Nigerian Dwarf Goat vs Pygmy Goat vs Cross – Which is Best? – BarnCoop

Nigerian dwarf goat vs pygmy goat? Can you tell the difference?

Many a time, these two breeds can sometimes have the same weight and height, but the Nigerian Dwarf goats have a more slender neck, and thinner, longer legs while the pygmy goats tend to be stockier, and have shorter legs.

Today, we look at the differences and compare the Pygmy goat vs Nigerian Dwarf goat.

The idea of bringing a new goat home is often exciting, but it can be hard to pick between these two breeds.


Because these goats seem very similar, it is easy to get them confused  to a beginner goat owner.

Nigerian Dwarf Goat vs Pygmy Goat vs Cross

Nigerian Dwarf Goat vs Pygmy Goat

Do you need one that is small, and cute, and easy to milk?

So, which is best? Well, that depends on what your end goal is. Let’s get started!

From raising to milking — everything you need to know about goats is in this guide!

ALSO SEE: Hay Belly in Goats, Is it Normal?

The Difference Between A Nigerian And A Pygmy Goat

  • Size And Color

To a beginner, Pygmy goats and Nigerian Dwarfs can look alike. They can, in most cases, be the ame height and weight, however, the Nigerian breed has a more slender neck, and thinner, longer legs while the Pygmy goat’s tend to have shorter legs and are stockier.

Pygmy goat’s genetics are aimed at meat production, so they tend to have a much thicker build in general. Plus, their colors and markings are limited and only have brown eyes while the Nigerian Dwarf goats have various color combinations and can have bright blue eyes.

  • Behavior

Miniature goats can be so naughty. The same applies to Pygmy and Nigerian goats.

They are funny as babies as they jump and run around with surprising agility, but they also are sneaky, can climb fences, and jump long distances.

They have proven to be the best escape artists of all goat breed, so my best advice on goat fencing is to place the posts on the OUTSIDE of the pen, so they need have anything to use as a point to get higher.

Nigerian dwarf goat vs pygmy goat comparison shows that both breed are as friendly as their mother is, so if you want a more friendly goat, I’d recommend bottle feeding instead of letting the mother raise them.

If your mother goat is super friendly with humans, then the baby should be just as friendly, assuming you’re petting and touching the babies from Day 1.

  • Milking Production

Here’s where the huge difference between Pygmy and Nigerian Dwarf goats is evident.

Pygmy goats have smaller udders and smaller teats. Their energy production goes into their thick muscles and not into their milk.

Some people I know have tried to milk them, but really, the small teat size and short legs makes it almost impossible. Nigerian dwarf goats, on the other hand, are milking stars!

They can produce as high as 2-3 quarts a day, though most produce around 1-5 quarts each day on average.

Plus, another little fun thing about Nigerian goats is the TASTE of their milk. It is known as the best tasting goat’s milk around.

It’s almost like cow milk and you won’t even notice the difference. It is creamy and sweet and nothing like any other goat’s milk you’ve ever tasted.

If you don’t like the taste of other goat’s milk, get a Nigerian.

  • Meat Production

Pygmy goats are basically meat goats. I know, a lot of people who are looking to keep a goat as a pet dislike hearing that their adorable miniature goat are often used for mean, but it’s true.

Pygmy goats muscles are thick, and that produces great meat production. So, you’ll see 2 types of people buy pygmy goats those that want to raise them for meat and those that want to keep them as pet.

The two don’t often get along either.

Pygmy goat vs Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Which is Best?

Okay, which is best? In my opinion, the Nigerian Short goat wins out! The goats we keep are for milk and I can make amazing yogurt, cheese, and soap from it.

I have tried goat meat, but we mainly raise chickens and lambs for meat, so we don’t have a need for meat goats.

  • If what you need is a meat goat that is smaller, then opt for a Pygmy goat!
  • If you’re looking for a great milking goat that is smaller in size but is great for production, go with a Nigeria n Dwarf goat!
  • If you’re looking for a pet, you can pick either a Nigerian or Pygmy, because they both have great (albeit naughty) behaviors. When choosing your first goat, be sure to check out my guide and CareSheet here.

What about Nigerian/Pygmy Mixes?

Okay, thank you for your Nigerian Dwarf goat vs pygmy goat comparison, but, what about Nigerian-Pygmy goat crossbreed?

Mixes in the goat world are common and before you decide if you’d like to have a mixed breed, there a few things you need to know…

If you get a mixed breed, you’ll need to understand that you won’t be able to have it registered, which means you won’t be able to show the goat or do 4-H.

If your need is to raise for milk, ENSURE the mother’s udder and teat size is decent and you might even want to ask if you can milk or see her be milked to make sure.

For the best results, ensure the genetics are more stocky in nature If you’re wanting to raise for meat.

And with that, we’ve come to an end of the Nigerian dwarf goat vs pygmy goat. Like, share and comment below, we’re happy to hear your views on similarities, differences and experiences with Pygmy goat vs Nigerian Dwarf’s

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