They come in many colors: white, black, 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 a Swiss alpine goat), with or without white spots. Some have white "frosting" on the ears. Both the Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association and the American Goat Society websites feature pages that include color descriptions, disqualifying features and conformation. Although most are naturally horned, most breeders disbud them at a young age (usually less than 2 weeks of age) for safety to the goat, its herd mates, and human caregivers. Some Nigerian Dwarf goats have blue eyes, which is a dominant trait in goats.
Visit this page for additional information on Nigerian Goat coloring. http://nigeriandwarfcolors.weebly.com/coat-patterns.html.
Nigerian Dwarfs give a surprising quantity of milk for their size. Their production ranges from one to 8 pounds of milk per day, with an average of 2.5. Since Nigerians breed year-round, it is easy to stagger freshenings (births) in a herd so the entire herd is never dry. Thus, they are ideal milk goats for most families. Their milk has a higher butter content than milk from full-sized dairy goats, usually about 5%, but going as high as 10% at the end of a lactation. Their milk is also naturally low in cholesterol. This makes Nigerian Dwarf goat milk excellent for cheese and soap making.
Nigerian dwarf goats can be breed year round. Many breeders breed their does three times in two years, giving the doe a 6 month plus break. This is of course a personal choice for each breeder.
Kidding is always an exciting time for Dwarf breeders. New babies are SO cute! They average about two pounds at birth and grow very quickly. Bucklings have been known to be fertile as early as seven weeks of age! Does can be bred at 7-8 months of age if they have reached good size; however, we generally wait until they are two years of age before breeding them. Nigerian dwarfs can have several kids at a time. Three or four is common, but they have been known to have five or six at once! Nigerian dwarf does are generally good mothers able to take care of their babies should you leave them to do the raising of the kids. Bucks are able to be used for service as young as three months of age and easily by the time they are seven or eight months old. Dwarf bucks are vigorous breeders but are gentle enough to be used for hand breeding or pasture breeding. Both methods are used successfully.
The Nigerian Dwarf goat is a miniature dairy goat breed of West African ancestry. Nigerian Dwarf goats are extremely popular due to their easy maintenance, small stature, and their sweet personalities. Nigerian Dwarf goats are gentle and easily trainable. This, along with their small size and colorful appearance, makes them popular as pets. Some breeders bottle-feed kids, which makes them more bonded with humans. Others prefer to let their mothers raise them naturally. With either method, they can be very friendly and can easily be trained to walk on a leash and some enjoy coming into the house with their owners.
Nigerian dwarf goats' 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. As with all goats, does or neutered males (wethers) make the best pets. Nigerian Dwarfs do well with children and other pets.