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I mean, we’ve all seen them… those adorable and hilarious videos that go viral all over social media consisting of one or more baby goats dancing around in kitchens or parkouring off of everything… (including each other) It’s pretty darn safe to say that baby goats are incredibly cute!!
But are there other good reasons for owning goats besides the obvious cuteness factor?
It just so happens that I have a small herd of Nigerian dwarf goats myself, and I, for one, believe there are SEVERAL good reasons to have these wonderful animals in your life.
Let’s take a look at 7 reasons why you NEED Nigerian dwarf goats in your life… like, yesterday…
1. Goats are incredibly smart and capable of relationship with humans.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that a goat is often labeled as “just a farm animal.” Yes, they are kept for agricultural purposes most times, but they can also be wonderful just as a pet.
There was a study done in 2016 that showed goats are capable of a relationship with humans that is much like the relationship one has with a dog, and their intelligence levels were similar as well.
Christian Norwoth, one of the researches for this study said, “Goats gaze at humans in the same way as dogs do when asking for a treat that is out of reach. Our results provide strong evidence for complex communication directed at humans in a species that was domesticated primarily for agricultural production, and show similarities with animals bred to become pets or working animals, such as dogs and horses.”
In this study the research team trained several goats to open a box that had a treat inside and the goats would then take the treat as their reward. But when the team made the box impossible to open, something really cool happened! The goats would try to open the box, and then look back at the human, as if to say, “hey, what gives?? You gunna help me open this or what??”
They also went further to show that when a human was looking at them while they couldn’t get the box open, the goat would gaze longer at the human as if asking for help, but if the human’s back was turned, they would not gaze for as long. This indicates that the goat was aware of whether the human was looking at them or not, and could discern that when they are looking they will be more likely to help.
The goats were modifying their behavior based on their human audience! How cool is that!? Before this study, it was thought that only dogs, cats, and horses were capable of this level of communication with humans.
Read more about this study here! – Click here to read more
2. Nigerian dwarf goats are dwarf size!
One of my favorite things about Nigerian dwarf goats is their compact little size. They don’t need to be kept on a ton of land, especially if you only have a few, and they are easy to pick up and handle if need be.
Fencing is super important for keeping goats in and keeping predators out. So you don’t want to skimp in this area. However, because Nigerians are small, you don’t need quite as strong and tall of fencing, and you definitely won’t need as much fencing either. They also don’t weigh nearly as much as larger breeds which makes them a little better for wet climates because they won’t create a mud pit as easily.
Goats are extremely social animals, which means you should never have just one. They need another animal of the same species to hang out with and keep them company! If you want a goat, you’ll need to get at least two… SO if you don’t have a lot of space, but you really want pet goats, Nigerian dwarfs could be the perfect solution for you!
3. They lower stress levels
At least for me!!!
I don’t necessarily have scientific proof to back this one, but I’m telling you… You could wake up with a headache, stub your toe on the leg of your bed, spill your coffee on your shirt, which makes you late to work… but when you look out your window and see your goats sprinting around the yard and parkouring off of buildings and headbutting each other for the best spot on the giant wooden spool, you just can’t stay mad!!
I have had similar mornings, and trust me when I say, every time I see those goaties, or go out and sink my hands into their warm fluffy coats, I can’t help but smile. I can feel all my muscles relax and my body become less tense, and all is well in the world again.
4. Nigerian dwarf goats make incredible milk!
If you’re looking to add goats to your farm for dairy purposes, then do not count out the Nigerian dwarf goat! Yes, they are smaller and don’t produce quite as much volume as larger breeds, BUT their milk has the highest butter fat content over any other breed, which, in my opinion, makes it the best tasting goat’s milk! Most breed’s butterfat levels are between 2-6% while a Nigerian dwarfs levels are between 6-10%. This extra creaminess makes their milk exceptional for making things like yogurt, cheese, and ice cream. In fact, their milk is SO creamy, that most people prefer it to cows milk once they’ve tried it.
Nigerians are also super efficient eaters, meaning they produce more milk in relation to what they eat than other breeds of goats. So even though each goat produces less than a larger breed, you will still probably spend around the same amount of money on feed when you have a few more Nigerians rather than a smaller herd of a larger breed, and get similar volumes of milk production.
You may have had goat’s milk before and noticed a “goaty taste.” Nigerian dwarf milk doesn’t have the goaty taste and if it does, it is probably because the does are kept with a stinky buck that taints the flavor of their milk. Without a stinky buck being kept with them, they have the absolute best and richest milk.
5. Nigerian dwarfs come in a wide variety of colors.
This one may not be important to all people, but I love it.
There are SO many coat patterns and colors and combos that are possible with Nigerian dwarfs and it is so fun to build your herd with the colors you love! Most other goat breeds only come in certain colors and patterns while Nigerian dwarf goats can come in just about any color and pattern out there!
If you’d like to look at some different colors check out this website! – Nigeriandwarfcolors.com – It has a lot of really great info about coat possibilities in this breed.
6. Goats are amazing at clearing brush.
Need some brush cleared on your land? Look no further than a small herd of goats! They are cheaper than a brush hog, and a WHOLE lot cuter. 😉 Just be sure that there aren’t any poisonous plants within that brush that the goats could get into. They are pretty hardy and can eat most things, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
I kept my first two goats right in my backyard before my husband and I built a separate space for them, and they were amazing at “weed wacking” all around the edges of our fence. I’m actually going to miss that this upcoming spring when they aren’t in there to trim up for me anymore… I may just have to let them in occasionally to do some work… 😏
OH, and say goodbye to having to rake leaves as well!! Leaves = potato chips to goats… they will gladly take care of that for you! If anything, get a leaf blower and blow them all in their direction. They will love you forever and ever!
7. Nigerians can be bred year round.
If you’re looking to breed goats, Nigerians are a great choice because they come in to heat once a month. Many other breeds of goat only come into heat in the fall months for spring babies.
This is great for keeping a continuous supply of milk coming on your farm. You can plan your breeding schedule to make sure you always have does in milk, and have babies for sale all year round.
Speaking of Nigerian babies, they are one of the highest priced in the goat world currently if they are purebred and registered, and Nigerian does are more likely to kid multiples regularly than other breeds. It is not uncommon to see twins, triplets, and even quads, and they can sell between $350 and $550 a piece! Sometimes more if they have really exceptional lines behind them. This is because Nigerians are highly desirable, because I mean… why wouldn’t you want one!?
So if you’re scared about the initial investment, just remember that if you plan on selling babies, you will be able to make that money back.
Beyond these reasons guys, Nigerians just have amazing and silly personalities and are so fun to be around. They would be the perfect addition to any farm/homestead, or you can enjoy keeping them just as pets. Whatever you decide, you will surely fall in love.
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Learn more about us and why we started our little farm HERE. 😊
Interested in learning what kind of food a goat will need to stay healthy and strong? Read all about that, HERE.