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The Nigerian Dwarf goat is a popular breed that has been present in West Africa for centuries. It is well-known for its small size, high milk production and gentle disposition. This article will discuss the history, characteristics and care of the Nigerian Dwarf goat to give readers an understanding of this unique breed of goats.

The Nigerian Dwarf goat originated from West African dwarf stock which were imported into North America in the early 20th century where they became increasingly popular as pets and dairy animals. These hardy little goats are known for their good health, longevity and adaptability to a variety of climates making them suitable for life in all parts of the world.

They have an average height between 17 to 23 inches at maturity with does usually weighing up to 55lbs and bucks up to 75 lbs when fully grown.

Nigerian Dwarfs make great pets due to their friendly personalities and inquisitive nature; however, they require certain levels of attention and proper housing if kept as house pets or companions. Additionally, it is important that they be taken on regular walks or allowed access to wide open spaces so they can romp around safely.

Adequate nutrition must be provided as these goats need more than just grass hay or alfalfa pasture grazing to stay healthy. With the right level of care and maintenance, these miniature goats can provide years of joyous companionship while also producing delicious fresh milk with higher butterfat content than conventional breeds!

Nigerian dwarf goat

History Of Nigerian Goats

Nigerian Goats are a breed of domestic goats that originated from the Sahel region in West Africa. They were first domesticated by nomadic tribes living around the southern Sahara desert, and have since been bred for their milking capabilities as well as for meat production.

Today, Nigerian Goats can be found inhabiting parts of North and Central Nigeria where they are used mainly for milk production but also to provide manure for crop fertilization.

The ancestry of Nigerian Goats can be traced back to the Nubian goat which is an ancient East African goat species believed to have been introduced into the Sahel region during early migrations along the Nile River valley.

Over time, these migrating herds interbred with native goats giving rise to what we now know as Nigerian Goats. This process was further accelerated when local nomads began actively selecting certain traits such as size, weight and body conformation for their subsistence needs.

Modern-day Nigerian Goat development has seen them become increasingly popular throughout sub-Saharan Africa thanks to their high fertility rates and resistance to disease despite extreme weather conditions. In addition, they produce large quantities of milk compared to other breeds which makes them ideal dairy animals in rural communities lacking access to refrigeration technology or animal feed supplements.


The Nigerian Goat is a hardy breed of domestic goat that can grow to considerable sizes. Its average body size stands at around 70 cm (27 inches) in height and between 25-50 kg (55-110 lb). The coat color typically ranges from light browns to darker shades of gray, with white markings common on the forehead and lower legs.

When it comes to horn shape, most Nigerian Goats have long horns that are curved backwards over their neck and shoulders. Some individuals may display lyre or scimitar shaped horns which are more tightly curled towards the head. In terms of ear size, this particular species has large ears; they tend to be longer than wide, extending several inches down its face.

Leg structure also plays an important role in identifying this breed – goats will generally possess short yet strong legs, allowing them to traverse difficult terrain while carrying heavy loads if necessary. Additionally, hooves remain relatively small but tough when compared to other breeds. This makes them well suited for life in rugged environments where other animals would struggle to survive.


Nigerian goat breeds are varied and have distinct characteristics. The most popular of the indigenous Nigerian goats is the Boer, which has white body with a brown head. It is typically long-legged and large-framed, making it well adapted to arid climate conditions. Another local breed is the Saanen, which has a light or creamy coloration and usually exhibits black markings on its face and legs.

The Pygmy goat originates from West Africa but has become increasingly popular in Nigeria due to its small size and hardy nature. This species tends to be more resilient against disease than other breeds, making it an ideal choice for farmers with limited resources.

There are two relatively new introductions: Anglo-Nubian and Jamnapari – both of these possess many desirable qualities such as being good milk producers and having strong resistance to parasites.

In terms of their suitability for livestock production purposes, different breeds offer unique advantages depending on the needs of each farmer. Those who seek a higher milk yield may opt for either the Boer or Saanen while those looking for a smaller animal might prefer the Pygmy or Jamnapari; finally those wishing to combine meat production with dairy will benefit most from Anglo-Nubian’s combination of traits.

Ultimately, careful selection should ensure that whichever breed is chosen meets individual requirements perfectly.

Uses And Benefits

Nigerian goats are highly valued for their many uses and benefits. They are primarily used in meat production, making them a popular livestock choice among farmers.

The leanness of the meat makes it desirable as a protein source, while its hardiness provides an easy-care option for landowners looking to increase their herd numbers quickly. Nigerian goat meat is also sought after by specialty markets because of its unique flavor profile that sets it apart from other meats.

In addition to being raised for meat production, Nigerian goats can be farmed for dairy products such as cheese and yogurt. Their milk has higher fat content than some other breeds, giving cheesemakers an ideal base for creating creamy cheeses with strong flavors. This breed’s relatively low maintenance requirements make it well suited to small farms or even backyards where space is limited but access to fresh dairy products desired.

Finally, Nigerian goats have numerous practical applications outside of food production. Their presence on land helps clear away vegetation which makes it easier to manage overgrown areas without resorting to chemical agents or mechanical equipment.

Furthermore, they may offer medicinal value through the use of certain parts like their horns and hooves that can be made into powders believed to treat various ailments when taken internally or applied topically. Finally, hides from these animals may also be used in tanning processes due to their thickness and texture compared with those obtained from other species.

Care And Management

Nigerian goats require adequate housing and shelter in order to remain healthy and productive. The goat housing should be well ventilated and provide protection from extreme weather conditions such as rain, wind, cold or heat. Goats also need access to fresh water at all times. Shelter needs can vary depending on the climate of the region where they are raised; however, a three-sided shed is often sufficient for Nigerian goats.

In addition to providing an appropriate habitat for Nigerian goats, regular grooming is recommended for maintaining their health. Brushing them with a soft brush will help remove dirt, debris and dead hair that can cause skin problems.

Additionally, it helps keep the coat shiny by promoting oil production. A hoof trimmer should be used every six weeks to ensure proper foot hygiene and avoid any potential lameness issues due to long nails or infected feet.

Parasite control measures must be taken regularly in order to prevent parasitic infestations which can lead to severe health complications in goats. Regular application of topical treatments like pour-on insecticides or oral drenches work best for controlling pests like lice, flies and worms found in Nigerian goats.

Proper care and management practices are essential when raising these animals so they can thrive in a safe environment while producing quality milk and meat products over time.

Nutrition And Feeding Requirements

Nigerian goats require a diet of high-quality feed in order to stay healthy. The most important component of goat feeds are hay and grass, which provide necessary nutrients such as protein, fiber, carbohydrates and vitamins. Nigerian goats can also benefit from supplemental nutrition such as minerals and grains that help meet their dietary needs.

Hay feeding is an essential part of the feeding regimen for Nigerian goats because it provides them with vital nutrients and helps maintain good digestive health. Hay should be fed in small amounts throughout the day rather than all at once so they can better digest the material. Additionally, hay should not be left on the ground where hoof rot or other diseases may occur due to contaminated soil.

Grains and supplements should also be included as part of a balanced diet for Nigerian goats. Grains such as oats, wheat, barley and corn are excellent sources of energy for these animals, while legumes like soybeans contain proteins that aid in digestion.

Minerals such as calcium carbonate or salt licks can also help improve bone strength and joint flexibility; however, too much supplementation could lead to obesity, so moderation is key when deciding how much additional nutrition to give your Nigerian goat(s).

Overall, providing quality feed along with adequate access to fresh water will ensure proper nutrition for your nigerian goats. It is important to monitor their food intake regularly to make sure they are getting enough sustenance without overfeeding them. With careful management, nigerian goats can continue leading happy lives full of robust health benefits offered by a well-balanced diet plan specifically tailored for their individual needs

Health Issues

Goat health is an important consideration for all Nigerian goat owners. Goats can suffer from a variety of diseases, and proper maintenance of their health requires the adoption of preventative measures. It is important to understand common Nigerian goat diseases in order to provide appropriate care and avoid potential losses due to disease outbreaks.

Common Nigerian goat diseases include parasites such as coccidiosis, gastrointestinal worms, footrot, dermatophilosis, mastitis, pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses. Each of these conditions has its own specific symptoms which should be monitored closely by the owner.

Vaccinations are often used as part of preventive health care programs designed to reduce risks of infection with pathogenic organisms. These vaccines must be administered according to veterinary recommendations in order to ensure effective protection against disease-causing agents.

Goat husbandry practices play an essential role in the prevention and control of many infections and infestations.

Good sanitary management techniques are necessary for keeping goats healthy; this includes providing adequate housing facilities that are free from overcrowding or poor ventilation, maintaining clean feeders and waterers, avoiding mixing animals from different herds when possible and regular deworming treatments as well as other basic hygiene routine activities applicable to goats’ health care needs.

Adequate nutrition also plays a critical role in preventing disease through boosting immunity levels within the animal population.

Properly managing sheep/goat farms will help producers achieve optimal production outcomes while minimizing economic losses associated with inadequate goat health care approaches. It is highly recommended that Nigerian goat farmers consult knowledgeable veterinarians who specialize in small ruminant production systems to assist them in developing sound strategies for protecting their herd’s against potential threats posed by infectious agents or parasites present in their locality.


Nigerian goats are a hardy, productive breed of goat native to West Africa. They have adapted well to their environment and can be found in many parts of the world today. Nigerian goats are renowned for their ability to produce large amounts of meat and milk, making them an ideal choice for farmers and homesteaders alike.

Their adaptable nature also makes them suitable for various climates, enabling them to thrive even under harsh conditions.

The characteristically uniform size, short white fur, high fertility rate and good milking qualities make Nigerian goats highly desired among livestock owners. There is a wide variety of breeds available that vary in terms of production traits such as body weight and lactation period length.

Regardless of the breed chosen, proper care must be taken to ensure optimal health, nutrition and productivity from these animals. Feeding requirements must be met with appropriate nutrient-rich diets tailored towards each individual animal’s needs; regular checkups should also be conducted by a qualified veterinarian to identify any potential health issues early on.

In conclusion, Nigerian goats are a valuable resource for those seeking quality meat or milk products at a reasonable cost. With the right management practices and dedication to providing adequate food sources, shelter and veterinary attention when needed, these animals will thrive in almost any climate around the world. As long as they remain healthy and cared for properly, Nigerian goats will continue to provide joyous companionship while producing nutritious meals year after year.