In our nearly 10 years with goats, we spent the first 2.5 with a menagerie of different breeds an cross breeds. Spanish x Cashmere, Oberhasli, Nubian Alpine crosses and Saanens. We briefly pursued Mini Manchas but our passion really lays heavily on the Nigerian dwarf goat.
The Canadian Goat Society describes Nigerians as having erect ears, polled or horned, brown or blue eyed, any colour or pattern with a serious fault to ‘agouti’. Males at max height of 23″ and females at 22″ at the withers at 30 months.
Nigerians are a big surprise in a small package. Not only do they have personality and flash, they have great feed to milk conversion and can be stunning little producers of rich, creamy milk despite their size. This African breed is amazingly cold hardy, even in our record setting 2018/2019 winter, often producing twins, triplets and quads. Many lines produce fast growing, vigorous kids and they are often born running before they ever hit the ground.
We are really drawn to the rangier does with lots of length, barrel depth and wide briskets. This body style can be surprisingly elegant and dairy, avoid the stout pygmy look and seems to be the perfect compromise between our lower max heights while giving room for capacious udders, keeping comfort of the does in mind. We certainly appreciate the super fine dairy animals, and appreciate it in bucks to maintain the elegance of the dairy character in wider animals, but when selecting animals for our herd, we are more apt to retain the wider animals.
We are looking to keep the globular udder shape, avoiding the larger breed udder design, which tends to be higher and more oval, while improving teat length and selecting for texture and milkability over capacity. Our number one, no questions asked cull is temperment! This is by hard lesson and we have zero exception to this rule. We will sell a finished champion in a heartbeat due to attitude and keep that reliable, quiet animal.
Have a look around our buck and doe pages and feel free to ask any questions you may have.