (at the shoulders) and females between 16 and 20 inches tall once full grown. With weights of between 60 and 80 pounds they are easy to handle and work with!
One of the reasons we fell in love with this breed was their small size! I wanted a breed that I could handle myself as my husband is not always available to help me in the barn! Nigies are the perfect size for us women to work with and for kids to feel comfortable around :) Don't get me wrong, you still need muscle power at times, but it's the kind of muscle that you either already have or will quickly acquire!
Flora (left) and June (right) are inseparable! June was one of Flora's triplets born in 2018 and the only one of her girls we kept that year and they are always together :)
7. Family Bonds
Family bonds are incredibly strong in goat herds! They are very social animals and thrive while living with others of their breed, especially family members! Those bonds are lifelong and run deep - particularly between mothers and daughters (the boys prefer to do their own thing!).
We have a few pairs of mothers and daughters in our herd and they are like two peas in a pod: they sleep together, eat together and hang out together, even when the daughters are all grown up! It's amazing to witness these close ties and ithumbles one's soul :)
Feeding time in the goat barn! This picture was taken from our hay loft after dropping their morning hay!
8. Feed Costs
Goats eat hay, and lots of it! This means that, if you can grow your own hay, your feed costs will be minimal. Even if you have to bring your hay in from another farm it will be very cost efficient to feed your goats! Goats also thrive on a bit of grain each day but nothing that will break your bank!
We have found that our goats do wonderfully on a 16% goat ration which we feed twice a day! One scoop for breakfast and one scoop for dinner keeps all of our girls, boys and kids happy :) They also love the piles of hay that we thrown down from our hay loft each morning! A few treats now and then are a bonus for them too :)
Honey was our first doe to kid this year (February 2020) and her kids are big and strong and ready to venture out into the April sun!
9. Year Round Breeders
Nigerian Dwarf goats are one of the only goat breeds that are year round breeders! Most goat breeds are seasonal breeders and only go into heat in the fall but Nigies go into heat roughly every three weeks all year round! This makes your breeding schedule really flexible :) Do you prefer spring babies or summer babies? Or maybe you want fresh milk all winter and would prefer fall babies!
We love late winter/early spring babies! So come September each year we begin our breeding season! Gestation is 5 months so we can usually expect kids to start hitting the ground in February! What a great way to begin welcoming spring :)
As the warmer spring weather arrives our herd starts to shed their thick winter coats for more season appropriate wear!
10. Winter Hearty
Despite the fact that Nigerian Dwarf goats originated under the hot sun in Nigeria the are extremely winter hearty! They are able to grow lovely, thick winter coats and don't require any additional heating :)
Our girls and boys all get so fluffy each fall as their winter coats start to come in! And this is essential because it would be close to impossible to heat our large barn (and expensive to boot!). The only additional heat we proved them is through their water buckets and heat lamps in the kidding pens during kidding season! To prevent their water buckets from freezing over in the winter we purchased heated water buckets that can be plugged in during the cold winter months to keep their water nice and warm! And once those babies start arriving we provide them with a heat lamp for the first few days while they adjust to the atmosphere outside the womb!
Hopefully this list as helped to convince you or your family that Nigerian Dwarf goats would be a wonderful addition to your farm or homestead :)
As always, feel free to let me know if you have any additional questions and I would be more than happy to answer them :)