If you’d love some miniature fun and humorous companion but don’t want full-sized goats, consider raising Nigerian dwarf goats.
Todays, guide is on Nigerian Dwarf goat care and feeding. These goats commonly have good temperaments, and they’re fine in mixed herd situations, living with sheep or goats.
We hope you love this Nigerian Dwarf goat care sheet useful.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Care Tips
They’re also compatible turned out with equines and bovines, including donkeys. If you have alpaca or llama on your farm, Nigerian dwarf goats make suitable companions.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat care and Feeding
Grass hat forms majority of the goat’s diets. If you have a yard with pasture on, it can make up the bulk of your goats nutrition.
The Nigerian Diary Goat Association advises that contacting your country agricultural extension office to determine whether your pasture soil has any mineral excesses or deficiencies, which will be reflected in the grass’ nutritional content.
If deficient, you can offer your goats appropriate commercial goat feed having the mineral lacked, or you can administer specific supplements.
Nursing does, in particular, need commercial feed for best performance and proper development of kid(s).
Your goats must always have access to clean, fresh water all the time.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Housing
Due to their small size, these goats don’t need a shed or barn to keep them if you only own a small number.
A large dog house will do the trick for a buck, or a doe without kids. One Nigerian dwarf goat care sheet to remember is that a doe with kids will require shelter that’s draft-proof.
Nigerian dwarf goats often produce multiple kids; 3, 4 or even 5 kids per pregnancy. Bed down the goat pens or house with straw, cleaning them on a daily basis.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Baby Care
It is vital to perform certain actions to protect the babies during their tender infancy.
For the first few days or week, keep mama goat and baby in clean, dry straw in the barn while they bond, and the newborn get its super crucial colostrum.
Next, allow them go outside at will, as long as the weather is warm and dry. Some goat keepers advise allowing kids to go outside only if the weather is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit while others trust the does good instinct of when to lead her babies outside.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Kid Care
Breeding your Nigerian Dwarf for milk production means you’ll have to hand-feed the kids rather than allow them to nurse from the doe.
Ensure the kids receive the doe’s colostrum within 24 hours after birth, or provide them with commercial colostrum from a bottle.
Once that is done, feed commercial milk replacer at least 4 times every 24 hours until they are around 1 month old.
Begin feeding your kids commercial starter grain at a week of age to help rumen development. Goats have 3 fore stomachs, with the rumen the largest, and one “real” stomach.
The rumen converts food into nutrients, with the rumen the largest, and one “real” stomach. The rumen converts food into nutrients, but it is underdeveloped in the first few weeks of a specimen’s life.
At 3 weeks of age, you can begin feeding Nigerian dwarf kids hay or you can allow them to graze.
Because Nigerian Dwarf goats mature fast, you’ll need to keep male and female kids separate early on.
Males can attain sexual maturity as early as 7 weeks old; females are ready to breed by the age of 4 months.
Loving this Nigerian Dwarf goat care sheet guide? Read on for more
Goat Fencing, Fixtures and Fun Time
Although small in size, the Nigerian dwarf goats are still small. That means they are natural-born escape artists.
You’ll require fencing they can’t slip under or climb over. To keep them safe from predators, install wire-mesh fencing designed with goats in mind.
For extra safety, we recommend you install electric wire along the inside of the fence, keeping the voltage at a minimum of 4,500 volts.
Provide fixtures for your goats to climb and jump on, and caprine toys. While an old picnic table, a cable spool or a small outbuilding can make a fine climbing apparatus, too near the fence and it will aid your Nigerian dwarf escape.
Large balls marketed for ponies, or tubes big enough for a Nigerian dwarf to pass through, are good choices for entertainment and stimulation.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Hoof Care
The dwarf goat of Nigeria need regular hoof trimming. Trimming frequency varies from goat to goat, but those living in pastures should be frequently trimmed less often than those kept in small pens.
We recommend trimming at least every 2 months. You can have an experienced trimmer do the actual trimming.
This Nigerian dwarf goat care sheet recommends you Handle your Naija dwarf goat’s feet on a regular basis, so the occasional trims aren’t traumatic and so you’ll notice any hoof issues or diseases right away.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Care Sheet
Caring for Nig. Dwarf goats can quickly become a part of your daily routine, but it will take a little getting used to at the beginning.
Like keeping any livestock, they need time every day! Gone are the times of weeklong vacations or impulse road trips, unless you have someone trustworthy who can care for your animals while you’re gone.
If you’re new to this life, you may give yourself some time to adjust to being needed multiple times every day.
Because goats need to be watered and fed daily. Health in animals begins with good food and clean water.
Additionally, you should give your coats a good looking over at least once a day: check their coat for parasites, look at their hooves to see if they need to be trimmed, and give them some pets (because they like them and they’re adorable).
This not only lets you notice anything out of the ordinary, it also gets the goats used to you handling the, which is something that will be necessary when it comes to milking the does. Milking is also a daily task — often twice a day!
Don’t allow the apparent workload scare you. If you’re serious about keeping goats and are willing to share and learn experience from seasoned homesteaders around you, the rewards of sharing life with these animals far beats any initial growing pains.
The joy of their bleats when you open the door of the barn in the morning, the hilarity of watching newborn kids jump off rocks and stumps with a nary a care, and the satisfaction of getting your own milk from your own animals, are some of the richest rewards in return for your efforts.
ALSO SEE: Goat Bloat Information
Pregnant Nigerian Dwarf Goat Care
For maximum healthiness and proper development of babies in her belly, the doe needs to be placed on proper nutrition.
Feed her good quality alfalfa and hay. Grain can be added if she needs more weight. How much to feed depends on your doe.
We want her to have enough not over eat or get over weight.
I own full-sized dairy goats and feed them free-choice hay. The goats get all the alfalfa they can eat in between one feeding and the next.
They are given a small amount of grain during pregnancy which is then increased in the last month.
It is always vital for your goats to have access to a good mineral supplement and now it is even more crucial. Ensure she likes it and will eat it.
Kelp also has a host of good minerals for a pregnant doe.
Be consistent on keeping the does feet trimmed.
Be aware of the changes your doe is going to experience. Goats are pregnant for an average 150 days or 5 months.
The first 3 months you won’t see much change. If this is her first time kidding you should see a tiny udder start forming.
The last 2 months are when you’d start noticing changes begin happening in your Pregnant Nigerian dwarf goat, her vulva starts to enlarge.
She will begin to full her udder but it will still be quite small. Her stomach will then begin to have a bigger appearance.
By placing your hand on the lower right side of the stomach, you can feel the babies.
The last month is when the babies undergo most of their growing and they get hair, causing the doe to need the most minerals in the first month.
The doe’s stomach will get big and she will begin to waddle.
You should be able to feel the babies kicking now. Sometimes you can even see it!
For most does’s, activity reduces during this period. The udder continues to grow. The dwarf goat might begin to nest and seek solitude.
She might get grumpy and push other goats around more. She could seek the comfort of your hand or want nothing to do with you.
The important thing is to be patient with your doe understanding pregnancy takes work and your doe is undergoing many changes.
During this time keep an eye out for complications or sickness. Some warning signs are:
- Refusal to eat
- Bloody discharge or Blood on the tail
- A hot udder
- Losing fur
- White or Pale skin around the eyes
- Doesn’t want to walk
Do any of you have your own Nigerian Dwarf goats tips you want to share? What are your top tips for raising these fantastic animals? Let me know in the comments below!