Welcome to the World of Nigerian Dwarf Goats !
Nigerian Dwarf goat is a small breed of dairy goat, and should have the
graceful, refined, proportions of the dairy goat at about 1/3 the size.
They produce large amounts of milk for their size, and food consumption.
Unlike other domestic goats, they frequently will breed year round. Their
care mainly involves taking care of their food, shelter and hygiene.
The following measures can be included for taking care of your goats. The
care of your Nigerian is similar to the care of other goats. Good
management (selection, nutrition, parasite control, health care, housing
and responsible breeding) is the foundation of your herd and this ill
determine the ultimate condition and conformation of your stock. Goats are
herd animals, so depend on the companionship of other goats. Two goats
make a herd. A single goat is a miserable goat, and will make you a
miserable goat owner.
The daily diet must include protein-rich food like fresh green leafy
alfalfa. Having a goat mineral block for the goats is also a good practice
in goat care. As ruminants, they depend on a diet primarily of hay. Sweet
smelling, non dusty, hay is ideal. Goats also love browse like brushes,
blackberry, rabbit brush, weed, etc. The two essential vitamins required
by goats are Vitamin D. An adequate supply of fresh clean water should be
maintained for the goats. Be careful to avoid mold! Goats are very
susceptible to mold toxins. Avoid toxic plants!; Rhododendron, azalea,
yew (looks like spruce but no scent), laurel, loco weed, cherry... these can
kill in very small doses.
Never change the diet suddenly, always introduce new or extras in small
quantities. If your goat over eats or gets into something he shouldn't,
watch it carefully for signs of illness. Baking soda can be given to help
prevent bloat either in dry form if the goat will eat it or mixed with
water and given orally. If the goat develops diarrhea you can give it
liquid pepto bismol.
Do not let the goats suck on your fingers! Their back teeth are razor
sharp. Also this can introduce foreign bacteria into their systems that
can be harmful.
Shelter is the other important aspect of goat care. The fencing should be
built tall enough to keep animals like dogs, or coyotes from straying into
the vicinity of the goats. Construct a pen with the fence so the goats can
move about freely. Barbed wire is not advisable for building a fence, as
there are high chances of the goats getting injured. The shelter should
provide a dry place to sleep. Dog house, open front barrels, or sheds all
work fine to keep the goats dry.
Trimming and Worming
Hooves should have trimmed as needed, usually every 6 - 8 weeks; the bottom
of the hoof should be flat without edges curling under. Scissors type
garden pruning shears work well. You can also use a 6" door plane to rasp
the bottoms of their hooves.
Worming of goats can be done about three times annually. You can use a
small amount of Ivermectin (used for cattle and horses ) or Safeguard
wormer ( available for goats ).
Goats are sociable, playful creatures. They enjoy gentle attention; do not
play aggressively with them or they will become aggressive. They enjoy
climbing and jumping on rocks, stumps, and platforms made for their
pleasure ( and your entertainment).
When you bring your goat home, expect that they will be frightened and
nervous until they get used to their new home. It will probably be a bit
noisy, may act shy, and will need TLC and reassurance that their new home
is a safe, comfortable, happy place. It usually takes less than a week to
A healthy goat appears contented, alert, has an appetite and chews its
cud. Its coat is smooth and glossy, skin is clean and pliable. One can
fell the ribs under the skin but bones do not appear to jut out. The
manure consists of formed, slightly moist pellets, with they urinate
should be passed without effort.
I guarantee my goats are healthy at the time they leave here. Since I have
no control over what happens once they leave, I can not be held
responsible once they leave the premises. If you are not sure about the
health of your goat, call a vet. It is best to have one lined up before
you need one. Most vets don't care for goats, so you will need to check
around in order to find one in your area.