Hey there! Are you a goat enthusiast who loves learning about different goat breeds? Well, today, we’re going to talk about the smallest breed of goat! These adorable little creatures may be small, but they have big personalities and plenty of charm to go around.
If you’re curious about the pint-sized goats taking the world by storm, keep reading to learn about the tiniest breed of goats and what makes them so special.
Get ready to fall in love with these little cuties!
The Nigerian Dwarf
The Nigerian Dwarf goat is widely recognized as the smallest of all dairy breeds. These goats are native to West Africa and are commonly found in the United States. They typically stand about 17 to 21 inches tall at the withers and weigh between 50 and 75 pounds when fully grown. Nigerian Dwarf goats are known for their friendly and playful nature and are popular as pets, show animals, and dairy producers.
Other Miniature Goat Breeds
Aside from the Nigerian Dwarf, there are several other miniature goat breeds, such as:
- Pygmy Goat
- San Clemente Island (SCI)
The Pygmy goat is another popular breed from West Africa. They are also popular pets and exhibition animals widely found in petting zoos. They are similar in size to the Nigerian Dwarf, standing about 15 to 20 inches tall at the withers and weighing between 40 and 60 pounds at maturity.
Other miniature goat breeds include the San Clemente Island (SCI), Nigora, and Pygora. The SCI goat is a rare breed that can vary widely in size, with females ranging from 23 to 24 inches tall and males ranging from 25 to 27 inches tall. The Nigora is a dual-purpose breed that is hardy and well-suited for small hobby farms.
Pygoras are a cross between Pygmy and Angora goats and range in size from a Labrador Retriever to a Mastiff.
Which is Smaller Between Nigerian Dwarf and Pygmy
Both Nigerian Dwarf and Pygmy goats are small breeds of goats. Pygmy goats have shorter legs and a stockier build, while Nigerian Dwarf goats have a refined, delicate appearance with a long overall body length and flat bones. Pygmy goats are thicker due to their genetics for meat production, while Nigerian Dwarf goats resemble dairy animals. Overall, Pygmy goats are generally smaller than Nigerian Dwarf goats in height and weight.
Choosing the Right Miniature Goat Breed
When selecting a miniature goat breed, it’s essential to consider your primary use for the goats. If you’re interested in dairy production, the Nigerian Dwarf or Pygmy goat may be your best bet. Other miniature goat breeds, such as the Nigora or Pygora, may be better suited for those interested in meat production or fiber production.
It’s also important to consider the temperament of the breed. Nigerian Dwarf goats, for example, are known for their friendly and playful nature, while Pygmy goats can be more independent and aloof. The SCI goat is a good choice for those looking for a docile and gentle breed, while Pygoras are known for being gentle and easy to handle.
Before deciding on a breed, it’s a good idea to spend some time with the goats to get a sense of their personality.
Feeding and Housing Miniature Goats
Feeding and housing requirements for miniature goats are similar to those of their larger counterparts. Goats need a balanced diet consisting of hay, grains, and freshwater. They also require shelter that protects them from the elements and predators. While miniature goats don’t need as much space as larger breeds, they still require room to move around and exercise.
Some owners choose to keep their miniature goats indoors, particularly if they live in urban areas. In this case, providing them with a designated area for grazing and exercise, such as a fenced-in yard or pasture, is crucial.
If kept outdoors, goats need a sturdy fence that keeps them contained and protects them from predators such as coyotes and wolves.
Caring for Miniature Goats
Caring for miniature goats requires a certain level of commitment and attention. Goats must be regularly groomed, their hooves trimmed, and their living quarters clean. They also require regular veterinary care, including vaccinations and deworming.
Owners should also know the specific health issues that can affect miniature goats. For example, Pygmy goats are prone to dental problems, while Nigerian Dwarf goats are susceptible to copper toxicity.
Working closely with a veterinarian familiar with miniature goat breeds is essential to ensure their health and well-being.
Miniature goats are an adorable and popular choice for those interested in raising goats, particularly those with limited space. While there are several miniature goat breeds, the Nigerian Dwarf and Pygmy goats are the most well-known.
When choosing a breed, it’s important to consider your needs and goals and each breed’s temperament and care requirements. Miniature goats can make wonderful and entertaining pets or productive farm animals with proper feeding, housing, and care.
Sarah Lane has been a farm wife since 2010 and mother of two children for nearly as long. She and her husband, Jonathan, live on a small farm in Texas where they raise dairy goats and beef cattle as well as chickens for eggs and meat. In addition to growing their own hay, straw and garden produce, the Lane family works with other nearby farms to source organic grain from which they make artisan bread sold at local farmer’s market.