Nigerian Dwarf goat

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Nigerian Dwarf
Fluttering Bird, a Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goat.jpg
A 6-month-old doe
Conservation statusFAO (2007): critical[1]:142
Country of originUnited States
  • Male:
    19–23.5 inches (48–60 cm)
  • Female:
    17–22.5 inches (43–57 cm)
  • Goat
  • Capra aegagrus hircus

The Nigerian Dwarf is an American breed of dwarf goat. Like the Pygmy Goat, it derives from the West African Dwarf group of breeds of West Africa.[2]:416


There are two different height standards for the Nigerian Dwarf goat. The height standard maintained by the American Goat Society and the American Dairy Goat Association requires does to be less than 22.5 inches (57 cm) at the withers, and bucks to be less than 23.5 inches (60 cm) at the withers. The Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association states does should ideally be 17–19 inches (43–48 cm) in height, with a maximum allowed height of 21 inches (53 cm), and bucks should ideally be 19–21 inches (48–53 cm), with a maximum allowed height of 23 inches (58 cm).

Closeup of a blue eye in a Nigerian Dwarf goat.

They come in many colors: white, black, gold, red, cream and patterns such as buckskin (brown with a black cape over the head and neck along with other black markings) and chamoisee (similar to an Oberhasli goat), with or without white spots.[3]


The Nigerian Dwarf does give a surprising quantity of milk for its size. Its production ranges from 0.5-4 kg of milk per day (one quart of milk weighs roughly 2 pounds), with an average doe producing about 2.5 pounds of milk per day. Production depends upon genetics, how many times the doe has freshened (given birth), quality and type of feed, and general good management. Since Nigerians breed year-round, it is easy to stagger freshening in a herd for year-round production of milk. Thus, they are ideal milk goats for most families. Their milk has a higher butterfat content than milk from full-sized dairy goats, averaging 6.5% according to the American Dairy Goat Association.[4]


Nigerian Dwarf twins

Nigerian Dwarf goats are gentle and intelligent.[3]


  1. ^ Barbara Rischkowsky, D. Pilling (eds.) (2007). List of breeds documented in the Global Databank for Animal Genetic Resources, annex to The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 9789251057629. Accessed January 2017.
  2. ^ Valerie Porter, Lawrence Alderson, Stephen J.G. Hall, D. Phillip Sponenberg (2016). Mason's World Encyclopedia of Livestock Breeds and Breeding (sixth edition). Wallingford: CABI. ISBN 9781780647944.
  3. ^ a b "Goat, Nigerian Dwarf". Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  4. ^ "American Dairy Goat Association". American Dairy Goat Association. Retrieved 27 June 2014.

Further reading[edit]

  • David, Taylor. Nigerian Dwarf Goats Care: Dairy Goat Information Guide to Raising Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats as Pets.
  • Niemann, Deborah. Raising Goats Naturally: A Complete Guide to Milk, Meat, and More.
  • Belanger, Jerry. Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats: Breeds, Care, Dairying.
  • Damerow, Gail. Your Goats: A Kid's Guide to Raising & Showing.