The Nigerian Dwarf is a miniature breed of dairy goat. The balanced proportions of the breed give it the appearance of a small version of the larger dairy breeds. The American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) Breed Standard sets a maximum height at the withers of 22.5 inches (57 cm) for does and 23.5 inches (60 cm) for bucks. The hair of the Nigerian Dwarf is usually short and fine, and any colour pattern is acceptable. The ears are erect, and the face is straight or dished.
Breed Standard: http://www.thejudgingconnection.com/pdfs/Judging_Dairy_Goats.pdf
The first Nigerian Dwarf genetics were brought to Australia in 2013 by Michael Garwood (First Fleet Dairy Goats) who imported frozen embryos and frozen semen from the US.
As the name suggests, the ancestors of the Nigerian Dwarf came from West Africa, but the breed has been further developed in the US, and it was a US breeder that named the breed 'Nigerian Dwarf' in the early 1980s.
Two distinct types of small West African goat were imported to the US last century, one type, cobby with short legs is known as the Pygmy Goat, and the other, more
slender with proportionally longer legs and a more streamlined appearance, was given the name Nigerian Dwarf.
The Nigerian Dwarf goat is extremely popular as a pet and companion animal due to its calm, even temperament and engaging personality, combined with its convenient size and flashy colours.
Nigerian Dwarfs are precocious and
prolific breeders - twins are most common, followed by singles and triplets. Quads, quints and even larger numbers of kids have been born. Nigerian Dwarfs can reach sexual maturity as early as 7 weeks of age, so it is important for buck and doe kids to be separated no later than 2
months of age.
The AABMGS registers purebred Nigerian Dwarfs and also provides registration services for animals being bred up to purebred status.
Nigerian Dwarf goats can also be used in individual breeding programs to develop other miniature dairy goat breeds in Australia.
The ANDDA (American Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Association) recognises Jobi Fawn as the milk production record holder with 781 kg of milk produced over a 305 day lactation - averaging 2.56 kg or 2.5 litres per day for 10 months with a 5.3% butter fat content. The butterfat production record is held by Rosasharn's Uni with 676 kg of milk at 7.5% butterfat over a 305 day lactation - producing 51 kg of butterfat over the 10 month lactation.
The Show Heights for the Nigerian Dwarf have been set taking into account that some breeders are choosing to use Standard Size Dairy Goat Does in the development of the breed.
Show Heights will be altered to suit as the breed develops.
Doe under 6 months (under 54cms)
Buck under 6 months (under 55cms)
Doe 6 to 12 months (under 60cms)
Buck 6 to 12 months (under 62cms)
Doe 12 to 24 months (under 66cms)
Buck 12 to 24 months (under 68cms)
Doe 24 to 36 months (under 68cms)
Buck 24 to 36 months (under 72cm)
Doe 3 to 4 years (under 69cms)
Buck 3 to 4 years (under 74cms)
Doe over 4 years (under 70cms)
Buck over 4 years (under 75cms)