ANZ's Farms

Friday, January 8, 2010

Why Nigerian Dwarf Goats?

Nigerian Dwarf goats are perfect for urban homesteads for several reasons:

1) their size. They are smaller than a large dog being about knee-height. They require half the space of standard breeds for shed and outdoor space. They don't eat as much, so your storage area for grain and hay can be less. I prefer the confirmation of a dwarf to a pygmy - the dwarf proportions suit my fancy. They don't look like a beer keg on legs.
2) their milk. They produce the highest butterfat content (6-10%) of any dairy animal. Their milk is delicious to drink; great for yogurt, ice cream and cheese; great for baking cakes, mac & cheese, quiche, anything with milk as an ingredient; and very moisturizing for soaps and lotion. Depending on your milk consumption, the amount is just right!
3) their manure. What's not to appreciate about berries that decompose quickly, go straight on the garden or make great compost. The amount is sufficient for an urban garden, but not so much you have to haul it off.
4) their dispositions. They have docile, outgoing personalities and make great pets.
5) their brush-clearing skills. Although dairy goats are not often used to clear brush, urban goats who can do double duty are a plus. Mine help clear leaves off the grass in the fall and like Kudzu and poison ivy which invade my yard in the summer. Goats are actually picky eaters and don't like garden scraps. They have turned their noses up at tomatoes, carrots, celery and other morsels I threw over the fence. Not once have they nibbled on plants in my garden.

PS - still waiting on those babies...


  1. I have to agree about loving Nigerian Dwarfs!
    My parents have about 25 does, a couple bucks, plus about that many more kids that have been born in the last month.
    I enjoyed reading about your farm and life, and in doing so I realized that you're not too far from us :)

  2. Hello! I was searching around for info on these little guys as we are hoping for a couple. Can you tell me if they would totally demolish a lawn? Not that I am sure I care, just curious. And could I put simple wire garden fencing around gardens to keep them out without hurting them (the goats.)
    Thanks, if you have time to answer.

  3. Lady Cordelia,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. To answer your questions:
    If you want a straight answer about them demolishing your lawn, I would have to say yes. However, I let mine out of the goat yard 2-3 times a day to graze on my lawn and they are not tearing it up at all. I guess it depends on how much lawn and how many goats (I have 3 adult animals and about 1/2 acre in lawn). They have completely demolished the grass in their goat yard. Goats prefer to browse (eat up ... nibble on tree limbs and shurbs) rather than graze. So if there is alot of diversity of browsing for them, they probably won't even touch the grass.

    I have not found goats to respect wire fencing (chain link or garden type) unless it is electrified. If they want something on the other side of the fence, they will push it over to get across.

    If you decide to get goats, now is a good time as this is kidding season (Jan-Mar). If you start with kids, they will learn to respect your boundaries much better and you will become familiar with what you want/need for them before they get bigger than a size you can easily handle by picking them up.

    If you are in the Tirangle NC area, I have 3 does ready to kid this week ... lots of babies on the way. Come see them and our set-up. Just give me a call 919-418-4109

  4. hello! Thanks for the reply! I am in southern Cal. a bit of a ways, or I would surely come visit.
    I very much appreciate your time and expertise. You've done your good deed for the day. I will be mulling over your thoughts and use them to help basing my decision....

    All best,