Tiny goats mean tiny everything right?! In this week's blog we will focus on how smaller goats can be just as beneficial to a farm or homestead as big goats, along with some of the special considerations that go into owning the smallest caprine companions around.
I have been a Nigerian Dwarf enthusiast for years, and many years since before the breed was so desirable and popular around the country. I will admit that the thing that drew me to Nigerians was their size, however, as I have learned and grown as a breeder with them they impress me in so many more ways.
Not only are Nigerians adorable they are also incredible mothers, they are very maternal in their instinct and generally do a wonderful job raising their kids. These maternal bonds go on for generations and the does form family units. Where mother and daughters from several years do everything together, from grazing to snoozing and all in between. They also have the wonderful tendency to have multiples which is beneficial in more than one vein, not only can you grow a herd faster, but you can also have more kids on the ground to sell.
In relation to them having many kids they have a very large milk supply in relation to their overall size. Not only does this afford happy healthy, chunky kids, but it also means that there is more milk for you, your family, and all other goat products you hope to make!
One negative thing about breeding such small caprine companions is their ability to fit out of absolutely everything! I know that is a goat thing, but young Nigerians really are like water, they jump and can fit through the smallest of spaces. Anytime we leave the farm with our kids, we take additional fencing, because fences that keep all other livestock in are not sufficient for Nigerians! When people approach me about getting goats, I always ask them, do you like toddlers, and do you have good fences, because goat proof fencing is absolutely key!
Another positive about Nigerians is the size and scale of the resources that is needed to raise them. They require less feed, less hay and smaller barns to house them. This also means that they produce less manure, and require less manual labor to care for more of them.
Overall, Nigerians are amazing goats that you should consider when you are looking to add goats to your homestead! I hope you enjoyed reading this and stay warm and Happy Goating!