With our first bite of goat cheese we were hooked and knew we had to make our own. We researched
various breeds of goats and knew that Nigerians were the goat for us. They have a high content of milk fat
(6-10%), excellent for cheese making, and can produce a surprising amount of sweet milk - up to 2 quarts
a day or more. They are small and docile, easy to care for, and we found that they have the most amazing
and diverse personalities. People who come to visit our farm are amazed that they are more like a loyal
dog than a goat. Their milk tastes amazing, rich and creamy, and the goats are always excited to get on the
milking stand. We have carefully selected our goats from strong genetic lines and reputable breeders to
create a wonderful herd with great genetics and outstanding dairy character.
Breeding and kids!
Nigerians can breed year round. The gestation period for a doe is 145 to 153 days. Nigerian's are a hearty
breed with few kidding problems and new babies average about 2 pounds at birth but grow quickly.
Watch out for those little bucks! Bucklings can be fertile at as young as 7 weeks of age. Make sure you
wean does and bucks separately to help you avoid unintentional breeding.
Bucks are able to be used for service as young as 3 months of age and easily by the time they are 7 or 8
months old. Bucks are vigorous breeders but are gentle enough to be used for hand breeding or pasture
Does can be bred at 7-8 months of age if they have reached a mature size. We prefer to wait until they are
at least 1 year or older. Does are good mothers and can have several kids at a time with triplets being the
At around 2 months of age, kids can be weaned and are able to go to their new homes. Goats are social
creatures and need to be with other goats so make sure your goat has a buddy.
Our goats are housed in a large barn with access to a pasture area fenced with electric netted fencing
which works wonderfully to keep the goats in and the predators out. Goats should be kept in clean pens
free of dampness, drafts and pests like flies and rodents. Goats should not be housed in airtight
buildings; they need to have ventilation to stay healthy. Goats love "toys" in their pasture like tree
stumps, rocks or large cable spools which are great for "king of the mountain" games and jumping.
Finding the right bedding material and barn flooring has been a huge challenge for us. We have tried dirt
flooring, gravel flooring, straw and pellet bedding with no success. We finally have come up with a
solution that works great for our goats. First off, goats are notorious for wasting hay when they eat so we
let them use the dropped hay for their bedding and then clean the bedding areas once a week. The
bedding areas have wood frames around them which contain the hay from spreading around the barn
creating a big mess. Outside of the bedding areas the rest of the barn is graveled and a special porous
fabric is laid on top of it. It took us several tries to find the exact fabric that would work - not too thick
that the urine couldn't go through and not too thin where it could tear. We had samples of different fabric
sent to us from throughout the country. With the fabric we chose, the urine goes through the fabric,
gravel, and out of the barn which decreases any chance of infection to the doe's udders which can be an
issue for milking does. The goat poop pellets are then swept out of the barn every morning leaving a
clean, dry environment for the goats to enjoy. If you are interested in visiting our farm and seeing how
our barn works please give us call, we'd love to have you visit.
Goats always need fresh water, hay and minerals at all times. Most breeders feed a 16% - 18% protein goat
feed or dairy ration. Many breeders give less grain if good pasture and browse are available. We feed
Purina Noble Goat Dairy Parlor 16% to our pregnant and milking does and Noble Goat Grower to our
kids and dry does. They also receive alfalfa pellets, sunflower seeds, kelp, and minerals. They are always
excited to have the occasional treat of bread or fruit.
Hooves should be trimmed regularly, about every 4-8 weeks or more often if needed. A properly
trimmed and shaped hoof should resemble those of a kid goat's hoof.
Vaccinations for tetanus and types C&D are given annually. Check with your local vet for other
vaccinations recommended for your area.
Worming should be done several times a year. We use Ivomec and Valbazen wormers the most and
follow amounts listed on the Fias Co Farm website (www.fiascofarm.com).
The Nigerian Dwarf is a miniature dairy goat of West African origin. Nigerian's becoming very popular
due to their small size, colorful markings and dairy characteristics. Their small stature means they do not
require as much space or feed as their larger dairy goat counterparts and their gentle and friendly
personalities make them good companion pets. The milk is also higher in butterfat and has a sweeter
taste. Nigerians are easy to handle; even for small children. Nigerian's are considered rare by the
American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has also approved the
Nigerian Dwarf Goat as a livestock dairy goat, which makes them eligible for youth 4H and FFA projects.
Shows are fun, educational and a great way to meet other breeders and owners. They are a place to sell
your goats or obtain superior stock for breeding. Shows or event information can be obtained through
registries, local goat clubs and organizations.
Color is one of the factors that makes breeding Nigerian's so popular. You can never be sure what color
the babies will be until they are born; even then you can't be sure because many times their color may
change. Main color families are black, chocolate, and gold with virtually every color combination
imaginable being produced. Nigerian's can be dalmatian-spotted, pinto-patterned, tri-colored or just
classy shades of solid jet black, white, chocolate or gold. Buckskin patters are also popular, described by
contrasting facial stripes, a "cape" around the shoulders with a coordinating dorsal stripe and leg
markings. Brown eyes are the most common; however, dwarfs with china blue eyes are becoming
increasingly popular and available.
A Nigerian Dwarf goat's conformation is similar to that of the larger dairy goat breeds. The parts of the
body are in balanced proportion. The nose is straight, although there may be a small break or stop at the
level of the eyes. The ears are upright. The coat is soft with short to medium hair. Any color or
combination of colors is acceptable, although the silver agouti pattern and color is a moderate fault
(pygmy goat-specific markings).
Ideal height of Nigerian Dwarf goats is 17" to 19" for does with does up to 21" allowed in the breed
standard. Ideal height for bucks is 19" to 21" with bucks up to 23" allowed in the breed standard. Ideal
weight is suggested to be about 75 lbs. Animals are disqualified from the show ring for being oversized
for the breed standard and/or for other faults: having a curly coat, roman nose, pendulous ears or
evidence of myatonia (a breed characteristic of fainting goats).