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Discussion in 'Goats' started by Alice In TX/MO, Jul 3, 2006.
Is there a definitive way to tell the difference between pygmy goats and Nigerian Dwarf goats?
A pygmy looks like a keg with legs; a Nigerian Dwarf looks like a very small dairy goat. (Sorry if that was too simplistic).
Pygmies are a pet breed; not excellent for milking (though they have the 'best' milk) and not good for meat b/c they're so teeny. Nigerians are a milking breed.
It can be hard to tell on unregistered goats as so many have been mixed with other breeds. If you look at registered stock it is really easy. Pygmy short and stocky and Nigerian longer legs and lean body.
Here is some of my registered pygmy does.
On the technical side, pygmies tend to show more achondroplasia traits - large head, short legs, blocky. Whereas nigies are a true miniature dwarf - meaning perfectly proportioned downsized versions of a standard dairy goat - most closely compared to the alpine. Also pygmies are restricted to limited color groups while NDs are all over the board in color and pattern.
Here they are:
Rose, are you asking if those are NDs or Pygmys?
They look like NDs to me...but I am not an expert by any means...
Yes, that's what I was wondering. The vet is more of a cow expert, so he didn't know, either.
Will we be able to tell more when Betty Lou bags up after she has a kid?
How old are they and are they both girls? They have longer legs that pygmies but they could be a cross. Did you get them from an individual?
The fawn colored one is female; the white one is male. Betty Lou and Billy Bob.
The vet says they are adolescents, as they still have their baby teeth.
Well you do realize he will get her pregnant or she may already be pregnant and she is way too young. I thought they looked young. I just wasnt sure if they were both girls, boys or wethers. They loose their first 2 baby teeth around a year old. Mine were so funny when they would take treats from me and they were snagle toothed.
They have been bunking together since before we got them. I've only had them....mmmm.....three weeks? She hasn't shown sign of heat during that time.
What age can you safely breed a small unknown breed goat?
Well with the smaller goats it is best to wait till they are a year to year and half. Are they related? Where did you get them? With them together you may not notice her heat till it is too late anyways. And it may very well have been too late when you got them. Some people will let goats breed too early and it can cause problems and sometimes not. The miniature breeds will come into heat every 21 days so she was likley bred when you got her. Watch her closly over the next few months and hopefully she will be fine. And if she is bred and kids you will need to separate them or he will breed her soon after kidding. If you just want them as pets or they are related i.e brother and sister you might concider having the vet castrate him and they can stay together forever. It doesnt cost that much if you can take him in. The only problem is it is fly season so if she is pregnant you can wait on castrating him till fly season is over. Having your goat have kids is fun but not when a doe is bred too soon and thing go wrong. I hope she isnt pregnant but if she is I pray all goes well.
They look like crosses to me.....because the legs are so long. I have a herd of nigies. The colors look more like pygmy colors, although I did have a doe colored similiar to yours. They do not seem to have the pygmy body type. However, lots of people think the term 'pygmy' and 'nigerian dwarf' are interchangeable, not defining two different breeds.
I'm not sure how old yours are, but you may want the vet to give that doeling some lutalyse if she isn't too far along. You have to assume she is pregnant if she is in with a buck. If she is too young - kidding could be troublesome or fatal. Many breed their does at 7 months old to kid as yearlings, just to give you a general time table.
They were in a pen at the salvage lumber yard near Koshkonong, Missouri. The owner had them just a month and got them from an old man who was moving out of the area and couldn't keep them.
The vet said she was either not pregnant yet or just barely pregnant.
Maybe I need to tie a shingle under Billy Bob's tummy?