Nigerian Dwarfs or Pygmys?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by A'sta at Hofstead, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. A'sta at Hofstead

    A'sta at Hofstead Turkey Wrangler

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    Hi folks, I am new here and glad I found this site- My SO and I just bought an 1800s farm house with a huge barn on 2.5 acres. We are getting some young chickens given to us from some friends who have a farm. We are looking into breeding mini goats or maybe just getting pet ones for now. Any advice for us? I am talking with a very nice woman who raises Nigerians and she says she prefers them to Pygmys. We have children 12, 13, 14, 19 and guardianship of our 2 year old grandson, so we want the friendliest and easiest goats we can get!
    :help:

    Asta & Steve
     
  2. Idahoe

    Idahoe Menagerie More~on

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    We just started "farming" this year too. Sounds like you have a nice set up.

    It depends on what you want the goats FOR. Nigerian dwarves are dairy goats, tiny as they are. If you want milk and cheese, go with them. Pygmies are more meat goats.

    Another option if you want milk but need more than you get out of an ND, there are "mini" breeds of dairy goats bred from regular sized dairy goats and NDs. They eat less, take up less room, give an amount of milk between the ND and standard dairy goats.

    All goats will eat brush and weeds, BTW, if that is what you are hoping for.

    Go with hornless goats because of the little ones.
     

  3. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Nigies rock! Who is the friend in NH who raises Nigies? Maybe I know her.

    If you get the right bloodlines, a couple of Nigies will supply you with plenty of the sweetest, creamiest milk you could ever desire. Nigies are sooo friendly and easy to handle.

    Pygmys look more disproportionate, and are not, strictly speaking, dairy goats, as the last poster said.
     
  4. TC

    TC Well-Known Member

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    I have both, and love both. (I also have the bigger breeds) Both are great with kids, but it seems to me that my pygmies (sp) are a little more high spirited. Maybe it's just mine??
     
  5. A'sta at Hofstead

    A'sta at Hofstead Turkey Wrangler

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    I am talking with Laura at Dawn Land Farm in Sandown about the Nigies, she seems like she knows her stuff and will take a lot of time to educate us. I think even with the investment being a bit of much right after moving that we should get a buck and a doe and let them breed. I think it will be a great experience for the kids and us too. Our 12 year old had been helping out on our friends farm this summer and is really into animals (they all are), he wants a horse..... maybe next year!
     
  6. moonspinner

    moonspinner Well-Known Member

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    Laura is an exceptional goat keeper. She has great stock, very responsible and she has some goats in a rehab program, so they are super pet friendly. As a nigie breeder, of course I'm prejudiced. But they're small, easy to handle, give a suprising amount of milk for their size that is high in butterfat. And the wild array of colors is a nice plus too!
     
  7. Farmboy

    Farmboy Well-Known Member

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    Another vote for Nigerians. I think they're a lot better looking than pygmies.
     
  8. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    When you go looking for Nigerians to milk, don't buy them unless the breeder milks at least some of them every day and uses the milk for household milk. And if they use goat milk, make sure it's Nigerian goat milk, and not milk from the one standard dairy goat they keep to supply the family because it's easy to milk and actually produces enough to make it worth the hassle of milking the goat. Most Nigerian breeders buy their household milk at the store, and their goats are bred for pretty conformation and pretty udders. This does not necessarily mean they will produce a lot of milk, let their milk down, or produce milk over a long period of time. I started out with Nigerians, and now milk Mini-Manchas. I've sold all my Nigerians. My friend did exactly the same thing, just a few years later than I did. (I didn't know her when she bought her Nigerians.) Others on this board are coming to the same conclusions I came to after trying Nigerians, but they can chime in if they want to.
     
  9. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    I have some Nigies with great milking lines...and the milk my friend gets from their dams is plentiful and outstanding.

    Check out the milking lines. In any registered herd with show stock, you should be able to get milking records.


    I am breeding for minis too.
     
  10. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I have nigerians and nubians. I started out with nigerians. I culled my nigerians extensively down to three senior does for milking ability - primarily teat size and production, as well as the other usual things like conformation. I have big hands and milking a nigerian for me means she has to be exceptional, or it just isn't worthwhile to me.

    The milk is high in butterfat which is good for cheese, icecream, cereal, etc. My family refuses to just drink it because the high fat content makes it taste like it is sweetened. Still, it is great for the above uses, and cooking. I milk the nigies in the interim - while the nubians aren't milking. I also have a son who is severely allergic to cow milk, and he drinks it - no problem. Of course, his other choice would be store-bought goat's milk, which tastes downright awful.

    niki
     
  11. rranch

    rranch Well-Known Member

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    I raise pygmies. I breed and show them. I don.t milk them though although you can get about 1/2 gal a day. The teats are very small on some and not very practical, so most breeders do not use them for this purpose. They are nice friendly pets and good browsers though. I always have one in my lap and one just wanting loves.

    I vote for Pygmy:)
     
  12. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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  13. A'sta at Hofstead

    A'sta at Hofstead Turkey Wrangler

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    Thanks for all of the info- now I know a little bit more - I do hope to milk them for cheese etc. I am going to get the Nigerians in the spring (I was going to do it this month, but I am still unpacking and I think I would be crazy to take it on right now, what was I thinking??), any other advice is certainly welcome!
     
  14. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    You are wise to wait until you are really ready before getting your goats. Once in a while we've had a thread here about 'the mistakes we've made', and one of the primary ones is getting animals before we are really ready for them! I think almost every one of us has done it!

    My personal favorite of the smaller breeds of goats is the Kinder (Pygmy X Nubian). They milk well, with very rich, sweet milk, but are big enough to get a milk pail underneath, and if they've been bred well are also easy to milk. They are also a nice small meat animal.

    Kathleen
     
  15. DKWunlimited

    DKWunlimited A year full of blessings Supporter

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    As a Mom of 3 human kidlets, I can tell you that my Nigerians are extreamly friendly, they snuggle and kiss and love to jump in to my lap every chance they get. If you want family pets as well as milking and breeding, make sure you get them from a farm where they have been socialized. Some breeders have so many goats that they just keep them in a big pen and feed them. You want ones that actually get attention and love.
     
  16. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    One thing to consider is that between Nigerians and Pygmies, the Nigerians tend to kid easier with fewer complications. Pygmies simply have wider kids.
     
  17. A'sta at Hofstead

    A'sta at Hofstead Turkey Wrangler

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    Yes, the breeder told me that Nigies kid better, I would hate to have pygmies have to get a C - Section or something. one other question, how high is the fencing you all use? Is 4' high enough or do you need taller? I have the perfect area for them and do want to start preparations.
     
  18. moonspinner

    moonspinner Well-Known Member

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    I have found the four feet is fine for my does. I use five feet for the boys as they get frisky and eager to get to the girls during breeding season and are very determined for romance.