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NIGERIAN DWARF GOATS

Kids coming in February, 2013 I recommend that you email us to be added to our goat waiting list.

All About Goats Goatkeeper's Veterinary Book  Raising Dairy Goats 
Suggested goat books available from the RD Ranch Barn Store & Gift Shop. Visit our online store.
Nubian Goat Tile - W19 Pygmy Goat Tile - W109
Pygmy & Nubian Painted Tiles available on our online store
Pygmy Goat Kid
Pygmy goat kid


Nigerian Dwarf kids

See how much more colorful the Nigerian Dwarf kids are.

We previously raised Pygmy goats but switched over to the Nigerian Dwarf. They fit in better in our dairy herd of Nubian goats. Unlike the Pygmy, there is no limitation on the colors and color patterns. They are much more colorful than the Pygmy goat and more refined in stature.

Nigerian Dwarf kids from the RD Ranch are bottle fed from the day they are born with pasteurized goats milk.  This is done for 2 reasons:

  1. It is our belief that bottle fed goats are much friendlier and make better pets.
  2. Washington State University found that a disease called Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE) can be passed on to the kids thru raw goats milk.  CAE causes big knees and arthritis.

Our bottle fed kids receive heat treated colostrum (mothers first milk) for the first 24 hours to provide the natural antibodies they need.  After that they receive pasteurized goats milk 3-4 times daily for the first week.  For the next 2 months they are bottle fed milk twice a day.  They are fed 12 - 16 oz. each feeding. By a week of age they are provided with alfalfa hay and a goat grain (follow manufacturers feeding instructions).  When they are 2 months of age they are only fed one bottle a day (12 - 16 oz.).  By the time the kids are ready to be sold they have been changed over to pasteurized cows milk which is more readily available for the buyer.

A salt and mineral block (preferably one that contains selenium) should be available to the goat at all times.  In addition, loose minerals should also be provided. Continue to feed goat grain following the directions of the manufacturer.  Alfalfa/oat hay mix is a very good diet for your female goat throughout its life.  For the wither/buck avoid feeds with high levels of calcium which causes urinary calculi (stones).  For them straight oat or grass hay is a better choice.

Remember the goat is a brush eater.  If the area you have chosen is large enough and the pasture.has a lot of vegetation, you will only need to supplement their diet.  If the area is smaller with little or no vegetation, you will have to be more conscientious of their diet. 

Lets recap the feeding schedule:
  1. Bottle fed twice a day until 2 months of age (12 - 16 oz per feeding).
  2. Bottle feed once a day until 3 months of age.
  3. Alfalfa/oat hay.
  4. Salt & mineral block available at all times. I also have a selenium salt block available to them as well as loose minerals.
  5. Clean water available at all times.
  6. Goat grain as directed by manufacturer.

Photo shows a group of Nigerian and Nubian kids on the bucket. The bucket has 10 nipples. Note the Anatolian Livestock Guardian pups in the background.

All of our goats are "disbudded" at about 10 days of age.  This is a process that will eliminate horns from growing on the goat.  Check disbudded kids every 2 to 3 months for scur growth.  If you find even a tiny bit of horn, the goat may need to be disbudded again.  It's easy to eliminate scurs when the goat is still young.  In a couple weeks the scabs will fall off and you will see a little blood.  Put an antibiotic lotion or wound dressing on the area.  After this the hair will grow over this area so no scars remain.  Anyone wishing to purchase a horned kid must make prior arrangements.

We vaccinate our goats against Tetanus and Enterotoxemia (2 shots).  They should be given an annual booster of both.  Our area is also deficient in selenium so we administer a 1/2 cc shot of Bo-Se.  In California this is only available through a veterinarian. But I have also had good luck with selenium pills sold for human use which is readily available.  Goats suffering from selenium deficiency are slow goers, expecially as kids.  You may also notice a thinning of the outer hairs on your goat.  A shot of selenium should cure this.

We suggest worming goats a minimum of twice a year - Spring and Fall.  To do this you can use a horse wormer such as Panacur, Zimecterin, etc.  Rotate wormers for best results.  Double your goats weight to determine amount of wormer to use.  For example, your goat weighs 50 lbs. - doubled it is 100 lbs.  Now turn the dial on the horse wormer to worm a 100 pound horse.  Most paste wormers do not indicate for 100 lbs. so this is a guessing game.  This is the amount of the paste wormer that you will squirt in the goats mouth.  Usually for a kid we give about enough paste wormer that would sit on the end of your finger.

We castrate our male goats using the "rubber band" method.  The testicles drop after 10 - 15 days.  We wait until the kid is at least a month old to neuter them.  It is less traumatic to castrate the kid when he is very young but this will make him more susceptible to "urinary calculi".  The urethra (the tube that carries his uring from his bladder to the opening in his penis) will not develop to its full size and is easier to clog up.  Urinary calculi is when the urethra gets blocked up with mineral stones and urine can not pass through it.  If the stones do not pass, the goat's bladder will burst and he will die.  Feeding a feed that is low in calcium will decrease the chances of developing urinary calculi.  Additionally, Ammonium Chloride is used for the prevention and treatment of urinary calculi in male goats. Some feeds contain ammonium chloride so check the label.  Plenty of water and salt should always be available.

Anyone wishing to purchase a buck kid will need to make prior arrangements.  It is not advisable to keep an unneutered male as a family pet.  As they mature, fertile male goats have a strong smell during breeding season and will urinate on themselves to impress the girls. Neutered males (wethers) do not smell like a buck will (unneutered male).

Nigerian Dwarf bucks reach height maturity at 30 months. Although most of their growing is accomplished by 12 months, you can expect that they can gain up to two inches at the withers by 30 months.

Does reach also reach height maturity at 30 months with most of their growth is reach by 12 months. They may grow about an inch more by 30 months.

The doe kids can start their heat cycles at 3 months of age.  Usually their breeding season is August through March.  The cycles occur every 21 days during this season.

I found the best hoof trimmers to be Fiskars Utility Cutters. I've tried the others and disgarded them after I found the Fiskars. I'm pleased to say we now offer them for sale. Please visit our shopping card for more information on the Fiskars 9613.

Our Nigerian Dwarfs are registered with American Dairy Goat Association under the herd name RD-Ranch.

Having goats is extremely rewarding.  I find them to be very calming as well as entertaining.  No animal is cuter than a baby goat.  Please email or write us at the above address for more information. 

Goat Vital Statistics

Temperature: 104 (+ or - 1)
Heart Rate: 70-80 beats per minute (faster for kids)
Respiration Rate: 12-15 per minute (faster for kids)
Rumen Movement: 1-1.5 per minute

Onset of heat (estrus): 7-12 months
Length of heat: 12-48 hours - - average about 1 day
Heat Cycle (estrous cycle): 17-23 days - - average about 21 days
Length of Gestation: 148-156 days - - average 150 days

Goat Links:  

Nubian Goats
Nigerian Dwarf Goats
Goats for sale
Goat Information Links 
Goat Medical Information
Goat Photo Album (photos provided by new owners) 

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Ione, CA 95640
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