Nigerian Dwarf Goats – Perfect for town lots

Nigerian Dwarf Twins

Nigerian Dwarf Twins

by Catherine Haug, Feb 18, 2014 (from March 3, 2013)

(photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons (2))

This is the second in a series on different kinds of dairy goats raised by our members. Read about BrendaLee’s Kinder Goats: Small breed for city lots or farms, or Gayle’s Toggenbergs: Keeping a Family Goat

If you would like to contribute info on your dairy or meat goats, please contact Cat (see our ESP Contact page).

Sheree T. raises Nigerian dwarf goats on her urban homestead for their milk, which she uses in her goat-milk soaps. She would like to start a Nigerian Goat Club in the valley; contact her for more information.

Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

The following is from Sherree T.:

Nigerian dwarfs are a small goat – sometimes mistaken for a lap dog – and are ideal in an urban or semi-urban environment because they don’t need a lot of space. You don’t need an entire acre as recommended for larger goats. However, like all goats, they are a herd animal, so you should always keep more than one.

You can use lighter-weight fencing and shelter for these small animals. Sheree uses a portable shelter – similar to what can be used as a carport or boat shelter, made from metal poles and a fabric or vinyl cover.

They are perfect for the elderly to keep, and are good around small children, as they are gentle and easily trainable. They are a perfect 4-H project animal, since they are a recognized dairy breed, unlike the Pygmies.

The following positive points about these goats are from Wikipedia (3)

  • Nigerian dwarfs come in many colors: white, black, red, cream and patterns.
  • They give a surprising amount of milk, averaging 2.5 pounds per goat per day.
  • Some breeders bottle-feed kids, which makes them more bonded with humans. Others prefer to let their mothers raise them naturally, finding bottle-fed kids to be overly clingy.
  • Their small size also makes them excellent “visitor” animals for nursing homes and hospitals. Some goat supply houses even sell small harnesses and tiny wagons that fit Nigerian dwarf goats.

The following is from the Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association (4):

  • This is a miniature dairy goat of West African origin.
  • A healthy Nigerian Dairy doe can produce a surprising amount of sweet milk for her small size – up to two quarts per day or more.
  • Their milk is higher in butterfat (6-10%) and higher in protein than milk from most dairy goat breeds.
  • On size: Ideal height of Nigerian Dwarf goats is 17″ to 19″ for does with does up to 21″ allowed in the breed standard. Ideal height for bucks is 19″ to 21″ with bucks up to 23″ allowed in the breed standard. Ideal weight is suggested to be about 75 lbs.
  • Many Nigerian goats share pastures peacefully with other livestock such as cattle, horses, llamas and donkeys. In fact, they will often improve a pasture by removing brambles, undergrowth (including weeds) and ivy (even poison ivy) that other livestock won’t eat.

Visit NGDA website (4) for lots more on feed, care, etc.


  1. Sheree T, Kalispell
  2. Wikimedia Commons:
  3. Wikipedia:
  4. Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association:

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